Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez was a senior political reporter for the Reformer.

Former congressional candidate Kendall Qualls to highlight biography in run for governor

By: - January 7, 2022

Former congressional candidate Kendall Qualls is gearing up for a run for Minnesota governor, telling a group of voters “why I’m running” during an event captured on video by Alpha News. The Army veteran last year founded the group TakeCharge Minnesota to counter arguments that the country’s institutions are systemically racist. He said Thursday night […]

Political groups defend their redistricting proposals in oral arguments

By: - January 4, 2022

A panel of five judges appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday for four different congressional district map proposals ahead of a Feb. 15 deadline to redraw the state’s election borders.  The delay of Census 2020 figures has created a time crunch for the redrawn legislative maps. In recent months, lawmakers, […]

Decades-high inflation taking big bite out of Minnesota budget surplus

By: - January 3, 2022

The November Minnesota state budget and economic forecast painted a rosy picture of the state’s finances: lawmakers have an expected $7.7 billion budget surplus, the largest surplus the state has ever forecasted. But some of the state’s top economists warn that surplus figure is incomplete because of a 2002 law change that prohibits budget forecasters […]

Senate DFL harassment, MNGOP party implosion, COVID-19 changes GOP hearts: 2021 year in review

By: - December 29, 2021

Time has completely warped: a year feels like five, but also feels like a month? 2021 started and before I knew it, it was September. Minnesota politics proved to be as unpredictable as ever, with all the high drama of a tabloid. Who could have guessed that serious charges against an accused sex trafficking GOP […]

State commission proposal to modify sentences for repeat offenders sparks fierce debate

By: - December 17, 2021

A proposal from the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission to no longer consider a repeat criminal offender’s custody status at sentencing generated fierce debate on Thursday, with a list of testifiers that included lawmakers, police chiefs, crime victims and others. The commission, made up of 11 members appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court chief justice and […]

House GOP leans on Mayo Clinic to call off its vaccine mandate

By: - December 16, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz and DFL lawmakers are slamming a letter signed by more than three dozen House GOP state representatives that asks the Mayo Clinic to end its vaccine mandate for hospital employees. The letter goes further, threatening to withdraw support for state funding intended to alleviate health care workforce shortages. Earlier this month, state […]

McDonald’s sexual harassment lawsuit gets a boost from Human Rights department

By: - December 14, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has filed to join a lawsuit against a Twin Cities McDonald’s franchisee, alleging it fostered a workplace culture of sexual harassment that led to a 14-year-old employee being raped by a manager at a Maple Grove McDonald’s in 2018. The action comes days after the former employee and her […]

Minnesota has biggest budget surplus in its history

By: - December 7, 2021

Minnesota budget officials reported a record $7.7 billion projected budget surplus on Tuesday, an eye-popping sum that sets the stage for state lawmakers to debate how to spend the money, the result of increased consumer spending, higher corporate profits and better-than-expected tax collections. “This is what responsible policies look like,” Gov. Tim Walz said. “This […]

Kim Crockett running for Minnesota secretary of state to focus on ‘election integrity’

By: - December 6, 2021

Kim Crockett, the former vice president and general counsel of the Center of the American Experiment who was suspended from the think tank after making racist remarks about Somali refugees in St. Cloud, will announce this week she is running for Minnesota Secretary of State. “People are stepping up to fight, and I include myself […]

Senate DFL harassment investigation nears conclusion

By: - December 6, 2021

An independent investigation into a sexual harassment complaint made by a former Senate DFL staffer that shook up the DFL caucus is nearing its conclusion. The outside investigator has submitted a draft of the report to Senate Secretary Cal Ludeman, according to Assistant Director of Senate Information Diane Jungbauer.  Ludeman is reviewing the draft report, […]

State Patrol rolls out body cameras for its troopers

By: - December 2, 2021

The Minnesota State Patrol is rolling out the use of body-worn cameras next week, starting with 40 troopers who will now be required to record interactions with the public. Patrol officers join a growing number of police in Minnesota to be outfitted with body cams, which are intended to improve accountability and transparency. Body-cam footage […]

Cook County reports first COVID-19 death, ending status as only Minnesota county without one

By: - December 1, 2021

Cook County reported its first COVID-19 death on Tuesday, ending its unique status as the only one of Minnesota’s 87 counties not to have reported a single death due to the virus.  “Our sympathies go out to the loved ones during their time of loss,” said Kimber Wraalstad, North Shore Health Administrator, in a statement. […]