The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

November 8, 2012

Minnesota Democrats choose leaders

— Democrats, fresh off an electoral win that put them in charge of both chambers of the Legislature, picked their leaders Thursday.

No local Democrats were among those selected for leadership positions in party meetings, though both chambers have yet to pick chairs for most of their committees.


In the state Senate, Tom Bakk, from the northern Minnesota city of Cook, was elected as majority leader during the afternoon caucus at a St. Paul hotel.

Katie Sieben, a senator from the southeast Twin Cities suburbs, was selected as one of his two deputies, Sen. Kathy Sheran, D-Mankato, said. Bakk will select a second deputy, who Sheran expects to "reflect the diversity of our caucus."

Sen. Rod Skoe, from northwestern Minnesota, will be the Democrats" tax chair.

It's an important position to the city of Mankato, which relies heavily on local government aid.

And this could be a good pick for the city, as City Manager Pat Hentges said tax chairs from greater Minnesota tend to be more concerned about local government aid than their metro-area counterparts. It's too soon to know, of course, how Sen. Skoe or the Legislature will prioritize local government aid when it's time to set a budget.

Sen. Richard Cohen, from St. Paul, will chair the finance committee and Sandra Pappas of St. Paul will be the president of the Senate, Sheran said.

Because she is about halfway down the seniority list among the Senate's 39 Democrats, Sheran is not expecting her own committee.

"That's a lot of committees that would have to be developed," she said.

In the next few weeks, Democrats will ask their members which committees they want to be seated on. They've also formed a committee to select the rest of their committee chairs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Congress racing to finish Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills

    July 31, 2014

  • Target New CEO [Duplicate] Target names Pepsi's Cornell as chairman, CEO MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target has hired Pepsi executive Brian Cornell as its new chairman and CEO as it looks to recover from a huge data breach and troubles in Canada. Cornell replaces interim CEO John Mulligan, who is chief financial officer for the M

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brain wave monitoring is better gauge than using a focus group, study says To predict a large population’s likely response to something — a product, politician or policy — political consultants, marketing gurus and advertising execs have long favored the focus group. Ask a small segment of the target audience what it thinks

    July 31, 2014

  • Argentina slides into default as debt talks fail NEW YORK (AP) — The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy. A midnight Wednesd

    July 31, 2014

  • Exchange Bee Researcher [Duplicate] Bee researcher takes aim at central Minnesota park WAITE PARK — Crystal Boyd strained four bees, three flies and one leafhopper from a yellow pan trap, the third of 12 in a transect topping a granite outcrop in Quarry Park Scientific and Natural Area.She popped everything into a labeled, zip-top plas

    July 31, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies at 90 Filmmaker Robert Drew, a pioneer of the modern documentary who in "Primary" and other movies mastered the intimate, spontaneous style known as cinema verite and schooled a generation of influential directors that included D.A. Pennebaker and Albert M

    July 30, 2014

  • Homeowner killed, another injured in Vegas crime spree LAS VEGAS — A horrific carjacking and home invasion spree ended with two people dead and a woman in critical condition. One victim, Richard Ramos, a 59-year-old father of four, “fought to his death” to protect his wife and children from their attack

    July 30, 2014

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-9 [Duplicate] UPDATE: Suspect in Minnesota officer killing in custody WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police in Minnesota say a man wanted in the shooting death of an officer is in custody after being shot by police. St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos says 39-year-old Brian Fitch Sr. got out of a minivan firing at

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-3 [Duplicate] Minnesota officer killed making traffic stop WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A police officer in Minnesota was fatally shot Wednesday while making a traffic stop and authorities said they were searching for a suspect. Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick, 47, was shot about 12:20 p.m. after pulli

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Possible suspect caught in Minnesota cop shooting WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A potential suspect in the shooting of a police officer in Minnesota has been captured. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the officer was killed. Television news footage showed the man being pulled from his vehicle Wednes

    July 30, 2014