Author

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.

Trump tweets ‘LIBERATE MINNESOTA!’ in support of protests targeting Walz, other governors

By: - April 17, 2020

So much for letting states set their own timeline for reopening. President Donald Trump on Friday sent a spate of tweets in support of protestors targeting governors in states with stay-at-home orders. Among them: Minnesota. “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” he tweeted, also tweeting “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and most provocatively, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It […]

Heartland governors create regional pact to reopen economy as state Republicans push for faster action

By: and - April 16, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday announced a pact with six other Midwestern governors to coordinate on a strategy to reopen their states for business. At the same time, he provided no timeline for phasing workers back into their jobs and stressed the need for widespread testing to better track COVID-19. Walz’s administration is also seeking […]

In first, Walz holds virtual bill signing ceremony; Legislature get comfortable with Zoom

By: - April 15, 2020

Minnesota government settled into an uneasy new normal Wednesday, with Gov. Tim Walz holding his administration’s first Zoom bill signing from the governor’s residence, while the Legislature ramped up virtual committee hearings. Despite a sheen of bipartisan comity upon the signing of a bill to provide diabetics with emergency insulin, Walz faces increasing pressure from […]

California, which stayed home 8 days earlier, offers glimpse at how a state economy might reopen

By: - April 15, 2020

In the weeks and months ahead, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will be deciding how and when to re-open the state’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.  He has dozens of other governors’ pandemic-response homework he can peek at. One of them is California Gov. Gavin Newsom who ordered nearly 40 million residents to stay-at-on March 19, […]

COVID-19 infection cluster in Sioux Falls, S.D. draws contrast with Minnesota

By: - April 14, 2020

The massive COVID-19 infection cluster at Smithfield Foods — the 3,700-employee pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D. — is drawing a stark contrast between South Dakota’s and Minnesota’s approach to the widening pandemic. The Washington Post wrote on how South Dakota is reacting to what it calls the largest COVID-19 cluster in the country, examining […]

walz emergency

Walz says safely re-opening Minnesota would require widespread COVID-19 testing

By: - April 13, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz on Monday said his strategy to begin re-opening the state’s economy would depend largely on the widespread availability of COVID-19 testing and the ability to monitor both active infections and those who have recovered.  “We have to have an accurate way to understand who is infected currently and who has been infected,” […]

Sen. Scott Jensen’s national profile rises, while medical authorities question his claims

By: - April 10, 2020

State Sen. Scott Jensen has rocketed to national notoriety this week after suggesting that the Minnesota Department of Health was “coaching” doctors to rule COVID-19 as a cause of death in some suspected cases without lab confirmation.  The implication — even if unintended by the Chaska family doctor — is that COVID-19 deaths are being […]

Scott Jensen, GOP senator, family doctor, makes debut on Fox News’ ‘Ingraham Angle’

By: - April 9, 2020

State Sen. Scott Jensen, the Republican family doctor from Chaska, made his debut appearance on Fox News’ “Ingraham Angle” to criticize recently issued CDC guidance on how to classify COVID-19 deaths.  Jensen joins a chorus of Fox News personalities and contributors like Tucker Carlson and Brit Hume, who have begun arguing that the country is […]

Walz extends stay-home order until May 4 in Minnesota COVID-19 fight

By: - April 8, 2020

Minnesotans, prepare to continue hunkereing down until May 4. Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday extended his stay-at-home order for three weeks, telling Minnesotans to stay at home except for essential business or errands. “Our intention is to save every life in this,” Walz said, adding that “The only vaccine we have right now is social […]

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon

How should Minnesota vote in a pandemic? Simon says, by mail

By: - April 8, 2020

How should Minnesota vote in the middle of pandemics? Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon on Wednesday proposed legislation that would grant him one-time, emergency authority to conduct the upcoming election by mail during the COVID-19 outbreak. “The administration of elections has become a public health issue. Minnesotans should not have to choose between their […]

Walz dons a mask, House leader flips the bird

By: - April 8, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday signaled he may prepare easing his state-home order, originally issued through Friday, April 10, as the latest tally of COVID-19 infections and deaths appear to show Minnesota’s efforts to slow the spread are working. “We are seeing pretty strong indications we are pushing that curve back. We’re bending it a […]

Video: DFL House majority leader raises middle finger at GOP state senator

By: - April 7, 2020

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, apologized Tuesday for appearing to make an obscene gesture during a press conference by state Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska, who announced a deal on emergency insulin that has yet to be signed and finalized. The logjam dates back to 2019, when DFLers and Republicans failed to reach an […]