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 12 months
MORGAN -- One candidate grew up on a farm, one in a rural community and one sat on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee. The three Democratic-Farmer-Laborite governor candidates sounded a lot alike Wednesday when they opposed more regulation of farmers and decried escalating property taxes. They all supported biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel and blasted Republican candidate Tom Emmer and retiring Gov.
MORGAN, Minn. -- Tim Walz and Randy Demmer came to FarmFest as hot as the mid-90s weather. The two combatants for the 1st Congressional District seat across southern Minnesota showed the most passion of any candidates from four districts who spoke to a few hundred farmers at the Tuesday FarmFest event in rural Redwood County. The Walz-Demmer divide began on their first question and continued well after the forum ended. A "cap and trade" policy in front of Congress is a good start to an energy policy, said Walz, the Democratic U.S. House incumbent.
ST. PAUL -- Fast-growing and destructive Asian carp could take over Minnesota streams and lakes if the federal government does not act soon, a U.S. senator, the state attorney general and conservationists warn. Only the small part of Minnesota drained by the north-flowing Red River would not face a direct carp attack, said Luke Skinner, who supervises the state Department of Natural Resource's invasive species program. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- A half-dozen civil war buffs sat around a table at the Minnesota History Center listening to Matt Entenza. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor candidate took the first quarter of the hour-long gathering down the history path, talking about his ancestors settling on the edge of Minnesota, almost in South Dakota. He talked about his great-great-grandfather, a Civil War-era soldier.
ST. PAUL -- Aug. 10's Democratic-Farmer-Laborite governor primary election is tough to handicap. Polls ranking the three major DFL candidates often have put Mark Dayton ahead, but there are so many unknowns this year. Candidates Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Matt Entenza and Dayton each say they are targeting likely voters; the problem is knowing who is likely to vote. Most political observers say the only sure thing is that senior citizens will dominate the election. They always are most likely to vote, but this year it could be even more so.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Improving education demands more money, Minnesota's top three Democratic governor candidates say, a tough challenge when the next state budget could face a $6 billion deficit. The three promote different ideas about school funding: l Mark Dayton promises to tax the rich, providing enough money to pump more into education every year he is governor. l Matt Entenza said that while education is his top priority, significant new money must wait until the state budget and economy improve, although policies may be changed in the meantime. l Margaret Anderson Kelliher falls between
ST. PAUL -- Conditions in Iraq are improving, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Wednesday during an unannounced visit. "There is a hopeful sense here, a more stable sense here than some of my recent previous trips," the governor said. Military leaders invited Pawlenty, in Iraq for the fifth time, and four other governors to visit Iraq. Their trip is to continue, but Pawlenty said he was not allowed to reveal future stops. South Dakota Gov.
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.