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
- 1 year 10 months
ST. PAUL -- Glen Menze picks at Collin Peterson's biggest accomplishment -- herding the 2008 farm bill to passage, and repassage over a presidential veto. Menze, a Republican trying for the second time to unseat western Minnesota's Democratic congressman, complained the farm bill contains too much pork, but said it did not help pork and other livestock producers. "It really picked winners and losers," Menze said.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's U.S. representatives agree Congress needs to help fix the country's financial crisis, but on Monday divided their votes on a $700 billion plan to do that. Rep. Collin Peterson said congressional leaders need to talk to more lawmakers than they have for the past couple of weeks. "Clearly, they are going to have to go outside of the circle they have been talking to," remarked Peterson. He added that the Agriculture Committee that he leads "will be drug into this." Minnesota's representatives split Monday as the House defeated the plan 228-205.
The Republican National Convention is crowding more speakers into today's agenda to make up for a hurricane-compressed Monday. President Bush is expected to talk from the White House via satellite to his wife, Laura, who will be in the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. But when people speak, and who speaks, depends on whether Republican officials can talk television networks into expanding coverage they planned to limit from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will not be John McCain's running mate. "I am just honored to be considered and I am honored to be governor of the great state of Minnesota," he said this morning during his weekly radio show at the Minnesota State Fair. McCain announces his vice presidential candidate this morning in Dayton, Ohio.
ST. PAUL - Amy Klobuchar had barely pulled out of her driveway en route to Washington, before taking her U.S. Senate position nearly two years ago, when Barack Obama was on the telephone. "We weren't even sworn in yet and he was already determined to break the lock the lobbyists had on Washington..." now-Sen. Klobuchar told the Democratic National Convention in a brief Monday night speech.
ST. PAUL -- Jessica Rohloff has been a faithful voter, but not politically active. Barack Obama changed that. "Barack Obama has inspired me to get involved in the whole process," Rohloff said. "I have been waiting for him since 2004, the first time I heard him speak about the America that is the America I see and believe in." The Willmar woman's story is like that of thousands of others, including more than 100 Minnesotans like herself, arriving in Denver this weekend for the Democratic National Convention.
ST. PAUL -- Provisions restricting young drivers moved closer to law Monday. Senators Monday gave preliminary approval to a bill -- similar to one the House passed last week -- banning drivers in their first six months of holding a license from driving between midnight and 5 a.m., in most cases, and made it illegal to carry more than one other youth not related to the driver. "Between midnight and 5 a.m., folks, is when teenage drivers die on the roads," Sen.
By Don Davis ST. PAUL -- The only major Minnesota Northwest Airlines operation outside of the Twin Cities is safe if Northwest merges with Delta Airlines, the Minnesota Senate president said Monday. Sen. James Metzen, DFL-South St. Paul, said he talked to Northwest President Doug Steenland and brought up the reservations facility in Chisholm. "It will remain open no matter what happens," Metzen reported that Steenland said. A letter from Northwest Vice President Richard Hirst indicated that the airline supports Minnesota jobs, but he called talk of a merger just "speculation." Sen.
ST. PAUL -- A design error in the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed Aug. 1 prompted Minnesota officials to look at the original plans of 59 similar bridges. The $500,000 re-evaluation follows Tuesday's preliminary report blaming gusset plates that connect bridge beams for the Interstate 35W bridge collapse. Bridges Minnesota officials gave priority status for the re-evaluation include U.S. 61 over Mississippi River at Hastings, U.S. 63 over Mississippi River at Red Wing and the Blatnik Bridge in Duluth.