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 - Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Minnesota's largest-ever budget cut Tuesday, reducing state aid to local governments, lowering health-care funding, trimming state college budgets and, in general, shrinking the size of state government. Pawlenty's cuts equal nearly $736 million, which along with a $1.8 billion delay in state payments to schools make up most of the $2.7 billion he needed to balance the state budget. Lawmakers a month ago passed, and Pawlenty signed, a budget that would have spent almost $33 billion in the next two years.
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - Minnesotans get frustrated enough with road construction and paying taxes that they should not have to put up with both when unnecessary, Sen. Amy Klobuchar says. The Minnesota Democrat and other U.S. senators are pushing a bill to require that when a state builds a road with federal money that broadband conduit be installed at the same time.
ST. PAUL - Today is when Gov.
ST. PAUL - The Twitter short-message electronic networking system is becoming popular among politicians, many of whom now send tweets. A recent message from House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, tweaked politicians who visit Iowa to get presidential support. "A MN politician in Iowa for all the right reasons ... visiting family," he wrote while seeing his wife's family. Then there was Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who may soon sent tweets from Iowa himself while running for president: "Wrenched back playing hockey. Thankful for chiropractor.
ST. PAUL - Next year's Minnesota Legislature should be interesting, given that many key lawmakers want to make the jump to governor - or at least are considering it. Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, opted to leave his job as minority leader even if he just "kicks the tires" for a gubernatorial run. He said it would not be fair to the 47 House Republicans if he were forced to split his time between leading them and running for governor. Another House leader soon may face the same situation, but pretty much no one expects her to step out of her high-profile role.
ST. PAUL - There's a whole lot of thinking going on. Republicans across Minnesota are weighing the pros and cons of jumping into the governor's race now that Gov. Tim Pawlenty has bowed out. Two western Minnesota state representatives -- Marty Seifert of Marshall and Morrie Lanning of Moorhead - on Wednesday said they are thinking about it. Seifert said he is strongly considering it; Lanning was a bit less certain. They are the first of what is bound to be many possible GOP candidates in what promises to be a wild and expensive governor's race.
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ST. PAUL - Tim Pawlenty may not know what his next political move will be, but Minnesota's Republican governor said on Tuesday that he expects to be involved nationally. And if he runs for president, as many political pundits expect, it will be quite a rise from his stockyards neighborhood upbringing in South St. Paul. Pawlenty's personal story has been told often, especially in the past year as bloggers and reporters tried to introduce him to the American public as a potential vice presidential or presidential candidate. Pawlenty finished second as John McCain's running mate to Alaska Gov.
ST. PAUL - Tim Pawlenty rules out another run for Minnesota governor, but keeps the door open for offices such as the presidency. "I still have lots of energy and ideas," Pawlenty said to a packed Tuesday news conference. "But being governor should not be a permanent position for someone.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty plans to announce there will be no third term in his future, numerous Minnesota and national political sources say. While sources would not confirm Pawlenty's decision on the record, many media reports indicate the state's 39th governor will step down after two terms.