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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ROSEVILLE, Minn. -- Minnesota Senate Republicans promised a fresh start Tuesday night, putting behind a scandal and spending 11 hours picking Sen. Dave Senjem as their new leader. The senators also elected a new slate of assistant leaders during their close-door meeting. "No more looking backward," the Rochester Republican said when he was introduced as the majority leader. Senjem returns to the chief Republican post after a year as an assistant leader. Before that, as minority leader he helped orchestrate the first GOP Senate majority in 38 years. Tuesday's election was forced when Sen.
Former Senate Majority Leader Any Koch says she is sorry for being in a relationship with a Senate employee. "I regret more than words can express the hurt that I have caused to the people that I love, and to those who have worked and served with me over the past years," Koch said in a statement released late Wednesday afternoon. The Buffalo Republican said her Thursday resignation and Friday's revelation that it followed Senate employees complaining about an inappropriate relationship "have been very difficult for me and those close to me.
ST. PAUL -- Upheaval within Senate Republican ranks could delay work on a Minnesota Vikings football stadium. "Obviously, it's a bump in the road," said Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, who is chief House point man for a stadium bill. Sen. Amy Koch, who resigned last week as majority leader, had become involved in stadium talks during the past month, Lanning said Tuesday, so without knowing who will replace her, questions arise. "Sen.
ST. PAUL -- The first woman to lead the Minnesota Senate is leaving, saying she wants to spend time with family and work in the private sector. Amy Koch, 40, shocked her colleagues Thursday when she wrote to them saying she would quit immediately as majority leader, in the job just a year, and not seek re-election to the Senate. She was not specific about why she is quitting in the letter or an interview with Forum Communications. "I just want to have an opportunity to move on to some other things," Koch said in the interview. "I want to spend some time with my daughter.
ST. PAUL -- Federal and state officials have 120 days to act against destructive Asian carp that could infest most Minnesota waters, a coalition of outdoors and environmental groups says. "I don't think it is anything we should tolerate," Jeff Forester of the Minnesota Seasonal Recreation Property Association told reporters in a Wednesday conference call.
ST. PAUL -- Perhaps a hardy breakfast can lead to a truce between one of Minnesota's most conservative Republicans, who wants to serve in Congress, and the state's liberal Democratic governor. After a day of back-and-forth emails and letters sharply criticizing each other, Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, late Friday afternoon accepted an invitation from Gov. Mark Dayton for a fence-mending breakfast this week. The spat, the latest of several between the two politicians, was about a day care unionization vote Dayton wanted but a judge ruled was not within his power to call.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton is challenging a court order blocking an election that would allow in-home day care workers to join unions. His spokeswoman, Katharine Tinucci, said he will dispute the issue at a Jan. 17 Ramsey County Court hearing. Judge Dale Lindman on Monday ordered a temporary injunction to stop the election, set to begin this week, saying such a decision should be made by the Legislature. He scheduled a Jan.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota cattle producers faced six emotional and financially challenging years, but now they celebrate a re-opening of markets nationwide after the state has been declared free of bovine tuberculosis. Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday issued a proclamation proclaiming TB free day for the state's cattle industry after 58 herds were destroyed and 800,000 animals tested. The TB battle began in 2005 when a northwestern Minnesota cattleman reported that one of his cattle headed to slaughter appeared sick.