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Politics Friday

English, Political, 1 season, 57 episodes, 1 day, 14 hours, 17 minutes
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Updates from Minnesota Public Radio News staff covering Minnesota's Politics.
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Politics Friday: How are voters in the state feeling about the upcoming election? A new poll says the race is close

This week MPR News and other media partners released the first Minnesota Poll results of the year. The poll, in partnership with MPR News, KARE 11 and the Star Tribune, revealed a close race for president. The Minnesota Poll also offered a glimpse at top issues for voters and showed the unease many have about Biden and Trump.  In this Politics Friday podcast, MPR News host and politics editor Brian Bakst and his guests talk about the poll results and what they suggest about where this election year is headed. Politics Friday will return to the airwaves later this fall for our weekly coverage of the 2024 Election. Until then, we’re coming straight to your podcast feeds — occasionally — throughout the summer. Guests:  Craig Helmstetter is the managing partner of the APM Research Lab at Minnesota Public Radio.  Briana Bierschbach is a politics and government reporter with the Star Tribune.  John Croman is a politics reporter for KARE 11. 
6/14/202424 minutes, 47 seconds
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Politics Friday: Minnesota DFLers convene for their state convention

The 2024 DFL State Convention will be held at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center in Duluth beginning Friday afternoon.Coming up Friday at noon, a special edition of Politics Friday with a preview of the DFL convention. MPR News host Brian Bakst will talk with DFL Chairman Ken Martin and state Sen. Kelly Morrison, the endorsed candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District.Later, a roundtable conversation with DFL delegates as they get ready to gather for their party’s convention.
5/31/202449 minutes, 56 seconds
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Politics Friday: Gov. Tim Walz weighs in after the Minnesota Legislature gavels out

The DFL is in its second year of control of the House, Senate and governor’s office. Over the last four months, the DFL passed a rideshare ordinance, a bill on gun restrictions with a tougher penalty for “straw purchasers” and various cannabis resolutions. But there’s also a list of bills that didn’t pass from an equal rights amendment to sports betting bill and a construction projects plan.MPR News host Brian Bakst talked to Gov. Tim Walz about his take on the 2024 legislative Session. Later, the Republican perspective on this year’s session with Sen. Julia Coleman of Waconia and the assistant minority leader in the Minnesota Senate.  Plus, MPR Capitol reporters Dana Ferguson and Clay Masters told us more about what got done at the Capitol this year, what got left behind and what it means for the campaign already under way.  
5/24/202456 minutes, 10 seconds
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Politics Friday: Minnesota Republicans gather for their state convention

The Minnesota Republican Party convention gets underway at the St. Paul RiverCentre, with the selection of national delegates and endorsement of a U.S. Senate candidate on the to-do list. Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the party’s annual Lincoln-Reagan fundraising dinner which will be held in association with the convention.  Coming up Friday at noon, a special edition of Politics Friday from the 2024 State Convention for Minnesota Republicans. MPR News host Brian Bakst and the MPR politics team conduct interviews and a look at the scenes at the convention.Later, a recap of the session-ending sprint at the state Capitol with MPR News senior politics reporters Dana Ferguson and Clay Masters.
5/17/202449 minutes, 30 seconds
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Politics Friday: It’s crunch time at the Capitol

Minnesota lawmakers have only one more full week to finish up the legislative session’s work.  MPR News host Brian Bakst spoke with two leaders of the Minnesota House about the authorization of construction projects, a touch-up of the state budget, updates to Minnesota’s new cannabis law and a possible plan to set minimum pay and protections for rideshare drivers — all still up in the air. And May 11 not only marks Minnesota Statehood Day, but a new state flag goes up the pole and a new state seal will replace the old. We got a look at the redesign process that spurred thousands of submissions — and months of debate — and what transition means for Minnesota.Plus, two members of MPR Capitol reporting team, Dana Ferguson and Clay Masters, huddled up for a weekly check-in on Minnesota politics. 
5/10/202436 minutes, 51 seconds
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Politics Friday: Unfinished business at the Capitol

The two weeks that remain in the Minnesota Legislature’s 2024 session will result in a flurry of votes, negotiations and certainly twists.One key piece of unfinished business is the bonding bill — the slate of publicly financed construction projects that need state signoff to move ahead.  MPR News host Brian Bakst talks with the chair of the House Capital Investment Committee about the construction financing plan as it comes together.  Also, what might an upcoming Senate Ethics Committee hearing look like? The conduct of two members in the closely divided chamber is under review. Plus, the latest in MPR News’ peer-led conversations with Gen. Z voters about how they’re approaching the coming election.Later, a check-in with a pair of Capitol reporters as the legislative session reaches its home stretch. MPR’s Dana Ferguson and Peter Callaghan from the MinnPost join the conversation. Guests:Rep. Fue Lee is the Chair of the House Capital Investment Committee.  Ember Reichgott Junge is a former senator, DFL-Robbinsdale, and served as the committee chair for the Rules and Administration - Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct Committee in the Minnesota Senate.  Marko Mirkovic is a student at the University of Minnesota.  Jack Christensen is a student at the University of Minnesota.  Charlie Eggers is a student at the University of Minnesota.  Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.   Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.
5/3/202449 minutes, 29 seconds
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Politics Friday: Changes are ahead on the Minnesota Supreme Court as one justice steps into retirement

After nearly 20 years on Minnesota’s Supreme Court, Justice G. Barry Anderson is retiring.Anderson is the longest-tenured current justice and the last to have gained his seat through the appointment of a Republican governor.MPR News host Brian Bakst talks with Anderson about his time in the Minnesota Supreme Court, his career in the courtroom and his view on political pressures on the judiciary.Later, a look at how the nation’s finances will factor into the 2024 election campaign with MPR News senior economics contributor Chris Farrell.We also heard some sounds and voices from the Capitol this week, and some insight from members of our MPR News politics team.Guests:  Justice G. Barry Anderson is a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court. His term will end on May 10.  Chris Farrell is senior economics contributor at Marketplace, American Public Media’s nationally syndicated public radio business and economic programs. He’s also senior economics contributor at Minnesota Public Radio.Ethan Struby is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Carleton College.  Chris Towner is the policy director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in Washington D.C.
4/26/202449 minutes, 42 seconds
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Politics Friday: How will the grow go? A look at Minnesota’s future with cannabis

By this time next year, Minnesota might have quite a few new stores where people can buy marijuana in various forms. The goal is for an early 2025 rollout of licensed retail locations. But will there be enough supply to meet demand — and keep prices from rising too high? And what’s going on with the effort to clear records of people who had past marijuana convictions? MPR News host Brian Bakst talked with a couple of experts about keeping tabs on expungement of certain prior cannabis-related records and the growing business of cannabis sales. Then, a peer-led conversation with a three Generation Z voters about how they’re approaching the coming election.  Later, a taste of sounds and voices from the Capitol and some insight from members of our MPR News politics team. Guests:  Bryant Jones is a plant scientist and a subject matter expert in cannabis cultivation for Minnesota’s Cannabis Advisory Council.  Jim Rowader is the executive director for the Cannabis Expungement Board Minnesota Department of Corrections and a board member of the Minnesota Justice Research Center. Samia Abdulle is a student at the University of Minnesota. Jack McGregor is a student at the University of Minnesota. Thomas Knutson is a student at the University of Minnesota.
4/17/202449 minutes, 10 seconds
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Politics Friday: The landscape of Minnesota education legislation and the outlook of business permitting across the state

State lawmakers have budgeted to provide more than $23 billion to schools in the current budget — a 10 percent bump over the prior budget. But many districts say they’re still feeling a strain. How come? What is being done to improve literacy, student nutrition, school safety and cultural competency?MPR News host Brian Bakst talked with two leading senators on education issues: DFL Sen. Mary Kunesh, chair of the Senate Education Finance Committee, and Republican Sen. Zach Duckworth.Later, there could be movement around streamlining the permitting process for business expansion projects and clean energy developments. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce president Doug Loon talks about permitting changes under discussion and why he wants them to happen. Guests:  Sen. Mary Kunesh, DFL-New Brighton, is the Chair of the Education Finance Committee.Sen. Zach Duckworth, R-Lakeville.Doug Loon is president and CEO of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.   Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.    
4/11/202454 minutes, 31 seconds
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Politics Friday: The race is underway for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District

U.S. Representative Angie Craig won Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District seat in 2018, but she’s won two reelection races by single-digit percentage margins. She’s in for another costly and competitive race.MPR News host Brian Bakst talks with Rep. Craig about her work in Congress and her upcoming campaign.Later, rural EMS providers are banking on state lawmakers to help keep them afloat. Sen. Jordan Rasmusson, R-Fergus Falls, joins the conversation to talk about what lawmakers could do to assist emergency services under financial strain.Guests:  Minnesota U.S. Representative Angie Craig   Minnesota State Sen. Jordan Rasmusson, R-Fergus Falls Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.   Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.    
4/5/202452 minutes, 20 seconds
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Politics Friday: A look at the work being done in the Attorney General’s office

Updated: 2:40 p.m.Anti-trust cases, consumer protection actions, defense of newly passed state laws and ramped-up criminal prosecutions — it’s all on the plate of Minnesota’s attorney general.MPR News host Brian Bakst talks with Attorney General Keith Ellison about proposed changes to Minnesota’s gun laws, an upcoming hearing on voting rights, online scams and more.Later, we’ll meet a Republican vying for his party’s nomination in Minnesota’s most closely watched congressional race. Joe Teirab makes his case for why he should represent Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District.Guests:  Minnesota Attorney General Keith EllisonJoe Teirab is a Republican candidate for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District seat
3/29/202453 minutes, 43 seconds
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A space shuttle coming to St. Cloud? It’s possible

A space shuttle could be touching down — metaphorically — in St. Cloud. Gov. Tim Walz last week said a donor had inquired about placing a space shuttle in central Minnesota. Walz told MPR News’ Politics Friday about the offer but gave few details about the project.“Someone wants to give us a space shuttle — the space shuttle, a real space shuttle — to move to Minnesota,” he said.State Sen. Aric Putnam, DFL-St. Cloud, on social media, said the shuttle could be showcased next to a new children’s museum in downtown St. Cloud. The proposed site is currently a parking lot.In an interview with MPR News, Putnam said Felicity-John Pederson, a graduate of St. Cloud’s Apollo High School and founder of a technology company called LVX System, owns the shuttle and is interested in bringing it to St. Cloud.The full-scale mockup of a shuttle orbiter, known as Inspiration, is currently housed near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but needs to be moved.“It was primarily for training,” Putnam said. “It’s the real thing. The toilets even flush. It just never went to space.”Pederson said the shuttle was at the end of its life cycle and scheduled to be destroyed when his company acquired it for research it was doing with NASA. NASA wanted the shuttle donated for education, he said, possibly to St. Cloud, near the Mall of America in Bloomington or another location.“The most likely seems to be St. Cloud, but that decision is not made,” Pederson said.Cassie Miles, executive director of the Great River Children’s Museum, said Pederson is a strong supporter of the museum and efforts to boost the economy and quality of life in St. Cloud.“We both believe that growth is ripe right now. We’re ready to make some big changes,” she said. “Why not have the effort to bring it here?”But the logistics of moving a space shuttle are daunting. It would need to be disassembled, transported by truck or barge and reassembled using cranes, Miles said. Finding partners willing to help will be key, she said.Putnam said he’s had conversations with people in several industries who might be able to help make it happen, including a local trucking company.Miles said she’s had some preliminary conversations with St. Cloud city officials about the idea. But for the most part, she and others have intentionally kept quiet about the prospect, knowing it’s likely to be met with incredulity.“It’s really hard to bring up something as grand as an orbiter being parked in St. Cloud, Minnesota, without people going, ‘What?’” she said. “It’s hard to wrap your head around.”Miles and Putnam were both surprised that Gov. Walz mentioned the shuttle during Friday’s interview, but Putnam said he hopes the attention helps the effort.“Maybe this is something that helps us make it real,” he said.
3/25/20244 minutes, 24 seconds
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Politics Friday: Walz on confronting challenges at the Capitol and beyond

There are two months to go in the Minnesota Legislature’s 2024 session, meaning high-level negotiations aren’t that far off.Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz released a package of budget revisions this week and continues to make the case for other items on his agenda.MPR News host Brian Bakst sits down with Walz to talk about how he’s juggling priorities for the legislative session with demands from outside of the Capitol.Later, Minnesota Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, joins the show to talk about the GOP agenda for the remainder of the session.Guests:  Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz   Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson  Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.   Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.    
3/21/202455 minutes, 42 seconds
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Politics Friday: The fate of a sports betting bill and a TikTok ban

This week, MPR News host Brian Bakst sits down with DFL Rep. Zack Stephenson and DFL Sen. Erin Maye Quade to talk about a sports betting bill that’s garnered a lot of buzz at the Capitol. The bill would establish regulations for on-site and mobile betting venues and who can operate them. Minnesota is in the minority of states where sports betting isn’t a sanctioned business enterprise. Stephenson is a leading voice in the push to change that, but Maye Quade is among those with concerns about the bill.  Then, a conversation with Rep. Dean Phillips and Rep. Ilhan Omar about a bill that would ban TikTok in the U.S. that passed in the House this week. While six of the eight House members in Minnesota voted to ban the app if it doesn’t change ownership, Phillips and Omar voted against it. The app is used daily by millions of Americans. But TikTok has a Chinese parent company, which has fueled concerns about user data privacy and possible foreign influence over the type of content that winds up in front of people. Omar and Phillips, who were among only 65 to oppose the bill, shared their reasons why.Guests:  Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids   Sen. Erin Maye Quade, DFL-Apple Valley U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (D) U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D)  Briana Bierschbach, politics and government reporter for the Star Tribune Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.
3/15/202449 minutes, 8 seconds
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Politics Friday: Bonding bill stirs up debate, but what will it take to get a deal?

MPR News host Brian Bakst is joined by Senate Capital Investment Committee Chair Sandra Pappas and Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, the top Republican on the House Capital investment Committee. They’ll have big roles in shaping this year’s construction projects package known as the bonding bill. Minnesota lawmakers are sorting through billions of dollars in requests this year for publicly financed construction projects, but only a small fraction will make the cut. The package requires bipartisan cooperation between DFLers and Republicans.  It was a big political week with Super Tuesday, where results from 17 states and territories all but set up the fall race between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. They won in Minnesota, but there was a significant turnout for the “uncommitted” vote, a campaign where Democrats voted uncommitted to show their dissatisfaction with the Biden administration’s handling of the conflict in the Middle East. Republican Nikki Haley and Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota left the presidential race. And later, we talk with University of Minnesota political science professor Michael Minta about his takeaways and the grueling campaign to come.
3/8/202449 minutes, 22 seconds
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Politics Friday: Minnesota’s major political party chairs on presidential primaries and the 2024 election season

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are closing in on their nominations. Coming up Friday at noon, MPR News host Brian Bakst talks to DFL Party Chair Ken Martin and Republican Party Chair David Hann about their party’s likely presidential nominees, and what that matchup may mean in Minnesota.Later, MPR News correspondent Catharine Richert reflects on the first Talking Sense live event in Woodbury. Talking Sense is an initiative, in collaboration with Braver Angels, that aims to help people have difficult political conversations better. It’s made up of online toolkits, stories that examine our political differences and live in-person events where folks can see the techniques in action. Guests:  Ken Martin is the Minnesota DFL Party Chair.David Hann is the Republican Party of Minnesota Chair.Catharine Richert is a correspondent for MPR News.Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.   Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.    
3/1/202449 minutes, 5 seconds
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Politics Friday: A new majority leader in the Senate and a Republican vying for Klobuchar’s seat

It’s the second year for the DFL trifecta at the State Capitol — but the party only has a one seat majority in the Senate and is led by a new face this year.Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy stepped into the role right as this year’s session began. Her predecessor, Kari Dziedzic gave up the position down after learning her cancer had returned. MPR News host Brian Bakst sat down with Murphy to discuss how she plans to keep the DFL caucus on the same page and what style she brings to the negotiating table.Murphy talked about a variety of bills that have been introduced at the Legislature. She is skeptical an immigration-oriented proposal, which backers call the North Star Act, could garner the votes to pass this year. The bill would enhance legal protections for immigrants and limit situations where local and state authorities could work with federal immigration authorities.She also said an end-of-life options bill, known to many as an assisted suicide proposal, will also take more time to work through and could spill into a future session. While Murphy said she understands the importance of both bills, she said it’s important that the DFL not get ahead of what Minnesotans are prepared for.  “This is an issue that is tender for the people of Minnesota, and it can be easily misunderstood,” Murphy said of the bill giving terminally ill Minnesotans more avenues to end their lives with medication. “That’s why I think beginning the hearing process and making sure that the legislation is clear for people so they understand what it would do and what it wouldn’t do is really critical to a successful passage.” However, she believes a hearing on the language of the amended school resource officer oversight bill could come as soon as next week. And a sports betting bill is not off the table in the Senate. Bakst also had an interview with a Republican who could take on three-term U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar this November. Retired Navy Commander Joe Fraser is a newcomer to the political scene. His entrance into the race makes five Republicans who have taken campaign steps to challenge Klobuchar. Fraser discussed his support for Ukraine assistance, his stance on immigration matters and his view of the U.S. economy and federal budget.After being hesitant to endorse former President Donald Trump when he entered the race in January, Fraser has now endorsed Trump as his pick for the Republican presidential nominee. “I can’t answer for his behavior or the way he carries himself as the President of the United States, but he is who he is,” Fraser said.And to his seeming lack of enthusiasm of sharing a ticket with Trump, “It just happens to be. I think there are a lot of Democrats out there who aren’t really thrilled to share the ticket with Joe Biden.” About the assault on the U.S. Capitol building when members of Congress were certifying the 2020 results, Fraser said he can’t condone that behavior. “As somebody who swore an oath of support to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and bear faith and allegiances to the same, I have a hard time with anybody who can justify what they did on January 6,” he said.Editor’s note: Senate candidate Joe Fraser’s interview was shortened for the noon broadcast. We’ve included the full interview in the podcast. Guests:  State Sen. Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-Saint Paul U.S. Republican Senate candidate Joe Fraser MPR News Capitol reporter Clay Masters and Axios Twin Cities reporter Torey Van OotSubscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.   Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.  
2/22/202452 minutes, 8 seconds
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Politics Friday: Leaders of the House on this session’s priorities

The Legislature has gaveled in, and the Capitol is quiet no more.  Minnesota Democrats had their way in passing an expansive agenda, from abortion protections to recreational cannabis to restored voting rights for people with felony pasts. DFLers also increased spending across state government, from universal school meals to modest tax rebates. This year, lawmakers will find it more difficult to power substantial legislation through. Leaders and lawmakers have stressed there’s less money to go around and more tamping down of expectations, not to mention it’s an election year.  MPR News host Brian Bakst talks to the Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, and House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, about what’s in store for the 2024 legislative session.  Guests:  House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park  House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS. Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. 
2/14/202452 minutes, 43 seconds
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Looking ahead to this year’s election

The 2024 election kicks off when the first votes of the presidential campaign are cast Monday night in Iowa, where Republicans are jockeying for support in that state’s caucuses.Will former President Donald Trump score the victory that eluded him in his first White House run? Could rivals Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley pull off an upset or at least keep it from being a Trump runaway? MPR News host Brian Bakst gets the lay of the Iowa land from MPR News senior politics reporter Clay Masters, who has been reporting extensively on the first-in-the-nation caucuses.With early voting starting here in just days, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon joins the program to talk about preparations for Minnesota’s primary.  And two campaign professionals with deep experience in presidential politics will offer their assessments about how 2024 is shaping up.Guests:  Clay Masters is a politics reporter for MPR News.Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.  Jennifer DeJournett is a Republican political operative and president of Ballot Box Strategies. She has worked on past Iowa caucus campaigns and ran Carly Fiorina’s Minnesota campaign in 2016.Corey Day is a Democratic consultant who ran Joe Biden’s 2020 Minnesota primary campaign and the former executive director for the DFL Party. Corey is the vice president of the LS2 Group, a political consultancy.Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.  Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.    
1/15/202449 minutes, 11 seconds
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Politics Friday: A conversation with George Latimer – St. Paul’s longest-serving mayor

George Latimer is an iconic voice in Minnesota politics, and for some he is best known as a popular former mayor of Minnesota's capital city. Latimer was St. Paul’s mayor from 1976 to 1990 and still holds the record for the longest- serving mayor in the city’s history. During his years in office, St. Paul underwent dramatic changes, including a downtown building boom. But those accomplishments, while popular in St. Paul, weren't enough to propel Latimer to victory when he sought the DFL nomination for governor in 1986. He lost the primary contest to Rudy Perpich. Latimer went on to serve in the Clinton administration as an expert on housing and urban development, was later a professor at Macalester College and has advised many of his successors at city hall. Latimer, 87, still holds court and is eager to talk politics from the comfort of his bedroom at a senior housing and care facility in St. Paul. Latimer has been laughing, joking and reflecting on his long political career. Coming up Friday at noon, we’ll hear from former St. Paul Mayor George Latimer in conversation with retired MPR News host Gary Eichten. Guests:    George Latimer is the former mayor of St. Paul. He served in office from 1976-1990.   Gary Eichten is a retired MPR News host.  Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS. 
6/1/20230
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Politics Friday: DFLers pass their agenda at the Capitol

For the first time in a decade the DFL had control of the House, Senate and governor's office — and they ran the table at the Capitol.   In the last five months, the DFL passed legal marijuana, paid family and medical leave, renewable energy standards, election changes, and boosted education and transportation funding. It was virtually every major initiative the Democrats proposed.   MPR News host Mike Mulcahy talks to Gov Tim Walz about his take on the session and gets his response to criticism from Republicans and others who say the Democrats went too fast, and too far this year.  Later in the hour, a conversation with the President of the Minnesota Senate, Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis. And MPR political reporters will analyze the 2023 Legislative Session and what comes next.   Guests:   Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz  Senate President Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis   Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter for MPR News.   Brian Bakst is a politics reporter for MPR News.  Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.  Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.    
5/26/202349 minutes, 36 seconds
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A pair of first-term senators reflect on their first session, and the debate over legal marijuana

Minnesota voters made history in November 2022 when they elected three Black woman to the state senate – a first in the 165 years of Minnesota statehood.   Coming up Friday at noon, MPR News host Mike Mulcahy talks with Sen. Zaynab Mohamed, DFL-Minneapolis and Sen. Clare Oumou Verbeten, DFL-St. Paul, about their first legislative session and the prospective they brought to the chamber.   Later in the hour, two Republicans from the cannabis conference committee explain their approach to a final version of the bill to legalize marijuana. And MPR News political reporters explain what you can expect from the Minnesota Legislature as the session nears adjournment. Guests:   Sen. Zaynab Mohamed, DFL-Minneapolis   Sen. Clare Oumou Verbeten, DFL-St. Paul  Rep. Nolan West, R-Blaine   Sen. Jordan Rasmusson, R-Fergus Falls  Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter for MPR News.   Brian Bakst is a politics reporter for MPR News.  Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS. 
5/17/20230
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Politics Friday: Leaders of the Minnesota House on the work that remains to be done

There's a lot of work going on at the Minnesota Capitol heading into what might be the final weekend of the 2023 legislative session.   Several large bills are still being worked on by conference committees as lawmakers try to reach agreements on the final pieces of a new two-year state budget. Taxes, health care, education, transportation and a host of other issues are all in the mix. And the final negotiations on a paid family leave program and legal marijuana are also underway.   MPR News host Mike Mulcahy will talk to a key player in formulating the Democratic agenda for Minnesota: House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park.   Later in the hour, House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, will give us the Republican point of view on what the Legislature doing, and what it could mean for Minnesotans.   We'll also hear MPR’s political reporters break down the biggest news stories of the week.    Guests:   House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park  House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring  Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter for MPR News.  Brian Bakst is a politics reporter for MPR News. Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.  Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. 
5/12/202348 minutes, 34 seconds
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Politics Friday: Senate leaders reflect on reaming work before the adjournment deadline

Sen. Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic has held the slim DFL majority together on all the major issues, all while recovering from a recent cancer surgery.     Coming up Friday at noon, MPR News host Mike Mulcahy will talk to Sen. Dziedzic and Sen. Minority Leader Mark Johnson about the 2023 session and what Minnesotans can expect in the final weeks of the session.   Later in the hour, MPR’s political reporters recap some of the biggest news stories of the week. Guests:   Sen. Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis  Sen. Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks  Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter for MPR News.  Brian Bakst is a politics reporter for MPR News. 
5/4/20230
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Politics Friday: How to pay for roads, bridges and transit

Winter has taken its toll on Minnesota roads, leaving drivers to maneuver between dips and cracks in the street that seem to grow by the day. But making sure those potholes get filled is just one of the many issues involved with transportation.   MPR News host Mike Mulcahy talks to Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, chair of the Transportation Finance and Policy committee in the House; and Rep. John Petersburg, R-Waseca, Minn., the committee’s lead Republican, about transportation spending.  The state is set to get a billion-dollar boost for a total of nearly $9 billion over the next two years. While some of that money comes from the budget surplus, there are plans to find new sources of ongoing funding for roads, bridges and transit.  Later in the program, the latest development on the marijuana bill that just passed the House and if there’s a future for legalize recreational cannabis in Minnesota. And political reporters will recap the biggest stories from the Capitol this week. Guests:   Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis   Rep. John Petersburg, R-Waseca     Rep. Jess Hanson, DFL-Burnsville   Brian Bakst is a politics reporter for MPR News.   Briana Bierschbach is a politics reporter for the Star Tribune.   Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.  Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. 
4/27/202349 minutes, 15 seconds
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Politics Friday: A divided Legislature and the work to craft a new state budget

The Legislature has spent much of this week passing elements of a new two-year state budget.  They're working off a base of the current $52 billion budget and looking to add the $17.5 billion surplus to it. The House and Senate plans do not line up perfectly, and conference committees will have to work out the differences.  Coming up Friday at noon, MPR News guest host Brian Bakst talks about the state budget under construction at the Capitol with two leading DFL lawmakers who have their eyes on the big picture and a Republican who says the pace of spending is unsustainable.   Later in the hour, a recap of the governor’s State of the State speech and look at the busy week ahead.   Guests:   Sen. John Marty, DFL- Roseville  Rep. Liz Olson, DFL- Duluth  Rep. Anne Neu Brindley, R- North Branch    Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter for MPR News.  Peter Callaghan is a state government reporter for the MinnPost.  Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS. 
4/20/20230
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Politics Friday: Klobuchar on how the new party dynamic is reshaping Washington

Washington has been in recess for the past couple weeks, allowing members like U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to travel back to Minnesota.   In that time, she has met with President Biden to champion the bipartisan Infrastructure Act and visited the town of Winona as residents prepare for spring flooding.     MPR News guest host Brian Bakst talks to Sen. Klobuchar about bipartisan efforts to pass the Honoring Our Fallen Heroes Act, judicial ethics concerns at the Supreme Court and the looming debt ceiling.   Later in the program, a conversation on a paid family and medical leave proposal.  The bill would guarantee almost every Minnesota worker time off around the birth or adoption of a child to tend to a family member’s serious illness or cope with their own health emergency.  But there’s a big price tag to get it off the ground within a few years — more than $660 million in startup money that would be taken from the state’s surplus. The program would later rely on a new payroll tax on both employers and employees to cover the partial wage replacement benefits.  Sen. Alice Mann, DFL-Edina, author of the paid family and medical leave bill, and Julia Coleman, R-Waconia, who has offered alternative approaches to paid leave in the past, explain where they currently stand on the issue before the Legislature votes on the bill in the upcoming weeks.   And political reporters from MPR and Axios break down the biggest news from the Capitol this week.      Guests:  U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar   Sen. Alice Mann, DFL-Edina  Sen. Julia E. Coleman, R-Waconia  Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter for MPR News  Torey Van Oot is a reporter for Axios Twin Cities   Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.  Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.    
4/14/202349 minutes, 37 seconds
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Politics Friday: 3 months in, Minnesota’s Attorney General and Secretary of State are busy in their new terms

Attorney General Keith Ellison and Secretary of State Steve Simon are three months into their new four-year terms and they're already busy.   Just yesterday, Ellison asked Gov. Walz to allow him to take over the prosecution of a Hennepin County criminal case and the governor agreed. It's a decision the Hennepin County attorney called deeply troubling. MPR News host Mike Mulcahy talks to Ellison about the Hennepin County criminal case, a proposed Sanford-Fairview health care merger, the state’s lawsuit against Juul Labs and the work of his office’s criminal division.   And Simon has been working with the Legislature on changes to election laws, including automatic voter registration, pre-registering 16 and 17-year-olds and allowing more early voting. He joins the program to explain what the purposed election legislation would do and why he thinks it's needed.   Later in the hour, presidential historian Timothy Naftali talks about the criminal charges filed against former President Donald Trump and how the situation compares to past presidents and former presidents.   Guests:   Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison   Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon   Timothy Naftali is a presidential historian and founding director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum and associate professor of history and public policy at New York University. Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS.  Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.    
4/7/202349 minutes, 16 seconds
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Politics Friday: Minnesota lawmakers debate new gun laws as the nation sees another school shooting

Minnesota lawmakers are moving forward with a public safety bill that funds big parts of the state’s criminal justice system.   MPR News host Mike Mulcahy talks to Rep. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview, and Rep. Paul Novotny, R-Elk River, about the public safety budget bill released earlier this week. The bill, HF2890, also includes a host of policy provisions, including a “red flag” measure designed to reduce gun violence.   Later in the hour, Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, explains the latest developments with the capital investment bill — also known as the bonding bill — and how the DFL plans to move forward with or without Republican support. And MPR’s political reporters break down the biggest news from the Capitol from this week.   Guests:   Rep. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview   Rep. Paul Novotny, R-Elk River  Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL-St. Paul  Brian Bakst is a politics reporter for MPR News    Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter for MPR News  Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS. Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.
3/31/202349 minutes, 35 seconds
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Politics Friday: With one vote, the DFL can’t afford to lose any support in the state Senate

Two Democrats from northern Minnesota are key members of the DFL's slim majority and they’re facing tough votes on controversial issues including gun control, taxes and abortion.  MPR News host Mike Mulcahy talks to Sen. Grant Hauschild, DFL-Hermantown, and Sen. Robert Kupec, DFL-Moorhead about how they're weighing what their constituents are telling them and the agenda DFL leaders are promoting at the Capitol. Later in the hour, we get the GOP reaction to a new two-year budget outline proposed by DFL leaders earlier in the week. MPR political reporters stop by to unpack the latest news from the Capitol. And Rep. María Isa Pérez-Vega, DFL-St. Paul, shares her life story about growing in the Twin Cities, her music career and how it all connects with her passion for activism and politics.  Guests:  Sen. Grant Hauschild, DFL-Hermantown  Sen. Robert Kupec, DFL-Moorhead Sen. Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake  Rep. María Isa Pérez-Vega, DFL-St. Paul  Brian Bakst is a politics reporter for MPR News   Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter for MPR News Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS. Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.  
3/24/202348 minutes, 47 seconds
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Politics Friday: A slim DFL majority works towards full marijuana legalization and universal school meals

For years, Minnesota lawmakers have been working to legalize marijuana. The latest bill is still up for debate, but can a small DFL majority make it happen or will this bill go up in smoke?  MPR News host Mike Mulcahy talks to Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, about the movement to legalize marijuana and we’ll also hear from Rep. Kristin Robbins, R-Maple Grove, on why she’s one of the lawmakers speaking out against legalizing adult-use cannabis.  Later in the hour, Sen. Heather Gustafson, DFL-Vadnais Heights, and Rep. Sydney Jordan, DFL-Minneapolis, explain how their bill for universal school breakfast and lunch will benefit students across Minnesota.   And MPR News political reporters unpack the latest news from the Capitol this week.     Guests:  Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids   Rep. Kristin Robbins, R-Maple Grove Rep. Sydney Jordan, DFL-Minneapolis Sen. Heather Gustafson, DFL-Vadnais Heights Brian Bakst is a politics reporter for MPR News   Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter for MPR News Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS. Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.   
3/16/202349 minutes, 22 seconds
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Politics Friday: Women take charge at the Capitol

House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, and Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis, have used their slim DFL majorities to break a logjam over progressive legislation. MPR News host Mike Mulcahy talks to three of the most powerful women in state government about what's happened at the Capitol so far this year and what's next on their agenda. Speaker Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Dziedzic talk about Minnesota's massive budget surplus and their plans for the upcoming weeks. And Rep. Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, has made history herself as the first Black woman to lead the House Republican caucus. We'll get the GOP take on what's been happening this session and her strategy for the weeks ahead. Later in the hour, MPR News political reporters unpack the biggest stories from the State Capitol this week.    Guests:  Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter for MPR News Brian Bakst is a politics reporter for MPR News Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS. Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.   
3/9/202350 minutes, 7 seconds
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Politics Friday: Gov. Tim Walz on session 2023 and that big budget surplus

The Minnesota State Legislature gaveled into its 93rd session two months ago, and lawmakers have quickly gotten to business.  MPR News political editor Mike Mulcahy gets the latest news from the Capitol with political reporters Dana Ferguson and Peter Callaghan. And Minnesota Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, talks about the GOP agenda for the remainder of the session. Later in the program, a conversation with Gov. Tim Walz about the state’s budget surplus and his top priorities for the legislative session. Guests:  Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz  State Sen. Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks Dana Ferguson is a politics reporter covering the Minnesota Capitol and elections for MPR News.  Peter Callaghan is a state government reporter for the MinnPost. Subscribe to the Politics Friday podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS. Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.
3/1/202349 minutes, 52 seconds
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What will the DFL do with its (small) majorities?

With the DFL poised to take control of the Minnesota Senate and keep control of the House and governor’s office, some Democratic priorities may become law in 2023. Mike Mulcahy talks abortion, marijuana, paid family leave, sports betting and more with newly selected Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) and Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park). Mike also talks with newly reelected DFL Secretary of State Steve Simon and political analysts Todd Rapp and Chas Anderson.
11/11/202251 minutes, 9 seconds
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3rd District debate and campaign for Minnesota Senate

In a 3rd Congressional District debate, incumbent Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) debates his Republican challenger, Tom Weiler. Mike Mulcahy moderates a debate about what Congress can do about abortion, inflation, public safety, social security and more. Later in the hour, Mike talks to Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) and Sen. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) about next week’s election.
11/4/202251 minutes, 14 seconds
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The Gubernatorial Debate

The DFL and Republican candidates for Minnesota governor met for their third and final debate Friday on MPR News. DFL Gov. Tim Walz and his Republican challenger, Dr. Scott Jensen, sparred over crime, the economy, education and more. MPR News politics editor Mike Mulcahy moderated the debate.
10/28/202259 minutes
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Meet the candidates for Minnesota state auditor

With just over two weeks to go until Election Day, polls show many Minnesota races are very tight, including the race for state auditor. MPR News host Mike Mulcahy talked with DFLer Julie Blaha, who is seeking a second four-year term as auditor, and with Republican challenger Ryan Wilson. They talked about the big issues, where they agree and disagree and what the state auditor actually does. Plus, an update of the week’s political news with MPR News political reporter Dana Ferguson. Guests: Minnesota State Auditor Julie Blaha is the DFL candidate for state auditor. Ryan Wilson is the Republican candidate for state auditor. Dana Ferguson is an MPR News political reporter. Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.
10/21/202252 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Attorney General debate

MPR News politics editor Mike Mulcahy moderates a debate between the candidates for Minnesota Attorney General — incumbent DFLer Keith Ellison and Republican challenger Jim Schultz.
10/14/20225 minutes, 46 seconds
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Politics Friday: The economy, pardons for marijuana possession, and a 2nd District update

Economist Louis Johnston discusses inflation and other economic issues that will have an impact on the upcoming election. And attorney Carol Moss talks about President Biden’s recently announced federal pardons for simple marijuana possession and how marijuana policy could affect the 2022 election. And MPR News's Mark Zdechlik gives us the rundown on the 2nd Congressional District race between DFL incumbent Angie Craig and Republican challenger Tyler Kistner.
10/7/202253 minutes, 10 seconds
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Frey on his police chief nominee and Jennifer Schultz, challenger in the 8th District

Host Mike Mulcahy talks with Mayor Jacob Frey about Frey’s choice for the next Minneapolis police chief. Then, a conversation with State Rep. Jen Schultz, DFL-Duluth. She’s an economics professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth and she’s challenging U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., for the 8th District seat in Congress and not running for reelection to the Minnesota House. (We have invited Rep. Stauber on the program, but he has not yet agreed to an interview.) Finally, Mike rounds up this week’s political news stories with MPR News’s Dana Ferguson and Brian Bakst and Minnpost’s Peter Callaghan.
9/30/202249 minutes, 25 seconds
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Rep. Angie Craig and a Hennepin County Attorney debate

This week on Politics Friday, Mike sits down with Representative Angie Craig to talk about her re-election campaign, and Brian Bakst moderates a debate between the two candidates for Hennepin County Attorney.
9/23/202253 minutes, 34 seconds
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Legislative leaders and retiring rural DFLer Paul Marquart

House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, join host Mike Mulcahy to talk about why their party should get control of the House in November's election. Then Mike talks to retiring Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, a rare rural Democrat in Minnesota.
9/16/202247 minutes, 57 seconds
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Jensen on education and more; Simon on election integrity

For this special state fair edition of Politics Friday, Mike Mulcahy talked with GOP candidate for governor Scott Jensen and DFL Secretary of State Steve Simon. And the MPR News politics reporting team looked ahead to the fall campaign season.
9/2/202259 minutes
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Attorney General Keith Ellison looks ahead to general election

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison easily won the DFL nomination on primary night. He’ll take on Republican nominee Jim Schultz in November.
8/10/20226 minutes, 54 seconds
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Jim Schultz on winning GOP nomination for Attorney General

Republican Attorney General nominee Jim Schultz talks with MPR’s Mike Mulcahy.
8/10/20229 minutes
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Brad Finstad will be Minnesota's newest member of Congress

Congressman-elect Finstad talked to MPR’s Brian Bakst about his priorities for his short term in Congress and the campaign ahead.
8/10/20225 minutes, 30 seconds
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DFL's Ettinger loses special election, will get another shot in November

Former Hormel Foods CEO Jeff Ettinger talked to Brian Bakst about what his next campaign will look like.
8/10/20224 minutes, 48 seconds
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Scott Jensen on how he'll try to unseat Gov. Walz

Former GOP state senator Scott Jensen is his party’s nominee for Governor. He’ll try to unseat incumbent DFL Gov. Tim Walz in November.
8/10/202210 minutes, 40 seconds
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Gov. Tim Walz looks ahead to the general election

Governor Tim Walz is seeking re-election after a term dominated by his response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fallout from the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
8/10/202211 minutes, 34 seconds
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DFL, GOP political analysts weigh in on what gas prices, Jan. 6 hearings mean for MN politics

While politics may not be on the top of many people’s minds as summer vacation season sets in, political watchers are tuned into campaign finance reports, polling data and the mood of voters.  This week saw the release of reports showing Democrat Tim Walz has a big campaign cash advantage over his Republican rival Scott Jensen. But there was also news of an 8.5 percent jump in inflation in May as gas prices hovered near $5 per gallon.  There are conflicting signs in the political tea leaves, and Republicans and Democrats are reading them differently. This week on Politics Friday, host Mike Mulcahy talks with two veteran political analysts —Democrat Abou Amara and Republican Brian McDaniel — for their takes on the news and what it all means for the August primary and the November election.
6/16/202248 minutes, 49 seconds
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GOP candidates for Minnesota attorney general; the high price of gasoline

A key statewide office on the ballot this fall is Attorney General, a job Minnesota Democrats have held since the early 1970s. Republicans believe they have a real chance to flip the office, but who will be their candidate?  Last month at their state convention, the GOP endorsed political newcomer Jim Schultz. But before he can focus his campaign on unseating DFL incumbent Keith Ellison, he must deal with a primary challenge from the party’s 2018 candidate Doug Wardlow.  This week, Politics Friday host Mike Mulcahy is joined by Minnesota GOP attorney general hopefuls Jim Schultz and Doug Wardlow. We’ll hear why each candidate thinks they are best for the job, how they plan to reverse the statewide losing streak for Republicans and why they believe they are most qualified to take on Ellison. We’ll learn why primary challenger Doug Wardlow is staying in the race despite his pledge to abide by the party’s endorsement.  Mike talked with DFL Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is running for re-election, back in March. Plus, industry experts expect gas prices to stay high for a while. University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management professor Akshay Rao joins the show to discuss why prices went up, if they will continue to rise and how politics intersect with gas prices.  Guests: Jim Schultz, Republican endorsed candidate for Minnesota attorney general Doug Wardlow, primary challenger Professor Akshay Rao, General Mills Chair in Marketing, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota AG, elections chief State Republican convention picks candidates Related Republican Wardlow to run in primary for attorney general Previously on Politics Friday DFL Atty. Gen. Keith Ellison
6/9/202249 minutes, 31 seconds
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What’s next for the budget surplus — will there be a special session?

This week, Politics Friday host Mike Mulcahy led a roundtable discussion with folks who keep a close eye on state politics: MPR News politics reporter Brian Bakst, Star Tribune politics and government reporter Briana Bierschbach, and Dave Orrick from the Pioneer Press' Capitol Bureau. They talked about the latest politics news at the Capitol and in the upcoming elections and shared analysis.
6/3/202248 minutes, 36 seconds
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The race in Minnesota’s first Congressional District and what's next at the Capitol

The special primary election in Minnesota’s first Congressional District this week narrowed the field of candidates for an August special election. Republican Brad Finstad came out on top in his party and Jeff Ettinger won the DFL primary. Now they’ll compete in a special election in August to determine who fills the remaining months of former Rep. Jim Hagedorn’s term. Hagedorn died in February after battling cancer.  And the Legislature ended its session after lawmakers missed a deadline to pass major tax and spending bills. Some Republicans say the work can wait until after the November election, while Democrats want a special session.  MPR News host Mike Mulcahy talks to Brad Finstad and Jeff Ettinger about how they won their parties' nominations and how the next round of the campaign is shaping up. Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen also will join Mike to talk about what he thinks should happen to Minnesota’s budget surplus and DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman will weigh in on a special session. Guests: Brad Finstad is a Republican candidate for Congress. Jeff Ettinger is a DFL candidate for Congress. Dr. Scott Jensen is Republican candidate for governor. Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) is Speaker of the Minnesota House.
5/27/202249 minutes, 20 seconds
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DFL to hold its state convention in Rochester

A week after Minnesota Republicans held their state convention in Rochester, Democrats will be there for their convention.  Unlike the Republicans, DFLers know who they will endorse. The party holds every statewide office in Minnesota, and the convention will endorse all of their reelection campaigns.  But with inflation and gas prices up and President Joe Biden’s approval down, can Democrats hold on to those seats? And how do they intend to do it?  Politics Friday host Mike Mulcahy talks with Minnesota DFL Party chairperson Ken Martin about the party’s prospects and strategy. Plus state Sen. Matt Klein joins to respond to the Republicans’ endorsement of Scott Jensen for governor. We’ll hear the latest from Rochester and get an update on where things stand at the Capitol headed into the final weekend of the legislative session.    Guests: Ken Martin, DFL Party chairperson Sen. Matt Klein, DFL-Mendota Heights
5/20/202249 minutes, 32 seconds
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GOP delegates weigh in as party holds state convention in Rochester

More than 2,200 Minnesota Republicans gathered in Rochester starting Friday to endorse candidates for all the statewide offices on the ballot this fall. Candidates for governor, attorney general, secretary of state and more hope this weekend will propel their campaigns for the 2022 general election. Republicans are fired up and think this year they have their first real chance since 2006 of winning statewide. Host Mike Mulcahy talked with delegates, party leaders and observers about Minnesota Republicans’ chances in 2022.
5/12/202249 minutes, 39 seconds
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Reactions to possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned; plus remembering Walter Mondale

The leak of a draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade has sparked questions about access to abortion, other rights at risk and how this issue will define the midterm elections. We’ll get reaction from DFL Sen. Tina Smith and state Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake. Plus, historian Jon Meacham remembers Walter Mondale.
5/6/202236 minutes, 40 seconds
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Voting and elections with Secretary of State Steve Simon

Laws about voting have always been the subject of debate, but in recent years voting--and election integrity---has become a controversial political issue. Politics Friday with Mike Mulcahy talks with Secretary of State Steve Simon about this year’s election, the election system and what if any changes the Legislature might make to elections and voting.   Plus, MPR politics reporter Tim Pugmire and Dana Ferguson, capitol correspondent from the Forum News Service for an end-of-week politics round up. Guests: Secretary of State Steve Simon Dana Ferguson, Capitol Correspondent, Forum News Service Tim Pugmire, MPR Politics Reporter
4/29/202252 minutes, 29 seconds