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 -- Gov. Mark Dayton wants the federal Small Business Administration to make low-interest loans available to repair homes and businesses and businesses damaged by storms and flooding in June. Meanwhile, state leaders are aiming for a special legislative session Aug. 24 to deal with disaster aid. The governor said he hopes to have a written agreement among him and four legislative leaders Friday or by early next week at the latest that says the special session will deal only with disaster-relief legislation. "I believe we are on track," he said about the Aug.
ST. PAUL -- Almost all votes from Tuesday's primary election have been counted. The unofficial returns below show the returns with all of Minnesota's 4,102 precincts reporting. In congressional races, the candidate who received the most votes in each party moves on to the 6 general election. In judicial races, the top two vote-getters will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. U.S.
REDWOOD FALLS -- Gene Stengel and Roger Dale sprinkled seasoning on pork chops, then grilled them to just the right temperature to serve to hungry Farmfest visitors. But they cranked up the heat while roasting politicians of all stripes, in Washington and St. Paul, because they cannot work together. "People are getting disgusted out here," Dale said. That attitude could affect voter participation in this year's election, he added. "Some people don't give a rip anymore." Stengel is president and Dale vice president of the Yellow Medicine County Farm Bureau and lean to the political right.
St. Paul -- Mitt Romney picked a Midwestern politician for his running mate: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who many said was the likely Republican vice presidential candidate, told reporters he is not disappointed because he did not get involved in the Romney campaign to be a running mate. He is appearing in Romney campaign events today and will be on two Sunday morning news shows on behalf of the GOP candidate. Romney's campaign Saturday announced the Ryan decision. His Web site said: "We are proud to announce Paul Ryan as Mitt's VP.
REDWOOD FALLS -- Minnesota's endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate says American farmers should be left alone, with less federal support, much like oil producers in western North Dakota. "My goal is to become North Dakota, not Washington, D.C.," Kurt Bills said Wednesday, referring to that state's oil boom that he said occurred with little government assistance. The woman whose job he is trying to take away, however, said the oil industry receives federal aid and it is not fair to cut renewable fuels aid unless that, too, is cut. Bills and U.S. Sen.
REDWOOD FALLS -- It is no surprise that U.S. House candidates speaking to farmers will say they support agriculture, but on Tuesday, six of them delivered subtle signs of differences. In southern Minnesota's 1st Congressional District, for example, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz strongly supported a farm bill awaiting House action, Allen Quist opposed it for being too heavy on food stamps and not paying enough attention to farmers and Mike Parry fell in the middle. In western Minnesota's 7th Congressional District, U.S. Rep.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. -- A Republican state senator running for Congress says Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton popped pills during a meeting earlier this year. Sen. Mike Parry's comments became the talk of the Minnesota political world today, but Dayton said he has learned that as an elected official he will be attacked. Parry, of Waseca, told a Republican fundraising audience that Dayton took "15 or 16 pills" during a breakfast meeting earlier this year.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota election officials say a recount is possible in the Aug. 14 primary election state Supreme Court races. Four years ago, Minnesotans endured a lengthy U.S. Senate recount between Al Franken and Norm Coleman.
ST. PAUL -- The golden ball atop Minnesota's Capitol dome is as shiny as anyone alive today has seen it. It was unveiled last month, 434 feet above the ground, freshly repaired and with new gold leaf covering it. The dome system beneath it, with three domes inside each other, also is newly fixed. But below the second-largest self-supporting marble dome in the world, the 107-year-old Capitol building is hurting. Paint is peeling off the cafeteria ceiling, renovated in 1999 when 22 layers of paint were removed to reveal the original design.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota has appealed a federal government decision not to provide financial aid for individuals recovering from June storms as legislators begin preparing for a special session to deal with recent storm costs. Gov.