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 - Republicans dealt with distractions as they began their national convention Monday, but said the event still will be a success. First came Hurricane Gustav, whose surge and winds were less than predicted, but forced convention officials to trim their plans. Then, Sen. John McCain's running mate, Gov.
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 -- A soft-spoken John McCain answered Minnesotans' questions for 53 minutes Thursday night, telling them the Iraqi war is going well and that he is not ready to say if Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be his running mate. McCain, in a town hall meeting with what his campaign called 250 undecided voters, said he is an independent politician. "I was not elected again this year Miss Congeniality of the U.S.
ST. PAUL - John McCain was about to end his town hall meeting in the ornate St. Paul Landmark Center Thursday night when he decided to allow one more question. He wished he had not done that, but reporters were happy. The man asked if Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty would be the Republican candidate's running mate. McCain joked that the meeting was over, but then went on to say that Pawlenty has a bright future in the party and the country. But McCain did not touch on whether Pawlenty would be his pick as vice president. Earlier that day, a U.S.
ST. PAUL - Provisions restricting young drivers moved closer to law Monday. Senators Monday gave preliminary approval to a bill - similar to one the House passed last week -- banning drivers in their first six months of holding a license from driving between midnight and 5 a.m., in most cases, and made it illegal to carry more than one other youth not related to the driver. "Between midnight and 5 a.m., folks, is when teenage drivers die on the roads," Sen.
ST. PAUL - A federal highway administrator awarded for his work following the Minneapolis bridge collapse becomes Minnesota's new transportation commissioner on Monday, April 28. Tom Sorel has spent three years as head of the Minnesota Federal Highway Administration office. Senators probably will confirm the 51-year-old Upstate New York native as commissioner, Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, said. Gov. Tim Pawlenty this morning appointed Sorel to the post, saying the commissioner appointee has 30 years of transportation experience and a civil engineering background.
ST. PAUL - Repercussions continue five years after Dru Sjodin was kidnapped and killed by a sex offender released from prison months earlier. The 2008 Minnesota Legislature still is tweaking sex offender-related laws, like it has since 2003. Bills advancing this year include those to reduce counties' costs, help track sex offenders after they get out of prison and add to what constitutes a sex crime. The most controversial may be a proposal by Rep.