Rivalry brings summitry
It took a hockey game to bring the Minnesota and North Dakota governors together to talk politics. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven meet Saturday afternoon in a summit that took more than two months to schedule. It is...
It took a hockey game to bring the Minnesota and North Dakota governors together to talk politics.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven meet Saturday afternoon in a summit that took more than two months to schedule. It is happening this weekend because Pawlenty is a big-time hockey fan and wanted to see the University of North Dakota host the University of Minnesota Saturday night.
Both teams are nationally ranked (UND is second and Minnesota 11th in this week's U.S. College Hockey Online poll) and perennial men's hockey powerhouses. The teams also play at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks Friday night.
The governors' meeting has "no formal agenda," Hoeven spokesman Don Canton said.
Pawlenty is expected to bring up North Dakota's nonresident hunting restrictions and a Devils Lake outlet North Dakota is building that Minnesota opposes. Hoeven and Pawlenty plan to talk about the price of prescription drugs. Pawlenty is leading a charge to import cheaper drugs from Canada.
A statement from Hoeven's office lists energy transmission, higher education reciprocity, border security, railroad rates and railroad service as topics for the summit.
Discussion of the economy and jobs in the two states also should occur, Pawlenty press secretary Leslie Kupchella said.
The governors will meet privately at UND President Charles E. Kupchella's home on the Grand Forks campus, said Leslie Kupchella, the president's daughter-in-law. Following the afternoon meeting, they will dine together before heading to Engelstad Arena to talk to reporters and attend the 7:05 p.m. hockey contest.
The summit has been in the works since Pawlenty suggested it in late August. At that time, his main concern with Hoeven was hunting restrictions North Dakota placed on out-of-state residents.
Meeting with The Forum editorial board this week, Hoeven said he had sent Pawlenty information about the hunting changes, which seemed to ease the Minnesota governor's concerns.
Since Pawlenty's initial call for a meeting, the scope has expanded into what Leslie Kupchella called an informal meeting that will deal with several subjects. She said the meeting probably will last 60 to 90 minutes.
Forum reporter Janell Cole contributed to this story.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Don Davis at (651) 290-0707