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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Al Franken became Minnesota's second U.S. senator today, his hand holding the Bible that Paul Wellstone used when he was twice sworn into the Senate. Vice President Joe Biden swore in Franken 246 days after the Nov. 4 election and 183 days since the 2009 Senate convened. The scene was the front of the U.S. Senate chamber. Accompanied by Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former senator and vice president Walter Mondale, Franken looked up at Biden and with the words "yes, I do" accepted the oath and became senator.
ST. PAUL - "Unallotment" is a strange word to most Minnesotans, although those who get state money know it well. In the coming months, Democrats are likely to drill home that word so all Minnesotans hear that Gov. Tim Pawlenty unilaterally cut the state budget (known as unallotment), and Democrats will point out that occurred with support of other Republicans. It is the beginning of the 2010 election season. Legislative hearings already are under way to investigate the impact of Pawlenty's Wednesday budget cuts.
ST. PAUL - Nearly 80,000 people along the Minnesota and Wisconsin border face a more complex and costly income tax filing routine if the two states can't work out a dispute. And $106 million to plug a Minnesota budget deficit is at stake. While both states deal with massive budget deficits, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty demands that Wisconsin speed up payments to his state under a 41-year-old reciprocity agreement in which residents who live in one state and work in the other can pay income taxes only in their home state.
ST. PAUL - In politics, it is all about winning. Take, for instance, Al Franken's razor-thin victory over Norm Coleman in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race. The day after the state Supreme Court ruled in Franken's favor, making him Minnesota's newest senator, Brian Melendez, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chairman proclaimed: "Our election system in Minnesota works." His comments, delivered to a Franken rally, brought loud and long cheers.
ST. PAUL - "Live, from Washington, it's Sen. Al Franken!" That may not be Minnesota senator-elect's line, but on Wednesday hundreds of supporters got a glimpse of a looser Al Franken than has surfaced in quite some time, more akin to how he appeared in front of the entertainment camera than the campaign camera. He thanked Minnesotans for putting him in the U.S.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota's new Republican chairman used his first day on the job to come out swinging against Sen.-elect Al Franken. Shortly after Democrat Franken's supporters rallied at the Capitol Wednesday, Tony Sutton accused Democrats of fixing Franken's election against Republican Norm Coleman. "They stopped finding votes when they got enough. ...
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision to make unilateral budget cuts could cost up to 4,700 jobs across Minnesota, the state economist told legislative leaders Tuesday. In a confrontational meeting, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, disputed some of those numbers. She told State Economist Tom Stinson that he undershot the number of jobs that school districts will be forced to cut, perhaps by several hundred. Stinson said up to 600 of the 4,700 job loses would come from schools.
ST. PAUL - Nearly 3 million Minnesotans voted for a U.S. Senate candidate eight months ago, but in the end only five votes counted, those state Supreme Court justices who Tuesday decided Al Franken will be the state's second U.S.
ST. PAUL - Al Franken and Norm Coleman are not exactly typical Minnesota politicians. Both are New York natives and Jewish, not the demographics of most Minnesotans. Neither sounds Minnesotan to this day, although that did not prevent party loyalists from giving them enthusiastic support. They spent a record amount on their 2008 campaign, one of the hottest in state history, and continued to spend though their election recount and court case.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Supreme Court says Al Franken won the U.S. Senate race and should be sworn in as the state's second senator. In an early-afternoon ruling, five members of the high court agreed with a district court decision that Democrat Franken received more votes than Republican Norm Coleman. Now that the Supreme Court has spoken, attention turns to Gov. Tim Pawlenty as political observers wonder if he will sign a certificate declaring Franken the winner.