Commentary

You were right, and they were wrong: The year in commentary

BY: - December 30, 2022

During an election year that again seemed like a make-or-break contest to preserve American democracy, it’s no surprise that our most read and most influential commentaries were election related.  Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn, a physician and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, argued that GOP candidate for governor Scott Jensen should have had […]

The president of the University of Minnesota should not be moonlighting for Securian

BY: - December 23, 2022

The decision by the University Board of Regents last week to approve President Joan Gabel’s $130,000 annual moonlighting arrangement as a member of the Board of Directors of Securian Financial couldn’t be more tone deaf. Tuition is rising, faculty and staff salaries are being squeezed, and the institution is about to ask the Legislature for […]

Book excerpt: A pastor comes to terms with the Church’s idols of Trump, money and power

BY: - December 22, 2022

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from  “Red State Christians:  A Journey into White Christian Nationalism and the Wreckage it leaves behind,” available everywhere books are sold. On Sunday, January 10, 2021, I woke up early, stepped out my back door into frigid, biting air, and drove from one America into another. I drove from […]

Some modest reforms to improve Minnesota democracy

BY: - December 21, 2022

Last month, Minnesotans again led the nation in voter turnout. The state’s strong performance is one measure of civic success, but in others Minnesota still has room for improvement. Here are some areas the new Legislature should prioritize that would strengthen our democracy. Minnesota has one of the strongest traditions of third-party success in the […]

How Minnesota Democrats reversed their fortunes

BY: - December 20, 2022

Minnesota’s DFL party used to be sad. They lost five straight gubernatorial elections between 1990 and 2006, and they were a party in decay. I remember the pathetic election night interviews where Democrats would say, “Let’s wait for the Iron Range vote to come in.” Good luck with that. So how did the DFL turn […]

Sanford-Fairview merger would be bad for Minnesota health care

BY: - December 19, 2022

Fairview Health Services and Sanford Health announced their plans to merge last month, and we can expect their paid talkers to provide the corporate ooze of benevolence. They’ll tell us the merger is a chance to offer higher consolidation of care, improve quality of care and coordination of care, and save health care dollars. The […]

The Legislature needs to rein in predatory lenders

BY: - December 16, 2022

Jonah took out a loan for $365 and ended up repaying $1,082, over 11 months, an annual percentage rate of 197%. Lila took out a loan for $525, was caught in a cycle of reborrowing and ended up paying an APR of 700%. These are entirely typical scenarios for the thousands of Minnesotans who use […]

Don’t let Natives end up paying the cost of Biden’s EV goals

BY: - December 15, 2022

After the Biden administration pushed through the biggest climate package in American history, Native communities in North America are concerned with how the administration’s incentives for domestic mining could impact their ancestral lands.  The Inflation Reduction Act passed in August includes roughly $400 billion for health and climate change-related measures, and among those, tax credits for the purchase […]

Health care was also on the ballot, and health care won

BY: - December 14, 2022

In November, millions of voters in red, blue and purple states voted on the future of our health care directly on the ballot. And U.S. Sen. Warnock ran his re-election campaign and run-off on health care. Health care won decisively. Voters decided to expand Medicaid in South Dakota, meaning more than 40,000 low-income South Dakotans […]

Minneapolis’ legacy of failure on police accountability

BY: - December 13, 2022

Mayor Jacob Frey and members of the Minneapolis City Council have inherited and perpetuated a sad history of failures to fix a long-broken system of police discipline. For the past quarter century or more, these failures have harmed residents — especially people of color —and unfairly tarnished the good name of dedicated officers compelled to […]

A promising policy on teacher diversity in need of a course correction

BY: - December 12, 2022

Passing a law is momentous — but it’s also just a moment in time. That moment is often the culmination of years of work to raise an issue and convince lawmakers in an increasingly polarizing space to find common ground.  But successful policies are rarely finished products even when the governor signs them into law. […]

In a time of budget surplus, lawmakers should not overlook a natural solution to climate change

BY: , and - December 9, 2022

Minnesotans face the reality of climate change every day, like more intense rainstorms, hotter heat waves and protracted droughts. Its consequences are showing up in our communities in the form of massive flooding, catastrophic wildfires and instability for farmers, putting Minnesota’s food supply and economy at risk. Our people, wildlife, lands and waters demand action. […]