Fighting dominates session
A casual observer of the Minnesota Legislature in May might wonder how anything gets done. In fact, many insiders are wondering the same thing. Take, for example, the public works funding conference committee's co-chairmen, Sen. Keith Langseth of...
A casual observer of the Minnesota Legislature in May might wonder how anything gets done. In fact, many insiders are wondering the same thing.
Take, for example, the public works funding conference committee's co-chairmen, Sen. Keith Langseth of Glyndon and Dan Dorman of Albert Lea.
The pair sat down for a meeting Thursday, with time running out on the legislative session. Dorman was the final negotiator to enter the room, a move that appeared designed to upset Langseth.
With Democrat Langseth presiding, and Republican Dorman sitting next to him, Dorman held his hand high any time he wanted to talk, which senators considered rude.
When Sen. Wes Skoglund, DFL-Minneapolis, said he didn't understand something the House proposed, Dorman started talking to the retiring senator with exaggerated slowness, another opportunity for senators to complain about Dorman's rudeness.
Langseth opened the meeting accusing the House of refusing to negotiate in good faith. He said it looked like he would have to go directly to Gov. Tim Pawlenty to negotiate because it appeared that is what House negotiators wanted all along.
Minnesota Republican leaders have refused to let Sue Jeffers talk to their congressional district conventions, despite her campaign for the GOP governor spot.
Jeffers, who earlier won the Libertarian Party nod, said she wanted to deliver a speech called "What is a Real Republican?"
"My staff and I were uninvited to the conventions and blackballed from attending," Jeffers said. "I chose not to turn these conventions into a media circus and will concentrate on attending the state convention June 1-3."
Jeffers is the only announced Republican candidate. Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he plans to run but is not expected to make an announcement until just before the convention in Minneapolis.
Sen. Cal Larson, R-Fergus Falls, will serve on the17-member Minnesota Sesqui-centennial Commission. The commission will create a plan to celebrate the state's 150th birthday May 11, 2008.
Brent Edison's son, John, will be his campaign manager this year as the elder Edison campaigns for North Dakota tax commissioner. John Edison also was his dad's 2004 campaign communications director during an unsuccessful bid for state auditor.
The two began campaigning together 20 years ago. But since John is only 22 years old, some explanation is in order.
Brent Edison said he took John along with him as a toddler when he was helping friend and fellow Democrat Jim Yockim campaign for the state Senate in Williston20 years ago.
"He was an eager campaign worker and carried campaign cards until his attention span wore off," Brent Edison said. "Then I carried the campaign cards - and John."
Brent Edison is opposing incumbent Republican Tax Commissioner Cory Fong.
Readers can reach Forum Capitol reporters Janell Cole at (701) 224-0830 or Don Davis at (651) 290-0707