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Tea Party acolyte Franson faces a GOP challenger — from the Tea Party right

Tea Party acolyte Franson faces a GOP challenger — from the Tea Party right

Since she was first elected to the House in the great Tea Party wave of 2010, Alexandria Rep. Mary Franson has occasionally wandered into rhetorical minefields, most infamously after her ill-considered comparison of food stamp recipients to wild animals went viral and unleashed a torrent of ridicule and derision on the internet.

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The Capitol Note: GOP Sen. Torrey Westrom to run for Congress

DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson finally has a strong Republican challenger in the 1st Congressional District. Today, state Sen. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, will make his candidacy official, following months of rumors about Westrom's interest in challenging the Democratic incumbent. Westrom is in his first term in the Senate, and won election to the upper chamber in 2012 following seven terms in the House.

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Republican legislators sue to suspend online voter registration

The GOP advocacy groups leading the effort, Minnesota Majority and the Minnesota Voters Alliance, filed a lawsuit in Ramsey County Court on Monday, alleging Ritchie used unilateral power to install a new online voter registration tool after session ended and without bringing it through the proper legislative channels. They are asking the court to suspend the the tool, which was launched at the end of September, until it can be voted on by lawmakers.

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Court order keeps block on daycare unionization

The controversial law, passed earlier this year, would allow local union AFSCME to organize an election to try and unionize the state's 12,000-some home daycare providers. While AFSCME is continuing to organize for that election, the vote cannot happen until the injunction is lifted. That could come with a ruling from either the 8th Circuit Court on the Minnesota case or the U.S. Supreme Court on the Illinois case -- whichever comes first.

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U.S. Supreme Court case to affect Minnesota daycare unionization

The high court confirmed it will take up Harris v. Quinn, an Illinois case similar to one brought in Minnesota by opponents of an effort to unionize child-care workers. In September, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals temporarily blocked a Minnesota law authorizing the unionization vote pending a Supreme Court ruling on the Illinois case. The case was previously pending before the court.

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Daycare unionization drive put on hold by court ruling

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction on Thursday halting implementation of a state law authorizing roughly 12,000 childcare providers that receive state subsidies to seek union representation.

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Rep. Karen Clark on the front lines of the marriage battle

Rep. Karen Clark has authored a House bill to legalize gay marriage — a bill that DFL caucus leaders now believe has votes enough to pass. In her three decades in office, Clark has driven many changes in the state, and not just in the realm of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.

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Civil unions bill draws sharp reaction

Republican Rep. Tim Kelly is one of the last GOP legislators you’d expect to find on the bad side of gay marriage advocates. The three-term member from Red Wing is well-known for bucking his own caucus in 2011 as Republicans worked to pass a controversial constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

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