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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CANNON FALLS -- President Barack Obama headed into Republican-leaning territory Monday for what Washington observers called his first re-election campaign stop, asking 500 Minnesotans in a tranquil park along a quiet stream to tell their GOP representatives to compromise. The Democratic president basically said that if Republicans would see things his way, Washington would run much smoother. "What is needed is action on the part of Congress, a willingness to put the partisan games aside and say, 'We're going to do what's right for the country, not what we think is going to score some politic
ST. PAUL -- Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty ended his White House dream Sunday after a third-place finish in an Iowa straw poll. Pawlenty said he would not continue his campaign, telling ABC's "This Week" that "I wish it would have been different, but the pathway forward doesn't exist for me." He probably can blame a fellow Minnesotan for leaving the race. U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota won the poll, far ahead of Pawlenty.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota parents who teach their children at home feel like they have received a promotion. "The state is recognizing the validity of home education," Lorna Cook of Willmar said of a new law that frees homeschoolers from most of the bureaucracy of old laws.
CANNON FALLS -- President Barack Obama will visit a Cannon Falls park Monday for what the White House calls a town hall meeting. The White House Thursday night confirmed the event, which will begin at 11:45 a.m. Free tickets are available to the public beginning at 1 p.m.
ST. PAUL -- President Barack Obama plans a southern Minnesota visit next week to start a three-state rural Midwestern tour. The White House late Tuesday afternoon issued a statement with no details. "President Obama will travel to the Midwest on a three-day economic bus tour, making stops in southern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and western Illinois," the short White House statement said.
AMES, Iowa -- Minnesota's two presidential candidates provide Iowans with a front-row seat to a heated political wrestling match. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty are engaged in a very public presidential campaign fight as Iowa Republicans prepare to vote in a straw poll that could make or break their campaigns. The Aug. 13 Ames event has shoved "Minnesota nice" into the background as the two scrap for votes in the poll and, more importantly, in the Feb.
ST. PAUL -- Mark Dayton learned. After Dayton left the U.S. Senate in 2006, he told Renville County West High School students that he would give himself an "F" grade. Tom Cherveny, a West Central Tribune of Willmar reporter, reported that to his readers and the news quickly spread across the state. Dayton, Cherveny wrote, was frustrated and not satisfied with his accomplishments during his one-term Senate stint. His opponents mentioned that "F" grade time and time again when Dayton ran for governor last year. So how does the now-Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans knew, or should have known, that the final state budget would not please people. "My proposed budget solution will be reasonable, balanced -- and painful -- because I see no easy alternative," Gov. Mark Dayton said in his inaugural address Jan. 3. After that, he repeatedly said that he himself would not vote for his budget plan, but with a $5 billion deficit there was no choice but to make deep cuts in some state programs. Legislators knew agreeing on a budget would take a long time. "I'm not making any summer plans," Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Looking back, it is hard to see much other than disputes between Minnesota's governor and legislative leaders. After all, they went 58 days beyond the Legislature's constitutional deadline before agreeing on a budget in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, including 20 days when government was partially shut down. But the future could be brighter. Minutes after Minnesota legislators passed that budget, Republican leaders were talking about making reforms through-out state government next year and saying that they think Democratic Gov.