Pat Kessler

web pat kessler Pat Kessler
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.

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(credit: Huldraarms)

Reality Check: Guns And 8th District Candidates

The hotly contested 8th Congressional District campaign took another turn this week, over guns. The National Rifle Association is pouring nearly $750,000 into a negative ad which mocks incumbent Democratic Congressman Rick Nolan. The ad features an actor in a suit and a goofy hat, posing for election-year photos. “Nolan doesn’t get basic gun safety, and doesn’t know how many shells go in a duck gun,” the ad says.

9 hours ago

(credit: CBS)

Minn. Politicians Make Final Push For Votes Before Election Day

Republicans and Democrats are fanning out across the state for the final few days of fall campaigning. Top candidates for both political parties are making the final push for votes before Election Day on Tuesday.

10/29/2014

(credit: CBS)

Politicians Hit Voters With Direct Mail With 1 Week Until Election Day

Minnesota is one week out from Election Day, and many political campaigns are going “old school.” Thousands of Minnesota mailboxes are filling up with campaign literature.

10/28/2014

(credit: CBS)

McFadden Rebuts Franken Ad Portraying Him As Ruthless Businessman

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden is hitting back against a campaign ad that portrays him as a ruthless businessman.

10/27/2014

(credit: CBS)

Reality Check: Why Are Candidates Allowed To Lie?

Candidates and outside groups are spending nearly $4 billion this election cycle, most of it on TV ads.

10/24/2014

(credit: CBS)

Family Of Abused Boy Gets GOP To Change Attack Ad

The Minnesota Republican Party scrambled Thursday to revise a television ad that accuses Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton of incompetence after the grandmother of a 4-year-old boy whose death was highlighted in the spot complained it was inappropriate.

10/23/2014

Rick Nolan And Stewart Mills

Reality Check: Are 8th District Ads Backfiring?

Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District is unexpectedly among the most hotly-contested House races in the country. Outside groups are on a spending spree, pumping millions of dollars into television ads attacking Democrat Rick Nolan and Republican Stewart Mills. Mills, whose family founded the popular sporting goods chain stores Mills Fleet Farm,

10/20/2014

(credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Reality Check: Are Congressman’s High-Flying Expenses Reasonable?

Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, on the western edge of the state, is the unexpected focus of millions of dollars in political attack ads.

10/17/2014

(credit: CBS)

Johnson Says Dayton’s ‘Lying’ Over Health Rates

Minnesota-based PreferredOne had some of the lowest insurance rates in the country on the MNsure website, but abruptly dropped out in September. Now, it’s raising rates for some customers as much as 66 percent — a jarring “market correction.” Larry Jacobs studies the federal health care law for the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

10/16/2014

(credit: CBS)

Reality Check: Is Congress Really Getting Things Done?

The ads are hard to miss. They feature candidates for public office in Minnesota telling the public how they “reached across the aisle to get things done”.

10/15/2014

(credit: CBS)

Dayton, Johnson Duel Over Vikings Stadium

In their first one-on-one debate of the campaign, two candidates for Minnesota governor squared off in Duluth Tuesday. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and his Republican opponent, Jeff Johnson, turned up the heat on each other over which candidate better understands the struggles of middle class voters. But unexpectedly, another big issue just keeps coming back: the Vikings stadium.

10/14/2014

(credit: Jeff Johnson)

Reality Check: Jeff Johnson’s Ad Calls Gov. Dayton ‘Unaware’

A tough new television ad from Republican governor candidate Jeff Johnson is raising eyebrows — and a few tempers. The ad takes some tough shots at Gov. Mark Dayton and, unexpectedly, the owners of the Minnesota Vikings.

10/09/2014

(credit: CBS & Mike McFadden)

Reality Check: New Franken Ad On McFadden Is Misleading

A new TV ad by Democratic Sen. Al Franken claims his Republican opponent Mike McFadden searches the world for places to avoid paying taxes.

10/08/2014

(credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Bill Maher Visits MN To ‘Flip A District’ Against Kline

Even comedian Bill Maher acknowledges his decision to try to oust Minnesota Rep. John Kline is a long shot. Maher picked the six-term Republican for his “Flip A District” contest live on his “Real Time with Bill Maher” show last month. He’s set to travel to Northfield Tuesday evening for two events to put pressure on Kline.

10/07/2014

(credit: CBS)

McFadden: Passport Plan Key To Terrorism Fight

Republican Senate candidate Mike McFadden is pressing a proposal to strip passports from American recruits to the Islamic State group, but says that won’t mean those people lose their U.S. citizenship altogether. McFadden gave additional details Monday about his anti-terror approach. He also says job-training programs and grants to law enforcement could help would-be recruits from heading abroad in the first place. He’s not saying how much more the government should spend on those things.

10/06/2014

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