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Kevin Diaz

Reporter | Washington Bureau
Phone: 612-673-4748

Kevin Diaz is politics editor at the Star Tribune.

Diaz has worked for the Star Tribune on and off since 1984, starting out as a night cops reporter. He has taught public affairs reporting at the University of Minnesota, where he received his master's degree. After a stint at the Washington (D.C.) City Paper, Kevin returned to the Star Tribune as a Washington correspondent, winning national awards for articles on globalization and immigration. Born and raised in Italy, Kevin has reported from Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, China and the Middle East, and has been covering Washington since the turn of the century.
Recent content from Kevin Diaz
Dr. Jill Biden took questions from reporters during a campaign stop for her husband, Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Bid

Jill Biden will campaign in Minnesota on Saturday, on heels of Trump visit

Among the other surrogates headed to the state this week: Eric Trump is scheduled to hold an event Thursday in Becker.
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump and Biden both to campaign in Minnesota next Friday

The candidates will converge in separate campaign stops marking the start of early voting in a state that could be critical in the November election.
Minnesota GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan was surrounded by cheering supporters of President Donald Trump as attendees of a GOP watch party recorded a vid

Few star turns for Minnesota Republicans at GOP national convention

Minnesota’s importance as a pivotal battleground in the November presidential election might not be readily noticed through the state GOP delegation taking part in the…
In this image from video, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention on

Amy Klobuchar, Melvin Carter cast Minnesota delegation votes at DNC

It was part of the virtual "Roll Call Across America," which made a 30-minute tour of all the states and territories.
President Donald Trump speaks at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

Trump aides deny Walz claim about heading off Floyd memorial visit

The White House on Monday denied a claim by Gov. Tim Walz that he had "spent this weekend" dissuading Trump officials from a tour of…
Rep. Ilhan Omar speaks at a town hall meeting at the Colin Powell Center in Minneapolis. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS) ORG XMI

Omar says she believes Tara Reade's sex assault claims against Biden

First-term U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, who won the DFL Party endorsement this weekend in her re-election bid, told the Sunday Times of London that she…
The measure, known as Tobacco 21, was approved by the Minnesota House on a vote of 89-41. It now awaits action in the Senate, likely next week.

Minnesota House clears bill raising age to buy tobacco to 21

"Tobacco 21" legislation approved along with drug price transparency measure and one-time boost for families on welfare.
House Speaker Melissa Hortman, standing right, conferred with Majority Leader Ryan Winkler on the House floor last week.

After COVID-19, what's left to fight over? COVID-19

State lawmakers can only look back wistfully at the priorities they brought to St. Paul in February.
Salvation Army employee Sean Graham grabbed donations being dropped off to the donation center, Wednesday, April 1, 2020 in downtown Minneapolis.

Trump issues major disaster declaration for COVID-19 in Minnesota

President Donald Trump issued a major disaster declaration in Minnesota on Tuesday, providing federal assistance for state and local efforts to help those affected by…
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, seen in March, formally asked the White House for a major disaster declaration Sunday to authorize emergency protective measu

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz requests federal COVID-19 disaster relief

Gov. Tim Walz formally asked the White House for a major disaster declaration Sunday to authorize emergency protective measures to combat COVID-19. The funding would…
Andrew Zimmern was among the restaurant owners who joined Gov. Tim Walz in announcing a statewide restaurant closure on Monday, March 16.

Walz closes bars and restaurants to curb spread of coronavirus

The governor's order, made under "peacetime emergency" powers, also covers health clubs, theaters, museums, food courts, cafes and other public venues. The rules take effect at 5 p.m. today, ahead of St. Patrick's Day crowds.
Super Tuesday: What's at stake for the Democratic candidates

Super Tuesday: What's at stake for the Democratic candidates

It is called Super Tuesday because more than a third of the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination will be decided in one day. Here's a look at the candidates.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar earlier in the week in Concord, N.H.

Wine, panini, shrimp cocktails: Inside a $1,000-a-ticket Klobuchar fundraiser

On her way to campaign in Nevada, she stopped in New York City on Wednesday to raise some much needed campaign cash.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in Washington earlier in the week.

Trump impeachment could sideline Klobuchar

The trial of President Donald Trump could come just as presidential candidates will look to make final pitches in Iowa.
Tom Haag, president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, checked the progress this past summer of his corn crop, which he expected to do well. T

Nov. 25, 2013: Farmers: 'Big Oil' behind new ethanol rule

An Obama administration plan to lower the target for biofuels in the nation's gas supply is causing a rift with leading Minnesota lawmakers over a vital state industry.
Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., questions panel of witnesses during the committee's hearing on "Continued Oversight of U.S

Iran sanctions put Minnesota's senators on the spot

Klobuchar and Franken remain undecided about more sanctions.
Rick Nolan, left, and Stewart Mills III

Eighth Dist. House race: Nolan duel with GOP 'young gun' heats up early

The battle between U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan and newcomer Stewart Mills III will test Minnesota's only congressional freshman in an unpredictable district during a potentially low-turnout, off-year election.
Sen. Al Franken in June

Did Al Franken really cast the '60th vote' for Obamacare?

Facing a new election year, the GOP says so. But in a body of 100 senators, Franken is hardly the only contender for the distinction
This June 6, 2013, file photo shows the sign outside the National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Md.

Minnesota librarians push to curb NSA snooping

Librarians and civil libertarians are on the same side as gun activists and Internet giants Facebook and Google to back legislation that would limit authority to spy on Americans.
Joseph Medina didn’t know he was born in Mexico until 1944, while in boot camp..

99-year-old St. Paul vet speaks up in D.C. for fellow immigrants

Joseph Medina's journey to the World War II Memorial on the National Mall began nearly a century ago, when his family crossed the border illegally from Mexico with Medina, then 5.
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.

Rep. Ellison takes lead role in giving new life to liberals

A new populism is dividing Democrats ahead of 2014 and that poses risks for Sen. Al Franken.
Al Franken and wife Franni will get their health insurance through MNsure, the Minnesota health insurance exchange.

Congress' non-exemption from Obamacare

This is one where the rhetoric is so convoluted it's best to look at what they do, not what they say.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, Kent Sorenson

FBI raids home of former top Bachmann aide in Iowa

Former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson allegedly received secret payments from the Bachmann and Paul presidential campaigns.
Michele Bachmann

Sept. 17: Bachmann was hands-off in presidential campaign

Newly released congressional records and interviews with Bachmann and her top advisers reveal a candidate who appeared largely uninvolved in the day-to-day decisions of her political organization, such as who was hired and how they were paid.
Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg

Court cool to Minnesota rabbi booted from WorldPerks for complaining

The U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of St. Louis Park Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg, who was stripped of his top-level Platinum Elite status in Northwest's WorldPerks program because, the airline said, he complained too much and schemed to get bumped from flights in return for compensation.
By some estimates, as little as 1 percent remains of the vast native prairie that once stretched across the state.

U.S. farm bill could shape Minnesota's shrinking prairie

Among the sticking points in the farm bill talks, long stalled on crop subsidies and food stamps, are provisions protecting grasslands that naturalists say are being depleted at a rate not seen since the Dust Bowl days.

GOP targets Franken over rollout of Obama's health care overhaul

The Minnesota Democrat, facing re-election to the Senate, ups his fundraising goal as Republicans mount a new line of attack.
MNsure director April Todd-Malmlov says many who have applied on the exchange are “still shopping” for policies.

First wave on MNsure flocks to public plans

Analysts say sign-ups will balance with private plans closer to deadlines.
Jack McGowan faces a year-end deadline to move or demolish his buildings.

Mankato history village in trouble with FEMA

Longtime Mankato attraction is on flood plain; feds say it can't stay.
President Barack Obama gestures about the varity of plans available as he addresses supporters on his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act,

At least 140,000 Minnesotans will lose current health policies

Industry officials say higher premiums and added benefits are likely in store for most of those who now buy high deductible/limited coverage plans on the individual market.
The tugboat Becky Sue pushed two barges — one empty and one carrying recycled metal – through the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam in Minneapo

Sept. 19: Congress poised to close lock in Mpls.

The controversial move to close the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam is aimed at halting the spread of invasive carp. Industry groups say gains would be minimal.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) leaves a meeting with Senate Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 14, 2013. President Barack Obama said

Hotdish politics: In D.C., a 'moderate' outlook for avoiding more crises

  WASHINGTON – If anything good comes out of the 16-day government shutdown, it might be in strengthening the hand of…
U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.

MN Republicans saw little choice on fiscal compromise

Rep. John Kline, along with Minnesota Republican Erik Paulsen, felt he had no choice but to take the deal that emerged Wednesday.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, (D-Minn.), spoke at the North Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Friday night.

Effort to repeal tax on medical devices stalls

The push had bipartisan support but was not part of a potential deal in the Senate.
Rod Grams in 2000

Former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams dies of colon cancer at age 65

Rod Grams, a "stoic farm kid" who grew up to be a Twin ­Cities TV anchor, congressman and U.S. senator, died at his rural Minnesota home after a long battle with colon cancer.
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison was arrested Tuesday by U.S. Capitol Police during an immigration rally on the National Mall. As protesters marched toward the

Ellison among protesters arrested during immigration rally in D.C.

The Minnesota Congressman was among eight lawmakers detained during demonstration to advance immigration-reform legislation.
Eden Valley farmer Tom Haag emptied corn into a holding wagon used to shuttle the grain to a nearby semi-trailer for transport back to the farmstead a

Minn. farmers get lost in budget standoff

When the clock struck midnight on Tuesday, ushering in a massive federal government shutdown, the calendar also flipped back to 1949 for Minnesota farmers. That also could mean price hikes for shoppers.

Push to kill medical device tax is seen as way out

GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen calls repeal effort a potential "linchpin" building common ground for a deal.
Jeanne Holler, deputy refuge manager at the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Center, prepared the bad news Tuesday in Bloomington.

Government shutdown spreading pain as it takes hold in Minnesota

Parks, offices and services quickly shut down. Aid programs and tribes prepared to lose funding.
Erik Paulsen

Paulsen willing to 'look at anything' to end shutdown

Add Minnesota Republican Erik Paulsen to the GOP House members ready to cut a deal with Democrats, and possibly water down or drop their demand to block Obamacare to keep the government open.

Complicated shutdown votes for key Minnesotans

WASHINGTON – A marathon day of brinkmanship lurching toward a government shutdown presented conflicts for several key Minnesotans in Congress, forcing them to compromise…
Sen. Ted Cruz

Political Hotdish: Congress goes on World Poker Tour

The poker analogy has infused the spirit of the shutdown drama in Congress, especially by Sen. Ted. Cruz, above. It has also been taken to heart by U.S. Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen of Minnesota.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, ended his 21-hour talkathon against the health care law Wednesday. See updates on Senate action on A3.

Shutdown threat over health care shadows Minn., its 2014 elections

Frenzy over budget standoff sets stage for potentially competitive congressional races in Minnesota in 2014.
Michelle Bachmann

Sept. 11: House panel extends Bachmann investigation

While deciding to investigate Bachmann further, the bipartisan Ethics Committee left the four-term congresswoman in ethical limbo.
Michelle Bachmann

Sept. 6: Justice Dept. subpoenas Bachmann records

Justice Department subpoenas records from the National Fiscal Conservative PAC.
Peter Waldron

Aug. 28: Whistleblower's insider tale from 'Bachmannistan' revives feud

Ex-aide's "Bachmannistan" book details allegations under investigation.
Denis McDonough

Minnesotans clash on Syria in White House and Congress

Chief of Staff Denis McDonough presses U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan.

Minnesotans in Congress wary about possible Syria strike

  War weariness could be felt on both ends of the Minnesota congressional delegation Tuesday, even as momentum was building in Congress for military action…
virtually speechless: A lack of live town hall meetings have led to creative methods for addressing representatives. Second District DFL Chair Susan M

Congressional town hall meetings fade into the raucous past

Citizen forums in the state are less frequent amid partisan tensions.
U.S. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar.

Klobuchar, Franken react to Obama's statement

Among the senators on the White House conference call Saturday was Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, who praised the president's decision to consult with Congress before…
Michelle Bachmann

July 27: House panel extends Bachmann investigation

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s problems with the House ethics committee are not going away yet. On Friday, the chair and ranking member of the committee,…
Tom Haag, president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, went along to China, Minnesota’s second-biggest trading partner.

Minnesota's China ties grow deeper

Ning Shao, who opened Minnesota's Shanghai office last year after Gov. Mark Dayton's trade mission, estimates that at least 100 substantial Minnesota firms are jockeying for business in the world's second-largest economy.
Lucy Buckner-Watson at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Fifty years later, Minnesotans recommit to King's dream

They are in Washington for the 50th anniversary of King's historic speech.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, Kent Sorenson

Bachmann on the sidelines of latest campaign allegations

Bachmann's former presidential campaign chairman in the state, Kent Sorenson, it now appears, was available to the highest bidder

Minnesota think tank won't say if it gave funds

Minn. think tank was asked to reveal Stand Your Ground support.
Don Shelby

Former WCCO anchor Shelby will not run for Congress

Don Shelby had considered competing against Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen.
Don Shelby

Ex-WCCO anchor Don Shelby looks at challenging Rep. Paulsen

Shelby's interest burst into the open amid remarks by U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who mentioned it at a Washington fundraiser.
Andrew Luger, who led an investigation of the Metro Gang Strike Force, was recommended as Minnesota’s next U.S. attorney.

Minnesota's new U.S. attorney is in the wings

Sens. Klobuchar and Franken recommend Andrew Luger for job amid battle over current U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones' nomination to lead ATF.
Michelle Bachmann

Bachmann campaign allegations sent to House Ethics panel

A congressional inquiry of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has been referred to the House Ethics Committee, raising the stakes in her efforts to fend off questions about her 2012 presidential campaign's finances.

Bachmann aide charged in Capitol theft

  WASHINGTON – A top aide to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has been charged with stealing following an investigation into a rash of thefts…
Minnesota Rep. John Kline

Immigration reform a test for suburban Republicans in Minnesota

Democratic strategists — who have been polling aggressively and running Spanish-language ads against Kline and Paulsen — put the two in the "persuadable" camp.
Michelle Bachmann

June 28: Bachmann settles lawsuit over Iowa e-mail list

The case, which remains under investigation by Des Moines police, led to broader allegations of financial and ethical impropriety that now are being investigated by the FBI, the Office of Congressional Ethics and the FEC.
In this file photo, B. Todd Jones of Minnesota, President Barack Obama's nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosiv

B. Todd Jones' nomination to head ATF clears key Senate hurdle

Nomination of Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee but faces a potential GOP filibuster.
Miguel Vazquez was greeted at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport by his wife and 13-year-old son. He overstayed his visa and was deported in 2002.

St. Paul immigrant's back after 10 years at the back of the line

Miguel Vazquez' decadelong exile embodies the flip side to a bipartisan plan approved by the U.S. Senate that would allow unauthorized immigrants like Vazquez.
Sam and Sylvia Kaplan unpacked after their move back home to Minneapolis after Sam’s stint as U.S. ambassador to Morocco. The Kaplans and their dog,

Back from Morocco, Sam and Sylvia Kaplan resume political life

Home from Morocco, DFL fundraisers Sam and Sylvia Kaplan are already re-entering the political fray.
Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, an ex-Marine, is interim head of the ATF.

Republicans dig in against ATF nominee B.Todd Jones

Senator seeks documents about "conflicts" with law enforcement.
B. Todd Jones

June 10: Jones is an explosive choice to lead ATF

The nomination is mired in politics between Obama, GOP.
Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones testified at a 2½-hour hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

June 11: Republicans grill B. Todd Jones over ATF post

Minnesotan questioned about management, gun record.
Arleen Donikowski is a guide at the Shriver House, a restored Civil War home in Gettysburg, Pa.

Walking with ghosts at Gettysburg

In Gettysburg, the ghastly drama of battle 150 years ago still pervades its open and now peaceful fields.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, Kent Sorenson

May 2: Iowa panel seeks investigation of ex-Bachmann aide

Probe will look into claims against Iowa state senator
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. chair of the Tea Party Caucus speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 16, 2013, during a news conference wi

May 19: Bachmann allegations attract FBI attention

The FBI has contacted two former staffers of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign, adding to the swirl of federal and state investigations looking into alleged financial improprieties by top officials in the campaign.

A new name -- Michael Snow -- surfaces at top of political donors from Minnesota

Michael Snow edged out Rockefeller heiress Alida Messinger for the No. 1 spot.
U.S Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.

GOP-led House passes new limits on late-term abortion

Two Minnesota Republicans were among the bill's 184 co-sponsors: Reps. John Kline and Michele Bachmann. So was rural Democrat and abortion rights foe Collin Peterson.
A sign outside the National Security Administration (NSA) campus on Thursday, June 6, 2013, in Fort Meade, Md.

Minnesota Poll finds acceptance of NSA data collection program

In fight against terror, most Minnesotans support NSA program.
Rick Jauert

Obituary: Longtime Congress aide Rick Jauert

  Those who remember Rick Jauert know that he could never be silent. In his final days in a nursing home in his hometown of…