Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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DULUTH -- Minnesota's Democratic congressional delegation fed red meat to state party convention delegates Saturday, saying just what any good Democrat wants to hear. Especially popular at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center was the recently passed health care law. "It should be a basic right of everyone in the country to have basic health care," an unusually impassioned U.S. Rep. Tim Walz told delegates. He also took a shot at GOP Gov.
DULUTH -- House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher has earned DFL support in her bid to be governor. She still faces formidable opponents from within her own party in an Aug. 10 primary, but at the state DFL convention Saturday she edged Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who conceded at 11:10 p.m. after nearly 1,400 delegates cast five ballots. All other candidates had dropped out of the race by 10 p.m., and neither Kelliher nor Rybak had the required 60 percent of the DFL state convention's delegates.
DULUTH -- There is a new attitude at this year's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party convention. Instead of divisiveness and ideology, Democrats are going with unity and realism for 2010. At least that is how they sounded Friday as 1,400 of them converged on the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center to pick their governor candidate. Often, both Democrats and Republicans pick candidates on the party's political extremes.
DULUTH -- Democratic-Farmer-Labor convention delegates will whittle down the Minnesota governor's race this weekend, but will not pick their November election candidate. Regardless of what happens at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, DFLers likely will face at least four names on their Aug. 10 primary election ballots because some candidates say they will ignore delegates and challenge the convention endorsee. Still, about 1,400 convention delegates will eliminate many big names in balloting scheduled to start Saturday morning.
ST. PAUL -- Everyone who matters seems to be saying they want to make education reforms required by the Obama administration so Minnesota can get additional federal funding, but it remains very much a question if that can be achieved. Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, wants GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty to discard his long-standing policy to not appear in front of a legislative committee. Pogemiller said he hopes Pawlenty will attend a Tuesday morning hearing that education chairmen Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, and Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
EDEN PRAIRIE -- Minnesota motorists will see more orange barrels than ever this summer after state officials on Wednesday announced they will spend a record $1.3 billion on transportation projects. Of the 283 projects on the Minnesota Department of Transportation's 2010 list, 217 are on highways. The remaining projects will deal with railroads, ports and transit. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel and other government officials gathered within earshot of the year's biggest project, a $150 million Interstate 494-U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty plans to sign a budget-cutting bill that plugs a third of Minnesota's nearly $1 billion deficit. The House and Senate on Monday approved the compromise bill cutting $312 million, mostly with Democratic-Farmer-Laborite votes. After a week-long break that started Monday afternoon, lawmakers will return to St. Paul on April 6, preparing to debate a new bill, not yet finished, cutting health and human services programs.