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 Republicans gather in St. Cloud this morning, with the official main event picking a candidate to face Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. But the main undercurrent may be how Ron Paul supporters do at the Friday and Saturday state convention. How strong presidential candidate Paul is among delegates likely will affect the Senate race. Estimates of the number of Minnesota Paul delegates range from a third to nearly a half of the 2,000-some Republicans at the River's Edge Convention Center. "Ron Paul is a big factor in this race," Minnesota U.S.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Vikings are close to a new stadium after the House early Thursday approved a construction plan 71-60. Representatives debated the stadium bill an hour and 50 minutes after day-long negotiations produced a compromise bill after the House and Senate passed differing versions. Soon after passing the stadium bill, the House adjourned for the year before 4 a.m. today. Senators expect to take up the bill later today before adjourning until 2013. If they pass it, Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign the bill.
ST. PAUL -- A debate a decade in the making began this afternoon as the state House considered whether to build a nearly $1 billion Vikings stadium. "This is our one chance," Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, said. "This bill works. It has been fined tuned and it will build a stadium." Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Vikings football stadium issue sits on its own one-yard line, 99 yards from a score, and on fourth down players await a play call by legislative leaders standing on the sidelines. Oh, and the clock is nearly at zero and it is not clear that the leaders want to move the ball forward. Supporters of building a $975 million Minneapolis stadium said on Tuesday that hope, as slim as it is, remains eternal after a late Monday committee vote rejected a stadium plan.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Rep. John Kriesel just wants to have a good time. "Do you feel we are not as fun as other states?" the Cottage Grove Republican asked fellow representatives Tuesday before they delayed a vote allowing more powerful fireworks. Then, quoting from a Katy Perry song, he added: "You just gotta ignite, the light, and let it shine." A dozen other lawmakers also quoted from Perry's "Firework" as a gift to Kriesel, who is retiring from the Legislature. Kriesel said the bill needs to be considered by another committee, but will return to the full House.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota House members approved wolf hunting and trapping seasons on Tuesday despite warnings that the American Indian community may challenge it in court. "When we make laws, we make laws for all the people of Minnesota," Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, said before representatives approved a bill 82-49 that included the wolf seasons. Bill sponsor Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans held strong through hours of state House debate Tuesday night, maintaining it is critical to shore up Minnesota's election process by requiring votes to present photographic identification. Representatives voted 72-62 along party lines at 2:14 a.m. today, after more than eight hours of debate, to amend the state Constitution to require a voter photo ID. GOP Reps.
ST. PAUL -- A 64-year-old man who confessed to sexually molesting 29 youths is scheduled to become the first person to leave a state hospital sex offender treatment program, prompting the Minnesota House Monday to vote 127-1 to change state law so the public is notified near the halfway house where he is going. The Senate is expected to pass the bill Thursday and Gov.
ST. PAUL -- The most important day of the 2012 Minnesota legislative session, for some at least, could be Tuesday. That is the day when a state judicial panel is expected to release new legislative and congressional district maps.
The Republican-pushed proposal to require Minnesotans to produce photographic IDs before voting won a Wednesday party-line 8-6 Senate committee vote. Sen.