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D.J. Tice

Commentary editor and columnist | Newsroom
Phone: 612-673-4456
D.J. is the commentary editor, a weekly columnist and a regular contributor to the Playing Politics podcast. He has been a writer, editor and publisher in Twin Cities journalism for nearly four decades. Tice was an editor at Corporate Report Minnesota and Twin Cities magazines, editor and publisher at the Twin Cities Reader, and an editorial writer and columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. From 2003-2009, he was the Star Tribune's state political editor, directing coverage of the Legislature, state government, the Minnesota congressional delegation, and elections. He is the author of two books of popular history. His collection of ordinary Minnesotans' memories, Minnesota's Twentieth Century, published by the University of Minnesota Press, was awarded the Minnesota Book Award for history in 2000.
Recent content from D.J. Tice

Minnesotans, remember: A governor can reshape the high court, quickly

They tend to get relatively more chances to pick judges than presidents do.

Superstorm Donald is jolting the GOP, but turbulence hits Democrats, too

DFL primaries match left, lefter and (relatively) center.
Thomas Duvall, in 2017. A state appellate panel upheld a ruling in favor of his petition for conditional release from the Minnesota Sex Offender Progr

A moment of truth for the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (again)

Courts are treating the laws on this subject seriously, however unpopular that may be.

Belief in God means what in America?

New research shows that definitions are flexible, with a political twist.

Job 1 for Minnesota voters: Get state government to do a better job

It simply has to. And don't let grandiose candidate rhetoric impede that goal.
So … Gorsuch? An even more timely question now.

So … Gorsuch? An even more timely question now.

How might Trump change the court? The newest justice's record offers some surprises.

So you 'banned the box.' How did that work out?

According to research, there have been unintended racial consequences.

Checking what ails us in the age of Trump

Elites are anxious. Common voters felt alienated. There's a likely connection.
Illustration.

Want to know what health care costs in Minnesota? You may be in luck.

Minnesota legislation may lift the veil. It's passed the Senate and awaits action in the House.

Two courts tell government: You've got a job; now do it

Assessing rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Duly noted: Supportive research on higher minimum wage

Study: Effects of wage boosts didn't cancel out gains for lowest-paid.
An event at the opening of Fort Snelling’s summer season in 2017. The legacy of the iconic military outpost is being reconsidered by the Minnesota H

Fort Snelling: new vision, old wounds

History can be painful but is rarely simple. Correct?

Demand-driven supply? Minneapolis fourplex proposal is new old idea

It evokes some nostalgia for me, and for everyone else it offers a better shot at affordability.
The Instigator: The case argued before the Supreme Court Feb. 28 started when activist Andy Cilek was temporarily prevented from voting in 2010.

What do the cool kids wear to an election? In Minnesota, you've got to know.

In Minnesota, you've got to know, if the state's dress-code defense before the Supreme Court is any indication.

Guns and public safety: In the absence of a middle ground, the most persistent passion will prevail

It's the "interests' vs. the "people," a line Walz is trying to straddle.

'Mockingbird,' 'Huck Finn': At least keep these two books as part of your personal curriculum

They're about much more than race.
The roof of a police patrol car at night, with the blue and red lights flashing.

Union clout is one reason holding cops accountable is tough

The weeks and months just ahead could bring notable developments in Minnesota’s ongoing efforts to better police its police officers — to bring justice both…
Survivors of sexual assault, along with their supporters, marched in November in Los Angeles. However, a split seems to have developed between feminis

Surprised by counterrevolution? Me too

Feminism's tensions show the snags that can arise.
'Rent control,' goes the demand. About that …

'Rent control,' goes the demand. About that …

California offers a pretty good case study for why the idea is not optimal.
Douglas Machine in Alexandria, Minn., had a thriving factory floor back in 2008 as technicians tested one of their packaging lines for wrapping cases

Wage growth since recession is pretty good. No fooling.

Adjusted for inflation, of course. And even if it doesn't feel like it.
You know the look, and if you’re Vikings fans like these loyalists at a game last year, you may have worn it. Yet hope springs anew.

To everything there is a season; so brace yourselves, Vikings fans

All is possible.

Yes, Virginia, Santa's season is the most realistic time of the year

Adults often don't realize just how much they pretend the rest of the time.
Close up of estate tax return

In the 'death tax' debate, both sides are unconvincing

It may well be a wise, just form of taxation. We could prove we believe that by imposing it on others besides the super-rich few.

Free speech? While voting? In Minnesota? Supreme Court to weigh in.

Case is another possible speech precedent from this state.

Take Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's tax gripes with a grain of SALT

Pay more, get less: That's a rich state aiding equity, no?
iStockphoto.com

Here's something for Democrats to meditate upon

Will they win because of what they're moving toward or lose because of those they're moving from?

Of Harvey Weinstein, Hugh Hefner and sexual revolutions as ambiguous things

Considering male wrongdoing in the context of this era's permissive society.

Could banning discounts on drugs be good medicine?

Out in ever-progressive California, Gov. Jerry Brown is this month pondering whether to sign into law a crackdown on ruthless corporate profiteering recently passed by…
Gov. Mark Dayton.

Minnesota Supreme Court must face Dayton dilemma in vetoes case

It's awkward, but Minnesota must define the limits of strong-arm political tactics.
Pexton Hall is a heavily secured building at the treatment facility in St. Peter where some of those who have been civilly committed to the Minnesota

Sex Offender Program puts Minnesota in the spotlight again

This time it will be the U.S. Supreme Court gazing at us in the harsh context of MSOP.

State government funding power grabs, part two: The auditor's case

If DFLer Dayton wins his case, it seems, DFLer Otto must lose.
August 21, 1955: Four Prancing Clydesdale are driven by Robert K. Daris, on his fan near Amery, Wis., in practice for the Horse Show of the 1956 Minne

Automation, minimum-wage hikes and jobs: A perfect storm brews

Job-displacing change looms; will public policy juice it?

Trump critics lose sight of crucial divide between violence and ideas

The line is this: Americans are free to think and "speak" as they will, to call and push for whatever "real change" they desire — however much some of their fellow citizens may decry or even abhor their views.

Franken's book reminds that political porn didn't just start with 'the Mooch'

And, yes, I was a bit player in political porn.
A memorial to Justine Damond on W. 51st St. near the alley where she was shot by police. ] JEFF WHEELER ï jeff.wheeler@startribune.com At least 250 p

After latest Twin Cities-area police shooting, a look at perceptions is warranted

Polling shows large gaps in views of public, police.
Fighting to try: Connie Yates and Chris Gard, right, want to be allowed experimental treatment for their terminally ill infant son.

Charlie Gard and freedom's final frontier

A baby boy's suffering goes global at the crossroads of the right to try and the right to die.

On travel ban, Supreme Court threaded the needle

Court did what courts should.

The Yanez jury has done its job; now we must, too

Respect — for verdict, and for pain it causes — is key to community healing.

Progressives' new-found love for states' rights

The left, ahem, seems to be coming around to the beauty of local control.
Associate Justice David Stras of the Minnesota Supreme Court. President Trump has nominated him to a seat on the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of the Appe

A panoply of challenges to discourse, and a bright spot locally

Consider, please, the example of three judges who lean left backing one who's solidly on the right.

In the city, there's little variety on the political menu

Rural hubs, countryside both show more diversity.
Gov. Mark Dayton certainly delivered on one of his principal campaign promises, making the rich pay up, but the devil is always hiding in the details.

Tax the rich? Done. Tax fairness? Well ...

The gap between the income tax burden on the high earners and others is now greater than any other state.
And so the media probe the mind of Steve Bannon ...

Bannon phobia fuels a 'Fourth Turning' freakout

The book is about cycles, not apocalypse. Some credit is due.
Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, during the committee’s con

Were Gorsuch hearings a deep exchange on constitutional ideas? Sadly, no.

However, the nominee was impressive amid senators' predictable pageantry.
Mayo Clinic CEO John Noseworthy, right, and Johns Hopkins Medicine CEO Paul Rothman left Mar-a-Lago after meeting with then-President-elect Trump in D

On health care, we want it all, can't have it

Recent criticism of Mayo was an example of our fanciful approach.

What if Trump and Clinton had swapped genders?

Experiment suggests the populist plays best either way. Surprised?
Joseph Burnquist was a very powerful governor for a time.

Strong-arm government? It could happen here (and did)

Thinking back 100 years on the power and reverberations of the Minnesota Commission of Public Safety.
Gov. Mark Dayton was seen through a viewfinder of a TV camera while speaking to reporters.

Dayton is a case study in lost ideals

Contrast his stadium-suites response with his persistence while state auditor.
Here's to our nationally pertinent state political figures

Here's to our nationally pertinent state political figures

Here are the Minnesota players on the national playbill.

It's a living lab for changes in the minimum wage

Increases could harm the vulnerable in subtle ways.

Gorsuch: Good with words, and thus, legal analysis?

I've been reading the tea leaves and finding them pleasingly well-written.

If we're lucky, Trump may follow the Ventura model

A boorish clown, sure, but he may have grownup advisers.

Trump's rise is a time to build up constitutional 'border security'

Let's hope he truly did appreciate Antonin Scalia.

Something's right in the world today

Don't know what it is? Start with "Our World in Data." Things are looking up.
Paul McCartney, suited up for the cover of the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album, released — ready for this? — 50 years ago next

Putting my 64 years end to end – and seeing what I missed

Putting my 64 years end to end — and seeing what I missed.

It's empirical: Americans just don't trust science

A study of those views, with ideology factored in.

Unions and sound policing: New evidence of an old obstacle

Police chiefs, sheriffs get overruled on disciplinary actions.
A voter left a polling site on Nov. 1 in Atlanta, during early voting ahead of Election Day.

The Electoral College still gets my vote

Another conflict with the popular vote gives me pause, but what's better?

Donald Trump: Leader of the American empire's lost tribe

Don't know if he read Charles Murray's book "Coming Apart," but he got it.
The makeup of the Supreme Court could change dramatically in the next presidency.

The right way to nominate a Supreme Court justice …

… is not Clinton's way. (Or Trump's, if that matters.) It's the historical way.
In pet care, neither government nor insurance play a major part. Yet as in human health care, veterinary medicine involves constant innovation and emo

Rising health care costs: A race we're running willingly?

Many blame the government or insurers, but when you remove them from the equation, as in pet care, spending still rises.

First, let's protect the rule of law

Among the signs of the American collapse, this is one flashing in neon.
Treatment doesn’t sound much like what a monster such as Danny Heinrich deserves — so for public consumption it was described as “more time.”

What is deserved for a sex offender?

The Heinrich confession and a case with an offender less vile raise the question anew.
AT ISSUE IN STRIKE: Allina officials hope to save money by giving nurses incentives to be more savvy, cost-conscious users of health care.

A foolish system and your money …

… are parted more readily than if you had a direct stake in each decision. Lessons for health care and higher ed.

Gains, losses cancel out from Seattle's minimum-wage hike

Does mandated higher pay shrink hours, kill jobs? An early study says it seems to.
Antiglobalism: America's bipartisan affliction

Antiglobalism: America's bipartisan affliction

Free trade is a lost cause when one candidate won't buy it and the other won't sell it.
Gov. Mark Dayton spoke to protesters in front of the governor’s residence on July 7, following the police shooting of Philando Castile the night bef

Those looked to for leadership should cool the rhetoric on race

President Obama is starting to get it. Still wondering about Gov. Mark Dayton.

If the election is about the Supreme Court, here's a judge of interest

Minnesota Justice David Stras seems to grasp the "proper, limited role of the judiciary."

A tribe or an empire? Pick the right balance, if you can

This question has been set on "rotate" across the years and across contexts.
The monster you know: Hollywood has portrayed Frankenstein as a stiff-limbed mute. Shelley’s monster was, however, a thinking, feeling “wretch.”

Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein': A creation for the ages

There's a reason the story has such staying power.

Restroom wars: A tolerant nation ties itself into knots

These tricky times call for compassion all around.
Erstwhile Republican Theodore Roosevelt delivered one of his fiery addresses on July 21, 1915.

A political party crack-up? Change is a constant in politics, too

The rugs on which political parties stand have been pulled repeatedly throughout American history.

A deep dive into data on work, family, race in Minnesota

A Minnesota demography report has helpful detail.
iStockphoto.com

Minnesota's drunken-driving law could escape on a technicality

In Scalia's absence, court may deadlock on suspects' rights.
A publicity image for the series “Sister Wives,” with the polygamous Brown family: Janelle, Christine, Kody, Meri and Robyn.

That slope on marriage rights just got slipperier

If same-sex is OK, why not polygamy? A recent ruling basically punted.
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