From the Star Tribune's Morning Hot Dish newsletter:
Former U.S. Senator for a few weeks Dean Barkley is now running for the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Barkley, a longtime Independence Party stalwart and one of the first to urge Jesse Ventura to run for governor, was Ventura’s appointee to the Senate after then-Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash in 2002.
Barkley, who ran for U.S. Senate in 2008, said: “I decided to try a different approach.”
He said while he will be limited on how much he can campaign for the court, Minnesotans "know who I am and know how my mind works and I think I’ve got a good track record.”
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The weekend's events mean state Reps. Nora Slawik, Denise Dittrich, Ron Shimanski and Marion Greene will not be returning to the Capitol next year.
At endorsing conventions on Saturday, Minneapolis delegates picked five-term DFL Rep. Frank Hornstein over freshman DFL Rep. Marion Greene after redistricting maps placed them in the same district and they opted to run against each other. While in that race, delegates picked the more senior of the two members, Republican delegates picked freshman Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, of Glencoe, over third-term Rep. Ron Shimanski, of Silver Lake.
Meanwhile, two DFL representatives took themselves out of the running for the 2012 races, making their announcement to the delegates who have supported them in the past. Seven-term Rep. Nora Slawik, DFL-Maplewood, announced over the weekend that she would not run for an eighth term and four-term Rep. Denise Dittrich, DFL-Champlin, said she would not try for a fifth term. Slawik easily won her last election but Dittrich squeaked by with a less than 300-vote margin of victory.
With the names of those four added to the list, at least 32 members of the Legislature will not be returning to the Capitol next year in their former roles.
See the entire list below and keep this link handy because we will work to keep the list updated:
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Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said that people expecting a big surplus when the state releases its next economic forecast on Feb. 29 should rethink.
“It’s going to be zero or a negative number because we have so many debts to repay that it is very, very unlikely that we will have a surplus,” Schowalter said.
In December, the state reported a forecast of about $1 billion to the good. But that money is gone now.
“We put all that money in the reserves,” he said.
The good news? “We’ll have at least an economy that is kind of going on track,” he said.
Two new ways of looking at Gov. Mark Dayton's Wednesday State of the State address, from the Star Tribune's Morning Hot Dish email newsletter:
Minnesota, more, state, education
According to a visualization of Dayton’s 2012 State of the State address (left), he used the words “Minnesota,” “Minnesotans,” “more,” “education,” “work” and “jobs” frequently. (See larger version of visualization here .) In last year’s State of the State (right), he again repeatedly used the name of the state but also used the words “state,” “better,” “best,” “more” and “business” quite often. (See larger version here.)
After Wednesday’s State of the State address, your Hot Disher and others remarked on Twitter that the speech seemed short. Bob Hume, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, responded on Twitter: “To those press folks wondering about the length, I pose this question: why use 6,000 words when 3,179 will do just fine?” In any case, the 3,179-word speech was a few hundred words shorter than any gubernatorial State of the State address in the last 10 years. Dayton’s first State of the State speech was nearly 2,000 words longer, clocking in at 5,021 words. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s shortest such address was his last. That 2010 speech was 3,373 words. His longest was in 2007, weighing in at 4,614 words.
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