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Dean Johnson

Jul 10, 2013

Last of the GOP moderates

Now a DFLer, will Ron Erhardt also annoy his new party?

Jan 9, 2013

Higher ed budgets headed for scrutiny

Gene Pelowski pulled out his iPad on the first day of session and went straight to YouTube. The incoming Democratic chairman of the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee likes to pull up the same video clip for anyone who comes into his office to ask for something: the famous opening scene of the Marx brother’s 1932 movie “Horse Feathers.”

Mar 7, 2012

Sen. Gary Kubly remembered as a man of character and a passionate advocate for rural Minnesota

Current and former legislative colleagues of the late Sen. Gary Kubly recall a man of compassion and dry wit and a legislator who refused to draw ideological lines in the sand.

Dec 21, 2011

Many names surface in Senate leadership scrum

The Minnesota Senate Republican caucus is in disarray after a tumultuous few days that saw Majority Leader Amy Koch suddenly step down following allegations of an “inappropriate relationship” with a direct subordinate on the Senate staff.

Dec 16, 2011

Koch’s sudden resignation rocks the Capitol

Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch sent shock waves through the Capitol complex late Thursday afternoon when she announced that she will not seek re-election in 2012 and that she is resigning her post as Senate majority leader, effective immediately.

Nov 2, 2011

Pogemiller’s appointment to Office of Higher Ed ends storied legislative career

No one seemed to see Larry Pogemiller’s departure coming. Not even him. Gov. Mark Dayton announced late last week that the Minneapolis senator of nearly 30 years would move to the Office of Higher Education to replace former Director Sheila Wright, who resigned suddenly in September.

Oct 12, 2011

Why gambling expansion remains a long-shot bet

A steady downpour didn’t keep Indian gambling workers from flocking outside the state Capitol in St. Paul last April. At least 1,500 people gathered outside on the building’s steps, some arriving by the busload from reservations hours away. Clad in raincoats and shielded by a canopy of umbrellas, workers thrust signs into the air that read, “Rural jobs count too” and “Don’t gamble wit[...]

Sep 21, 2011

20 years later, state-tribal gaming compacts still produce friction

The compacts that regulate Indian-run gambling in the state never came up for a vote in the Minnesota Legislature. In fact, the whole affair happened rather quietly.

Jun 29, 2011

Budget negotiations show no outward sign of progress

Nearly six months after DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-controlled 87th Minnesota Legislature were sworn into office and set to work concocting the 2012-13 biennial budget, the state has crept inexorably toward a government shutdown whose scale and consequences remained unclear in important respects even after a Wednesday order from Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin.

May 13, 2011

Elements of 2005 shutdown present in this year’s standoff

Six years ago GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the Legislature deadlocked over a $466 million budget deficit. The DFL-controlled Senate wanted to raise nearly $1 billion by increasing income taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents. Pawlenty dismissed the move as “profoundly stupid.”

Dec 29, 2010

Senate DFL: Goodbye to all that

In 1972, the state Senate's Liberal Caucus won the majority in the general election. When they took office, both chambers switched to a partisan affiliation footing, and and Senate DFLers started a run in the driver's seat that would last nearly 40 years. As Republicans prepare to end their 38-year drought by taking control of the Senate next week, Capitol Report sifted through the archives to gle[...]

Oct 22, 2010

DFL hopes to avenge Dean Johnson’s surprise 2006 defeat

The last time around, Senate District 13 in western Minnesota played host to one of the most intense legislative races in recent history. Republicans, DFLers and several independent groups waged an expensive and pitched battle there in 2006 that culminated in the defeat of Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, by a razor-thin 553 votes.

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