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
- 2 years 8 months
Farming future leaves much to the imagination RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- Agriculture of the future will be "Star Trek" meets "Green Acres." Experts predict that within 25 years little robots will roam fields zapping weeds, testing soil and turning plant genes on and off to fit the conditions, a bit like mechanical helpers on the starship Enterprise. At the same time, some Americans will continue to feel a need to work the land, and smell the soil, while bouncing up and down on a tractor seat, as Oliver Wendell Douglas did on the farm comedy.
ST. PAUL -- Politics may make strange bedfellows, but it also makes strange stage fellows. When Minnesota's chief justice and a new Supreme Court justice were sworn in a few days ago, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and a judge he has frequently, publically and strongly criticized sat near each other. Ramsey County District Judge Kathleen Gearin hosted the event, which was near her courthouse in downtown St. Paul.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans most fear Mark Dayton in the governor's race. Dayton brings the best name recognition of any candidate of any party, thanks in a good share to his family's department store roots. He has been running for more than a year and he has put in years in highly visible U.S. Senate and state offices. Worst of all, from the Republican view, is Dayton has money, and plenty of it (although Dayton says he is spending down his department store fortune and sold some paintings to help his finances). For years, the department store that bore his family name was a Minnesota staple.
ST. PAUL -- If they are Democrats, they must be talking about jobs. Creating jobs traditionally is a key Democratic-Farmer-Laborite campaign issue, and the 2010 governors' primary race is no exception.
ROSEVILLE - Ol' Mexico Restaurante and Cantina likely never has been as rowdy as Wednesday when governor candidate Tom Emmer met with food and beverage servers upset with him. Emmer supporters and detractors exchanged jeers and cheers for an hour, before an opponent to Arizona's new immigration law slid in behind Emmer and dumped a bag of pennies on the Republican state representative and a public address system failure ended the meeting prematurely. The Republican-endorsed candidate admitted the penny protester surprised him -- "I almost jumped out of my shoes" -- but promised he would walk
ST. PAUL -- Tom Emmer's assertion that restaurant servers may make $100,000 a year provided politicians, commentators and political reporters plenty to chew on in recent days. His comment came as he called for a law change to lower the minimum wage for workers who receive tips. The tip issue regularly surfaces at the Legislature, but the $100,000 salary claim is new, and especially newsworthy coming from Minnesota's chief Republican governor candidate. Most other governor candidates immediately criticized Emmer, easily the most conservative major candidate in the field.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's second-largest state worker union has launched a summer-long radio advertising campaign to tell the public that bureaucrats provide important services.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Democratic governor candidates Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza have wondered aloud where Margaret Anderson Kelliher has been. After a recent education forum they both attended, Dayton said Kelliher has been missing in action from forums. Dayton said he had missed a couple of forums, but he feels it is his obligation to attend all he can. Entenza still is frustrated that Kelliher has not responded to his request for a series of debates before the Aug. 10 primary election.
ST. PAUL -- They come from different backgrounds: a bureaucrat, a state senator, a television personality. Still, they share a goal of playing backup to Minnesota's governor. Voters likely will hear little about the trio of Democratic-Farmer-Labor lieutenant governor candidates before the Aug.