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.
- Member for
- 7 years 1 month
ST. PAUL—Almost every morning when I come to work, part of the trip is on a 10-lane-wide stretch of freeway. It is a long ways from my 4,000-population hometown in southern Iowa's rolling hills in many ways.
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn.—It would be hard to find two candidates further apart on issues than state Rep. Jim Newberger and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who are fighting for six year in the U.S. Senate. In a Friday, Aug. 24, Minnesota State Fair debate, Republican Newberger called for a return to free-market health care, said he does not believe climate change is manmade and declared a wall is needed along the Mexican border.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — Minnesota's two major candidates for a six-year U.S. Senate term make it clear that there should be an urgency to complete a federal farm bill and other work that affects farmers. But U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and state Rep. Jim Newberger showed hundreds in a Farmfest audience Thursday, Aug. 9, that they have plenty of differences about how to get there.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn.—Minnesota's five major governor candidates bent over backwards to show they are on farmers' side during the first forum with them all. Each told farmers at Farmfest near Redwood Falls about their connections to greater Minnesota, hoping to win votes in the Tuesday, Aug. 14, primary election and the Nov. 6 general election. For Republicans, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he was was the farmers' champion when he served before and Jeff Johnson said he grew up in greater Minnesota, so understands the issues.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn.—Immigration may be one of the biggest partisan divides in Washington, but there appears to be general support among candidates for rural U.S. House seats in Minnesota for a program providing workers to farmers. Democrats and Republicans agreed on the need for the visa program during a Farmfest candidate forum Tuesday, Aug. 7. But they disagreed on many other issues.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — Minnesota's U.S. Senate candidates agree trade is important to farmers, but differ when it comes to details. Reactions were varied at a candidate forum Tuesday, Aug. 7. Republican-turned-Democrat Richard Painter's take was: "This trade war is an unmitigated disaster. Farmers will lose their farms over it if we don't turn this situation around." Republican-endorsed Karin Housley assured farmers that she has their back will not let that happen: "I have a direct line to the president."
ST. PAUL—Minnesota officials have examined areas that were flooded earlier this week in the southwestern part of the state. In the meantime, officials announced that loans will be available for flooded farms and gave advice on how to make sure well water is safe. Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., led a delegation that visited several flooded sites on Friday, July 6.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota is a battlefield in a war pitting the United States against trading partners. President Donald Trump on Friday, July 6, tacked 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of goods China sells in the United States. Trump says the tariffs eventually may cover up to $550 billion worth of Chinese products. China responded by slapping its own tariffs on American goods to be sold in China. "It is certainly much more threatening situation than I have seen in my lifetime," professor Robert Kudrle of the University of Minnesota said.
WASHINGTON—Federal farm-state lawmakers say they are happy that final negotiations can begin on a farm bill that funds agriculture programs and food stamps. Senators passed their $428 billion farm bill 86-11 Thursday, June 28. The bipartisan vote contrasts with the House vote that narrowly passed last week with no Democratic support. U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., had said that the only good thing about the House bill's passage was that it paved the way for negotiations once the Senate passed its bill. He is the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee.
ST. PAUL -- The veto pen found found most legislation Minnesota lawmakers passed this year. Gov. Mark Dayton announced Wednesday, May 23, that he vetoed the session's major legislation, citing numerous problems with the Republican-written bills. He said he hopes to decide by Friday on the final major bill of the session, funding public works projects. "Very irresponsible" was how Dayton described the legislative session.