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 - Minnesota leaders are bracing for a fiscal fallout as federal policymakers debate health-care reform proposals costing $1 trillion. Most state governments, including Minnesota, faced huge deficits as they wrote new budgets this year.
ST. PAUL - Don't plan to attend a health-care reform meeting with U.S. Reps. Tim Walz and John Kline standing side by side. Kline's office questions the real reason for the Walz invitation for a joint public meeting. "That we received his invitation on the same day it was released to the press leads me to question if there was ever a good faith intent on Mr. Walz's behalf," Kline spokesman Troy Young said.
ST. PAUL - One headline said Gov. Tim Pawlenty "declined" an invitation to meet with current and former governors and legislative leaders. Another said he "rejected" the idea. It was more like he tore up the invitation into little bits and threw it away. Then burned it. And buried the ashes. Figuratively, at least. Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, both Minneapolis Democrats, invited Pawlenty and all former governors, majority leaders and speakers to a summit to discuss economic woes the state faces.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota Republicans stopped a straw poll for governor half-way through the annual Farmfest event. "A straw poll was started but stopped because the state chair had not authorized it," state Republican spokesman Mark Drake said. "We didn't want to take attention away from our sanctioned state convention poll in October." Governor candidate state Rep. Marty Seifert of Marshall, who grew up near the Farmfest grounds, said he was told the poll was halted "apparently because it favored me. ...
ST. PAUL - U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson provided Republicans an opening to attack him when he said he does not hold town hall meetings in his western Minnesota district because many constituents believe the Bush administration helped carry out the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "Twenty-five percent of my people believe the Pentagon and (then-Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld were responsible for taking the twin towers down," Politico Monday quoted Democrat Peterson as saying.
MINNEAPOLIS - Simplifying Minnesota's absentee ballot procedure would have prevented many problems in the recently decided U.S.
ST. PAUL - U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann appears to have appeal well outside her district. While her aides deny she is interested in running for governor, an analysis by the University of Minnesota's Smart Politics blog shows her financial reach extends outside of her 6th Congressional District, which stretches from St. Cloud through northern Twin Cities suburbs into the eastern Twin Cities area. Eric Ostermeier reports that the colorful and quotable Republican raised more individual contributions in the St. Paul-area district served by U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum than did McCollum.
ST. PAUL - If Iran was behind the deaths of three Minnesota National Guard soldiers, already rocky relations with the United States could become worse, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Sunday from the Middle East. An Iraqi police official says his department arrested a man with Iranian connections in the attack that killed Spec. Daniel P. Drevnick, 22, of Woodbury, Spc. James Wertish, 20, of Olivia and Spec. Carlos E. Wilcox IV, 27, of Cottage Grove Thursday at their Basra, Iraq, base.
ST. PAUL - When the new flu began to spread, since it was called swine flu, many people were concerned about catching it from hogs. Now, however, some are concerned that swine may get sick from flu-infected people, especially at local and state fairs. The Minnesota Health Department's Buddy Ferguson said: "Don't bring your swine to the fair if they are sick and don't go to the fair if you are sick." A letter state health and Board of Animal Health officials sent to fair managers and veterinarians said any hog that appears to have flu-like symptoms must immediately be sent home.