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On eve of first Kerry-Bush debate, Cheney comes calling
Vice President Dick Cheney made a couple of campaign stops in Minnesota on Wednesday. In the Twin Cities suburb of Lake Elmo, Cheney met with a handful of small business owners. He defended the war on terrorism and talked about ways to make health care more affordable. Later Cheney and his wife Lynne, appeared at a Town Hall Forum at a small plane manufacturer in Duluth.
Have the media failed the voting public?
In an op-ed piece this week, columnist David Broder lashed out at the American media for relying on opinion, sensation, star power and punditry to boost ratings and readership, while shying away from serious questions of public policy. Broder worries that the media's presidential election coverage has wandered so far astray that he's not sure it will ever find its way back.
Slicing the spin: health care
President Bush and Democratic presidential candidate Kerry have varying proposals on how the uninsured should be covered by health insurance and how much the government should spend. Midmorning's guests take a look at the proposals and what they might mean.
Campaign 2004: Health Care
The rising cost and lack of availability of health care is a huge problem. The solution has eluded Washington lawmakers for more than a decade. Both presidential candidates are talking about the problem and proposing dramatically different solutions. As part of a Midmorning series, Slicing the Spin, MPR's Mark Zdechlik looks at those differences.
NPR : Minnesota's young voters weigh issues
Talking to voters around the country has long been a mission for NPR's Linda Wertheimer, who reports that the election of 2004 has inspired many voters to take a closer interest in the candidates and issues than they have before. She found just such a blossoming interest among a group of young schoolteachers in Rochester, Minn.
Preparing for a presidential debate
George Bush and John Kerry have scaled back their campaign activities this week in order to prepare for the first presidential debate on Thursday. Both campaigns have a great deal riding on the debates and are having their candidates practice their arguments against stand-ins for their opponents. We get a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for some past presidential and vice presidential debates.
Coleman, Oberstar lead in travel on special interests' dime
An investigation by Marketplace, American RadioWorks, and a Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism finds Rep. Jim Oberstar and Sen. Norm Coleman lead Minnesota's congressional delegation when it comes to privately- sponsored trips, paid for by special interests. Good-government proponents say free travel is one of the most abused government perks.
Heinz Kerry makes Twin Cities stop
Teresa Heinz Kerry didn't talk politics during a Monday afternoon visit. Instead she chatted with a group of kids who work at a community youth garden.
Supreme Court allows Independence Party candidates to stay on ballot
Two dozen Independence Party candidates for the U.S. Congress and the state House of Representatives have been cleared to appear on the ballot this November. The state Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a little-known election law could not be used to block the candidates from appearing in the general election even though they failed to meet a minimum threshold of voter support outlined in the law.
Countdown to the first presidential debate
George W. Bush and John Kerry have begun boning up for the first of three presidential debates, to be held on Thursday evening in Coral Gables, Fla. Their first face off focuses on issues of national security and is expected to draw more television viewers than either party's political convention. With more eyes glued to them than ever before in this election, what will the candidates be trying to accomplish?
Kerry creates stir in Wisconsin small town
Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry is in Spring Green, Wisconsin, preparing for Thursday's debate with President George W. Bush. Kerry's decision to do his debate prep at the House on the Rock resort is creating quite a stir in the small Wisconsin town. One of the people most excited about the arrival of the Kerry camp is Todd Miller, a Democrat running for the Wisconsin State Assembly, and the co-owner of the Spring Green General Store.
Minnesota SOS under spotlight as election approaches
One of the most important people in this fall's general election isn't even on the ballot. Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer isn't up for reelection. But she's been putting in 16-hour days trying to make sure the election runs smoothly, a task getting far more attention than it would have in a pre-2000 recount, pre-9/11 world.
Funding for schools becoming a campaign issue
Education funding is heating up as a campaign issue across Minnesota. Nearly one-fifth of the state's school districts will ask local voters this fall to provide additional tax support. And educators are pressuring state lawmakers, many of whom are up for re-election, to increase funding for public schools in the 2005 legislative session. Suburban business leaders and education officials met Wednesday at a Bloomington hotel to try to add some clarity to a complicated debate.
The profit in political passion
Usually businesses like to stay as far away from politics as possible. In a swing state like Minnesota, publicly casting your lot with one party or the other could turn off half your customers. But where most businesses see danger, a few see opportunity. Welcome to one store finding money to be made in the bitter political climate.
MPR poll: Minnesotans think war will worsen U.S. standing in the world
A new poll sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press suggests that most Minnesotans have misgivings about certain aspects of the war or its aftermath, but a majority still says the president is better prepared to manage the situation.

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