Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari

Daily Reformer: Barbershops and the case against Bloomberg

BY: - February 17, 2020

Good morning.  Visiting family in Florida so a quick Daily Reformer this morning. (Get the Daily Refomer in your in-box!)  Despite the federal holiday, a busy day at the State Capitol, with hearings on paid family leave and paid sick time before House Ways and Means. Alan Page and Neel Kashkari on their education constitutional […]


What happened when a builder of luxury homes discovered one of his workers was homeless

BY: - February 14, 2020

My team is currently designing and building luxury homes throughout the metro. Many will cost the buyer more than $1 million, and some are even more. I’ve been in this business over 44 years, building homes all over Minnesota and Wisconsin. While I’ve long had a concern for people who are homeless, we didn’t directly […]

Daily Reformer: State Sen. Susan Kent needs to staff up

BY: - February 13, 2020

Good morning. State Sen. Susan Kent needs a chief of staff who sees the big picture — meaning November, not this do-nothing legislative session — and I has thoughts! But first, at the Reformer:  From Washington, Robin Bravender has the first reporting of its kind on the tight relationship between Wall Street and Rep. Tom […]

The dueling realities of the Iron Range

BY: - February 13, 2020

I’ve lived on the Iron Range my whole life, always within sight of the steam cloud from an iron ore mine. When I was young I wanted to leave the Range. As I got older I wanted to change the Range. But after 20-some years of writing about the place I find that my shirts […]

Daily Reformer: Klobuchar gets her moment, but we need some #realtalk

BY: - February 12, 2020

Good morning.  The Democratic primary got even more interesting Tuesday night after Sen. Bernie Sanders cemented his frontrunner status by eking out a win against former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. (Having lived in South Bend, I still struggle to write that without laughing.) First, in the Reformer:  The number of refugees being resettled in […]

Ad man to progressives: Use the power of branding to defeat Trump

BY: - February 12, 2020

Branding is usually thought of as more a corporate than a political thing, but progressives should consider how good marketing can help them in a time of chaos, distraction and fiction spun out of the White House. Our president is gifted with a con artist’s eye for misdirection. He launches new controversies at a dizzying […]

Daily Reformer: Can Klobo lift-off-o?

BY: - February 11, 2020

Good morning.  Sign up here to receive Daily Reformer every morning in your in-box. Today is the New Hampshire primary.  The Star Tribune reports Sen. Amy Klobuchar surging in New Hampshire, with big crowds, some polls putting her in third and another $1 million raised.  Dateline is Keene, N.H., where I was a reporter for […]

Photo illustration of nurses in a hospital

Can we shop for health care? A Minnesota Reformer colloquy

BY: - February 11, 2020

Editor’s note: This is a response to a guest commentary by state Rep. Jennifer Schultz, DFL-Duluth, about whether patients shopping for their health care will help control costs. Her response to this guest commentary can be read below.  The fundamental problem with our health care system is that it does not empower patients.  Instead, our […]

Progressive to fellow progressives: Learn these simple truths about business

BY: - February 9, 2020

I’m a lawyer who represents small businesses that do all sorts of things, from operating restaurants to landscaping to things that I don’t totally understand. Like me, many of the folks who run these businesses have progressive goals for our cities, state and country —  but they’re also passionate about running a restaurant or landscaping […]

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

Daily Reformer: Do or die for Klob in New Hampshire

BY: - February 9, 2020

Good morning! Tuesday is the New Hampshire primary. Sen. Amy Klobuchar needs to beat one of the moderates to stay viable. A Sunday tracking poll has her ahead of Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. As per usual, she scored high marks from the national press on her debate performance and is said to have raised […]

Yes, teachers matter, but don’t forget about administrators

BY: - February 7, 2020

Teachers are the intense focus of the education debate. The union is fighting for better wages and working conditions that most teachers think will produce better outcomes. Other reformers focus on teacher quality and getting rid of ineffective teachers.  Lost in all that debate, however, is another linchpin of success often forgotten: Administrators.  School leaders […]

Today’s Daily Reformer. Democrats: Be very afraid

BY: - February 7, 2020

Good morning. Sign up for your daily dose here.  Democrats: It’s time. All of your submerged anxieties are entirely reasonable, and you can scream into the pillow and no one will think you’re crazy.  “What a (expletive) clown show,” a DFL operative texted me last night.  “I’m very worried about this election,” a prominent Democrat […]