A key state Senate committee has voted overwhelmingly against Governor Ventura's choice for commerce commissioner. The vote is a strong indication that the full Senate will also vote against the nominee, former Minneapolis city council member Steve Minn, and many Senators say Ventura should regard the action as a rebuke for what they see as his uncooperative governing style.
Fourth District Congressman Bruce Vento surprised the political world by announcing he has been diagnosed with cancer and will not run for re-election this fall. The 12-term Democrat issued a written statement saying he wants to focus his energies on his treatment.
Governor Ventura says he wants to "get control" of the amount of money the state borrows by selling bonds for capital projects. Ventura has announced his bonding recommendations for the coming legislative session, and the $468 million package is smaller than what Democrats were hoping for. Republicans in the Legislature are more pleased with his relatively small bonding proposal, but they say they disagree with some of his spending priorities.
During the legislative debate over income tax cuts last year, Republicans took a lot of hits for supposedly favoring the wealthiest Minnesotans. DFLers complained loudly about how most of the savings in the Republican proposals seemed to go to the upper income-bracket; a criticism occasionally echoed by Governor Ventura. This time around, Republican Speaker Steve Sviggum is doing his best to avoid that criticism.
Governor Ventura is proposing a $250 million-a-year hike in the state's transportation budget, with an increased emphasis on mass transit. Republican leaders have also been talking about spending more on transportation this year, but when they say "transportation," they mean "roads."
Jesse Ventura, a.k.a. Jim Janos and Jesse the Body, took office as governor of Minnesota one year ago. Ventura was easily the biggest act in the world of Minnesota politics in 1999. But 12 months into his term, some of the hype has begun to fade, and Minnesotans inside and outside politics are beginning to think of him as just another elected official.
A San Diego newspaper reveals that Jesse Ventura was not actually a Navy SEAL. Ventura says he was SEAL-qualified, but the revelation has whipped up a debate among Navy veterans about whether Ventura has stolen their honor.
Democratic strategists are uneasy about the big, contentious field of candidates for U.S. Senate in Minnesota. Some are already worried about a replay of 1998, when five DFLers slugged it out in the gubernatorial primary.
When the Federal government started issuing Social Security cards five decades ago, some people worried the Social Security number would evolve into an all-purpose, national identification system. They were right.
In a few hours, it will be Wednesday morning in Japan, the day Governor Ventura returns to Minnesota. Ventura spent the last day-and-a-half finishing up business in Tokyo, then riding the Bullet Train to the industrial city of Osaka for an overnight visit on his way home. The governor seems to be very satisfied with the way his Japan trip has gone.
Governor Ventura visited a model Tokyo High School early this morning, and, as usual, he was a big hit with the kids. His philosophy of smaller class sizes was also popular among the students, who say Japan might have something to learn from the U.S. when it comes to giving children individualized attention.