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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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota election experts say the state's election law is among the best in the country, but the protracted U.S. Senate race proves it can be improved. The state needs to instill more confidence and stability into the absentee ballot process, Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, told a University of Minnesota forum. "It is highly irregular and inappropriate" to allow candidates' campaigns to reject specific absentee ballots, as current state law allows, Rest said during her address Friday.
FRIDLEY -- Marty Seifert may have held the first, but many other Republican governor rallies will follow between now and election day on Nov. 2, 2010. The Marshall state representative opened his official campaign for governor Tuesday, hosting about 100 supporters in a northern Twin Cities suburban factory, then leaving in a motorhome to visit 13 other cities in four days.
ST. PAUL - In politics, it is all about winning. Take, for instance, Al Franken's razor-thin victory over Norm Coleman in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race. The day after the state Supreme Court ruled in Franken's favor, making him Minnesota's newest senator, Brian Melendez, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chairman proclaimed: "Our election system in Minnesota works." His comments, delivered to a Franken rally, brought loud and long cheers.
ST. PAUL -- "Live, from Washington, it's Sen. Al Franken!" That may not be Minnesota senator-elect's line, but on Wednesday hundreds of supporters got a glimpse of a looser Al Franken than has surfaced in quite some time. He thanked Minnesotans for putting him in the U.S. Senate, promising, "I'm not going to waste that chance." The party on the state Capitol's front lawn came 23 hours after the Minnesota Supreme Court released a ruling declaring Democrat Franken beat Republican Norm Coleman by 312 votes in Nov. 4's U.S. Senate election.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision to make unilateral budget cuts could cost up to 4,700 jobs across Minnesota, the state economist on Tuesday told legislative leaders. In a confrontational meeting, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, disputed some of those numbers. She told State Economist Tom Stinson that he undershot the number of jobs that school districts will be forced to cut, perhaps by several hundred. Stinson said up to 600 of the 4,700 job loses would come from schools.
ST. PAUL -- Nearly 3 million Minnesotans voted for a U.S. Senate candidate eight months ago, but in the end only five votes counted, those state Supreme Court justices who Tuesday decided Al Franken will be the state's second U.S. senator. The high court's unanimous decision gave Franken a 312-vote victory and convinced Norm Coleman to end his re-election battle, sending Franken to Washington and giving Democrats 60 Senate votes, the most dominate voting bloc in 30 years.
Updated 5:30 p.m.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision to make unilateral budget cuts could cost up to 4,700 jobs across Minnesota, the state economist told legislative leaders this morning. In a confrontational meeting, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, disputed some of those numbers. She told State Economist Tom Stinson that he undershot the number of jobs that school districts will be forced to cut, perhaps by several hundred. Stinson said up to 600 of the 4,700 job loses would come from schools.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota city leaders say they have trimmed spending gently for the past six years, with the public feeling little impact, but those days may be over. With $44 million being trimmed from state aid cities expected this year and more than $100 million next year, mayors, council members and city administrators said the public soon will begin to feel the cuts. Officials attending the annual Minnesota League of Cities conference in downtown St.