Author

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez was a senior political reporter for the Reformer.

House DFL fundraiser canceled after pushback from police group over candidate’s protest remarks

By: - September 8, 2020

The House DFL canceled a fundraiser featuring candidate John Thompson, an anti-police-brutality activist under fire for inflammatory rhetoric last month, after pushback from the state’s largest police group, a House DFL caucus spokesman said Monday. Set for Tuesday, the fundraiser drew criticism from the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers (MPPO) association, which on Monday called […]

hennepin county government center

Federal COVID-19 aid dries up in Minnesota: $165 million remains in CARES Act funds

By: - September 4, 2020

Just $165 million remains of the more than $2 billion in federal funding allocated to Minnesota under the Federal CARES Act as of Aug. 31, according to a report issued Thursday by the Minnesota Management and Budget office.  The bulk of the money went to local governments, including $317 million to Hennepin and Ramsey counties; […]

Minnesota health officials on edge ahead of Labor Day weekend

By: - September 3, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz and Minnesota health officials on Thursday implored Minnesota to continue avoiding large social gatherings to stop the spread of COVID-19 as fall and colder weather approaches, forcing people inside where officials say the risk of transmission is higher without masks or social distancing. “We are not out of the woods,” Walz said […]

Walz’s office issues blistering response ahead of governor’s meeting with GOP leader

By: - September 3, 2020

Ahead of a meeting between DFL Gov. Tim Walz and GOP Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka on the state’s COVID-19 response, Walz’s chief of staff issued a blistering letter Wednesday night after the senator criticized the governor’s use of emergency powers. “We are glad you accepted his invitation to meet tomorrow given that you have […]

Exit Interview: Myron Frans hands reins of budget agency to Jim Schowalter amid economic downturn, deficit

By: - September 2, 2020

In the waning hours of his six-year run as commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget, Myron Frans spoke with the Minnesota Reformer about the political polarization that has come to characterize state politics, what makes a good budget chief and how Gov. Tim Walz compares with Mark Dayton, the DFL governor who first hired Frans […]

RSLC to spend $500,000 in effort to hold Minnesota Senate, flip House

By: - September 1, 2020

National political money is flooding Minnesota, which has the nation’s only divided Legislature ahead of a crucial redistricting election.  The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) announced this week it would spend $500,000 in an after to hold the GOP-led Minnesota Senate and help Republicans flip the Minnesota House, highlighting two Twin Cities suburban races. Just […]

Minnesota, once reliably blue during presidential elections, shifting right, analysis shows

By: - August 31, 2020

An analysis by FiveThirtyEight published on Monday highlighted a Republican shift in Minnesota — once a reliably blue state during presidential elections — suggesting Trump may improve upon his 2016 performance.  “…[T]here is evidence that Minnesota is becoming redder over time, with 2016 being a particular inflection point. In 1984, the state was 18.2 points […]

Minnesota primary preview: Races to watch

By: - August 7, 2020

Minnesota voters have a big choice to make in November, but first the unsettled political moment means both parties are undergoing identity crises, evidenced by the hotly contested primary election Tuesday.  Voters will often choose between old and new, establishment and anti- and ideologue and pragmatist. Given the health concerns of voting during a pandemic […]

U.S. Rep. Hagedorn votes against removing confederate statues from U.S. Capitol

By: - July 23, 2020

U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, the GOP member from southern Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, was the lone no vote from the delegation on a measure calling for the removal of confederate statues around the U.S. Capitol. U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber — Republicans from Minnesota’s 6th and 8th congressional districts — joined DFL Reps. […]

Police reforms represent a rare legislative ‘high-water mark’ for Minnesotans of color

By: - July 23, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz signed into law a series of police reforms Thursday, capping a weeks-long effort at the Legislature to pass more stringent accountability measures for law enforcement following the Memorial Day police killing of George Floyd.  “These critical reforms are long overdue,” Walz said shortly before the ceremonial signing in St. Paul. Joining the […]

5 things you need to know about Minnesota’s mask mandate

By: - July 22, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday issued an executive order mandating Minnesotans wear face coverings indoors in public places and certain outdoor venues. Here’s what you need to know about Walz’s latest move to help stem the spread of COVID-19.  When does it go into effect?  Saturday Where do I have to wear a mask?  An […]

House DFL leaders characterize police reforms as ‘significant,’ ‘transformational’

By: - July 21, 2020

House DFL leaders said a bill approved by the Legislature early Tuesday morning is a “significant” achievement in helping address racial bias in policing.  Among the changes coming statewide are a ban on certain chokeholds; a ban on “warrior-style” training for police officers that critics say leads to overly aggressive policing; the establishment of a […]