Independent political news, information and commentary from the Capitol and the State of Minnesota.

Civil Union Amendment Causes Flare Up At Capitol

Sen John Marty (DFL) joins the program to talk about a new constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage in Minnesota. Republican law makers want to make ban any civil unions and make it part of the Minnesota Consititution.

Then we interview newly elected Senator Mary Jo McGuire (DFL) who won a special election on April 12th to fill the seat previously held by Senator Ellen Anderson (DFL) and will serve Saint Paul in district 66. McGuire talks about her first week at the Capitol, the GOP welcome wagon and her other job as college professor at St.Kate's.

Balance Note: Capitol Conversations invited Tom Pritchard from the Minnesota Family Council and Rep Steve Drazkowski (R) who both oppose same sex marriage. Both declined our invition.

Capitol Conversations airs LIVE every Tuesday at 6 p.m. CST during the Legislative Session.

Hosts Marty Owings and Ahndi Fridell, Producer Craig Stellmacher and Associate Producer Susan Maricle. 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Freedom of Information And Redistricting Take Center Stage

Hosts Marty Owings and Ahndi Fridell talk to Matt Ehling of Public Media Records about recent Freedom of Information Act restrictions, locally and nationally. Also joining the program is Mike Dean the Executive Director of Common Cause Minnesota who worries that Minnesota's Redistricting is being done behind closed doors.

Broadcasting LIVE from the Minnesota State Capitol every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. CST.

Producer Craig Stellmacher, Associate Producer Susan Maricle - Minnesota Capitol News 2011 All Rights Reserved

Budget Divide Grows - Sen DeKruif (R) and Rep Gardner (DFL) Join The Program

Freshman Senator Al DeKruif (R) and Former House Rep Paul Gardner (DFL) join the show to discuss budget issues and some particular Bills moving through the Legislature. We also hear form Representative Kate Knuth (DFL) about Equal Pay Day and Gender equity.

Follow us on Twitter at mncapnews for updates and to post questions to the quests. You can also check us out on Facebook at Minnesota Capitol News.

Host Marty Owings, Producer Craig Stellmacher and Associate Producer Susan Maricle. Minnesota Capitol News 2011 All Rights Reserved

Emmer and Winkler Mix It Up On The Budget

Former State Representative and Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Emmer (R) and State Representative Ryan Winkler (DFL) discuss and debate budget issues, HHS and GOP proposals to limit Collective Bargaining in Minnesota. PLUS - they talk about what they think about a possible government shut down.

Don't forget to Tweet us at MNCAPNEWS or post a message or question on our Facebook page at Minnesota Capitol News.

Host Marty Owings, Producer Craig Stellmacher and Assistant Producer Susan Maricle are the Capitol Conversations crew.

Rep Knuth (DFL) and Rep Beard (R) Talk Environment and the Coexistence of Science & Religion

TONIGHT on Capitol Conversations - Rep Kate Knuth (DFL) and Rep Mike Beard (R) discuss and debate environmental issues and the coexistence of religion and science. Both Legislators find themselves at opposite ends of the spectrum on environmental issues and we asked them to share their divergent views on such subjects as Nuclear energy, environmental regulation, God and other subjects.

Minnesota's first and only LIVE streaming political talk show. Broadcasting from the Capitol every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. CST with Host Marty Owings.

Produced by Craig Stellmacher with Associate Producer Susan Maricle.

Two Candidates For Saint Paul Senate Seat Get Fiesty

Broadcast on Tuesday March 22 at 6:00 p.m. CST on Capitol Conversations Representative John Lesch and GOP Endorsed Senate Candidate Greg Copeland are both vying for Senator Ellen Anderson's seat. Anderson accepted an appointment to become the chair of the Public Utilities Commission. The two mixed it up on a variety of questions and issues. The special election will take place on April 12th.

Also joining the program was citizen lobbyist and information advocate Rich Neumeister from
Mr. Neumeister will be on to discuss familial DNA and the direction of public disclosure and privacy issues under a GOP controlled legislature.

Host Marty Owings, Producers Craig Stellmacher and Susan Maricle.

The Minnesota Abortion Stalemate

The Minnesota Abortion Stalemate.
By Craig Stellmacher

Minnesota Capitol news looks at several Pro-life and Pro-Choice bills going forward in the legislature this year. Four identical Republican bills that would prevent state funding for any abortions that would likely not get past Governor Mark Dayton. If the bills did pass they would likely face a Supreme Court challenge because they conflict with an earlier ruling, 1995's Doe vs. Gomez. Representative Peggy Scott is Principle Author of the HF 201 "Abortion funding limited for state-sponsored health programs." (

Republican Rep. Peggy Scott details that $1.5 Million in 2008, and $15,000 a year of state funds have been spent since 1995, because a key Minnesota Supreme Court decision allows for the poor to access state funds to use them on all forms of reproductive care including abortion. Since that ruling a different Supreme Court--a "Pawlenty Supreme Court"--would now weigh in on this issue.

Representative Steve Drazkowski, helps discusses the math a bit on HF 201 which contains five Democratic Co-Authors including Representatives Patty Fritz (DFL) 26B, Larry Hosch (DFL)14B, Mary Murphy (DFL) 06B, John Ward (DFL) 12A and Lyle Koenen (DFL) 20B.

Rep. Drazkowski figures all 72 Republican would be on board, and 18 Democrats would have to come along, but that isn't likely. Finally (DFL) Rep. Scott Dibble, explains his "Reproductive Privacy Act" probably doesn't even have a chance of a hearing in a Republican controlled house and senate. He says he wants to codify the right of women to decide.

Capitol Conversations - Political Panel Weighs In On Latest Budget Issues

TONIGHT - A panel of Political experts face off on the latest budget issues including news that the overall deficit has decreased by $1.5 billion dollars. Joining Host Marty Owings will be political analyst Sarah Janacek, conservative radio commentator Mitch Berg along with Former DFL State Representatives Karla Bigham and Paul Gardner. Capitol Conversations broadcasts every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. CST.

Producer Craig Stellmacher, Assoc. Producer Susan Maricle, Host Marty Owings.

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