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 - Minnesota should spend $86 million in the next five years to expand green jobs across the state, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said this morning. As he was beginning a statewide tour announcing his "Green Jobs Investment Initiative," Pawlenty told reporters in a Capitol news conference that he does not know how many jobs his plan would create. However, he predicted it would be a significant number and state officials predicted more than 114,000 millions will hold such jobs in the next 30 years - not necessarily all credited to the program Pawlenty just announced.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman declared victory Wednesday. Challenger Al Franken said a recount would show who Minnesotans really want in the Senate. And Minnesotans who endured a lengthy U.S. Senate race now could be forced to wait into December, or longer, to see who actually won. Republican Coleman collected 465 more votes than Democrat Al Franken, unofficial secretary of state returns show.
ST. PAUL -- Barack Obama may have won the big race of the day, but Tuesday's Minnesota votes gave Republicans a reason to smile, too. For instance, Republicans kept Democrats from obtaining a veto-proof majority in the state House. The GOP's Michele Bachmann rallied to retain her U.S. House seat after hinting on national television that Obama may be anti-American. And amid a strong national Democratic showing, Republican U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Democrats hoped to build a veto-proof Minnesota House Tuesday, so legislators could go over Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's head. But after returns began coming in, Republicans were optimistic they could pick up some seats and stop that DFL supermajority talk. House Republican leader Marty Seifert of Marshall said in a night when Democrats were doing well across the country, he saw good GOP news with some legislative wins. House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, said she expected it to be today before Minnesotans knew the breakdown of the House.
ST. PAUL -- Supporters of a proposal to raise taxes to fund outdoors and arts programs celebrated victory early this morning. With more than 83 percent of precincts reporting, 58 percent of Minnesota's voters had supported a constitutional amendment to raise the state sales tax 0.375 percent to fund outdoors and arts programs. Unofficial vote totals were 1,304,719 to 924,619.
Joe the plumber may rank right behind Sarah Palin as a McCain campaign attention-grabber. Bumper stickers featuring the famous pipeman are popular with McCain supporters: "I'm voting with Joe the plumber" and "Working Joes for McCain" are two. And on Tuesday, McCain's Minnesota campaign set up a conference call so reporters could hear pro-John McCain testimony from people considered regular Joes. They are people who own their own businEsses.
ST. PAUL - The Revenue Department says the average Minnesotan would pay more for a proposed sales tax increase than proponents claim. Paul Wilson, Revenue Department Tax Research Division director, estimates that the average added cost for Minnesotans ranging from single people to families would be $60 a year, about $8 more than the Vote Yes campaign says.
ST. PAUL - Vandals have threatened at least six Minnesota members of Congress by painting graffiti such as "resign or else" on their property. Both U.S. senators and four representatives Wednesday reported vandalism on their homes or garages around the Twin Cities. "U R A criminal resign or else!" was written on the outside of Sen. Norm Coleman's garage. "Scum" and "Psalm 2" also were painted on the building. Vandals painted "scum" in mostly white paint on Rep. Michele Bachmann's white garage.
ST. PAUL - Police were investigating vandalism at U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman's garage this morning. A Coleman campaign spokesman said graffiti on the outside of the garage includes a comment saying, "You are a criminal resign or else." Also written on the garage is the word "scum." Coleman and his family live in St. Paul, where he is a former mayor. The senator was in northwestern Minnesota campaigning this morning, but his spokesman said he would have a statement about the vandalism later today.