Legislature, mining & police

This year I’ll be offering occasional news analysis on WDSE’s Almanac North as part of the station’s “Voices of the Region” segment. My first segment was Jan. 8. If you missed it, here it is: I reviewed three topics. First, the legislature is in session now. Northeastern Minnesota lawmakers of both parties find themselves in… Read More →

On economic class, urbanization, and chickens

My latest column for the Minnesota Reformer is up today. “Just Like a Century ago, there’s a class war in rural America, and the wrong side is winning.” This was quite the creative exercise for me. I had a few things on my mind when I wrote it. First, we seem mired in a hopeless… Read More →

Bakk, Tomassoni bolt DFL caucus in MN State Senate

Two longtime Iron Range state senators will leave the DFL caucus and form an independent caucus for the 2021 legislative session. State Sen. David Tomassoni (I-Chisholm) and former DFL majority leader Sen. Tom Bakk (I-Cook) made the announcement Wednesday. The Republicans held a 34-33 majority in the State Senate. Now they’ll hold a 34-31-2 advantage…. Read More →

The tenuous situation facing northern Minnesota DFLers, and a way forward

My latest for the Minnesota Reformer is live today: “Cleaving Minnesota: Good news and bad for northern Democrats.” It’s got election analysis, messaging advice, political strategy and even a few jokes. Read for yourself. Related posts: No related posts.

Complex scenario could put Iron Ranger in Lt. Gov. chair

It’s difficult to analyze hypothetical situations. After all, there is no guarantee that the circumstances assumed will actually occur. But there’s a particular hypothetical floating around today that’s so complex it almost feels like a game of tridimensional chess that Captain Picard used to play on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” First premise, President-elect Joe… Read More →

Space to think

This was the first time since I started the blog that I neither maintained a live blog on election night, nor wrote a breathless analysis article the day after. To those who were looking for one, sorry. I’ve got thoughts, and you’ll get them, but not yet. Holding out might have been the best choice…. Read More →

The view from the Iron Range as 2020 race nears end

I’ve written here and there about the Mesabi Iron Range’s role in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Nothing more to say there. The votes will be cast and tallied soon. Unfortunately, I’ve written very little about other races across northern Minnesota. Deep in the writing process for my book and podcast, I decided to ignore… Read More →

Pence in Hibbing today for campaign rally

Vice President Mike Pence and other Republican candidates will appear today at a rally at the Range Regional Airport in Hibbing. Just one week before the Nov. 3 election, the Trump campaign sees Minnesota as winnable despite polls that currently trend toward Joe Biden and the Democrats. National campaign visits to northern Minnesota are typically… Read More →

Iron Range becomes ‘living political meme’ in 2020 race

As I’ve written already, the Iron Range finds itself at the center of the 2020 campaign these days. This happened mostly because of the attention being paid to us by President Trump. But does Trump really have all the answers for the Range or is this just part of a symbolic gambit in his “turn… Read More →

PBS NewsHour digs into Iron Range political dynamic

Last week I talked about the increased attention paid to the Iron Range amid Minnesota’s newfound treatment as a swing state. This week, much more of the same.  Even as polls continue to show a consistent, significant lead for Joe Biden, media pontificators (and supporters of President Donald Trump) continue to argue a different narrative…. Read More →