Ever since the end of last year’s three-week government shutdown, Republican legislative leaders have been touting their “Reform 2.0” agenda. They traveled across the state seeking ideas on how to streamline and improve government services. House Majority Leader Matt Dean estimates that he put 2,800 miles on his vehicle attending town hall meetings on the topic.
On a recent Thursday evening, roughly 50 people gathered at Shamrocks bar in St. Paul to discuss the looming ballot campaign to ban gay marriage. The event was specifically targeted at young Republicans and featured GOP Reps. John Kriesel and Tim Kelly, outspoken opponents of the proposed anti-gay marriage amendment.
Republican Rep. Steve Drazkowski and others say they have accepted the $34 billion number. But in their eyes, this means that they have already “compromised” on the budget — even if it’s only with other Republicans.
Lobbyists who have been waiting on pins and needles for the House and Senate to release their committee rosters got an early holiday present on Wednesday, when the Senate GOP sent out a final list of Republican names that will make up the majority in the chamber's 16 committees next year.
As Charley Shaw writes this week, the new Republican majority in the Minnesota Senate appears dedicated to projecting a considerably more conservative face when Session 2011 convenes in seven weeks.
While the governor's race may be the marquee feature in this year's campaign season, the large number of swing districts in play at the Minnesota Legislature are the object of lower-profile but no less intense campaign spending machinations by a number of groups.
In May 2009 Jennifer DeJournett, Lisa Belak and a handful of other Republican women from Minnesota attended a seminar in Washington, D.C. focused on the role of women in politics. What they learned was distressing: Virtually all of the advances made by female politicians over the last two decades had occurred on the Democratic side of the aisle.
The Voices of Conservative Women political action committee (VOICESPAC), based in Maple Grove, has endorsed eight candidates for the Minnesota state Legislature, three in the Senate and five in the House.
If it’s possible to judge a legislator’s re-election vulnerability solely on the number of challengers that he or she attracts, then Lisa Fobbe, Jim Carlson and Kevin Dahle should probably watch their backs.
Eight Minnesota legislative incumbents -- five DFLers and three Republicans -- are facing challenges from members of their own parties this year, not counting six incumbents who have said that they aren't seeking re-election and have fellow party members lining up to succeed them.
Republicans in Senate District 49 on Saturday endorsed incumbent GOP Sen. Debbie Johnson's intra-party challenger. Michelle Benson of Ham Lake received the party's endorsement.
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