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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ST. PAUL -- Republicans most fear Mark Dayton in the governor's race. Dayton brings the best name recognition of any candidate of any party, thanks in a good share to his family's department store roots. He has been running for more than a year and he has put in years in highly visible U.S. Senate and state offices. Worst of all, from the Republican view, is Dayton has money, and plenty of it (although Dayton says he is spending down his department store fortune and sold some paintings to help his finances). For years, the department store that bore his family name was a Minnesota staple.
ST. PAUL -- If they are Democrats, they must be talking about jobs. Creating jobs traditionally is a key Democratic-Farmer-Laborite campaign issue, and the 2010 governors' primary race is no exception.
ROSEVILLE -- Ol' Mexico Restaurante and Cantina likely never has been as rowdy as Wednesday when governor candidate Tom Emmer met with food and beverage servers upset with him. Emmer supporters and detractors exchanged jeers and cheers for an hour, before an opponent to Arizona's new immigration law slid in behind Emmer and dumped a bag of pennies on the Republican state representative and a public address system failure ended the meeting prematurely. The Republican-endorsed candidate admitted the penny protester surprised him -- "I almost jumped out of my shoes" -- but promised he would wal
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's finance leaders are ready to take out a $600 million loan if needed to fill gaps left by a state budget deficit. Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget chief, Tom Hanson, told a legislative committee Monday that the state shuffled more than $1 billion from one account to another during the past fiscal year in order to pay bills.
ST. PAUL -- Lorie Skjerven Gildea learned at an early age how to tackle difficult situations. Gildea, who on Monday was sworn in as the Minnesota Supreme Court's 22nd chief justice, was a young 4-H member when she took her Shetland pony, Carmel, to the Red Lake County Fair.
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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota State Trooper Travis Pearson followed a car driven by a shooting incident suspect down a tree-lined rural St. Louis County driveway, with his nearest law enforcement backup several minutes away. Donnie Joe Lira stopped his Chevrolet Cavalier, then stepped out of the car, rifle in hand. After Pearson's repeated demand that Lira drop the gun, Lira raised the rifle and aimed it at Pearson.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota is trying to get federal assistance to recover from Thursday's deadly storms. Gov. Tim Pawlenty's emergency officials asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to conduct a preliminary damage assessment, which could lead to federal aid in Faribault, Freeborn, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Polk, Steele and Wadena counties. The FEMA assessment would determine whether the state could ask President Barack Obama to declare the storm-affected counties federal disaster areas.
ST. PAUL -- They come from different backgrounds: a bureaucrat, a state senator, a television personality. Still, they share a goal of playing backup to Minnesota's governor. Voters likely will hear little about the trio of Democratic-Farmer-Labor lieutenant governor candidates before the Aug.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty must be a serious presidential candidate: The first book about him is out. "Governor Tim Pawlenty: The Sam's Club Republican" is for sale at Amazon.com. The $9.95 book written by a man who bills himself as a New Hampshire political analyst is 100 pages long and a news release about it says it tells "the story of Pawlenty's humble beginnings in South St. Paul, his action-packed political campaigns and his accomplished tenures in the Minnesota House and governor's office." Author J.A.