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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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, fresh off a comfortable re-election win, is lobbying Republicans who control the House to bring a farm bill up for a vote by year's end. The western Minnesota Democrat said the bill needs a decision before current federal farm policy expires this year. "The election is over, so it's time to get to work," he said, adding that he is opposed to just extending existing law. "I'm optimistic that, if given the chance, we have the votes to pass a five-year farm bill.
ST. PAUL -- Sen. Tom Bakk will be the Minnesota Senate's leader. A Tweet from inside a closed meeting early this afternoon gave the expected news. Bakk, DFL-Cook, was to meet with reporters later today. Democratic senators and senators-elect met at the St. Paul Hotel this afternoon to pick leaders and celebrate taking control of the Senate in Tuesday's election. They were out of power two years, after Republicans took the majority in 2010 for the first time in 38 years. Tonight, Democratic representatives are expected to pick Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, as speaker.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota became the first state to reject a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Since a state law remains on the books, the vote does not automatically allow same-sex weddings. However, with a newly elected Democratic-Farmer-Laborite Legislature and governor, the subject is bound to be debated when lawmakers take office in January. Thirty other states approved the proposal when voters were asked.
ST. PAUL -- It was easy to tell Democrats from Republicans in the Minnesota Capitol Wednesday, the day after the party snatched back control of the House and Senate. The Democrats were the ones wearing huge smiles. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party won all the big prizes in Tuesday's election, but the one with most impact on Minnesotans is taking control of the state Legislature. That gives the party its first trifecta in more than two decades: control of the state House, Senate and governor's office. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Chip Cravaack gained national attention two years ago when he upset longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, but early Wednesday he lost to a congressman who served three decades ago. Democrat Rick Nolan upset Cravaack in a razor-thin win. Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar breezed to an easy re-election victory Tuesday and most U.S. House members from Minnesota won. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans became the first state to reject a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Since a state law remains on the books, the vote does not automatically allow same-sex weddings. However, with a newly elected Democratic-Farmer-Laborite Legislature and governor, the subject is bound to be debated when lawmakers take office in January. Thirty other states approved the proposal when voters were asked.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota voters do not want to prove who they are. Forty-six percent of voters Tuesday wanted to amend the state Constitution to require a photo ID before voting, but 50 percent was needed. The Minnesota vote went against a trend in other states to approve voter ID. Election officials said they know of little voter fraud and said the constitutional amendment would cost millions of dollars, but supporters said that democracy demands fair elections.
ST. PAUL -- Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar breezed to an easy re-election victory Tuesday and most U.S. House members from Minnesota won. However, House races with Republican Reps. Chip Cravaack and Michele Bachmann remained close late Tuesday. Winning U.S. Representatives included Collin Peterson, Tim Walz, John Kline, Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum and Erik Paulsen. The 8th Congressional District in the northeastern quarter of Minnesota that featured first-term GOP U.S. Cravaack and former Democratic U.S. Rep.
Minnesotans may disagree about a pair of proposed constitutional amendments and may not see eye to eye on candidates, but they agree on one thing: They want their voices heard. Big voter turnout was reported in much of the state, despite cloudy, damp, chilly weather. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie had predicted 3 million Minnesotans, 78 percent of eligible voters, would go to the polls Tuesday. Official turnout numbers were not available Tuesday night. The story from Bemidji was typical. The first voter arrived about 6:25 a.m. at Northwest Technical College, well in advance of the 7 a.m.
ST. PAUL -- Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar earned Minnesota's first 2012 election night win when news services declared her a re-election victor soon after the polls closed. The triumph over Republican Kurt Bills came as no surprise after she held huge leads in recent polls and one poll showed more than half of Minnesotans did know even recognize Bills' name. Bills struggled to raise money, while Klobuchar put millions in her campaign treasury. Some U.S.