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 - National economists say the recession technically is over, but Minnesota economic leaders say workers have not felt an improvement. A report released Thursday showed 10,300 Minnesota jobs disappeared last month, for a total of 120,300 in the past year. The August job loss wiped out a 7,700 job gain reported a month earlier. At the same time, the Department of Employment and Economic Development reported unemployment fell 0.1 percent to 8 percent in August, the second straight month joblessness dropped.
ST. PAUL - A group fighting sexual abuse by Catholic clergy wants people who have been abused as far back as the 1960s to contact law enforcement officials as more allegations surface about a brother who taught in several Upper Midwest schools. Bob Schwiderski of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests on Tuesday called on anyone who may have been abused at a church retreat along the St. Croix River north of the Twin Cities to contact law enforcement authorities and his organization.
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - Karen Dvergsten reflected on the meaning of 4-H amid noisy sheep at the Minnesota State Fair. It is more than the literal meaning of 4-H: head, heart, hands and health. "It is very important for building a work ethic," the Roseau County woman said.
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.