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 - U.S. Representative Collin Peterson, an accountant before turning politician, could not support budget legislation passed on New Year's night because it will grow the federal deficit by $3.9 trillion. "They spent more than they raised," the western Minnesota Democratic congressman said about those who voted for the measure in the name of deficit control. "So we are further behind." While more Democrats than Republicans voted for the bill to continue most tax cuts adopted under President George W. Bush, several from the Upper Midwest bucked the trend.
ST. PAUL -- Joe Moren taught high school students about the Electoral College for 40 years, but he really came to understand it Monday when he cast a vote for Barack Obama. The 82-year-old Hibbing man, one of Minnesota's 10 electors, has been active in Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party politics most of his life, but usually not in the spotlight, saying: "I enjoyed being a king-maker rather than a king." When he cast his vote Monday, he became the ultimate "king maker" along with 534 other electors around the country.
A farm bill awaiting congressional action is being viewed more and more as a partial solution to the federal government's debt and budget crisis. The farm bill and impending "fiscal cliff" are being linked because new federal farm policy could produce billions of dollars in savings. "There is a growing recognition that this could be part of the puzzle," said Senator Kent Conrad, the North Dakota Democrat who leads the Senate Budget Committee and is a key player in fiscal cliff negotiations. Added U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Adults need to talk to children about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, but a Minnesota expert advises parents not to offer too much information. "You have to just strike a balance," Abi Gewirtz said. "Don't avoid it, but don't overwhelm them, either." The University of Minnesota professor encouraged parents to "keep on with your routines" and to answer questions about the shooting, which left 20 elementary school students dead. Parents need not offer a lot of information children do not seek, she said.
America's agriculture industry needs to be patient. Jennifer Duffy of The Cook Political Report said Tuesday that an overall budget-debt deal needs to happen before Congress can pass new federal farm policy. "I don't know how they pass anything that deals with revenue without dealing with the fiscal cliff," Duffy said, using a term in vogue about federal government budget problems due after December 31 unless Congress and President Barack Obama reach an agreement. In an interview after speaking to the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council's annual meeting, Duffy said, however, that "we are in very
A two-day recount put Minnesota State Representative Mary Franson 12 votes ahead of Bob Cunniff, apparently sending her to a second term in the House. There are not enough ballots in question to give Cunniff the lead. The State Canvassing Board was expected to certify the vote on December 4. The final numbers were Franson - 10,642 and Cunniff - 10,630. Franson, R-Alexandria, picked up one vote Thursday during the Otter Tail County recount in Fergus Falls.
A two-day recount put Minnesota State Representative Mary Franson 12 votes ahead of Bob Cunniff, apparently sending her to a second term in the House. There are not enough ballots in question to give Cunniff the lead. The State Canvassing Board is to certify the vote Tuesday. Franson, R-Alexandria, picked up one vote Thursday during the Otter Tail County recount on Fergus Falls. Franson and Cunniff, DFL-Alexandria, each gained a vote during Wednesday's Douglas County recount. Recounts in the two counties left Franson with the dozen-vote lead.
ST. PAUL -- A hand recount of 21,288 votes in a state House race begins Wednesday. Douglas County officials begin the work at 8:30 a.m. in the courthouse in Alexandria. In Otter Tail County, the recount begins at 9 a.m. Thursday in Fergus Falls. The State Canvassing Board on Tuesday approved rules governing the House District 8B recount, as well as a state Senate recount south of the Twin Cities. Rules follow those in effect for the 2008 U.S. Senate and 2010 governor elections. House District 8B is the tightest legislative race. Republican Rep.