Minnesota Seniors ‘Frustrated and Confused’ About COVID-19 Vaccine Process, AARP Says

Only 42% of Minnesota seniors, the group most susceptible to death by COVID-19, have received the first of two COVID-19 vaccination shots.

AARP Minnesota, which represents 640,000 people, sent Gov. Tim Walz a letter detailing problems with the vaccine rollout, saying it left seniors “frustrated and confused.”

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Minnesota Gov. Walz Announces $518 Million Jobs Plan, Including $150 Million for Twin Cities Rioting Damage

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Monday announced his 2021 Local Jobs and Projects Plan that aims to spend $518 million on infrastructure projects across the state.
Walz compared infrastructure spending to repairing a house’s roof.

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More Than 1 Million Minnesotans Have Gotten a COVID-19 Vaccine

Less than one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesotans have received more than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Tim Walz announced Friday.

About 728,081 Minnesotans had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 286,543 have completed the two-dose series. 

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Minnesota Gov. Walz Announces Plan for All Schools to Offer Some In-Person Learning by March 8

On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz updated Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan to allow more middle school and high school students to return to the classroom for hybrid or in-person learning as early as Monday.

Walz expects all schools to offer their students some form of in-person learning by March 8, but said he won’t force them to comply.

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Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer Exposes the ‘Dirty Truth’ About School Closures

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer exposed the “dirty truth” about school closures at a Friday event hosted by the Center of the American Experiment.

Emmer represents Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District and chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee. He believes education will remain a hot topic in the 2022 midterms.

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Minnesota Health Coalition Wants Minority Groups to Get Vaccinated First

A coalition of Minnesota doctors wants the governor to prioritize minority groups for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Minnesota Doctors for Health Equity sent a letter Monday to Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan asking for “ethical, evidence-based, and equitable action” surrounding the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, particularly regarding Phase 1b of the vaccine rollout.

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Half of Rep. Omar’s Campaign Donations Funneled to Husband’s Company

Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show that more than half of all donations made to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) in her 2020 re-election bid were paid to her husband’s business in the form of consulting fees. 

Omar’s 2020 FEC report shows a total of 146 payments made to the E Street Group, her husband Tim Mynett’s firm. Those payments total $2.9 million. As reported by The Washington Free Beacon, that $2.9 million Mynett made from his wife’s re-election campaign accounted for about 80 percent of his firm’s revenue during the last election cycle. 

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Minnesota Sees Boom in Gun Sales as New Regulations Loom

The FBI processed 55% more firearm background checks from Minnesota in January 2021 compared to the same month last year.

In the first month of 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation processed 56,561 background checks for gun sales through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in Minnesota. In January 2021, that number jumped to 87,538 amid a record-breaking increase in gun-buying around the country.

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Minnesota Congressman Apologizes for His ‘Privilege’ During Capitol Riots

Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips apologized Thursday night on the House floor to his colleagues for having “privilege” during the Jan. 6 Capitol siege.

As congressmen spoke of their fears during the event, the 52-year-old heir to the Phillips Distilling Company issued contrition.

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Senator: Seniors Account for 90 Percent of Minnesota Deaths, Allocated 25 Percent of Vaccine Doses

Gov. Tim Walz announced a plan Monday to get more COVID-19 vaccine doses into the arms of senior citizens, but some Republican senators think the proposal comes up short.

State Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, chair of the Senate’s Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, called a press conference Monday to unveil her “seniors first” vaccine plan.

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Kamala-Backed Minnesota Freedom Fund Strikes Again, Irks Local Prosecutor

A Minneapolis man whose criminal behavior “raises significant concerns for public safety” was twice bailed out of jail by the Minnesota Freedom Fund.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced three new charges Thursday against 29-year-old Thomas Moseley.

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Minneapolis Leaders Propose New Department to ‘Supervise’ Police Officers

Minneapolis City Council members officially introduced a draft amendment to the city charter that would create a new Department of Public Safety and eliminate the Minneapolis police force as its own department.

After giving a notice of intent to change the charter’s current mandate — which requires funds for the MPD as a sole entity — to fund more general “public safety services,” City Council Members Phillipe Cunningham, Steve Fletcher, and Jeremy Schroeder introduced the draft of the amendment Friday. Their objective is to put the amendment up for a public vote during the next municipal election.

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Minnesota City Coalition’s 2021 Priorities Include Local Government Aid, Child Care Investment, Water Infrastructure

On Friday, The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) announced priorities for the 2021 legislative session for COVID-19 recovery, including Local Government Aid, child care, housing, and water infrastructure.

“The pandemic has taken a toll on our community,” Greg Zylka, mayor of Little Falls and CGMC president said in a Zoom meeting. “Some segments are still really struggling, and that pain has ripple effects across the city.”

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Republicans, Business Industry Express Dismay with Minnesota Gov. Walz’s Proposed Spending and Tax Increases

While Minnesota is recovering from a 2020 budget deficit and public health hangover, Gov. Tim Walz proposed a $52.4 billion budget – a $4 billion spending increase from the prior biennium budget and the largest proposed spending plan in state history.

“As a result of rising costs and inflation, it is expected that budgets will increase biennium to biennium,” Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) spokesman Chris Kelly told The Center Square in an email.

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Online Sports Betting, Marijuana Legalization Unlikely for Minnesota in 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, states are turning to new revenue sources in an attempt to avoid raising taxes while filling a projected gaping budget deficit.

For Minnesota, that number is a $1.3 billion projected shortfall for fiscal year 2022-2023.

But top lawmakers say two revenue sources that have been popular in other states are unlikely to be signed into law this year; namely, the legalization of recreational marijuana and online sports betting.

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Minnesota State Rep Demands Apology After ‘Authoritarian’ Investigation into Rally Attendance Goes Nowhere

A review requested by House Speaker Melissa Hortman found “no actions or speech rose to the level of criminal activity” during a Jan. 6 protest at the Minnesota Capitol.

The rally, billed as a “Storm the Capitol” protest, took place the same afternoon as the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

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Youth Hockey District in Minnesota Will Impose Penalty of $1,000 Fine for Noncompliance with Mask Mandate

Some youth hockey associations could be fined if players and coaches don’t wear masks during practices or games.

Minnesota Hockey is the governing body of youth hockey in the state of Minnesota and teams are divided between twelve districts, including District 10. Each district includes several local hockey associations.

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Sen. Klobuchar Blasts ‘Angry, Violent Mob’ in Inauguration Speech

A Minnesota Senator used her inaugural speech to demonize mostly peaceful protestors who occupied the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, while simultaneously calling for unity.  

“Two weeks ago, when an angry, violent mob staged an insurrection and desecrated this temple of our democracy, it awakened us to our responsibility as Americans,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said, speaking to a sparse crowd. “This is the day when our democracy picks itself up, brushes off the dust, and does what America always does: goes forward as a nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” 

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Minnesota Vaccine Pilot Program Targets Those Ages 65+, K-12 Teachers, Child Care Workers

Minnesota is launching a COVID-19 vaccine pilot program this week, but the number of vaccines available is extremely limited.

Nine appointment-only sites across the state will start offering vaccines on Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz said in a news release.

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Minnesota’s St. Paul City Council Approves Creation of Slavery Reparations Committee

The St. Paul City Council unanimously voted to approve the creation of a committee dedicated to researching reparations for descendants of slavery in order to engage in “racial healing.”

The resolution, which was approved during a Wednesday night meeting, names the new group the Saint Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission. The main goal of the committee is to “make significant progress toward repairing the damage caused by public and private systemic racism in the City of Saint Paul.”

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Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Add Minnesota to Popular Vote Compact

State Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, introduced a bill Monday that would add Minnesota to a popular vote compact, securing the state’s electoral votes for the winner of the national popular vote.

According to a press release from the Senate DFL, Wiger’s bill would add Minnesota to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. States that are a part of this agreement “pledge their states’ electoral votes to the presidential and vice presidential candidates who win the national popular vote as opposed to the popular vote in their particular state.”

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Minnesota Police Union President to Retire, Says ‘Our Noble Profession Has Been Demonized’

Minneapolis Police Union President Lt. Bob Kroll announced that he intends to retire at the end of January in a letter to union members, The Star Tribune reported.
Lt. Bob Kroll, 58, said he originally planned on retiring in May, but that he decided it was in his family’s best interest to retire sooner, according to The Star Tribune. Kroll attracted attention in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes.

“Most difficult for me as I made this decision was to see how our noble profession has been demonized,” Kroll wrote in the letter obt

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Scott Jensen Claims Minnesota Is in an ‘Abusive Relationship with Gov. Walz’

Former Sen. Scott Jensen said that Minnesotans are in an “abusive relationship” with Gov. Tim Walz during a recent livestream. 

In a video explaining the checks in place against Gov. Walz’s emergency powers and why those powers have not been taken away, Jensen compared Minnesota’s situation to an “abusive relationship.”

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Details Emerge on Warrant Search of Dolal Idd’s Family Home

Details were released Monday regarding the search warrant executed at the family home of Dolal Idd, who was shot and killed by Minneapolis police last week during an attempted traffic stop.

Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson is also defending the conduct of his officers during the search after the family made accusations of mistreatment.

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Let Them Play Minnesota Calls Out Walz for ‘Ignoring the Science’

Let Them Play MN, a nonprofit, issued a press release outlining its concerns regarding the newest guidelines for youth sports.

A guidance released by the Minnesota Department of Health on Dec. 28 requires all youth sports players to wear masks during practices and, when the time comes, during games. A few exceptions exist, including wrestling, gymnastics, and swimming and diving.

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Minnesota Asks Court to Raise Daily Fines Against Restaurant Owner

State officials are now seeking additional penalties against Larvita McFarquhar, a defiant restaurant owner in Lynd, Minnesota, who is being fined $250 per day for remaining open.

A Ramsey County judge ordered McFarquhar to close her restaurant earlier this month and comply with Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 executive orders. But she refused and was found in contempt of court, which comes with a $250 daily fine for non-compliance.

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Tom Emmer Only Minnesota Rep to Vote Against $2,000 Stimulus Checks

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican, was the only member of Minnesota’s congressional delegation to vote against a measure to increase COVID-19 stimulus checks to $2,000.

All of Minnesota’s Democratic members of Congress voted in favor of the proposal, which passed the U.S. House Monday in a vote of 275-134.

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Minnesota Department of Health Guidance Says Masks Will be Required at All Times for Youth Sports

The Minnesota Department of Health released guidance for youth and adult sports Dec. 28, announcing that games and scrimmages will be able to take place starting on Jan. 14, in addition to practices being allowed beginning on Jan. 4.

Masks will be required at all times for players during both practices and games, with very few exceptions. According to the guidelines, “People are not permitted to remove their face coverings during activities that involve a high level of exertion.”

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National Guard Preparing for Indefinite Deployment While George Floyd Trial Proceeds in Minneapolis

The Minnesota National Guard may deploy indefinitely to Minneapolis while the four former police officers involved in the death of George Floyd are on trial in 2021, an ABC affiliate reported Wednesday.

The National Guard’s 12-page plan dubbed “Operation Safety Net” details a worst-case scenario plan where all available state guard forces are deployed for an indefinite amount of time during and after the trials of former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Keung, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, local outlet KSTP reported.

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‘Willful Disregard of the Law’: Minnesota Suspends Defiant Restaurant’s Liquor License

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety suspended the liquor license of Boardwalk Bar & Grill, a restaurant in East Grand Forks that reopened last week in violation of the governor’s coronavirus mandates.

The Polk County District Court granted Attorney General Keith Ellison’s motion for a temporary restraining order Friday to prevent the restaurant from remaining open. The business also was issued a cease and desist order by the Minnesota Department of Health.

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Minnesota Letter Allegedly Sent to Suburban Resident Claims Christmas Lights Are ‘Harmful’ and a Reminder of ‘Systemic Biases’

A St. Anthony resident claims to have received a letter in the mail on Monday that chastised her for her Christmas lights display.

The letter states that the “twinkling, colorful lights are a reminder of the division that runs through our country” and that such displays can have a “harmful impact.”

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Minnesota Drug Overdose Deaths Increased 31 Percent Year-to-Date in First Six Months of 2020

Previously unseen costs of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns are coming to light.

Drug overdose deaths increased 31% during the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019, according to new data released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

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52 Percent of Minnesota Renters Say They’re Likely to be Evicted in Next Two Months

More than half of Minnesota renters surveyed recently by the U.S. Census Bureau say they’re either “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to face eviction in the next two months.

This data comes by way of the bureau’s most recent Household Pulse Survey, which regularly collects information about American households. The bureau cautions that data collected by these surveys are considered “experimental” and “sample sizes may be small and the standard errors may be large.”

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Minnesota Media Said Dominion Tech ‘Delayed Election Results’ in 2016

The left-leaning Star Tribune, one of Minnesota’s largest news outlets, reported that technology from Dominion Voting Systems “delayed election results” in 2016.

Dominion is a Canada-based tech company responsible for supplying equipment that tabulates the vote at Minnesota’s central counting location and other polling places, per the Office of the Secretary of State. Since the 2020 election, Dominion has been at the center of several controversies related to allegations of election fraud. Those who support President Donald Trump and believe fraud occurred in November are critical of Dominion, while Democrats who believe that no fraud occurred tend to trust the company.

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Republicans on Track to Retain Control of Minnesota Senate

Despite millions of dollars being spent against them, Republicans are on track to retain control of the Minnesota Senate, meaning Gov. Tim Walz will have to finish out the remainder of his term with a divided Legislature.

Democrats won an open seat in Senate District 44 and are on track to unseat Sen. Dan Hall in Burnsville, but Republican Zack Duckworth defeated Sen. Matt Little of Lakeville.

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Minnesota Voters Sour on State of Nation

Voters in Minnesota made their pick for president while holding negative views about the country’s direction, according to an expansive AP survey of the American electorate.

The race between President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden concluded Tuesday in a deeply divided nation struggling with a once-in-a-century pandemic and a severe economic downturn. AP VoteCast found that more than 3 in 10 Minnesota voters said the U.S. is on the right track and more than 6 in 10 voters said it is headed in the wrong direction.

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Leaked Doc Allegedly Created by Left-Wing Minnesota Group Calls for Post-Election ‘Mass Mobilization’

One section of the leaked manifesto, titled “Theory of What Will Happen,” declares that “mass mobilization will and must happen in Minnesota to defend democracy.”

A leaked document allegedly created by TakeAction Minnesota warns of “mass mobilization” and “unrest” in Minneapolis if President Donald Trump is reelected, or if the results of the election are contested.

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Minnesota Court Rules Absentee Ballots Must be Received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Late Ones to be Separated

Absentee ballots received by 8 p.m. on Election Day must be separated from ballots received later in case of another order voiding those votes, a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled.

In a 2-1 decision, the ruling didn’t determine the validity of the post-Election Day ballots but said the separation would allow for them to be “removed from vote totals in the event a final order is entered” finding the votes invalid.

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Appeals Court Orders Minnesota to Separate Mail-in Ballots That Arrive After Election Day

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that mail-in ballots from Minnesota that arrive after Nov. 3 must be separated from those that are received on or before Election Day.

The ruling, which came from a three-judge panel from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, authorized a GOP challenge against Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon order extending the ballot deadline by seven days. Ballots received after Election Day should be separated, the ruling said, in order “to be removed from vote totals in the event a final order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction determining such votes to be invalid or unlawfully counted.”

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Omar Calls for Packing the Court After Barrett Confirmation

Rep. Ilhan Omar called for “expanding” the U.S. Supreme Court Monday night after the Senate voted to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Barrett was confirmed in a vote of 52-48 Monday evening and was sworn in shortly after by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas during a ceremony at the White House. Every Democratic senator, including both of Minnesota’s U.S. senators, voted against her confirmation. Sen. Susan Collins was the only Republican to vote against Barrett’s confirmation.

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Police Unions File Complaint Against Ramsey County Officer Who Endorsed John Thompson

Three Ramsey County police unions filed a formal complaint with the county against an officer who publicly endorsed DFL House candidate John Thompson.

“John is wonderful. John is a leader. John is somebody that speaks truth to power,” Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Roy Magnuson said of Thompson, who threatened to burn down a neighborhood during a protest in August.

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Minnesota Launches COVID-19 Home Saliva Test Pilot Program

Minnesota health officials announced a pilot program Thursday that will provide at-home COVID-19 saliva tests for residents in two dozen counties and tribal nations statewide in an effort to expand access to testing as the state experiences a surge in cases in recent weeks.

The program allows people to order a saliva test through the mail and perform the test in their own home with virtual help from a health care professional. The test will then be shipped to the state’s saliva lab in Oakdale, with results emailed within 24-48 hours.

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GOP Challenger Claims Omar Has Repeatedly Canceled Debates

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Republican challenger claimed that the first-term congresswoman has repeatedly backed out of forums and debates, making her one of the only incumbents who hasn’t participated in a debate.

Republican Lacy Johnson called on Omar to agree to a debate before the Nov. 3 election in a statement issued this week.

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‘Calmer Heads’ Could Have Minimized Riot Damage, Police Union President Says

Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis President Bob Kroll was interviewed on Alpha News’ Facebook live Monday night by Devin Foley, CEO of the Charlemagne Institute.

Kroll is now best known around the country as the man who dealt with Black Lives Matter protesters outside of his house in Hugo, Minnesota, this summer.

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Emails Suggest Walz Admin Quickly Decided Against Restoring Columbus Statue

Emails obtained by the Star Tribune indicate that Gov. Tim Walz’s administration decided not to reinstall a Christopher Columbus statue the same day it was toppled over by a group of protesters.

The statue, which stood outside the State Capitol building, was torn down in broad daylight by a group of vandals affiliated with the American Indian Movement (AIM). Mike Forcia, chairman of AIM, said he alerted Walz’s office of his plans prior to the June 10 incident.

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Sen. Tina Smith Tests Negative for COVID After Skipping Warren Event

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tina Smith skipped a campaign event with Sen. Elizabeth Warren over the weekend after learning that a person who attended one of her events eight days earlier had tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I’m getting tested & I am quarantining until I test negative,” Smith tweeted Sunday. After learning Monday morning that she had tested negative, Smith tweeted that she was “Headed back to Washington to keep working for Minnesotans.”

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Trump Campaign Knocks One-Millionth Door in Minnesota

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign knocked its one-millionth door in Minnesota over the weekend. 

While Democrats have been hosting their events online, Republicans have been on the ground knocking doors and holding rallies in their push to turn Minnesota red. Democrats were previously critical of Republicans for campaigning in person during a pandemic, but supporters of Joe Biden recently took to knocking doors themselves.

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Minnesota’s Bonding Bill Includes More Than $11 Million for ‘Response to Civil Unrest’

The $1.9 billion bonding bill passed last week by the Minnesota Legislature includes upwards of $11 million for “costs incurred” during May’s Minneapolis riots.

The bill appropriates more than $5 million from the trunk highway fund and $3.5 million from the general fund to the Department of Public Safety “for costs incurred related to the response to civil unrest in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.”

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Minnesota GOP Chair Claims Attorney General Ellison ‘Threatened’ Family That Hosted Trump Event

Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan has accused Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison of abusing his power and threatened to file “a cease-and-desist order” against his office.

On Tuesday night, Felton Farms in Northfield, Minnesota, held a private MAGA rally with Eric Trump, where congressional candidate Tyler Kistner and Carnahan also made appearances. Carnahan, who accused Ellison of “using his office to play politics” and “threatening” the farm venue, announced that the Republican Party of Minnesota would be filing a cease-and-desist order against Ellison’s office.

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