Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics.
He’s been on the beat longer than any other TV reporter in the Twin Cities, covering state government, politics, campaigns and conventions since 1984.
Pat “pulls back the curtain” on what’s happening in government with stories both amusing and annoying, as well as reporting information you need to know to keep up on the issues that affect you most.
And Pat’s popular “Reality Check” segments separate fact from fiction in a political world that is often more fiction than fact.
Pat studied English and journalism at Macalester College in St. Paul.
He’s an avid reader, involved in many local volunteer programs and exhibits a particular fondness for baseball.
Before joining WCCO-TV, Pat was a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio, and a technical assistant for “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor.
Minnesota lawmakers voted Thursday to cut the paychecks of more than two dozen state commissioners. That’s after Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton passed out pay hikes to all 26 members of his cabinet, causing intense political controversy. Some of the raises were as high as $35,000.
Right now, police departments scan and keep millions of license plate images for future investigations.
On Tuesday, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton added his name to a list of state lawmakers protesting the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s decision to terminate the contract of the women’s hockey coach.
Gov. Mark Dayton wanted to shut down down MNsure for six weeks when the website meltdown was at its worst. That’s according to previously unseen documents obtained by WCCO-TV from a yearlong MNsure investigation by the Minnesota Legislative Auditor.
The Minnesota House has endorsed a deal that stalls commissioner pay hikes until June but gives Gov. Mark Dayton a narrow window to boost those salaries.
We’re getting a look Wednesday at some new documents from the investigation into Minnesota’s once-troubled health exchange.
MNsure’s former executive director, April Todd-Malmlov, resigned under pressure — not just because the website melted down, but because, for part of it, she was on a week-long vacation in the Caribbean.
A lack of adequate testing before the state’s health insurance exchange launched in 2013 and other issues meant the exchange’s “failures outweighed its achievements” in its first year, the legislative auditor concluded in a report released Tuesday.
The hefty pay hikes proposed for Gov. Mark Dayton’s cabinet were already controversial when the State Senate met on Thursday. But it was Dayton’s fellow Democrats who voted to suspend the raises until July 1. “That will give the legislature time I think to put the kind of thoughtful review into the study and the salary to make sure that it indeed is warranted,” Sen. Tom Bakk said.
Gov. Mark Dayton regards stinging criticism from legislative Republican over his raises for agency commissioners as being done out of revenge. Dayton lashed out Wednesday over the GOP’s attention to recently announced raises, which were authorized by lawmakers in 2013.
Gov. Mark Dayton said he wants to replace two aging aircraft that serve as Minnesota’s official state planes.
The Democratic governor is asking the legislature for $10 million dollars to replace them, because he says the current planes are becoming dangerous.
Minnesota Republican leaders today ramped up their criticism of Gov. Mark Dayton’s hefty pay hikes for his Cabinet. The Democratic governor issued a letter to the legislature, calling the pay hikes “necessary” and “legal.”
Majority Republicans in the Minnesota House say they will introduce legislation to take away the Governor’s authority to raise the pay of his cabinet.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is giving members of his Cabinet a big payday: They’re getting double-digit raises totalling tens of thousands of dollars.
Minnesotans have until Feb. 15 to sign up for health care insurance or pay a tax penalty. And this year, that penalty could really sting. According to MNsure, the state’s health care exchange, the 2015 penalty for not buying insurance coverage is:
A House committee opened hearings Tuesday on a plan to open a copper-nickel mine on northern Minnesota’s Iron Range.
The Minnesota Zoo is asking the legislature for help with a million dollar budget deficit. Zoo officials said they may otherwise be facing some difficult decisions to make it up, including the possibility of closing some exhibits.
Minnesota’s need for rural health care services is growing at exactly the time the number of health care professionals is shrinking. In six of the largest counties in northwestern Minnesota around Crookston, it’s a crisis.
Every Minnesota public school student would be worth more in the eyes of the state if lawmakers support Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposal. Dayton wants to increase the basic per-pupil funding formula for school districts by 1 percent in each of the next two years.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s plan for transportation would repair or replace 2,200 miles of state roads and 330 bridges, but would come at a noticeable cost to taxpayers. Dayton released a large-scale proposal Monday that depends on adding a new 6.5 percent tax on gas and higher vehicle registration fees.
Minnesota lawmakers are taking aim at a nearly century-old law that’s been very difficult to take off the books. Liquor stores cannot legally open on Sundays. If it’s hard to understand why, you are not alone. It’s an 82 year old law some lawmakers are trying to repeal.
That Sunday beer-run across the border could become a thing of the past. Minnesota lawmakers introduced bills Thursday to repeal a decades-long ban on Sunday liquor store sales.
Minnesota lawmakers are outlining their proposals to change the state’s child protection system. Four legislators were rolling out a plan Wednesday. They serve on a task force Gov. Mark Dayton created after media reports of bureaucratic faults in the death of a 4-year-old boy.
A Twin Cities woman was President Obama’s guest at the State of the Union address Tuesday night. Rebekah Erler wrote the president last year about how tough the economy has been on her family.
Since 1960, it’s been an unstoppable population shift, and a new study from the Center for Rural Policy and Development shows a 50-year migration from rural Minnesota to the urban corridor stretching from St. Cloud through the Twin Cities and Rochester.
Minnesota lawmakers opened hearings Thursday on a bill to regulate how long police can keep computer images of your car and license plate. Police store tens of thousands of those images — even if you haven’t committed a crime.