Commentary

Daily Reformer: Warsame leaving the council? Trouble at DHS

BY: - January 21, 2020

Good afternoon! Toddler got a double ear infection so you’re getting your Daily Reformer during his nap. Let it be an epic nap! The mess gets messier: Dept. of Human Services CFO Alexandra Kotze is leaving to become CFO of Ramsey County. Last day Feb. 7.  Recall this Star Tribune story from November:  “The Minnesota […]

Daily Reformer: Happy MLK Day

BY: - January 21, 2020

Good morning and happy MLK Jr. Day. Government is closed for the day, but Daily Reformer is not.  Gov. Tim Walz was at the 30th Annual MLK Holiday Breakfast at the Armory in Minneapolis this morning and then will host the 34th Annual MLK Day Celebration at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in […]

Rep. Dean Phillips: Clean up our campaign finance system

BY: - January 21, 2020

Editor’s note: Tuesday is the 10th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.  When I speak to groups visiting Washington, D.C. or to my constituents back home as I travel around my west metro district, I often start by telling them something that most find surprising: I love my job. This usually […]

Measuring progress among black Americans since Dr. King’s death

BY: - January 20, 2020

On Apr. 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, while assisting striking sanitation workers. Back then, over a half century ago, the wholesale racial integration required by the 1964 Civil Rights Act was just beginning to chip away at discrimination in education, jobs and public facilities. Black voters had only […]

America’s public schools seldom bring rich and poor together — and MLK would disapprove

BY: - January 20, 2020

More than five decades after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., many carry on his legacy through the struggle for racially integrated schools. Yet as King put it in a 1968 speech, the deeper struggle was “for genuine equality, which means economic equality.” Justice in education would demand not just racially integrated schools, but […]

Daily Reformer: Klobuchar’s trouble on the home front

BY: - January 17, 2020

Good afternoon!  Happy early voting day!  Read Aaron Booth’s Minnesota presidential primary primer, filled with recent polling and data-rich maps. It should give you a decent idea of the state’s current political profile, especially on the DFL side, which is where all the primary action is.  A side note: Aaron is a sharp but entirely […]

The answer to refugee-baiting? Minnesotanness.

BY: - January 17, 2020

I often joke that my graduate studies in anthropology became a life skill when I moved to Minnesota. The classic tools of the discipline — where one is traught to observe, analyze, and come to conclusions about often “exotic” other cultures — prepared me well for Life Among the Minnesotans. Some aspects of Minnesotanness will […]

Vice President Joe Biden | U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Daily Reformer: Biden’s Irish grief & Gazelka lets his hair down

BY: - January 16, 2020

Good morning! Exclusive on the Reformer: Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka gave an interview in November to Andrew Wommack, a televangelist with very conservative politics who makes all sorts of faith healing claims, including that his child rose from the dead cuz prayer. Anyway, Gazelka, who comes across as an avuncular, gentle soul around the […]

Daily Reformer: Klobuchar takes credit for Minnesota civic activism

BY: - January 15, 2020

Good morning!  New this morning: In an unsurprising hit to the presidential campaign of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, TakeAction Minnesota has endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president. The lefty grassroots groups boasts 50,000 members — a strong army of volunteers for Sanders campaign here.  The Dems debated with less than 3 weeks until Iowa. No one […]

Photo illustration of nurses in a hospital

Price transparency alone won’t keep health care costs down

BY: - January 15, 2020

Surveys consistently show that affordability of healthcare is a top issue that Americans want their elected officials to address. The United States spends twice as much per capita on health care as other developed nations — $10,586 compared with the $5,086 OECD average. It’s a tremendous burden on federal and state budgets, businesses and public […]

Daily Reformer: Who will be the next Senate minority leader?

BY: - January 14, 2020

“You think they're going to take down one of their own when they have this reapportionment coming?”

Welcome to the Minnesota Reformer

BY: - January 14, 2020

Our family visited the Minnesota History Center last weekend, and I was struck by the simple power of an exhibit showing a tiny prairie homestead from the 1870s. It’s a dark, earthen hovel with little more than a bedroll and a stove. A video projection shows the harsh weather out the “window,” first rain and […]