Staff Directory 6370502

D.J. Tice

Commentary editor and columnist | Opinion
Phone: 612-673-4456

D.J. Tice is commentary editor and an opinion columnist for the Star Tribune, based in Minneapolis. He previously served seven years as political news editor. He has written extensively about Minnesota and American politics and history, economics and legal affairs.

Tice writes a weekly column and is 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 previously 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
"The editor of collective imagination is an ill-tempered, disagreeably likable curmudgeon, snarling at reporters and complaining readers alike, while

D.J. Tice: No room for debate — it's been a great career

A grateful farewell to readers, with parting worries for a beloved profession.
This undated illustration depicts President Abraham Lincoln making his Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the national cemetery on the battlefiel

Dogmas of the stormy present confuse Civil War debate

Politicians need only to look to Lincoln's words to understand his objectives during the conflict-turned-bloodbath.
An angler fished inside a portable ice fishing shelter on Cedar Lake in Minneapolis in 2021.

Miracle of the loafers and fishes

How fellow pilgrims and I once learned the way of the ice angler.
Three teenagers walking along a railroad

The infinite elsewhere

There's a certain sensibility, otherwise elusive, on offer when you simply pass through — a place? a period of your life? — without much of a plan.
U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn.

A big week in the land of political also-rans

Phillips, Emmer join a long line of Minnesotans who have volunteered for greatness.
Both Hannibal Hamlin, left, and John Nance Garner, right, were vice presidents who were dropped from the ticket during their president’s run for a s

The unmaking of the presidents (and running mates): a brief history

American politics today are tumultuous to say the least, but we've been here before.
The Minneapolis Police Crime Lab Unit investigated the scene of a shooting in north Minneapolis in August 2020 in which multiple people were reported

Why good news/bad news isn't good enough on crime (or inflation)

The public is similarly underwhelmed by progress on both topics.
An elector signs his paper ballot for Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris as electors cast their Electoral College votes at the Georgia State Capito

D.J. Tice: The Electoral College — democracy's best defense?

Trump-like attempts to overturn elections are harder under America's much-maligned system, new study says.
“If Social Security were to pay out only the benefits its own taxes would finance come 2033, all beneficiaries would suffer a sudden benefit cut of

America's dubious debt wish

There are consequences to believing our creditworthiness will survive deepening debt.
“Whether one celebrates it or laments it, progressives’ great leap leftward appears to be one of the central forces driving Americans apart. The q

Common ground scarce in divided states of America

We've been here before, but there's plenty of work to be done.
People watch election results at Times Square in New York, Nov. 9, 2016. Clinton has followed Al Gore as the second Democratic presidential candidate

National Popular Vote would be popular folly

Small wonder Minnesota is about to sign up, despite its likely reducing state voters' clout.
President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic

Presidential rematches have been good, bad and ugly

Considering the history, Biden vs. Trump in 2024 might mark a new low.

One Minnesota, 17 cultures: the many 'gaps' of a changing state

There seems to be more to our economic differences than race.

The pursuit of unhappiness (and its remedies)

Perhaps there's nothing new under the sun, even — or especially — in America.

Does Minnesota 'get' crime?

Recent events have me leaning toward "no."

D.J. Tice: Something isn't right — just ask the kids

National and state surveys did exactly that and many answers are unsettling.
School photos of Eli Hart and toy cars, one of his favorite things, were on display during a celebration of life for Eli Hart at the Randolph High Sch

Another death roll of kids Minnesota didn't save

New report again documents failures of a child protection system that puts adult interests first.
“Back in 1934, Franklin Roosevelt insisted his Social Security scheme represented ‘not ... a change in values’ but ‘a return to values lost’

On Social Security, thanks ... and no thanks

Ever more breaks from state tax give too much special treatment to retiree income.

Is our loss of faith killing Americans?

Since the 1980s, churchgoing has dropped and deaths of despair have risen.
Shauntina Beatty, who was featured in the Dec. 25 article “Racial income gap gets smaller,” has tripled her income in more than a decade since co

Good news on Minnesota racial gaps — and that's no typo

The cause will take time to discover, but the numbers are welcome.
November 1951 Movies - "The Christmas Carol"

Scrooge, Cratchit and the enigmas of inequality

Is it a more generous welfare state that makes Europe more equal than America? Humbug, says a new study.
Litigation working its way through Minnesota courts “alleges that racial and economic segregation in Minneapolis and St. Paul schools, which has dev

Who's afraid of the DFL?

A blue wave agenda could include sweeping change to schools.
Blackbirds by the thousands, flocking near freshly cut cornfields to feed during their migration south, near Montgomery, Minn., in 2021.

The sobering splendors of autumn

It's a routine, its degree of urgency depending on time and place.
University of Minnesota’s Regent Steve Sviggum, Friday, June 10, 2022 Minneapolis.

Citizen Sviggum, a rebel for our times

When the subject is "diversity," only one point of view is welcome.
As the Minnesota U.S. Senate race recount begins on Nov. 19, 2008 , election manager Rachel Smith, third from left, receives the day’s first recount

Franken vs. Coleman: Minnesota's case study in election imperfection

Historic recount and court case showed vulnerabilities in remote voting system.
Abortion-rights protesters regroup and protest following Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade outside the Supreme Court in Washington, J

An abortion debate, wanted or not

Conservatives' historic court victory is a political gift to Democrats. And so the pendulum swings.
“Measured as police officers deployed per homicide, the law enforcement presence on American streets is far below that of Japan, the Netherlands, No

One nation, underpoliced, with injustice for all

New research comparing the U.S. with the rest of the "First World" suggests that both equity and justice would be served by having more cops — lots more — on the job.
Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun

Jensen and Hitler: Why Nazi analogies misfire

Scott Jensen is hardly the first to compare recent events to "Germany in the 1930s," but may he please be the last?
The Alexander Hamilton exhibit at Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, June 11, 2018, displays an image of the then-Vice President Aaron

Echoes of Trump in the trial of a founding scoundrel

Aaron Burr was a charismatic schemer, and his dubious treason trial is the best comparison we have to the storm surrounding our 45th president.
A small collection of various medicines.

How I survived my summer vacation

Thanks to medical marvels, which we shouldn't put at risk without full disclosure.
A police officer stands watch outside the Supreme Court following a leaked draft opinion that the Supreme Court has potentially voted to overturn Roe

High court crossfire looms on guns, abortion

Can the justices help America rediscover its democratic instincts?
“Minneapolis ... has suffered its full share of defeats in arbitration over the years,” D.J. Tice writes.

Report bashing MPD whitewashed arbitration flaws

And that's a problem, because if it prevents those flaws from being corrected, real reform will suffer.
Part of the firearms reference collection where guns used in the commission of a crime in solved cases are stored and seen Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at t

A crossfire of hard truths on crime, policing

If we want people to feel safe, we need to get realistic about our problems.
“Global causes for inflation’s rise include the pandemic’s various disruptions to production and transportation ‘supply chains,’ sudden shif

The inflated mystery of our rising prices

In trying to protect our economy from collapse, we created another economic mess.
The new police arbitrators will not be chosen by unions and managements through a long-standing process of elimination that has seemed to many to give

For real police reform, look behind the scenes

It looks like there are changes happening in the crucial arena of arbitration.
The current Fourth Turning season, Neil Howe says, began with the financial meltdown in 2008 and is still unfolding, 81 years after America’s entry

For book that predicted season of 'crisis,' the time has come

What's worth pondering in a curious theory is the longer view of current events.
During this legislative session, the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence predicts “a bill to exclude all Social Security income from [state] taxa

Minnesotans need a break, but not on Social Security

It's doubtful such a tax cut would do much to grow our economy, but it may be one that can pass.
People march to Brooklyn Bridge during an anti-vaccine mandate protest ahead of possible termination of New York City employees due to their vaccinati

Free speech threats aren't new, just worsening

So says a Minnesota jurist who's been defending free expression for decades.
America would be well advised to notice that while President Vladimir Putin’s imperialistic motives in Ukraine are not virtuous, they are quite like

If we couldn't lick the Taliban, let's be cautious on Ukraine

History, geography raise the stakes and risks.
November 7, 1932 PRESIDENT ENROUTE COAST - An excellent close-up, one of the best made on his speaking trips, showing president Hoover speaking from t

Breaking through gridlock: a brief history

Can closely divided congresses ever get things done? Yes, but ...
President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual meeting with family and independent farmers and ranchers at the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower E

The high cost of humbug

Beware politicians who see prices and wages in need of improvement everywhere they look.
James Stewart and Donna Reed star in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Frank Capra’s Christmas classic.

Why bittersweet is the flavor of Christmas

All the best holiday fables use the recipe.
In this image taken from video, former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter testifies during her trial on Dec. 17 in Minneapolis.

The verdict of a '13th juror' on the Potter trial

When does a mistake become a crime?
A photograph of Eric Dean with his arm broken was an exhibit presented as evidence by the prosecution during the May 2014 trial of Amanda Peltier in t

Minnesota is still not saving its children

State Supreme Court ruling brings a reminder that too little in child protection has changed.
Mayor Jacob Frey addressed media members outside the Hennepin County Government Center during a news conference in August.

Omar, Frey and the rise of the makeshift moderates

A disparate crowd gathers under a big tent, outside of which the winds are howling.
On June 7, 2020, nine Minneapolis City Council members took to a stage at Powderhorn Park and pledged to start dismantling the police department. The

Defund the doubletalk

The charter amendment doesn't defund police, supporters say. But defunding is about the only thing the current charter prevents.
Nov. 2, 2004: Barack Obama (newly elected to the U.S. Senate from Illinois) and his wife, Michelle, holding their daughters Malia, 6, and Sasha, 3. Ho

Social studies and social discord: a brief history

I've been reading the 168-page PDF of Minnesota's proposed new standards (and you can, too). Here's how I interpret them in context.
Rep. John Thompson speaks at a press conference on March 5, in Minneapolis. Thompson is under increasing pressure from top state DFL officials to resi

Lessons from the Thompson affair

Cops' critics — as well as cops — face more scrutiny. And politics is as bogus as ever.
Democratic members of the U.S. House held LBGTQ and transgender pride flags outside the Capitol after the passage of the Equality Act in the House on

Religion, politics, law, sex — a witches' brew of confusion

The views of the Supreme Court's conservative justices appear to break into two camps, and the views of Democratic politicians appear to be ... changeable.
President Joe Biden addressed a joint session of Congress in April. Had the chamber been packed — it wasn’t because of the pandemic — the partis

The age of indecision

A central fact of our political era is that America's overheated electorate can't make up its mind.
Police gather en masse as protests continue at the Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in Minneapolis.

Who gains, who loses, with more (or fewer) cops on the street?

Research shows both the benefits and the costs of policing fall especially on Black communities.

Some actual, practical police reform deserves to be noticed

The Peace Officer Grievance Arbitration Roster is up and running.

The verdict of a '13th juror' on Chauvin — and the trial

We must strive to respect the rule of law, even though our politicians don't.

'Hemingway' faces hard facts

So did its subject.

In praise of upholding the rule of law

Even, as puzzling as it may be, when it's a lousy law.
Gov. Tim Walz held up a supplemental budget at a news conference in 2020.

You know the story on Minnesota's taxing, spending results — don't you?

Actually, a comparison from the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence tells a more complicated tale than what we usually hear.

Washington's debt-defying show goes on

With the stimulus bill, it's Democrats' turn to perform without a net.

The challenge of a fair trial for Chauvin

The presumption of innocence is strained amid public passions and pronouncements.

A new consensus on the minimum wage? Yes, but …

It doesn't make a one-size-fits-all adjustment comfortable.

Taxing the rich is trickier than it seems

Taxes incentivize people and businesses to change their behaviors, which is important when we consider who will pay in the end.

Trump: America's sorest loser

They've been a 'public nuisance' since the republic's founding.
Members of the Army National Guard walk to board a bus after a shift at the Capitol Building in Washington, Jan. 10, 2021.

Though nation still stands, our faith is shaken

Our cumbersome system did its job under pressure, but it's now clear that the veneer of civilization is thin.
Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, addresses a drive-in rally at Pittsburgh's Lexington Technology Park, Monday evening Nov. 2, 2020.

Political cash plentiful, not all-powerful

Record-smashing dollars flowed into this year's election, but it seems that it does less than expected to sway the minds of voters.
President Donald Trump makes a statement at the White House in Washington, on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

Oust Trump. Disappoint the left. Just right.

America needed to jettison this president, but happily it did it without empowering the leftist fanaticism threatening to stampede.
FILE -- Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, addresses a drive-in campaign event at Southeast Career Technical Academy in Las Vegas, Oct. 9

As always, Biden goes where the wind blows

Court packing evasion shows that the Democratic nominee is more weak than woke.
July 7, 1978 Father Edward Shtokal, Director Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House Lake Elmo, MN July 28, 1978 Richard Olsenius, Minneapolis Star Tribune

A send-off for a mentor who wouldn't have wanted a fuss

In his talks at the Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House in Lake Elmo, the Rev. Ed Sthokal sparked many thoughts. But there was one in particular.
The Supreme Court, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The unsculptable Supreme Court

Some justices just aren't malleable. What's more, they endure.
iStock A gavel rests on its sounding block with a several law books and a justice scale out of focus in the background.

Legal dividing line hardens on the Minnesota Supreme Court

A string of politically charged 5-2 rulings suggest a state court separating into ideological blocs, a bit like a certain court in Washington.
A person holds a sign while sitting on a statue of Abraham Lincoln outside of City Hall in San Francisco, Saturday, June 13, 2020, at a protest over t

With malice toward all, with charity for none

America's culture war rages on.
Minneapolis police officers gathered in May amid the protests over the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.

Here's why cops can't be held accountable

The second-guessing labor arbitration system makes it hard to discipline or fire problem officers, and it's been this way for decades.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Blue state/red state, rich state/poor state: Who's bailing out whom?

A school of thought worth attention considers what state governments spend compared with what they can afford.
Dick Heller walks to a news conference outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, June 26, 2008. Americans can keep guns at home for self-defe

Supreme Court's nondecision on guns produces a crossfire

Both Second Amendment and gun-control purists want more from a U.S. Supreme Court that has given them only the middle ground.
In a tightly pooled press conference, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz provides an update on the state's next steps to respond to COVID-19 during a news confer

Is the anti-viral economic medicine we're taking safe?

It's past time for a cost-benefit test on our current plan.
Dynamic duo: President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2018.

Not so bad, this era for the courts

It's reawakened Democrats to the value of democratic process.
House impeachment managers Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Rep.

In wake of the impeachment trial, beware the 'Never Say Never' voter

Aspects of the Trump resistance begin to look just as troubling.