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 -- 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.
ST. PAUL -- Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon smiled all 12,800 feet down from an Army airplane Tuesday, becoming the first state executive to parachute onto the Capitol mall. "It is a magnificent view," she said after her feet were firmly planted on the ground. The 66-year-old Duluth woman continued her smiling as she was peppered with questions, saying that she would jump from an airplane again "now that I know what it is like." Prettner Solon made her first skydive, in tandem with Amy Sgt.
ST. PAUL -- A group of military veterans and family members plans to fight a proposal to define marriage in the Minnesota Constitution that effectively bans gay marriages. Lori and Jeff Wilfahrt of Rosemount, whose gay son died in Afghanistan last year, joined Tuesday in announcing the formation of Veterans United. "He died for the men and women who were on the road that day and he died for the Constitution," Wilfahrt said of his son, Cpl.
ST. PAUL -- Duluth Democrats are breathing a sigh of relief after the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered state Rep. Kerry Gauthier's name replaced on the Nov. 6 ballot. Tuesday's order means Erik Simonson will not be forced to run as a write-in candidate, a change that enhances his chances in a state House race with a Republican and a write-in candidate.
ST. PAUL -- Former Minnesota Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Many Minnesota voters don't know where they are. At least, many don't know where they live in terms of political districts after congressional, legislative and many local boundaries were redrawn earlier this year. Fewer than a quarter of Minnesotans stopping in the state Senate's State Fair booth knew their new legislative district and candidates, long-time Senate public information official Scott Magnuson said. "We have looked up hundreds" of districts for fair visitors, he said. The confusion comes after the every-10-year redrawing of political boundaries.
FALCON HEIGHTS -- A crowd gathered around U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar's Minnesota State Fair booth, cheering like at a campaign rally. At the same time, her challenger, Kurt Bills, was not far away talking one-on-one with the few fair visitors at his booth. The contrast showed a difference in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race. Polls indicate Democrat Klobuchar is the state's most popular politician; Republican Bills is a relative unknown just finishing his first two-year term in the Minnesota House.
FALCON HEIGHTS -- Amy Klobuchar and Kurt Bills shared broad smiles and agreed it was hot. But then the two U.S. Senate candidates took to a Minnesota State Fair stage Thursday in what proved to be a feisty debate during which they agreed on little. Bills, a Republican state representative from Rosemount, said Klobuchar is a politician, but he is an average American. "This election is really not Republican vs. Democrat anymore, it is America vs.
FALCON HEIGHTS -- Rare is the Minnesotan who has not seen videos of fish leaping out of water and hitting boaters. Word has spread across the state in the last couple of years about the invading Asian carp seen in those videos and the damage they could cause native fish.