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 legislators are on call to vote on flood-relief funding Monday, but it remains unclear whether communities affected by a June 17 tornado outbreak also can expect help. Even the flood action is tentative, depending on whether the federal government declares southern Minnesota a disaster area yet this week. Flooding brought on by record and near-record rainfalls began on Sept. 22 across southern Minnesota, especially the southeast.
ST. PAUL -- The names Tom Horner, Mark Dayton and Tom Emmer are becoming well known across Minnesota, but four other names are on the state's governor ballot, too, and they are almost unknown. Ken Pentel of the Ecology Democracy Party, Farheen Hakeem of the Green Party, Linda Eno of the Resource Party and Chris Wright of the Grassroots Party also will be on the Nov. 2 general election ballot, but are not waging campaigns at the levels of the three major parties.
ST. PAUL -- Questions about political poll accuracy are increasing this campaign season, but a couple of recent polls were good news for Minnesota Democratic governor candidate Mark Dayton. Still, Dayton said: "We always thought it would be close." The University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute-Minnesota Public Radio poll released at mid week showed Dayton leading Republican Tom Emmer 38 percent to 27 percent, with Tom Horner of the Independence Party trailing with 16 percent. The rest have yet to decide. A month ago, the same poll showed Emmer and Dayton tied.
ST. PAUL -- It doesn't seem like Rebecca Otto and Pat Anderson like each other much. The two state auditor candidates may be running in a little-noticed race, but their rhetoric is like the hottest big-time campaigns can deliver. A July dispute between the two illustrates the point: "The next installment in a long history of Rebecca Otto playing fast and loose with the truth has arrived," an Anderson news release proclaimed. "Both Anderson and her former deputy state auditor, now GOP party chair Tony Sutton, have trouble with math and try to spin the numbers," Otto shot back.
ST. PAUL -- Floodwaters continue to rise in many southern Minnesota communities as state policymakers work on plans to fund flood relief. Federal emergency personnel arrived in Minnesota Monday to begin the process of determining how much money Washington will send, with state leaders preparing to pick up remaining costs. "The various layers of government need to stand together," Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Monday in announcing that he will call a special legislative session, to last no more than a day, for sometime between Oct.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's governor and legislators are preparing for a special legislative session to fund flood relief even as flood waters continue to rise in parts of southern Minnesota. Gov. Tim Pawlenty this morning announced that he and legislative leaders agreed to hold a one-day special session between Oct.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota governor candidates focused on predicable differences during a Thursday night education debate, but some agreements also surfaced. The Independence Party's Tom Horner, Republican Tom Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton all said they would push for better early-childhood education and the trio voiced strong support for reducing the learning gap between white and minority students.
ST. PAUL -- Mark Dayton revised his state budget proposal Tuesday, reducing the expected take from his "tax the rich" hope and adding a variety of other revenue enhancers and budget cuts. The Democratic Minnesota governor candidate said he would raise taxes and other revenues $3.6 billion and cut spending $1.2 billion, leaving a $1 billion gap in Minnesota's budget that has a projected $6 billion deficit.
ST. PAUL -- The headlines read that the Minnesota governor's race is deadlocked between Republican Tom Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton, but there is more to the story. As usual a couple of months before an election, there are plenty of undecided voters.