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
- 2 years 3 months
ST. PAUL -- Lots of talk comes from Washington about a "fiscal cliff" approaching Dec. 31, after which all kinds of serious financial problems could appear, but that talk is subsiding. The federal government could fall off that fiscal cliff if political leaders cannot agree on measures to tame the national debt and reduce spending. But interviews with upper Midwest members of Congress show they are optimistic something will be done, and the problem will end up as what could be described as a "fiscal pothole." With tax increases and drastic spending cuts due to happen Jan.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Vikings say Gov. Mark Dayton and others are jumping the gun in criticizing the idea of selling pricey seats to some season-ticket holders. In strong language, Dayton wrote to Vikings owners complaining about their interest in selling high-priced seat licenses to raise money that would count toward the team's contribution to a new nearly $1 billion stadium.
ST. PAUL -- No wave appears in Minnesota's political forecast. A wave, in political terms, is when events influence voters so much that one party does well nationwide. "This is not a wave year," House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, said. The parties may disagree about who will win Nov.
ST. PAUL -- Both sides in Minnesota's voter photo identification debate try to paint pictures about how life would look if the requirement passes Nov.
ST. PAUL -- Here are some issues related to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require Minnesota voters to produce photographic identification before casting ballots: Process: The Minnesota Constitution is amended when the Legislature passes a proposed amendment and a majority of voters in a general election approve it. The governor has no official role. The proposed amendment will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. Politics: In general, Republicans support the amendment and Democrats oppose it. The GOP- controlled Legislature passed a photo ID bill in 2011, but Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Many Minnesota voters don't know where they are. At least, many don't know where they live in terms of political districts after congressional, legislative and many local boundaries were redrawn earlier this year. Fewer than a quarter of Minnesotans stopping in the state Senate's State Fair booth knew their new legislative district and candidates, long-time Senate public information official Scott Magnuson said. "We have looked up hundreds" of districts for fair visitors, he said. The confusion comes after the every-10-year redrawing of political boundaries.
ST. PAUL -- Joe Biden is ready to give up his job. Well, only if he could become a high school football player. The vice president made a surprise stop at South Minneapolis high school football practice after delivering a 37-minute speech to a campaign rally. "Hey guys, how're you doing? My name's Joe Biden," the vice president said as he approached the team. Biden, a U.S.
ST. PAUL -- State leaders reached no decision Monday about scheduling a special legislative session to pass a disaster-relief bill, leaving unsettled whether that bill can be approved as expected on Friday. "They are still working," said Bob Hume, a spokesman for Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. Hume and Republican House spokeswoman Jodi Boyne said they knew of no specific problems and the goal still was to hold the session Friday. A meeting among legislative leaders and Dayton broke up Monday afternoon when the time came for the governor to announce a Minnesota Supreme Court appointment.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota city and conservation leaders say farmers contribute most of the pollution to state waters but do too little to prevent the damage or fix it. They told reporters Tuesday that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency needs to take action by ordering farmers to lower their pollution contribution. "It is not fair when only the city residents pay the bills," said Alexandria Mayor Dan Ness, president of the League of Minnesota Cities. MPCA officials said they cannot order farmers to stop polluting and are in the middle of working out clean-up plans.
ST. PAUL -- Political observers have watched for years as those who make decisions in the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party move the political left and Republican decision makers head to the right. DFL Chairman Ken Martin wants to change that by finding a way to get more people with boarder political views involved. "The party process has become so exclusive that the extremes have come to dominate," Martin said. Since Martin's party appears to have few divisions this year, the best examples come from the Republican Party.