Laura McCallum Feature Archive

The new $700 million deficit projection is larger than legislative leaders had predicted, and could set the stage for another round of contentious budget talks next session. (12/01/2004)
Supporters of amending the Minnesota Constitution to ban same-sex marriage say they'll renew their push to get the measure on the ballot. They say they're energized by the passage of similar measures in other states on Election Day. (11/15/2004)
Senate Minority Leader Dick Day will continue in his leadership post, despite announcing two months ago that he was stepping down. Senate Republicans on Thursday voted to keep Day as minority leader. The Owatonna Republican says he changed his mind after some lobbying from his colleagues. He says his caucus is willing to work with Democrats in the Legislature to avoid a repeat of last session's partisan gridlock. (11/04/2004)
Republicans narrowly maintained their majority in the Minnesota House in the 2004 election, squeaking through with a one-vote margin. Democrats picked up 13 seats, including five held by Republican committee chairs. The close headcount in the House could lead to more bipartisan cooperation... or greater gridlock. (11/03/2004)
A new Minnesota Public Radio-St. Paul Pioneer Press poll shows the presidential race too close to call in Minnesota, just two days before the election. The poll found 48 percent of respondents say they'll vote for Republican President George W. Bush, while 47 percent say they'll vote for Democrat John Kerry. A different poll, also out Sunday, shows Kerry with an 8-point lead, and a pollster says anything could move the race one way or the other in the last days. (10/30/2004)
It was a rare day with no candidates from the presidential tickets in the state on Friday. Still, surrogates for President Bush and John Kerry showed up to rally supporters. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani campaigned in Minnesota for Bush, while former NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark stumped for Kerry. The two focused on national security at competing partisan rallies. Meanwhile, Bush and Kerry began wrapping up their campaigns on the last weekend of the campaign season. (10/29/2004)
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is silent no more on why he's supporting Sen. John Kerry for president. Unleashing a strong attack against President Bush, Ventura appeared at Century College, a community and technical college in White Bear Lake, to encourage young people to vote. (10/28/2004)
Neither President George W. Bush nor Sen. John Kerry spends much time talking about either abortion or same-sex marriage in speeches. But the next president is likely to appoint at least one member to an aging Supreme Court that's divided on abortion, gay rights and other issues. There hasn't been a Supreme Court vacancy in 10 years, and this week's announcement that Chief Justice William Rehnquist has thyroid cancer gives new prominence to the question. (10/27/2004)
President Bush campaigned in a small town near La Crosse, Wisconsin Tuesday, hoping to woo more voters in a part of the state which went for Democrat Al Gore in the 2000 election. As a result, Bush narrowly lost the state's electoral votes. This time around the president has made a deliberate effort to court western Wisconsin voters. (10/26/2004)
Vice President Dick Cheney capped an unprecedented week of presidential politics in Minnesota by telling a rally crowd in suburban Rosemount that Democratic Sen. John Kerry lacks the judgment and conviction to be president. (10/22/2004)
The Minnesota Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday on whether the party affiliations of election judges should be made public. The state Republican Party sued county auditors in Hennepin, Ramsey and Olmsted County, alleging that they apparently failed to follow state election law. The law requires that no more than half of the judges in any precinct are members of one political party. Minnesota Public Radio's Laura McCallum reports. (10/21/2004)
One of the Minnesota legislative races that's being closely watched is District 52B in the Stillwater area; it's a rematch of last year's special election between DFLer Rebecca Otto and Republican Matt Dean. Otto won the seat last time, but some Republicans believe her victory was a fluke. (10/19/2004)
Sen. Mark Dayton says he has no second thoughts about his decision to close his Capitol Hill office. The Minnesota Democrat closed his Washington, D.C. office earlier this week, citing a top-secret intelligence report on terrorism. He responded to both critics and supporters of his decision on MPR's Midday program. (10/15/2004)
An intergenerational group of Minnesota seniors and students gathered Wednesday night to watch the final presidential debate. They wanted to hear from Democrat John Kerry and Republican George W. Bush on issues ranging from Social Security to the draft. Many said they weren't satisfied with the answers. (10/14/2004)
Minnesota Sen. Mark Dayton Tuesday closed his Washington, D.C. office, citing security concerns. He says a top-secret intelligence report made him fear for his staff's safety. Federal law enforcement officials insist there is no new intelligence indicating the Capitol complex is a target, and no other members of Congress have announced plans to close their offices. (10/12/2004)