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Hot Dish Politics

Tracking Minnesota’s political scene and keeping you up-to-date on those elected to serve you

Klobuchar, Franken among most productive senators for number of bills passed

WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken both ranked in the top 10 most productive senators on Capitol Hill for the number of bills passed and sent to the president's desk, according to legislative data from GovTrack.

Klobuchar ranked No. 1, authoring 27 bills that were sent to President Obama's desk in the last term. Franken ranked No. 6 with 22 bills, according to data compiled this week.

There are many yardsticks to measure politician productivity and whether they are good at their jobs. For example, the GovTrack data found those members in top leadership posts -- outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell included -- often have the lowest number of bills to head to the president's desk but they likely spend more time carving out respective party agendas.. Other senators, like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, are more firebrand and use the senate pulpit to advance causes -- even if they are long-shot like campaign finance reform.

Klobuchar said on Thursday: "While it hasn't been the easiest year to bring people together -- OK, that's an understatement -- I have gotten to know the people I work with and always look for common ground when I can find it."

Franken said the rankings were a great example of how the two senators work together.

"Each and every day, I wake up and fight on behalf of Minnesota and I know Amy does too," he posted on Facebook. "We're proud to represent this great state."

Ballot recount requested in St. Cloud-area state Senate district

A DFL state Senate candidate on Tuesday formally requested a recount in the race he lost by 148 votes, according to a Senate DFL spokeswoman.

Dan Wolgamott, a DFLer from St. Cloud, lost the open seat to Republican Jerry Relph by 148 votes, or less than a half one percent. The seat was left vacant by state Sen. John Pederson, R-St. Cloud, who retired after two terms.

"I request this hand-recount in order to ensure that our voting process was as fair and accurate as Minnesotans expect it to be,” Wolgamott said in a statement.

The Senate DFL lost its majority in the chamber earlier this month in a surprising electoral defeat that saw Republicans regain total control of the Legislature. The ballot counting will begin Monday.