The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 31, 2013

Amid turbulent session, Gov. Mark Dayton looks to re-election

ST. PAUL — Two years as Minnesota's governor hasn't made Mark Dayton any more predictable after a long career marked by unexpected decisions and unorthodox moves.

That tendency was on display in early March when Dayton abruptly abandoned an ambitious sales tax overhaul after nearly two months of trying to sell it to the public and lawmakers. Even the governor's press handlers were caught unaware by the suddenness of his announcement, and some fellow Democrats criticized the decision.

Dayton's change of heart was soon followed by new worries about his administration's serious overestimation of gambling tax revenue for a Vikings stadium project that he counts as a top accomplishment. It's made for a rocky stretch in a legislative session that's pivotal to Dayton's hopes for a second term.

In an interview last week with The Associated Press, Dayton promised no surprises when it comes to his intention to seek re-election next year. The re-election bid would be a first in his long political career. In his two previous stints in elected office, as state auditor and U.S. senator, Dayton twice surprised Minnesota political watchers by bowing out after one term.

Not this time, he said.

"If I'm breathing," Dayton said, when asked if he's definitely running again. "Good Lord willing, I'm running for re-election."

Despite the bumps of recent weeks, Dayton is nearly certain this year to accomplish what he called "my signature issue" — an income tax increase on Minnesota's wealthiest residents. Dayton began touting it when he launched his campaign for governor in 2009. He was foiled in the quest by Republican legislative majorities in 2011-12, but now has allies in House and Senate DFL majorities who have eagerly endorsed taxing the rich.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Tourism push plays up 'Only in Minnesota' ST. PAUL — (AP) — Say goodbye to "More to Explore." Minnesota tourism promoters ushered in a new slogan Thursday that focuses on "Only in Minnesota" experiences as part of their largest-ever advertising campaign. The revamped message kicks off a maj

    April 17, 2014

  • mfp ap pipeline photo Minnesota Pipe Line seeks to expand capacity MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Pipe Line Co. announced plans Thursday to nearly double the capacity of a crude oil pipeline that carries oil from Canada and North Dakota to the two refineries in the Twin Cities that produce most of Minnesota's and much

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holder asserts his commitment to fighting heroin WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been crusading for more lenient treatment for nonviolent drug offenders, making it a top priority before he is expected to leave office this year. Recently, however, he has been forced to confront

    April 17, 2014

  • Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds ATLANTA — Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her speech, but she

    April 17, 2014

  • Tracking system nabbing drug dealers -- and law-abiding pilots LOS ANGELES — Ken Dobson, a retired police officer, said he received quite a welcome when he landed his single-engine Cessna in Detroit two days after leaving his home in Palm Desert, Calif. Five sheriff’s cars surrounded the plane and deputies got

    April 17, 2014

  • Hypersonic jets, lasers future for Air Force researchers WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Air Force hypersonic weapons and fighter jets with lasers could fly in the skies of the future. Air Force Research Laboratory researchers have made top priorities of hypersonics, directed-energy weapons and au

    April 16, 2014

  • Dress codes: Where should schools set limits? EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — They're called leggings — popular fashion items that are tight-fitting pants to some, and glorified tights to others. Younger girls often wear them as pants with little fuss. But as those same girls approach middle school, legg

    April 16, 2014

  • On Vegas Strip, the Harmon tower set to fall -- with a whimper LAS VEGAS — One by one, the grand old dames of the Strip outlived their charms — the Dunes, Stardust and Aladdin — and down they came, thanks to some well-rigged dynamite, in a booming flash of bravado and showmanship that became this city’s staple —

    April 16, 2014

  • Man accused of abusing 2 girls in 'Maidens Group' MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities were searching Tuesday for a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing at least two girls in a "Maidens Group" at his religious fellowship in rural Minnesota, where he told one victim she would remain a virgin

    April 15, 2014

  • Deputy shot, wounded in Norman County PERLEY, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say a 19-year-old man from Fertile is under arrest for shooting a sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop in northwestern Minnesota. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says the Norman County deputy was wear

    April 15, 2014

Press-Plus Subscribe
Sign In
Featured Ads
AP Video