Rep. Tina Liebling vowed that she would pull her bill proposing changes to Minnesota’s troubled civil commitment program for sex offenders if Republicans asked for a roll call vote. The Rochester DFLer feared that Republicans would use any recorded vote to smear DFLers as soft on sex offenders when campaign season rolls around.
On the steps of the state Capitol, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton stood in the sleet on Thursday to encourage a crowd of hundreds to push their legislators to legalize gay marriage this session.
For the past decade, Capitol debates over local government aid (LGA) to cities have amounted to a long and bloody war of attrition. But this year Minnesota’s city lobbying associations have reached an accord on LGA that’s being hailed as a rare rapprochement on an issue typically dominated by thorny regional divides.
JoAnn Ward decided to run when Rep. Nora Slawik, DFL-Maplewood, decided to retire. Redistricting pushed the new House District 53A farther to the east and across I-494 into Washington County. Even though partisan voter indices still pegged the new district as DFL-leaning, the race caught the attention of Republicans.
When it comes to spending by Minnesota’s political parties, the state DFL has emerged as the No. 1 player in the 2012 battle for control of Legislature.
As the state’s late-summer primary date approaches next week, more DFL candidates find themselves in the midst of competitive intra-party contests than Republicans.
It’s not uncommon for a legislator or two to announce their retirements after the end of session. But 2012 has seen more last-minute departures than many political pros can ever recall.
State Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, announced Thursday that he won’t seek a sixth term. Lanning’s announcement comes less than a month after Gov. Mark Dayton signed the Vikings stadium bill of which he was the chief House author.
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