Commentary

COMMENTARY

Daily Reformer: AFSCME troubles; caucus troubles, $$ for childcare

BY: - February 4, 2020

Good morning.  This morning on the Reformer:  A Reformer scoop: Weeks before the leadership shakeup at AFSCME Council 5 last summer and fall, a letter landed in the inbox of the union’s board describing “rampant” sexism, as well as a “racist” and “retaliatory” culture, Ricardo Lopez reports. Executive Director John Westmoreland was placed on investigatory […]

COMMENTARY
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Dec. 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Daily Reformer: Super Bowl of Minnesota politics — Iowa and Senate DFL shakeup

BY: - February 3, 2020

Good morning! Today on the Reformer:  Sen. Tom Bakk is overthrown by the DFL caucus and Sen. Susan Kent, who ascends to leader just days before the Legislature reconvenes, and Aaron Brown gives the Range and labor backstory Allison Winter reports that Washington is taking some steps on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous […]

COMMENTARY

Analysis: What does Tom Bakk’s ouster tell us about labor and the Iron Range?

BY: - February 3, 2020

ITASCA COUNTY — State Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) ousted Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook Saturday at a Senate Democratic-Farmer-Labor caucus meeting. Ironically, the rebellion took place in a carpenters’ union hall, the kind of place where Bakk built his Iron Range labor credentials. Kent will lead Senate Democrats as the legislature reconvenes Feb. […]

COMMENTARY

Daily Reformer: Frey task force on off-duty police; Bakk-inations; Walz $$$; thoughts on Rogan

BY: - January 31, 2020

Good morning! (Are you receiving our Daily Reformer email newsletter? You should! Sign up here.) Apologies for no Daily Reformer on Thursday; it was like that episode of Family Ties when Alex P. Keaton is on speed and he’s like superman but then he crashes, except I promise mom it wasn’t speed it was just […]

COMMENTARY

The dangerous path from no refugee resettlement to something much darker

BY: - January 30, 2020

The recent decision by Beltrami County to no longer accept new refugee resettlement there was in some ways meaningless. Refugees have not been placed there in at least five years. Their ruling only affects efforts by groups like Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Service to resettle refugees, but does not prevent refugees from moving to […]

COMMENTARY

MN House leader: Legalize cannabis this year

BY: - January 29, 2020

Can anyone provide a solid argument for maintaining the current regime of criminalizing cannabis? I have been all over the state looking for one, and have not yet found it. Yes, I have heard concerns. Cautions. Nervousness. But I have not heard a well-considered argument for continuing our current failed policy. Cannabis consumption is already […]

COMMENTARY

Daily Reformer: Walz on a boat

BY: - January 28, 2020

Good morning.  Sailing takes me away…. Today at the Reformer: There’s been very little attention on the ACA lawsuit that could take down the decade-old law, which would have huge ramifications here in Minnesota. Rilyn Eischens gives us some of the basics on the litigation and what would happen here in Minnesota if the plaintiff […]

COMMENTARY
Sceengrab of Andrew Wommack and Paul Gazelka

A response to comments by Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka

BY: and - January 28, 2020

It is the job of our elected officials to represent Minnesotans, to make our voices heard and bring opportunity to our communities. We expect that regardless of political party, our representatives understand that they represent Minnesotans of every identity.  It is not the job of elected officials to promote hate and use their religious beliefs […]

COMMENTARY

If we’re to keep thriving, Minnesota needs immigrants — especially in Greater Minnesota

BY: - January 27, 2020

Minnesotans are dying. Well, everyone everywhere is dying. The issue in Minnesota is that the births of new Minnesotans will soon be outpaced by deaths, which becomes problematic if you like crops harvested, medical innovations cutting edge, and state coffers full of tax revenues. This trend is particularly true in wide swaths of Greater Minnesota. […]

COMMENTARY

Daily Reformer: immigration, people and manure.

BY: - January 27, 2020

Good morning.  Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  This morning at the Reformer I came out of reporting retirement to write a little piece about the Senate Republican push to pass a voter ID law in the upcoming legislative session, even though Minnesota rejected just such a measure in 2012, by 110,000 votes. Also this morning, […]

COMMENTARY

Daily Reformer: Lewis and his no lose campaign

BY: - January 24, 2020

Good morning! A programming note: I’m in Washington for meetings and will have no Daily Reformer on Friday.  This morning at the Reformer, Rilyn Eischens tallied up the 2018 CEO and worker pay at Minnesota’s Fortune 500s and determined CEOs make 278 times the pay of the average worker. The data is all there in […]

COMMENTARY
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Dec. 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Coolican: Amy Klobuchar and the scourge of the bullying boss

BY: - January 23, 2020

Sen. Amy Klobuchar shared the endorsement of The New York Times with Sen. Elizabeth Warren this week, one of several events indicating a wisp of momentum for our senior senator. Her legendary work ethic — which has taken her to all 99 Iowa counties in a replay of her approach here in Minnesota — seems […]