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.
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Joined WCCO: 1984
Hometown: Hawley, Minnesota
Alma Mater: Macalester College

Music: My playlist right now: Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Muddy Waters, Tom Waits, Aaron Copeland, Jack White, Black Keys, Blind Boys of Alabama, John Coltrane, Lucinda Williams, Tom Morello, Chrissie Hynde, George Jones, G Love, James Brown, Pink Floyd, Allison Krause, Sharon Jones, Ray Wylie Hubbard
Movie: Coen Brothers movies (especially O Brother, Where Art Thou); The Godfather, parts I & II
TV Show: Perry Mason; Veep; Fargo
Author/Book: William Butler Yeats; TS Eliot; David McCullough; Stephen King; Charles Frazier ; Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years
Local Restaurant: The Lexington
Hidden MN Gem: Lake Pepin Bluff Country
Historical Figure: Teddy Roosevelt; Winston Churchill
Famous Minnesotan: Bob Dylan
Quote: “Simplify and focus.”
Holiday: Opening Day in baseball

Facebook or Twitter? Twitter
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Beatles or Rolling Stones? Both
Phone Call or Text Message? Text
Mac or PC? Mac
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Morning Person or Night Person? Both
East Coast or West Coast? East
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Wars

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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most recent stories2 Pat Kessler

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Dayton: Lawmakers Punished H.S. League Over Transgender Policy

Gov. Mark Dayton says Minnesota lawmakers punished the State High School League because of Republican opposition to the league’s transgender athlete policy.


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World-Renowned State Capitol Artwork Being Restored

A remarkable conservation effort is underway to save the world-famous paintings and murals inside the State Capitol.


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Gov. Dayton Surprised By $32 Million Tobacco Tax Break

Minnesota’s largest anti-smoking advocacy groups denounced a tobacco tax break Tuesday, which passed on the last day of the 2016 legislative session. Those groups are now pressuring Gov. Mark Dayton to veto the entire tax bill.


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Both Parties Pointing Fingers As Legislature Ends In Chaos

The Minnesota Legislature ended Sunday night without passing the biggest bills of the year. And as the smoke clears Monday, the finger pointing has begun.


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Public Works, Transportation Bills Remain In Session’s Final Hours

Minnesota lawmakers scrambled Sunday to finalize their plans for a $900 million budget surplus.


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Bakk Says It’s Unlikely For Transportation Bill To Pass

Lawmakers have until midnight to figure out what to do with the state budget surplus, road and bridge funding and a massive public works bill.


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Workers Memorial Mural Almost Finished At State Capitol

It is a monument to nobody famous. But the unusual memorial taking shape on the State Capitol Mall is for people who are seldom celebrated.


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Reality Check: Gas Tax Or License Tabs — Which To Hike?

Minnesota lawmakers are divided on how to fund road and bridge repairs — whether to use a gas tax hike or raise car license tab fees.


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Future Of ‘Prince Act’ Looks Bleak As Session’s End Approaches

A bill inspired by the aftermath of Prince’s death looks like it will be abandoned at the State Capitol in the final days of the 2016 legislative session.


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GOP Transportation Funding Offer Includes Tab Hikes, No Mass Transit

Republicans in the Minnesota House offered Tuesday to hike license tab fees on new cars, the first time in the contentious debate over the transportation budget that they’ve agreed to raise new money to help fund $600 million in needed annual road and bridge repairs.


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Dayton Releases 2 Transportation Funding Plans As Deadline Nears

One week before the Minnesota Legislature goes home for the year, Governor Mark Dayton tried to break a budget stalemate with two transportation funding plans.


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51 Personalized MN License Plates Flagged For Review

The Department of Motor Vehicle Services has reviewed every one of the state’s 98,564 personalized plates, and flagged 51 as possibly offensive.


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Sunday Liquor Sales Efforts Fail … Again

If it’s a year that ends with a number, lawmakers will try to lift the state’s ban on Sunday liquor sales. And they will fail.


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GOP Congressional Candidate Stewart Mills Releases First Ad

The campaign for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District in northern Minnesota went airborne Wednesday. Republican candidate Stewart Mills unveiled a new, one-minute-long television ad, essentially re-introducing himself to voters.


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‘Prince Act’ Moves Unusually Fast In Deadlocked Session

Minnesota lawmakers are moving quickly to protect Prince’s image. A bill at the State Capitol gives new rights to artists to control the commercial use of their names, likenesses and images.


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Committee Passes Paid Family Leave Bill In Minnesota Senate

Many companies already voluntarily offer extended leave to families, but Minnesota would require it for certain businesses.


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Reality Check: How Many Jobs Will The Democrats’ Public Works Bill Create?

Democratic leaders say a $1.5 billion public works bill could generate 40,000 jobs. The man who developed the formula they based that estimate on says otherwise.


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Minnesota Republican Leaders Not Rushing to Embrace Donald Trump

They are not embracing him just yet, but Minnesota Republicans say they will vote for Donald Trump in November if he wins the party nomination.


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Senate Democrats Propose $1.5B Public Projects Spending Bill

Minnesota Senate Democrats proposed a massive $1.5 billion public projects spending bill on Monday.


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Gov. Dayton, GOP In Stalemate Over SWLRT, Transportation Bill

No matter where they live, Minnesota lawmakers agree that state highways and bridges are in desperate need of upgrades. But they are paralyzed with the politics of paying for it.


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Lawmakers Voting On De-Funding Planned Parenthood

The Minnesota House is expected to vote Thursday night on a bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood.


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Bill Requires Background Check Before Gun Transfers

Gun safety supporters rallied at a church outside the Minnesota State Capitol Tuesday. DFL State Senator Ron Latz is proposing a bill which requires criminal background checks for the 40 percent of gun transfers he says are currently exempted – including online and gun show sales.


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To Honor Prince, Lawmaker Seeks To Make MN’s State Color Purple

A Minnesota state senator is introducing a bill that would designate purple as the official state color in honor of Prince.


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Fans Worldwide Pay Tribute To Prince

Prince died in Minneapolis, but the grief is being felt worldwide. A flood of tributes has poured in from all over the globe over the past two days.


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A Look Back At Prince’s Life

The world knew him as Prince, and he was. Born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, he signed a record contract when he was 18-year-old. He soon was hitting the charts with his “Minneapolis Sound.”



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