Campaigning with friendly, compassionate conversationby Phil Picardi, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio
Marriage amendment foes are putting a premium on friendly and compassionate conversation. The fiscal cliff that looms in Congress could put Minnesota's economy through the shredder. Jim Graves is campaigning to not be the fourth Democrat to lose a congressional election against Michele Bachmann. And look at the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam - the single bloodiest day in United States history. First, the marriage amendment:
Conversation and compassion
With two polls out this week showing that Minnesotans favor a proposed constitutional amendment that would make marriage only between a man and a woman, opponents of the measure are in the midst of a strategy they think will sway voters. A key component will be conversations with voters designed to elicit compassion for gays and lesbians. That's important, the opponents say, because arguments against discrimination haven't worked in other states.
Congress returns to Washington this week to continue its short session before the November election, but political observers say lawmakers are unlikely to agree on a plan for taxes and spending, a stalemate that bodes poorly for the states. Without such a deal, a number of tax hikes and spending cuts will automatically kick in Jan 1. If that happens, it would be devastating to the Minnesota economy.
Can Graves buck the trend?
Jim Graves, a property management executive, is trying to do what three other Democrats failed to do in the 6th District: defeat Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. Although the Graves campaign is encouraged by a recent internal poll showing a competitive race, he is struggling with fundraising -- and that same poll shows that voters throughout the district don't know him, even after six months of campaigning.
Poligraph: GOP flier lacks details and context
It is fall in an election year, and that means Minnesotans will find their mailboxes overflowing with fliers trumping up the accomplishments - or failures - of one lawmaker or another. Such a flier from the Republican Party of Minnesota simultaneously praises the record of Rep. Diane Anderson, R-Eagan, and criticizes the record of former DFL Rep. Sandra Masin, who is challenging Anderson. And it leaves key facts and context.
Polls prompt Romney to change his tactics
As Republicans openly fret about the state of their nominee's campaign and polls appear to show Obama with an advantage just seven weeks before Election Day, Mitt Romney's campaign says it's changing its focus to offer more concrete examples of how the candidate might govern.
Wisconsin's union law tossed by judge
Wisconsin's attorney general says he will seek court permission to keep enforcing a state law that effectively ended collective bargaining for public employees while his office appeals a judge's ruling striking it down. A Dane County judge issued a ruling Friday overturning almost all of the law that has been a hallmark of Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
The most savage day
From as far away as Minnesota, Colorado and Ohio they came, more than 30 members of the Bloss and Mitchell families who converged on the hallowed Civil War fighting grounds of rural Maryland. John McKnight Bloss, now 81, tried to sum up what this gathering of his clan was about. He wanted the younger generation to "understand the sacrifices that were made" on the single bloodiest day in United States history at Antietam 150 years ago.
Wolf hunt watchdogs notch court win
A Wisconsin judge has refused to throw out a lawsuit challenging the use of dogs in this winter's wolf hunt, marking another victory for a group of humane societies working to reduce the chances of deadly dog-wolf encounters in the woods.
Pass (on) the salt
American children eat as much salt as adults -- about 1,000 milligrams too much, or the same amount as in just one Big Mac, according to a new study. The findings matter because extra salt is linked with higher blood pressure, even in kids, and government research says those who are overweight and obese may be most vulnerable to its effects.
Skipping freshman year
Matt Peterson is not a typical incoming freshman at the University of Minnesota, thanks to a high school program called the know as the Post Secondary Enrollment Option that allows him to bypass a lot of freshman year courses.
Get out there: New Ulm
New Ulm tourism revolves around several annual music and cultural festivals, including Bavarian Blast and Oktoberfest -- but there are fun things to do any time of the year. With the help of recommendations by New Ulm residents in our Public Insight Network, we've assembled a list of seven things to do in this town of 13,500.
Phil Picardi is a newscaster for MPR News, and occasionally fills in as Morning Edition host when Cathy Wurzer is away.