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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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most recent stories2 Pat Kessler

(credit: CBS)

1-Day Special Session To Be Held Friday

Minnesota’s legislative leaders have come to an agreement on a one-day special session.

06/11/2015

(credit: CBS)

Former Treasurer: ‘It’s Wrong’ To Cut Auditor’s Office Duties

A former Minnesota State Treasurer said he supports efforts by State Auditor Rebecca Otto to push back against a new law that cuts some of the duties of her office.

06/10/2015

(credit: CBS)

Dayton: Special Session Called By End Of Week, Or Early Next Week

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he hopes to call a special session as soon as possible. Dayton says his office is working out the final details with Republican leaders to agree on the spending bills that fund state government.

06/09/2015

(credit: CBS)

Dayton Asks Lawmakers To Slow Down Auditor Changes

With thousands of state jobs in limbo, top lawmakers called it a week — with no deal to finish their work in a special session. Legislators now have just 25 days to reach a deal or parts of the government start shutting down on July 1.

06/05/2015

(credit: CBS)

Dayton To Stall Special Session Til Anti-State Auditor Law Repealed

Because of State Capitol construction disruption, the State Office Building will be home to the bare-bones special session. Preparations are underway to squeeze the House and Senate inside two small hearing rooms. But those details are looming large.

06/03/2015

(credit: CBS)

State Auditor Otto To Legislature: Don’t Let Private Firms Do My Work

Top state lawmakers say they are “very close” to an agreement to hold a special session in the next few days — but still no official word on when. Republicans and Democrats reached agreement Monday on an education spending bill that was causing the budget impasse. But there’s another issue that has the state auditor considering going to court.

06/02/2015

(credit: CBS)

Lawmakers Prepare For First Session Out Of Capitol Building Since 1881

Minnesota lawmakers will soon be meeting in special session, though Friday’s talks ended with no deal in place. It’s not clear whether they’ll plan to meet over the weekend to try to hammer out the details.

05/29/2015

(credit: CBS)

Daudt Visits Preschool To Highlight GOP Education Plan

Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt visited a private St. Paul learning center for preschoolers Thursday, highlighting the centerpiece of the GOP education plan: Early learning scholarships. New Horizon Academy is settled in a working class St. Paul neighborhood where many families struggle.

05/28/2015

(credit: CBS)

Dayton And Lawmakers Refocus Budget Fight On Education

Wednesday evening, Minnesota’s top lawmakers started a new round of private talks about holding a special session of the Minnesota legislature.

05/27/2015

(credit: CBS)

After Dayton Vetoes, State Leaders Start Search For Way Out

Minnesota’s governor says he’s prepared to call a special session just as soon as top lawmakers smooth out their differences.

05/26/2015

(credit: CBS)

Where Will Legislators Meet During A Special Session?

Minnesota has had 45 special sessions the last 110 years. But it’s never had a problem like this — there is no place to meet. Workers are emptying the State Capitol of all its contents, preparing for the most intense, complex restoration the building has ever had. And lawmakers are looking for a new special session home.

05/21/2015

(credit: CBS)

Special Session’s Agenda Will Go Beyond Education

The Democratic governor on Wednesday ramped up pressure on lawmakers to include funding for his No. 1 priority: a statewide pre-kindergarten program. He’ll meet as early as next Tuesday with the Republican House Speaker to hammer out the agenda for the special session.

05/20/2015

(credit: CBS)

Gov. Dayton Not Sorry For Saying GOP Hates Public Schools

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday he will not apologize for comments he made about Republicans after lawmakers did not pass his top priority: statewide pre-kindergarten programs. Dayton plans to veto the $17 billion education bill later this week and call a special session of the legislature to pass a new version instead.

05/20/2015

(credit: CBS)

Dayton Rejects Education Bill; Special Session Ahead

On Tuesday Gov. Mark Dayton made good on his threat to take down the $17 billion education bill. It forces a special session, but Dayton said he won’t call one until Republicans give him the pre-kindergarten programs he wants.

05/19/2015

(credit: CBS)

Lawmakers Scrambling For Budget Deal Before Midnight Deadline

Time is running out for Minnesota lawmakers to reach a budget deal, and money for education is the main sticking point.

05/18/2015

(credit: CBS)

Lawmakers Working Around The Clock To Reach Budget Deal

Just a little more than 24 hours before state lawmakers are supposed to finish their business — it looks like they may need overtime. Gov. Mark Dayton said Sunday he’ll veto a major education spending bill because it does not include his No. 1 priority.

05/17/2015

(credit: CBS)

WCCO Investigates DHS Court Monitor’s $1M Bill To Minn. Taxpayers

Federal Judge Donovan Frank appointed Court Monitor David Ferleger to make sure Minnesota follows orders to fix serious abuses of disabled patients. And he acts as a court-appointed consultant, making sure the state keeps a promise to reform Minnesota’s sex offender treatment program.

05/14/2015

(credit: Governor's Office)

Despite ‘Fish Summit,’ Legislators Deadlocked In Budget Talks

Republicans and Democrats are far apart on the biggest spending bills of the year despite intense behind-the-scenes negotiations, and an unusual “Fishing Summit” on Saturday.

05/11/2015

(credit: CBS)

Reality Check: Who Pays Estate Taxes?

Minnesotans are like everyone else when it comes to the end of our lives. But unlike 31 other states, some of us pay estate taxes after we’re gone… and it’s not popular.

05/08/2015

Sen. Paul Gazelka - Author Of 'Religious Freedom Bill'

Senator’s Bill Allows Business Owners ‘Of Faith’ To Deny Gay Couples Wedding Services

It was against Minnesota law to refuse wedding services to same-sex couples even before Minnesota legalized gay marriage in 2013. But a Republican State Senator says businesses should not be forced to provide commercial service if it violates their religious beliefs.

05/07/2015

(credit: Curt Benson)

Latest Train Derailment Has Minn. Lawmakers Looking At Prevention

The train derailment and fire Wednesday, which forced the evacuation of a nearby small town, was the fifth this year involving North Dakota trains.

05/06/2015

(credit: CBS)

Minnesota Bids For 2020 College Football Championship Game

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and state business Tuesday launched an official bid Tuesday for the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship game. It would be played at the new Minnesota Vikings stadium under construction in Minneapolis, which is already hosting the 2018 Super Bowl and the 2019 Final Four.

05/05/2015

(credit: CBS)

‘Right To Try’ Bill Permits Dying Patients To Use Experimental Treatments

The Minnesota House today unanimously passed and sent to Gov. Mark Dayton a bill giving terminally ill patients one last chance.

05/01/2015

(credit: CBS)

Legislators Prepare For Showdown Over Taxes

The stage is set for a tax showdown at the state Capitol.

Republicans in the Minnesota House passed a sweeping $2 billion tax relief plan on Wednesday that they say is sharply focused on middle class taxpayers.

04/29/2015

(credit: CBS)

Minnesota House Defeats Sunday Liquor Sales In Close Vote

It was last call Tuesday at the Minnesota State Capitol for Sunday liquor store sales. The Minnesota House defeated Sunday sales, shutting down the effort for another year. The Senate defeated a similar measure two weeks ago.

04/28/2015

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