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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By Don Davis / Forum Capitol Reporter By dON dAVIS FORUM NEWS SERVICE One theme prevails in lists of priorities released Thursday by Democrats who control the Minnesota Senate and Republicans who run the House: greater Minnesota. The two sides differ on how to help those outside the Twin Cities, but most of their priorities are about rural areas and regional centers. There was one other common theme: a lack of specifics about their proposals, which range from free technical education to business tax breaks, especially how they would be funded. Led by Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk,
By Don Davis FORUM NEWS SERVICE “Help wanted” signs hang in front of businesses and factories throughout rural Minnesota and in many communities even if those jobs are filled, workers may not find homes nearby. Training workers and building homes are two parts of the same problem that rural legislators hope to fix. The workforce issue is one of the major ones that will be brought to St.
By Don Davis FORUM NEWS SERVICE Republicans who will control the Minnesota House the next two years make it abundantly clear they will focus on rural Minnesota when the legislative session starts Jan. 6. Or, as they prefer to say, GOP members will drop what they call a Minneapolis-St.
By Don Davis/ Forum Capitol Bureau Let's face it: What most Minnesotans want to know about the upcoming legislative session is whether lawmakers will raise their taxes.
By Don Davis Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken is no laughing matter to Minnesota Republicans as major news networks projected him to win his re-election contest Tuesday night less than five minutes after polls closed. s of press time, no vote totals were available, but national news organizations base projections on exit polls and pre-election polling, which in the past month polls showed the former "Saturday Night Live" writer and comedian up from 9 points to 15 points over Republican Mike McFadden.
By Don Davis Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton hoped for one final victory Tuesday to cap his nearly 40-year career as a public servant, and NBC News said that would happen. No vote totals were available as of press time in the race between Dayton, seeking his second term as governor, and Republican Jeff Johnson. However, NBC News projected Dayton would win less than 15 minutes after polls closed Tuesday night, based on exit polls and supported by polls conducted before Election Day.
By Don Davis Forum News Service Voters sometimes think candidates for top offices run because of greed or desire for power. But there are easier ways to make money and most people who serve in government come away with a feeling that few elected officials really have much power. So in the recent governor candidates’ debate, Forum News Service asked why they wanted to be governor, with so many other career options available. “This is going to sound really cheesy,” Republican candidate Jeff Johnson replied, “but I truly believe a governor can really change things for the better in this st
By Don Davis Forum News Service It has been a pretty fall with Minnesotans paying attention to Ebola and real-life experiences ranging from their kids’ sports to figuring out ways to afford life. Other than complaining about a spate of negative campaign television commercials, signs are that they are not as tuned in to the Nov. 4 election as they could be. “Generally, it has been a sleepy election,” Chairman Ken Martin of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party said. Voter attention often is tough to grab in elections when a president is not on the ballot, like happens this year.
By Don Davis FORUM NEWS SERVICE The heat at Wednesday night’s Minnesota governor candidates’ debate was obvious from the moderator’s chair and across the state. From the best seat in the house, a few feet from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican challenger Jeff Johnson, the question immediately arose: What ever happened to that Minnesota nice attitude the pair brought into the campaign?
By Don Davis/ Forum News Service Minnesota's leaders want federal help to ease railroad delays. U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday sent a letter to the head of the Surface Transportation Board saying that rail delays are hurting many parts of the economy.