Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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ST. PAUL -- Type "Google Voice rural" in a Google search box and a computer user quickly will discover that one of the oldest high-tech companies is taking on one of the new ones, with the rural Upper Midwest as battleground. The country's oldest telephone company, AT&T, claims Internet search giant Google's new telephone service violates federal law by blocking some calls to rural Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa. Google counters that all it is trying to do is avoid some specific overly expensive rural telephone numbers. Federal officials will be left to settle the dispute.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota family could save up to 7 percent of its health insurance costs a year if allowed to buy insurance in other states, Gov.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Paul Strain said his family supports his college career, emotionally at least. But when it comes to money, he told U.S. Sen. Al Franken Monday, he needs to look for federally supported programs.
ST. PAUL -- Two of Minnesota' most military-oriented politicians went different ways when the U.S. House approved the defense authorization bill. John Kline, a Republican serving an area mostly south of the Twin Cities, voted against the military funding bill for the first time in his seven years as congressman because it contained what he described as divisive social policies. Prime among those policies is a provision that has little to do with defense.
ST. PAUL -- Regulators are working with 71 of 426 Minnesota-based banks to make sure they do not fail, but bank and credit union officials say they are not risking customers' money. "It's just a matter of prudent lending and risk management," Noah Wilcox Tuesday told the state Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee. Wilcox and other bankers told senators that the media is feeding a frenzy by reporting about "risking loans" being made by American banks.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators face a dilemma: Can they spend money from a tight budget to eliminate poverty by 2020? If they spend money now, Rep. Carlos Mariani, DFL-St. Paul, said, more people would go to work and the state's economy would improve. But since lawmakers are not likely to start many new spending programs in light of a several-billion budget deficit, Rep.
ST. PAUL - Marty Seifert took an early lead in the first statewide measure of Minnesota's Republican 2010 governor race. The state representative from Marshall collected 37 percent of the vote in a GOP state convention straw poll, a convincing victory in a nine-candidate field. Finishing second was Rep. Tom Emmer, getting 23 percent in the non-binding poll.
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - Amy Klobuchar needed to outfit her apartment when she moved to Washington as a U.S. senator. So the Minnesota Democrat headed to a nearby store "looking for cheap furniture" and bought an assemble-it-yourself "fake antique" cabinet. "It smelled weird" when she removed it from the box, she said. However, it began to become pungent as her first Washington summer began to heat up.