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 -- A decision Paul Wellstone made 10 years ago may have cost him his life, but it was typical for the U.S. senator. While running for his third U.S. Senate term representing Minnesota, Wellstone opted against appearing with former Vice President Walter Mondale and U.S. Sens. Edward Kennedy and Tom Daschle in the Twin Cities to instead attend a funeral of a friend on the Iron Range. The senator's son, Dave Wellstone, said in a recent interview that his father connected with common folks. "That is one of the things that no one ever knew that was a legacy of my dad," he said.
BLOOMINGTON -- Federal government requirements on a home day care center his wife runs illustrate why Kurt Bills wants to be a U.S. senator. Bills and his wife, Cindy, spend 80 hours preparing their income tax returns. "Simply put, it takes too long," Bills said.
STACY -- Amy Klobuchar's voice rose as she delivered an impassioned plea -- especially to high school girls -- to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math. "We have to invent things again," she declared. "We have to make things again." As an example of Minnesota's needs, Agco in Jackson cannot find enough welders to build Massey Ferguson and Challenger farm tractors, she told a group gathered to celebrate National Manufacturers' Day at Wyoming Machine, just north of the Twin Cities. After her speech, Minnesota's senior U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Kurt Bills dumped several books on a table in his U.S. Senate campaign office, declaring they were his plan to fix the federal budget. He said those documents provided a "starting point," admitting that key provisions such as eliminating the Education Department likely would be dropped in negotiations. Amy Klobuchar touted her vote on the Budget Control Act that would chop $2.2 trillion in federal spending over 10 years as her starting point. She insisted that Congress work on the issue after the Nov.
ST. PAUL -- Here are some issues related to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require Minnesota voters to produce photographic identification before casting ballots. Process: The Minnesota Constitution is amended when the Legislature passes a proposed amendment and a majority of voters in a general election approve it. The governor has no official role. The proposed amendment will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. Politics: In general, Republicans support the amendment and Democrats oppose it. The GOP-controlled Legislature passed a photo ID bill in 2011, but Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Both sides in Minnesota's voter photo identification debate try to paint pictures about how life would look if the requirement passes Nov. 6, but the real picture has yet to be painted. If voters approve the proposed constitutional amendment, state legislators will take the brush to canvass next year to provide a detailed picture. Even before that picture is on display, those taking sides on the issue are saying how they think things would look in a voter ID world. For instance, cost estimates to implement voter ID range from a few million dollars to more than $100 million.
ST. PAUL -- As they campaign, presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney pretty much ignore rural-specific issues. It is not that they lack a chance to talk about such issues. Some of the major swing states are heavy on agriculture and candidates often stop there, with Iowa and Wisconsin two Midwestern cases in point.
ST. PAUL -- The two major presidential candidates say they love small businesses and want to help. "Now, Gov. Romney and I do share a deep interest in encouraging small-business growth," President Barack Obama said during his first debate with challenger Mitt Romney. "So at the same time that my tax plan has already lowered taxes for 98 percent of families, I also lowered taxes for small businesses 18 times.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie uses state funds to campaign against a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to show photographic identification, two Republican state senators allege in a complaint filed Thursday. Sens. Scott Newman of Hutchinson and Mike Parry of Waseca asked the state Office of Administrative Hearings to find that Ritchie also misleads Minnesotans about the proposal, to be decided by voters Nov.
ST. PAUL -- Two Republican state senators today filed paperwork alleging Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has misled Minnesotans about a proposed constitutional amendment to require voters to show photographic identification. Sens.