New broadband grants include Northern MN projects

Today the State of Minnesota announced $26 million in grants for 39 projects in the Border to Border Broadband initiative. Almost 10,000 households will receive affordable access to high speed internet as a result of these investments. “It’s not fair when almost 20 percent of Greater Minnesota households don’t have the same high-speed internet connections… Read More →

1990 Minnesota election scandal parallels Alabama saga

It’s hard to remember sometimes, but there was a time when watching the news wasn’t actively disgusting all the time. But I do recall the first time a news story completely grossed me out. It was in 1990. I was just a kid, but I liked the news. That was the year the Republican candidate… Read More →

Elections nudge Duluth political scene, but not much

Off-year elections generally only get attention because of “what it all means.” The year-round political speculation industry loves a taste of something real to add some heft to the conjecture. So we can look at yesterday’s election and say that Democratic success in New Jersey and Virginia means something. President Trump’s unpopularity seems to be… Read More →

Homogenized media for a divided people

I’m not very good at self-righteous anger. It weighs on me. I torture myself with it. More often than not I end up doing no good at all when I respond in anger. These are tough, angry times. So I’ve been strategic in what I write about, trying again to spend my time in ways… Read More →

Mills opts out of MN-8 run, hints at GOP woes

Stewart Mills announced Wednesday he would not seek the GOP nod in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District in 2018, ending the possibility of a Republican showdown in this tight swing district. Wrote Mills in a social media statement: I have decided not to have my name on the ballot this election cycle, this is not a… Read More →

Talking journalism on ‘Dig Deep’

Last week Northern Community Radio broadcast another series of episodes of “Dig Deep,” a podcast exploring contemporary issues from unique points of view. The show features Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns, a conservative, and yours truly, a known liberal. We attempt to collaborate on solutions and sticking points in current political issues, rather than just… Read More →

Zany MN-8 may see contests on both sides of ballot

In some ways, 2010 seems like a long time ago. It wasn’t really, but future political scientists will easily identify that election as the moment Northeastern Minnesota’s 8th District went from being considered a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party fortress to becoming one of the most expensive, competitive seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The higher stakes,… Read More →

DFL candidates debate Friday in Grand Rapids

This Friday I’ll moderate a DFL candidates forum at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids. All six announced DFL candidates for governor are scheduled to attend the debate, which begins at 7 p.m. The forum is free to the public and will be held at Chuckers Auditorium. Itasca Community Television (ICTV) will record and rebroadcast… Read More →

Leah Phifer announces DFL challenge in MN-8

This summer, national security analyst Leah Phifer of Isanti drove more than 7,000 miles of Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District on her motorcycle to meet voters and decide if she should run for Congress. Today, Phifer announced she would seek the DFL endorsement for the MN-8 seat, challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan of Crosby. Though… Read More →

DeNucci, Venema advance in Itasca Co. primary

Ben DeNucci and Casey Venema advanced from a low-turnout Nov. 3 primary election to the Dec. 12 special election for the open District 5 Itasca County Board seat. DeNucci, the mayor of Nashwauk, won 757 votes to 449 for Venema, a Lawrence Township supervisor. Roger Weber of Nashwauk Township finished with 142 votes. The story… Read More →