Political notebook: Special session gets little support
If Minnesotans have a say in it, legislators won't be back in St. Paul until their regular session opening day next March 1. Two unscientific polls conducted at the State Fair showed far more appetite for greasy food than for Gov. Tim Pawlenty ca...
If Minnesotans have a say in it, legislators won't be back in St. Paul until their regular session opening day next March 1.
Two unscientific polls conducted at the State Fair showed far more appetite for greasy food than for Gov. Tim Pawlenty calling a special session.
The state House asked visitors to its booth if Pawlenty should call a special session to approve stadium issues. Nearly 70 percent said "no."
Next door at the Senate booth, the question included other issues that could be debated, such as transportation funding, but 56 percent of fair-goers still opposed the idea.
On top of that, many - if not most - legislators seem cool to the idea of a special session.
There is consideration of a special session to approve a new University of Minnesota football stadium and Minnesota Twins baseball facility.
Reading bill praised
The Seattle Post-Intellegencer's editorial board had an atta-boy for Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and John McCain, R-Ariz., a week ago.
"It has long been an embarrassment that both houses of Congress pass vital legislation that few if any members have read."
Conrad and McCain are sponsoring a resolution to allow at least two days for members of Congress and their staff to read final legislation.
The Seattle paper reminds its readers that last November Congress came close to passing a measure that would allow members of Congress and their aides to look at individual tax returns. It was buried in a 3,600-page spending bill. One of Conrad's aides spotted it and alerted his boss. The section was yanked.
Kiffmeyer to run
Minnesota Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer plans
to run for re-election.
She did not plan to reveal her plans yet, but three reporters seeking her response to an attack from a DFL candidate for her office pressed the second-term official on the question.
Many watchers of Minnesota politics thought she might enter the 6th Congressional District race. That is the seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, who is running for the U.S. Senate.
Good marks for site
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and the state's sex offender Web site get high marks in a news story from the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post last month.
The newspaper reported on the failings of the Florida state Web site that lists sex offenders because it omits basic facts about the registrants' crimes. For instance, the Post reports, "it doesn't give the age and gender of the offender's victim, even though the agency has that information. Nor does it give the date and place of the offender's conviction, or occupation and place of employment."
The Florida Web site is maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Stenehjem, who has seen the story, said the reporter told him she'd "looked at all the sex offender Web sites in the country and liked ours the best because it includes a description of the actual offenses that were committed, instead of merely legalese or references to statutes."
Ogema aid OK'd
Federal funds will be available for M&W Foods in the Becker County town of Ogema to expand its grocery store and add a cafe.
Ogema's cafe recently closed. A $362,500 award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will help the store expand as well as to add housing for the high-poverty area, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said.
Party planners sought
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is looking for people to help plan Minnesota's 150th birthday party.
The May 11, 2008, sesquicentennial will be organized by a 17-person commission that will plan activities in every county.
Anyone interested in serving on the commission may fill out an "open appointments" application form available at www.sos.state.mn.us or call (651) 297-5845.
Readers can reach Forum Capitol reporters Janell Cole at (701) 224-0830 or Don Davis at (651) 290-0707