Battle Of The Pens

Flair pens never have been so popular. Gov. Tim Pawlenty brought out a red one during his State of the State speech last week, calling it the taxpayer protection pen. Now, his spokesman even is carrying one like it. On the House floor Thursday, Rep. Jim Abler, R-Anoka, pulled out a blue Flair pen and…
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Tough Decision

Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba, DFL-Long Prairie, often is being lobbied on the House floor before a vote. Thursday, again, she was among lawmakers being pressured to vote for a transportati8on funding measure. She hesitated supporting the measure because her constituents say they do not want the gasoline tax to rise. She has received 470 communications…
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Happy Lawmaker

Rep. Jim Abler, R-Anoka, went to the Capitol Thursday expecting to vote against the transportation bill, but once he learned of the chamber deal, his mood changed. A happy Abler, one of the handful of Republicans Democrats expect to vote to override a veto next week, would not commit to the future vote. "One vote…
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When To Veto?

Gov. Tim Pawlenty could have a problem: Does he veto the transportation funding bill while chairing the National Governors Association meeting in Washington, D.C.? That is where Pawlenty will be Friday afternoon through mid-day Tuesday. After the NGA meeting ends Monday, he has speeches and other meetings scheduled for Tuesday morning. State law gives him…
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Driving The Bus

Transit issues differ greatly in the Twin Cities and in rural Minnesota. Rep. Bud Heidgerken, R-Freeport, drove that point home during a House floor debate Thursday on the transportation funding bill. "The first time I was on a bus, I drove it," he said. Heidgerken, who was referring to his days as an athletic coach,…
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