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 -- Young faces were plentiful at the Pepsi Center in Denver as the Democratic National Convention kicked off Monday. Of course, there is nothing unusual about youths attending a political convention. The catch politicians find is that beyond a few youthful activists, young Americans tend not to vote, even in the nation-leading turnout state of Minnesota. Young leaders at the Denver convention say 2008 will be different, thanks to U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, who this week receives his party's nomination.
ST. PAUL -- Jessica Rohloff has been a faithful voter, but not politically active. Barack Obama changed that. "Barack Obama has inspired me to get involved in the whole process," Rohloff said. "I have been waiting for him since 2004, the first time I heard him speak about the America that is the America I see and believe in." The Willmar woman's story is like that of thousands of others, including more than 100 Minnesotans like herself, arriving in Denver this weekend for the Democratic National Convention.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis.
Jesse Ventura may become a judge. Not a real judge, just a television version of one. The publication TV Week reports that Ventura is close to signing a deal to host a television court show to debut in a year. A Twentieth Television spokesman would not talk about negotiations between his company and the former Independence Party Minnesota governor. However, an official for the Katz Television Group told TV Week that Ventura's history as a navy frogman and a talk-show host "might have the star power to distinguish himself from the welter of court shows." "Jesse is a bigger-than-life person
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty debated the Russia-Georgia crisis on national television Sunday in an appearance that pitted him against another vice presidential hopeful. Pawlenty, reportedly high on Sen. John McCain's running mate list, said Americans would prefer that his candidate face foreign leaders. But Indiana U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty debated the Russia-Georgia crisis on national television Sunday in an appearance that pitted him against another vice presidential hopeful. Pawlenty, reportedly high on Sen. John McCain's running mate list, said Americans would prefer that his candidate face foreign leaders. But Indiana U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Douglas Williams is headed to the Democratic National Convention in part to honor his grandmother. In fact, the University of Minnesota Morris student said, he can go to Denver in part because of what his grandmother did. "My grandmother led the fight to integrate schools in Suffolk, Va.," the first-time convention delegate said. "I am kind of dedicating this trip to her." Without his grandmother, who died in 1997, and others fighting for equal rights, African-Americans like Williams would not be welcome at political conventions, he said.
REDWOOD FALLS -- Emotions are rising nationally as leaders debate the question about whether biofuels such as ethanol are driving up food and other prices. Those at FarmFest Wednesday heard national and state experts deliver a definitive "it depends" answer to the question that is gaining more and more attention. Ethanol can be blamed for just a small portion of soaring food and transportation prices, but problems may lie ahead, the experts' panels told hundreds attending the state's largest agricultural trade show.
REDWOOD FALLS -- A southern Minnesota congressional challenger used a Tuesday farm forum to drill home his support for off-shore oil drilling. Republican challenger Brian Davis in the 1st Congressional District, serving most of southern Minnesota, repeatedly told the FarmFest audience that opening waters off the country's coast to oil drilling would help lower farmers' energy costs.