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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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's challenger raised the temperature of the campaign Tuesday by saying the governor showed "breathtaking incompetence" in establishing the state-run health insurance marketplace and an abrupt about-face on a controversial sex offender issue. Republican candidate Jeff Johnson's comments were by far the harshest of the campaign and signaled the race was getting serious. Johnson's statement followed an announcement that the insurance company insuring more than 24,000 Minnesotans who bought health policies through the web-based MNsure marketplace no longer will participate. The challenger said that means they have to go through a problem-filled enrollment process with another insurance company later this year.
It almost is time to vote. Minnesotans may start voting Sept. 19. The early voting is not only for people who will be away from home on election day, but anyone can vote early under a new state law. Old law required an excuse such as being out of one's voting precinct on election day. Campaigns are pushing the early voting as a way to lock in their supporters. Take U.S. Sen. Al Franken, for instance. The Democrat sent an email to supporters this week saying that he wants their promise to vote.
The propane outlook for this winter is brighter than a year ago, when shortages nearly quadrupled the hearting fuel's price, but state officials urge poor Minnesotans to apply now for heating assistance if they think they will not be able to fill their tanks. "The situation is very encouraging," Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday after meeting with about 50 people involved in the propane industry in St. Paul, with another 20 joining by telephone. Still, he added: "We're not out of the woods. Nobody is complacent." With more than 200,000 Minnesotans, mostly in rural areas, depending on propane to heat their homes, Dayton called in users, transportation officials, suppliers, marketers and others involved in the propane industry to assess the situation.
Minnesota leaders say they can avoid a pricey special legislative session and still provide local governments money as they recover from early-summer floods. A new $3 million state disaster fund may be enough to reimburse local governments until legislators return to work Jan. 6, but Gov. Mark Dayton said his administration will continue to monitor the situation and could convene the Legislature if government leaders say they are running short of money. A memorandum sent Tuesday from the state finance commissioner and emergency management director laid out the situation.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's new disaster fund may be enough to reimburse local governments for early-summer flood-fighting costs until legislators return to work Jan. 6. That is the gist of...
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Sen. Al Franken's election opponent is trying to make a campaign issue out of a video shot two years ago showing the senator holding two traffic...
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. -- Al Franken sat with a dozen St. Cloud workforce leaders to accept their thanks for working on a bill they say will help Minnesotans seeking jobs...
Summer unofficially is in the history books, so it is Minnesota political season. It is time when voters may turn more attention to campaigns leading up to the Nov. 4 election. There are local races that attract some, but most Minnesotans who care about such things will focus on the U.S. Senate and governor races.
Two U.S. House races in Minnesota are getting far more national attention than usual. ABC News lists House district campaigns across the northern and western parts of the state as two of the five most interesting races in the country. ABC's Noah Weiland reports that "Republicans have admitted the GOP needs to change the perception of being a party of 'stuffy old men,' and this year’s crop of congressional candidates could help with that makeover ... (including a) Minnesotan whose hair has earned him the nickname 'the Republican Brad Pitt.'" He also highlights "the sightless state senator who’s never lost an election."
ST. PAUL -- Two U.S. House races in Minnesota are getting far more national attention than usual. ABC News lists House district campaigns across the northern and western parts of...