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
- 3 years 11 months
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.
ST. PAUL - A southwestern Minnesota legislator who delivered some memorable speeches this year will be an assistant House minority leader. Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, was named to that position by new Minority Leader Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove. Zellers has made no other changes in the leadership team he inherited. "I am honored to have been asked and appointed to serve as an assistant minority leader," Hamilton said. "Rep.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty announces on the first day of Minnesota's new budget cycle just what he will cut from the budget. There should be no surprises, only little changes from what he said he could trim a couple of weeks ago.
ST. PAUL - U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar refuses to give in to a popular president's pressure to delay a new federal transportation funding plan. "We intend to move this bill forward, this administration not withstanding," a determined Oberstar said Wednesday as congressional committee work began on a $500 billion, six-year transportation funding plan that would mean more money to rebuild highways, expand transit programs and build high-speed passenger rail lines. President Barack Obama does not want the Oberstar plan to proceed.
ST. PAUL - A 39-year-old North Dakota native is the new as Minnesota House Republican leader. Fellow House Republicans gave Rep. Kurt Zellers of Maple Grove 70 percent of the vote Tuesday night in picking him to replace Rep. Marty Seifert of Marshall as minority leader. Seifert plans to announce in less than two weeks that he is running for governor. Rep. Randy Demmer of Hayfield was the other major candidate. Four ballots were needed before Zellers emerged the winner. Zellers takes over a caucus of 47 members out of the 134-person House.
Some tips from ProFormance and others about how to get better gasoline mileage: Aim for a constant speed, drive with traffic flow and use cruise control when possible; avoid stops when possible. Keep acceleration and deceleration smooth and whenever possible keep revolutions per minute under 2,000. Avoid idling, but experts differ from 30 seconds to 90 seconds about how long a car should idle before being turned off. Make sure tire pressure is at recommended levels, which can save up to 4 percent of fuel use. Keep engine in good repair and tuned up. Trav