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.
- Member for
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MINNEAPOLIS -- More governor candidates showed up for a massive Wednesday night debate than the average precinct caucus will host next week. And still, just two-thirds of the candidates planning to run this year were at the gathering, the biggest such forum Minnesota political observers remember. In front of hundreds of newspaper workers, candidates found some ways to separate themselves from each other. On local government aid, like most other issues, there was sharp division between Democrats and Republicans. Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate Paul Thissen, a Twin Cities legislator, said
ST. PAUL -- Low-income Minnesotans who depend on a state program for health care won a one-month extension. General Assistance Medical Care will remain in operation a month longer than expected, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Human Services Commissioner Cal Ludeman announced today. The new date for the program to end is April 1. "This extra month of GAMC coverage is possible because program costs and new enrollment were lower than projected," Pawlenty said.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota officials turn to schools as the state's bank this spring. The state will run out of money in March and April, and the Pawlenty administration says it needs to borrow $423 million from schools to pay the state's bills.
ST. PAUL -- Norm Coleman is not running for governor, but he has advice for those who are: travel Minnesota. As U.S. senator, Coleman tried to do just that as often as possible. Many politicians see the "L" of southern and western Minnesota as especially important because residents there can swing back and forth between political parties. "It is important for folks in St. Paul to get out and about to know the state," Coleman said. "That is a challenge they have. ...
ST. PAUL -- Some Minnesota nursing homes simply do not have enough employees to prevent residents from falling, two Minnesota Senate committees heard Thursday. "I know we all hope to be independent until the day we die," nursing assistant Cheryl Dryer said. However, she added: "There are not enough staff to make the dream a reality." Nursing homes report about 1,200 resident falls a year, Darcey Miner of the state Health Department said. But there are no state or federal guidelines on how large staffs need to be, she said.
ST. PAUL -- Rick Stafford remembers 1994, when Republicans kicked Democrats out of congressional control, and with Tuesday's Massachusetts GOP upset he sees some similarities this year. Bill Clinton was the new, and popular, president and Democrats thought they were flying high in 1994. Newt Gingrich and company spoiled that in taking control of the U.S. House.
ST. PAUL -- Norm Coleman joked that he is "free at last, free at last" Monday, hours after he opted out of the Minnesota governor's race. Other Republican candidates also may have been chanting that refrain on Martin Luther King Jr. Day after complaining that donations and support were harder to find as GOP activists waited to see what Coleman would do. Late Sunday, Coleman posted a statement to his Facebook page saying that the timing was not right for a candidacy, noting that it is just six months after a grueling U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Rebecca Otto and Pat Anderson will run against each other again this year, a repeat of their campaign for state auditor two years ago. Anderson dropped out of the Republican governor's race to challenge Otto, the Democrat who unseated her in 2006. In making her announcement, Otto promised to continue improving government efficiency, accountability, and transparency in this tight budget time. "I think it will be an important race," Otto said. "Minnesota families can't afford another four years of the hundreds of millions of dollars in financial errors made by Ms.
ST. PAUL -- The Republican who could raise more money than any other and who has a ready-made state-wide campaign organization is not running for governor. Former U.S. Sen.