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Aside from the occasional heckler, politicos encountered little shutdown static

Eagan resident Mike Owens made sure to shake freshman Republican Rep. Doug Wardlow’s hand when he walked by on his Fourth of July parade route Monday morning. Owens urged Wardlow to pass racino legislation and fight Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed tax increases and “inflated budget” to the end, even as legislators and the governor headed into the fourth day of a historic government shutdown. “Thirty-four billion is more than enough. As far as I’m concerned, they should have stuck with $30 billion,” he said.

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House GOP vote on marriage amendment was defining issue of session’s last days

Around 4 o’clock last Saturday afternoon, the central drama of Session 2011’s closing days finally reared its head on the House floor. Shortly before the chamber recessed for dinner, GOP Rep. Mary Liz Holberg stood to announce the addition of a controversial constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage to the calendar for that evening’s proceedings.

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Board plays a critical role in keeping GOP together

Former Republican Rep. Dave Bishop remembers sitting in the office of then-House Speaker Steve Sviggum, trying to calm him down. Sviggum was fuming, as Bishop recalls, because he had just been voted down on an issue by the executive board, a small group of GOP representatives that serve as caucus advisers to the speaker of the House of Representatives.

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