Michael Khoo Feature Archive

For the first time in at least a generation, the governor, the House leadership, and now the Senate leadership all publicly favor restrictions on abortion access. The selection Tuesday of Willmar DFLer Dean Johnson as Senate majority leader is being greeted enthusiastically by abortion opponents. But supporters of legal abortion say they're confident Johnson will remain fair and impartial during upcoming debates. (01/14/2004)
Senate DFLers have made a critical change in their leadership team only weeks before the start of the 2004 legislative session. Just one year after assuming the mantle of majority leader, John Hottinger of St. Peter has been voted out of that position and replaced by Dean Johnson of Willmar. DFLers say the move reflects a new unified front as they face a Republican governor and a Republican-controlled House. Observers say the switch highlights the difficult position Democrats face. (01/13/2004)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty released another round of bonding proposals Monday, including $147 million to fund environmental initiatives and $18 million to boost agricultural loan programs. Pawlenty is also proposing $25 million for the Minnesota Zoo, for maintenance, construction and debt relief. (01/12/2004)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty has found a new chief of staff. Pawlenty announced Friday that state Finance Commissioner Dan McElroy will soon leave his current post and take the top spot on the governor's staff. The move was greeted with enthusiasm by those who say McElroy brings a reasoned, balanced approach to public policy. His detractors, however, say he's become increasingly partisan. (01/09/2004)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is offering a $20 million downpayment on what he says is an effort to eliminate chronic homelessness in Minnesota by 2010. Pawlenty says he'll ask lawmakers to borrow the funding during the upcoming legislative session, but critics of the administration say the governor's plan won't make up for spending cuts made last year as part of a multi-billion dollar deficit reduction plan. (01/07/2004)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is back in Minnesota Wednesday after a two-day visit with National Guard troops keeping the peace in Bosnia. The 1,100 Minnesotans stationed there are the largest Minnesota deployment since World War II -- and are part of a new emphasis on using Guard members to shoulder the country's growing military obligations. That new reality has left some wondering if they can afford to make the sacrifice. (12/17/2003)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty returns to Minnesota Tuesday night after a brief trip to Bosnia. More than 1,000 Minnesota National Guard soldiers aren't quite as lucky. The Guard members are part of a multinational deployment assigned to enforce the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended Bosnia's bloody civil war. As part of their regular routine, Minnesota troops patrol the mountains along the former front lines, looking for illegal weapons and reassuring a doubtful population. (12/16/2003)
Gov. Pawlenty on Monday visited the site of the worst European mass killing since the Nazi Holocaust. The governor is in Bosnia to visit Minnesota National Guard members stationed there on a peacekeeping mission. (12/15/2003)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty's trip to Bosnia continues Monday with a stop in Srebrenica, site of a 1995 massacre of Bosnian Muslims by Serbian nationalists. Pawlenty is visiting the country to meet with Minnesota National Guard troops stationed there to enforce the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that brought an end to the Bosnian civil war. Pawlenty's first day in Bosnia coincided with news of Saddam Hussein's capture in Iraq. (12/15/2003)
Gov. Pawlenty's call for returning the death penalty to Minnesota is encountering stiff criticism from some who say the governor is trading on the publicity surrounding the disappearance last month of 22-year-old Dru Sjodin. (12/04/2003)
The arrest of a Minnesota sex offender in the abduction of a North Dakota college student led Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to call Tuesday for the death penalty in his state. (12/02/2003)
Minnesotans had grown used to seeing former Gov. Jesse Ventura in the national limelight. But they might not have expected Gov. Tim Pawlenty to draw much attention from the national press or Washington opinion leaders. (11/26/2003)
Former Gov. Jesse Ventura appears somber and reflective in his official gubernatorial portrait, unveiled Thursday. The painting will take its place on the ground floor of the Capitol building, joining the likenesses of Ventura's 37 predecessors in the governor's office. (11/13/2003)
A Florida-based insurance company and two of its principal officers have been indicted by a Minnesota grand jury for allegedly making illegal corporate campaign contributions in last year's gubernatorial contest. (11/10/2003)
Thousands of Minnesotans who depend on state-sponsored health insurance now face a significant gap in their coverage. As part of a $4.2 billion deficit-reduction package, lawmakers last spring capped outpatient benefits in the MinnesotaCare program at $5,000 for some families without children. House Democrats say the cap could devastate patients who require extensive treatments for chronic diseases. But Gov. Tim Pawlenty says other state programs can rise to fill the gaps. (11/06/2003)