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Political notebook: Offender registry sought

Minnesota and North Dakota senators are pushing a national sex offender registry bill. The measure would make the registry available to the public on the Internet. Sens. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., co-sponsored the measure. J...

Minnesota and North Dakota senators are pushing a national sex offender registry bill.

The measure would make the registry available to the public on the Internet.

Sens. Norm Coleman,

R-Minn., and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., co-sponsored the measure. Joining them in backing the bill were Sens. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

"This is about safety and responsibility," Coleman said.


"The National Sex Offender Database would help track individuals known to be repeat offenders," Dayton said. "With this legislation, Minnesotans would know when these potentially dangerous people move into our neighborhoods."

Names offered

The names currently being tossed around as a Republican Senate candidate against Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., are Mandan lawyer Mike Liffrig, brother of Ed Schafer's press secretary Julie Liffrig; New England, N.D., football coach Mike Schatz, and Grand Forks lawyer and Base Retention Committee Chairman John Marshall.

Discussion among Republicans is that Marshall is likely to skip the race and concentrate on helping save the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Ex-state party Chairman Curly Haugland's "Draft Ed (Schafer)" campaign has $1,000 pledges from more than 50 people, but that leaves him more than 900 people short of his goal.

DFL to screen

Clay County Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party members meet Saturday to screen prospective candidates for county officers and State Central Committee delegate.

The hourlong meeting will be at 10 a.m. in the Moorhead Public Library.


Satrom endorsed

Joe Satrom has picked up the formal support of North Dakota's three former Democratic governors, Bill Guy, Art Link and George Sinner. Satrom is dueling with Rep. Merle Boucher, D-Rolette, for the party nomination for governor.

Sinner served with Satrom in the 1983 Legislature and calls Satrom "a sound thinker."

Satrom was state tourism director under Guy and Link, from 1969 to 1976.

Stadium plan coming

Gov. Tim Pawlenty plans to announce his proposal for a professional sports stadium this week.

The Minnesota governor says he will not approve using any state general fund money to support a stadium. He hinted the proposal will not give a Twins baseball park preference over a Vikings football stadium and will not push for a certain location for stadiums.

It's time to make such a move, Pawlenty said.


"It's been lingering around like a bad smell for 10 years," he said.

MADD about Byron

The National Mothers Against Drunk Driving last week lauded Sen. Byron Dorgan for his efforts to close a federal loophole that has allowed some states to resist passing a law against open containers in vehicles.

It's a personal relationship of sorts. Dorgan's mother was killed by a drunken driver in a 1986 crash in Bismarck. MADD calls Dorgan "a true champion" for efforts in Congress and cites his "tireless leadership and passion for this issue."

Tourism would move

Minnesota's tourism promotion effort would become a private-public partnership under a proposal by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

The proposal would establish a stand-alone agency and create a tourism-industry council to oversee it. Tourism marketing now is a function of the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Pawlenty said tourism marketing would improve under the plan because the industry would contribute funds.


To run

Kelly Schmidt of Mandan makes formal today her intent to run for state office --probably treasurer -- in the Republican column. She has scheduled news conferences at 8:30 a.m. in Grand Forks., at noon in Fargo's Republican headquarters and at 4 p.m. in the GOP state headquarters in Bismarck.

She served as clerk to the Republican-majority House Appropriations Committee in the 2003 session.

Keeping tabs on Kent

Washington, D.C., political newsletter Hotline has compiled a list of everyone who's ever been speculated about as a Democratic vice presidential candidate. The list, which Hotline will keep updated, includes among the more than 50 names that of Sen. Kent Conrad. He has been mentioned off and on during the past several months, but there is no indication at this stage that there is any serious consideration.

Dean supporters

Where do disappointed Deaniacs go? One, Berrett Gall of Fargo, who organized "Generation Dean" -- young supporters of Howard Dean for president -- has started an online gathering place for North Dakota Democrats, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDDemocrats

Readers can reach The Forum's Capitol reporters Janell Cole at (701) 224-0830 or Don Davis at (651) 290-0707

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