Behind the lines in the fight against the marriage amendmentby Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio,
John Wanamaker, Minnesota Public Radio
How Minnesota United For All Families took on the marriage amendment - and won. Also, DFLers pick leaders in the Legislature, how demographics affected this year's elections, and why some members of our two premiere orchestras are packing their bags.
MONEY, PASSION, ALLIES: Launched a year and a half ago amid disappointment at the Legislature, the effort to defeat Minnesota's marriage amendment succeeded this week after amassing millions of dollars, a broad spectrum of backers and a focus on religious faith and personal conversations. MPR was given behind-the-scenes access to tell the story of how the campaign was victorious.
VISUALIZING THE FIGHT: MPR's photographers told the story of the marriage amendment fight in pictures. Check out a gallery of their work here. And then take some time and look at this precinct-level interactive map we put together that shows where the amendment fight was won and lost.
DFL ALLIES? An analysis of the marriage amendment vote shows that many DFL lawmakers represent districts that voted in favor of the amendment, and sometimes overwhelmingly so. In fact,17 DFL House members and 10 DFL senators are in districts where the amendment, which would have defined marriage as between a man and woman, passed with 50 percent or more of the vote.
DFL LEADERS: Over at the Capitol, Democrats have met and elected new leadership. Sen.Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, serve as majority leader when they officially take control in January. Former DFL House Minority Leader Paul Thissen of Minneapolis will be the Speaker of the House.
LATINO VOTERS: One of the arguments against the photo ID ballot question in Minnesota this week was that requiring voters to present a photo ID at the polls would have the effect of keeping many minorities from voting. We've been doing reporting in a number of outstate cities that have substantial Latino populations so we wondered how the vote went in areas with large numbers of Mexican and other immigrants. Here's what we found.
VOTING REFORM: The defeat of the voter ID constitutional amendment, along with the Legislature's flip from Republican to Democratic control, is likely put that issue on indefinite hold. But it won't end the debate over the need for some changes in state election law. DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and key lawmakers are already talking about ways to alter the voting system during the 2013 legislative session.
MORE DEMOGRAPHICS: Election Day gave a face to the growing minority-majority population in America. While we heard and speculated a lot on Latino, millennial and women voters, did we really learn much about what really motivates them to support a party or candidate? Did we see the nuanced make-up of these voting blocs? Did we learn anything new that would change our perceptions or stereotypes? The Daily Circuit digs into that question.
OFF KEY: Locked-out musicians at the Minnesota and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras have been warning of a dangerous decline in artistic quality if they accept new contracts sought by management. They say the severe cuts in salary and benefits will force many musicians to seek employment elsewhere. Now, we hear from two of them who have already made that decision.
VICTIM PROTECTION: Authorities say Bryan Ness, 33, struck his wife in the head several times during a January 2011, argument at their Moorhead apartment. When he appeared in court the next day to face charges for the assault, a Clay County judge ordered him not to have any contact with his wife. Now, the Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to consider the constitutionality of the state law that allows such orders, after Ness challenged the law in court.
FISCAL CLIFF: President Barack Obama, laying down his marker for grueling "fiscal cliff" negotiations, said Friday he won't accept any approach to federal deficit reduction that doesn't ask the wealthy to pay more in taxes. "This was a central question during the election," Obama said in his first post-election comments on the economy. "The majority of Americans agree with my approach." But House Republicans do not.
HAPPY HOUR: Some thank-goodness-it's-Friday news: The Summit Brewing Company kicked off a $6-million expansion of its St. Paul brewery on Friday. Company officials say after the expansion is done next summer, the company will be able to produce nearly a quarter of a million barrels of beer per year.
Hart is the morning online editor at MPR News.