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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MINNEAPOLIS -- Paul Strain said his family supports his college career, emotionally at least. But when it comes to money, he told U.S. Sen. Al Franken Monday, he needs to look for federally supported programs.
ST. PAUL -- Two of Minnesota' most military-oriented politicians went different ways when the U.S. House approved the defense authorization bill. John Kline, a Republican serving an area mostly south of the Twin Cities, voted against the military funding bill for the first time in his seven years as congressman because it contained what he described as divisive social policies. Prime among those policies is a provision that has little to do with defense.
ST. PAUL -- Regulators are working with 71 of 426 Minnesota-based banks to make sure they do not fail, but bank and credit union officials say they are not risking customers' money. "It's just a matter of prudent lending and risk management," Noah Wilcox Tuesday told the state Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee. Wilcox and other bankers told senators that the media is feeding a frenzy by reporting about "risking loans" being made by American banks.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators face a dilemma: Can they spend money from a tight budget to eliminate poverty by 2020? If they spend money now, Rep. Carlos Mariani, DFL-St. Paul, said, more people would go to work and the state's economy would improve. But since lawmakers are not likely to start many new spending programs in light of a several-billion budget deficit, Rep.
ST. PAUL - Marty Seifert took an early lead in the first statewide measure of Minnesota's Republican 2010 governor race. The state representative from Marshall collected 37 percent of the vote in a GOP state convention straw poll, a convincing victory in a nine-candidate field. Finishing second was Rep. Tom Emmer, getting 23 percent in the non-binding poll.
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - Amy Klobuchar needed to outfit her apartment when she moved to Washington as a U.S. senator. So the Minnesota Democrat headed to a nearby store "looking for cheap furniture" and bought an assemble-it-yourself "fake antique" cabinet. "It smelled weird" when she removed it from the box, she said. However, it began to become pungent as her first Washington summer began to heat up.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty is traveling the country talking about how the Republican Party should improve, fueling speculation that he is preparing for a 2010 presidential run. But as he prepared to leave for a weekend Values Voters Summit sponsored by conservative organizations, Pawlenty said that he has not decided if he is running. "Anybody who is looking at 2012 is getting way ahead of themselves," he said. "I have not even decided if I will stay in politics after 2010." Democrats think Pawlenty is running for president.
ST. PAUL - A Minnesota Administration Department opinion tightens the state open meetings law. The option by Administration Commissioner Sheila M. Reger indicates that the Metro Gang Strike Force Advisory Board violated state law when a Minneapolis police official sent an e-mail to all board members about a statement he wanted to issue to the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune.
ST. PAUL - National economists say the recession technically is over, but Minnesota economic leaders say workers have not felt an improvement. A report released Thursday showed 10,300 Minnesota jobs disappeared last month, for a total of 120,300 in the past year. The August job loss wiped out a 7,700 job gain reported a month earlier. At the same time, the Department of Employment and Economic Development reported unemployment fell 0.1 percent to 8 percent in August, the second straight month joblessness dropped.