J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican is Editor-in-Chief of Minnesota Reformer. Previously, he was a Capitol reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five years, after a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and time at the Las Vegas Sun, Seattle Times and a few other stops along the way. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and two young children

Finstad appears to be the GOP nominee in 1st Congressional District, will face Ettinger

By: - May 25, 2022

Brad Finstad, state director for USDA Rural Development under former President Donald Trump, appeared to eke out a win Tuesday in the special primary election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn in the 1st District. Minnesota Republicans breathed a sigh of relief, as Finstad beat more polarizing candidates state Rep. Jeremy Munson, who […]

State GOP apologizes for Soros video, defends Kim Crockett

By: - May 19, 2022

The chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party has apologized for a campaign video shown at the recent state party convention that showed Jewish Holocaust survivor George Soros as a puppet master controlling Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, who is also Jewish. The puppet master motif, which was used in a campaign video for GOP-endorsed […]

Minnesota GOP secretary of state candidate Kim Crockett is getting famous — in Israel

By: - May 18, 2022

Kim Crockett, who won her party’s endorsement Friday to become the Republican nominee for secretary of state, is being condemned for campaign imagery she used at the state GOP convention showing George Soros as a puppet master, an old antisemitic theme. The headline in the Jerusalem Post reads “GOP-backed Minnesota politician: Jewish incumbent is controlled […]

Lawmakers, Walz have a deal on taxes, spending

By: - May 15, 2022

Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders have agreed to the broad outlines of a deal that would divide up the state surplus evenly between tax cuts, spending increases and money put into reserve, according to two sources with knowledge of the negotiations. Leaders of the DFL-majority House and GOP-controlled Senate and DFL governor have agreed […]


We knew a lot about Minneapolis police, but we did nothing | Column

By: - April 27, 2022

The most troubling thing about the scathing state report released Wednesday about the Minneapolis Police Department is how unsurprising much of it is.  We already knew a lot of it, and if you ask Black, Indigenous and Latino Minnesotans, they’ll be least surprised by the findings of a “a pattern or practice of race discrimination […]

Police chief: Rep. John Thompson engaged in heated confrontation with St. Paul police, again

By: - April 25, 2022

The chief of the St. Paul Police Department says state Rep. John Thompson, DFL-St. Paul, intervened in a traffic stop of his daughter, “attempt(ed) to intimidate and bully police officers” and “misuse(d) his official position.” St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell wrote in a blistering Facebook post Monday that an officer stopped Thompson’s daughter, whose […]

‘We can do that’: Walz calls for compromise, action on big issues during State of the State

By: and - April 25, 2022

Facing one of the most challenging periods of his political career, Gov. Tim Walz returned to his political roots during his State of the State address Sunday, pitching a pragmatic, optimistic call for compromise to the center of the Minnesota electorate.  Walz, giving his first State of the State address in the House chamber since […]


What to do with the surplus? The economic and moral imperatives are clear | Column

By: - April 15, 2022

State lawmakers will return next week from their spring break facing a choice about Minnesota’s future — they’ll decide what to do with a $9.2 billion surplus. Republicans want to cut taxes, with half the money from an income tax cut going to people who make more than $100,000 per year. We remain one of […]

Minnesota Reformer, Star Tribune fighting city subpoena

By: - April 13, 2022

Minnesota Reformer and the Star Tribune are fighting Minneapolis over the city’s broad subpoenas issued to Reformer deputy editor Max Nesterak and Star Tribune reporter Andy Mannix.  The subpoenas were issued in a civil case against the city brought by freelance photographer Linda Tirado, who was shot by a foam projectile and blinded in one […]

Influential police group endorses state Sen. Paul Gazelka for governor

By: - April 11, 2022

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association announced an endorsement Monday of state Sen. Paul Gazelka for governor. “He is an extraordinary supporter of first responders and public safety officials and stands against attempts to defund and dismantle the police,” said Brian Peters, the executive director of the MPPOA, said in a statement. “He will […]


Let’s make it easier for moms to breastfeed if they want to | Column

By: - April 4, 2022

When Stephanie Hall had her first three children, breastfeeding didn’t feel like it was a viable option, starting in the hospital.  “They threw me to the wolves with breastfeeding. I had to figure it out on my own,” she said.  Hall didn’t have much success until her fourth child, which came after she met Dr. […]

Minnesota House passes bill aimed at Amazon worker safety; unlikely to pass Senate

By: - March 28, 2022

The Minnesota House passed a bill Monday on a nearly party line vote (72-60) that aims to protect warehouse workers at companies like Amazon from escalating rates of workplace illness and injury. The Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to consider the measure (HF2774). Still, the bill’s House passage illustrates — if only symbolically for now — […]