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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Senate Official Building Still Controversial As It Nears Completion

The controversial new Minnesota Senate Office Building at the State Capitol is nearing completion. Republicans made the $90 million project an example of wasteful spending in the 2014 campaign.

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Study: MNsure Rate Hikes Among The Highest In The Country

Minnesota is ranked number one in a category it might not like — it has some of the highest health care insurance rate hikes in the country.


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Reality Check: Who Gets Paid Sick Days?

Thousands of Minnesotans don’t get paid when they don’t work, and that could be making you sick.


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MNsure’s 2016 Rates Will Surge Up To 49 Percent

State officials say Minnesotans buying health coverage through MNsure will pay between 14 percent and 49 percent more on average next year.


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Feds Say They’ll Give State Time To Upgrade IDs For Flights

For millions of Minnesotans who board planes every year, a Minnesota state-issued driver’s license may no longer be enough. Starting next year, you’ll need a tamper-proof high security license approved by the federal government and issued by the state.


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Dayton To Ask Legislature For Ryder Cup Funding

It’s one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments, and it kicks off one year from now at Hazeltine Golf Course in Chaska. And top Minnesota officials are hoping to capitalize on the worldwide attention.


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Minn. Lawmakers To Debate Growing State Prison Population

Minnesota’s top corrections experts are looking at ways to ease the strain on the state’s overcrowded prisons. Minnesota has one of the fastest-growing prison populations in the country, despite a drop in the crime rate.


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Minnesota Political Leaders Soak In Papal Address To Congress

Washington, D.C. set aside politics for one day to listen to the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics. Pope Francis delivered the first papal address in history to a joint session of Congress. It was an address that some thought would be political, including remarks on immigration, religious liberty and climate change.


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Crackdown On Luxury Car Owners Dodging Taxes With Montana Registration

The state of Minnesota is cracking down on a high-end motor vehicle scheme that originates in Montana, and has cheated the state out of at least $1 million in taxes.


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Reality Check: Donald Trump Supporter’s Anti-Muslim Remarks

Minnesota U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison called on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump Friday to repudiate anti-Muslim remarks at one of his rallies in New Hampshire. A Trump supporter said President Obama is not an American or a Christian, and wondered how to “get rid” of Muslims at the televised town hall meeting Thursday.



Lawmaker Cited For Making Out Undecided On 2016 Election

A Minnesota lawmaker cited for making out with a fellow Republican legislator says she’s moving past the incident and isn’t discussing any details.


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Candidates Duke It Out In 2nd GOP Presidential Debate

Wednesday night’s second debate among Republican presidential candidates had plenty of substance and plenty of fireworks.


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Reality Check: Forbes Magazine Ranks The Vikings Worth

The Minnesota Vikings are worth more today than at any time in Purple franchise history. That’s according to a Forbes magazine ranking of NFL teams, which found the value of the Vikings is rising fast.



MN Reps. Cited Step Down From Ethics Committee

The fallout continues for two Minnesota state lawmakers cited for “making out” in a Regional Park. GOP Reps. Tara Mack and Tim Kelly apologized Monday to law enforcement for saying the Dakota County park ranger lied about the incident.


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Man On ‘No-Fly’ List Granted School Bus Driver’s License

The state Department of Public Safety has granted a school bus driver’s license to a Minnesota man who is on the Homeland Security “no-fly” list.


Ice Fishing

Dayton To Demand Mille Lacs Open For Walleye Ice Fishing

Gov. Mark Dayton says he’ll insist Mille Lacs Lake be open for an ice fishing season for walleye. Dayton left no doubt Thursday that the premier lake would have a winter season after the summer fishing season got suspended early.


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Anti-Planned Parenthood Protesters Rally At Governor’s Residence

Hundreds of people protested outside the Governor’s Residence in St. Paul Wednesday, calling for the state to investigate Planned Parenthood. This comes days after another undercover video was released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, alleging the illegal sale of fetal tissue may also happen in Minnesota.


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Minnesota Officials Bracing For Possible 2nd Wave Of Bird Flu

Top state officials say there’s a good chance Minnesota will see another bird flu outbreak.


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Reality Check: Minnesota’s Sports Facilities Building Boom

Minnesota’s new major league soccer franchise may be closing in on a location for its new home: a privately-financed $150 million, 20,000 seat soccer stadium in St. Paul or Minneapolis.


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John Kline Not Seeking Re-Election In 2016

Rep. John Kline announced Thursday he won’t seek re-election in 2016, after serving in Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district since 2002.



Lawmakers Deny They Were ‘Making Out’ At Eagan Park

Two Minnesota lawmakers cited for allegedly “making out” at an Eagan park last week are accusing a sheriff’s deputy of making up the story.


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Black Lives Matter Protesting Outside Governor’s Residence

The group Black Lives Matter Saint Paul is planning to protest at the Governor’s Mansion Tuesday. The group said they’ll be at the Governor’s home at 5 p.m.


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Minnesota Home Health Care Workers Push For $15 Minimum Wage

Minnesota’s home health care workers are starting a campaign to raise their pay to $15 an hour. Thousands of unionized home care workers just got a raise on Aug. 1 to $11 an hour.


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4 Presidential Candidates Speak At Mpls. DNC Conference

Minneapolis was center stage Friday for the Democrats in the 2016 presidential race. The Democratic National Committee is holding its summer meeting downtown, where Hillary Clinton was mobbed by supporters.


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As DNC Meets In Minneapolis, Biden Considering Presidential Race

The Democratic National Committee is holding its summer meeting in downtown Minneapolis, starting Thursday. All five top Democratic presidential candidates will speak to the state party chairs and super delegates, including Lincoln Chaffee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders and Jim Webb.