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Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller

Jul 22, 2011

Shift happens – and debt to schools grows

The state of Minnesota is stiffing school districts across the state on roughly $3.5 billion in funding. That’s around 25 percent of the K-12 education budget signed into law last week for the current biennium. Put another way, it works out to roughly $4,200 for every single student enrolled in the public school system.

Dec 17, 2010

Senate caucuses name leadership staffs

The key staffers who have plotted the remaking of the Senate Republican Caucus in recent years will be running the show when they take the majority in January. Campaign guru Cullen Sheehan will continue as the caucus's chief of staff. Indefatigable GOP political operative and deputy state party chair Michael Brodkorb will continue in his role as communications director.

Dec 1, 2010

Republicans preparing to take over the Legislature

Sen. Amy Koch has just one quibble with her new office on the third floor of the state Capitol: the pencil that's improbably stuck in the ceiling some 20-plus feet above the floor.

Nov 19, 2010

Deficit-plagued Legislature more likely to embrace gambling proposals in 2011

Republican state Rep. Tom Hackbarth proposes to expand gambling in Minnesota almost every year, but his bills have been repeatedly shot down by Democratic leaders in the Legislature and a Republican governor who was less than excited to see them on his desk.

Nov 17, 2010

GOP leaders talk about how they flipped a veto-proof majority in Senate

Late last week, three of the principal architects of the Republicans' Minnesota Senate takeover gathered in Sen. Amy Koch's office for one last time to talk about how they'd pulled it off.

Nov 3, 2010

Pogemiller will not run for Senate Minority Leader

DFL Sen. Larry Pogemiller says he will not seek the Minority Leader position in the DFL Senate Caucus after Republicans picked up 16 seats in Tuesday's election and claimed the majority in the chamber.

Oct 15, 2010

Possible Iron Range leadership sweep worries some Democrats

There is erosion on the horizon for the region's standing in the legislative balance of power; population declines have many predicting a loss of seats in the 2012 round of redistricting. Which makes it all the more ironic that the stars could be aligning for a 2011 Iron Range leadership sweep in the legislative and executive branches that some lawmakers find unpalatable.

Oct 8, 2010

Senate Minority Leader Senjem likely to face competition for leadership

While most Minnesota politicos are devoting their attention to the race for the governorship this year, a smaller power battle is brewing in the state Senate. Many who frequent the Capitol halls in St. Paul predict there will be a spirited race for head of the Senate GOP caucus after the general election, a spot that is looking more desirable to Republicans given boasts within the party that the G[...]

Oct 1, 2010

Can Fobbe bottle lightning twice?

DFLer Lisa Fobbe's election to the District 16 Minnesota Senate seat was anything but normal. Running in a 2008 special election occasioned by the appointment of popular GOP state Sen. Betsy Wergin to the Public Utilities Commission, Fobbe faced two Republican opponents - one of them a dispossessed state rep running a write-in campaign - in a heavily Republican district.

Sep 10, 2010

PCR is sorely missed in lege races

Two weeks before Minnesota's political contribution refund (PCR) program expired, Rep. Julie Bunn, DFL-Lake Elmo, and about nine volunteers unleashed a full-tilt fundraising drive.

Aug 18, 2010

Bakk denies any designs on top caucus leadership spot

State Sen. Tom Bakk has had a few months to recuperate and reassess since dropping his bid for the DFL endorsement for governor back in March. Bakk, of Cook, was officially in the race for nearly nine months.

Apr 14, 2010

Gigantic policy bills carry risks, rewards

With supplemental budget talks on hold and the state party conventions close at hand, there’s a general — and generally accurate — perception that activity at the Legislature has slowed to a snail’s pace. Some key figures, like Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, have even talked of a mid-session recess.

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