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
- 4 years 5 months
ST. PAUL -- It was easy to tell Democrats from Republicans in the Minnesota Capitol Wednesday, the day after the party snatched back control of the House and Senate. The Democrats were the ones wearing huge smiles. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party won all the big prizes in Tuesday's election, but the one with most impact on Minnesotans is taking control of the state Legislature. That gives the party its first trifecta in more than two decades: control of the state House, Senate and governor's office. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans became the first state to reject a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Since a state law remains on the books, the vote does not automatically allow same-sex weddings. However, with a newly elected Democratic-Farmer-Laborite Legislature and governor, the subject is bound to be debated when lawmakers take office in January. Thirty other states approved the proposal when voters were asked.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota voters do not want to prove who they are. Forty-six percent of voters Tuesday wanted to amend the state Constitution to require a photo ID before voting, but 50 percent was needed. The Minnesota vote went against a trend in other states to approve voter ID. Election officials said they know of little voter fraud and said the constitutional amendment would cost millions of dollars, but supporters said that democracy demands fair elections.
ST. PAUL -- Presidential candidates have all but ignored Minnesota. The U.S. Senate race has been a snoozer, as have some U.S. House races. But get down the ballot a ways and two proposed constitutional amendments have generated plenty of sparks.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The favorite old standby delivered a 38-minute speech. The young up-and-comer's speech was shorter than three minutes. The veteran speaker threw red political meat to his supporters. The rookie national politician thanked people for donating canned meat. Democratic former President Bill Clinton and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan delivered different messages Tuesday in speeches along the Minnesota-Wisconsin state line. Speaking in Minneapolis and Duluth, Clinton attacked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, which is known in political circles as throwing
ST. PAUL -- Paul Wellstone lives on. A decade after he died in a northeastern Minnesota airplane crash, the U.S. senator's legacy remains strong and his namesake son is looking to make it stronger. More than two dozen buildings and programs are named after Wellstone. An organization carrying his name has visited all 50 states to train 55,000 candidates, campaign staff and community organizers in the late senator's unique style.
ST. PAUL -- Kurt Bills dumped several books on a table in his U.S. Senate campaign office, declaring they were his plan to fix the federal budget. He said those documents provided a "starting point," admitting that key provisions such as eliminating the Education Department likely would be dropped in negotiations. Amy Klobuchar touted her vote on the Budget Control Act that would chop $2.2 trillion in federal spending over 10 years as her starting point. She insisted that Congress work on the issue after the 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. 6, but the real picture has yet to be painted. If voters approve the proposed constitutional amendment, state legislators will take the brush to canvass next year to provide a detailed picture. Even before that picture is on display, those taking sides on the issue are saying how they think things would look in a voter ID world. For instance, cost estimates to implement voter ID range from a few million dollars to more than $100 million.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie uses state funds to campaign against a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to show photographic identification, two Republican state senators allege in a complaint filed Thursday. Sens. Scott Newman of Hutchinson and Mike Parry of Waseca asked the state Office of Administrative Hearings to find that Ritchie also misleads Minnesotans about the proposal, to be decided by voters Nov.