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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ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans' Nov. 6 ballots will show two proposed constitutional amendments with the titles the Republican-controlled Legislature wanted. Four of six Minnesota Supreme Court justices ruled Monday that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie exceeded his authority in rewriting titles of the two amendments. The court ordered the Legislature-written titles to appear on ballots. In another case, the same four justices ruled that the question voters will see on their ballots to require voters to produce photographic identification also will be as the Legislature wrote.
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.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Biden said differences between presidential candidates are bigger this year than ever, and while in Minnesota Tuesday he did not hesitate pointing them out. "This country faces one of the starkest choices in my memory," the vice president said during a 37-minute rally speech on behalf of him and his boss, President Barack Obama. The Democratic ticket is the answer to the country's economic problems, Biden said, strongly attacking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan. "Clearly, Republican obstructionism has slowed our progress, but it ha
ST. PAUL -- The Democratic Minnesota House leader wants Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, to leave the Legislature after police reports indicate he and a teen-aged boy had oral sex at a highway rest area. "As I shared with Rep. Gauthier, I believe he should withdraw from the race for re-election," House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said in a Monday statement. Gauthier was released from St. Luke's hospital in Duluth on Saturday and Thissen said he talked to the lawmaker after that. "I am deeply disappointed with Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Wind was a major topic on President Barack Obama's campaign swing through Iowa, and not by chance the White House released a report showing wind power use is growing. The report shows Minnesota produces the third most wind power, one of six states that meet at least 10 percent of their energy needs with wind. In Minnesota, that figure is 15 percent. Minnesota wind provides enough electricity to power nearly 680,000 homes.
ST. PAUL -- Individuals and small businesses recovering from summer storms would share in a disaster recovery bill lawmakers are discussing. The Federal Emergency Management Agency rejected Minnesota's request to help home and business owners, but a proposed nearly $190 million funding package from the Dayton administration includes more than $30 million of individual aid. Republicans a week ago said they had sticker shock over the proposal; they had expected something closer to $27 million.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton wants the federal Small Business Administration to make low-interest loans available to repair homes and businesses and businesses damaged by storms and flooding in June. Meanwhile, state leaders are aiming for a special legislative session Aug. 24 to deal with disaster aid. The governor said he hopes to have a written agreement among him and four legislative leaders Friday or by early next week at the latest that says the special session only will deal with disaster-relief legislation. "I believe we are on track," he said about the Aug.
St. Paul -- Mitt Romney picked a Midwestern politician for his running mate: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who many said was the likely Republican vice presidential candidate, told reporters he is not disappointed because he did not get involved in the Romney campaign to be a running mate. He is appearing in Romney campaign events this weekend and will be on two Sunday morning news shows on behalf of the GOP candidate. Romney's campaign Saturday announced the Ryan decision. His website said: "We are proud to announce Paul Ryan as Mitt's VP.
REDWOOD FALLS -- Farmers listening to the two major-party candidates for U.S. Senate may not have understood just where they stood on some issues after a Farmfest forum, but they could not have missed two points: * Republican challenger Kurt Bills is a teacher, a fact he managed to work into nearly every answer during the 90-minute forum. * Democratic U.S. Sen.
REDWOOD FALLS -- Gov. Mark Dayton said he takes pills for his depression and stomach acid problems, but added a state senator lied about his pill popping. Republican Sen. Mike Parry of Waseca, running for U.S. House in southern Minnesota, called the incident "scary" as he spoke to a Brown County GOP fundraiser. Parry told his Monday audience Dayton took "15 or 16 pills" during a breakfast meeting earlier this year. His comments came to light in a video that the New Ulm Journal posted online. At Farmfest on Tuesday, he backed off the specific number.