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 -- A Thursday deadline and the approaching Minnesota legislative session are pushing Vikings stadium talk up front. Stadium talk dominates this week, especially on Wednesday because of an unexpected proposal to build a stadium in Shakopee. Brad Tabke, mayor of the southwestern Twin Cities community for a week, unveiled his plans for a Shakopee stadium a day before Gov. Mark Dayton wants all proposals on his desk. "Shakopee hosts 6 million visitors each year at ValleyFair, Canterbury Park, the Renaissance Festival and many other attractions," Tabke said.
ST. PAUL -- How Minnesotans use roads could help determine the shape of new congressional districts. Most major rural Minnesota roads go east and west, one of several similarities that Republicans say should lead to three mostly rural congressional districts that stretch from Wisconsin to the Dakotas. Democratic leaders, meanwhile, claim there are so many differences between eastern and western Minnesota that they should be in separate districts.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem has filled out his leadership team with two committee chairmen. The Rochester Republican Tuesday appointed Sen. Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen as deputy leader and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen of Alexandria as the fifth assistant majority leader Ingebrigtsen had considered running for majority leader last week to keep rural issues at the forefront. But he was not nominated. Senjem and Sen. David Hann of Eden Prairie were the two senators in the running to replace Sen.
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.