Book excerpt details rise of labor leader who is now Walz education commissioner

BY: - February 25, 2020

Editor’s note: This book excerpt from “Beaten Down, Worked Up” by longtime New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse describes the difficult union negotiations in 2013-2014 between St. Paul Public Schools and teachers, who successfully pushed for smaller class sizes and more support staff in addition to higher wages. Last Friday, St. Paul teachers voted […]

Daily Reformer: The Democratic presidential nomination is nearly finished

BY: - February 24, 2020

Dems have 8 days to stop Bernie. Then it’s over. Good day. The Democratic race for president is all but over, but few people will admit it. My thinking on all this was really clarified when I read this cogent piece by Tim Miller, who was in the middle of the 2016 GOP effort to […]

Your health insurance: probably bad and getting worse

BY: - February 23, 2020

“A good life for American families also requires the most affordable, innovative, and high-quality healthcare system on Earth. Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just five years. I moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. Our new plans are up to 60 percent less expensive — and better.”  POTUS, State […]


If you want our votes, learn our issues

BY: - February 21, 2020

President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign hit the mark with white, working-class voters in the Midwest. That’s how he won states like Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin and nearly won Minnesota — these are all states with a high proportion of white voters without a college degree.  And looking ahead to November, Democrats should continue to fear […]

Daily Reformer: Mid-winter spring!

BY: - February 21, 2020

Good morning! Sign up here to get Daily Reformer in your in-box.  Midwinter spring! (Read to the bottom for T.S. Eliot’s thoughts on the subject.)  Jessica Oaxaca is going to be the new comms dir. for Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent. She was a deputy in the press shop of Gov. Tim Walz. Watch as […]

Daily Reformer: When Minnesota Nice is not so nice.

BY: - February 20, 2020

Good morning! (Sign up to get Daily Reformer in your in-box.) The moderate Democratic candidates chasing the frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders have a “collective action problem.” They’d all be better off if they collaborated to take down Sanders because there may be enough Democratic voters to anoint an alternative to the 78 year old Vermont […]

Daily Reformer: Elena speaks

BY: - February 19, 2020

The Nevada caucus is Friday and this Post story indicates plenty of buzz around Sen. Amy Klobuchar but also a lack of preparedness for this moment, including just now hiring a Nevada “operations director.”  “She struggles especially to connect with African American voters, and black activists say she has made little effort. The campaign in […]

Winter is coming! (It always is.) The Legislature should bank the extra cash.

BY: - February 17, 2020

Everyone has grand ideas about what to do this legislative session with money they claim is a “surplus.” But we have a better idea — albeit maybe less flashy.   We think legislators need to be prudent — and save.  Yawn, you think? Stay with us. Minnesota’s budget reserve today is the strongest it’s ever been, thanks […]

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 […]