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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Reality Check: Would A Bathroom Ban Really Protect Women, Children?

Minnesota supporters of a transgender bathroom ban are not likely to get a vote on the bill this year.


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Minnesota Caregivers Rally For Higher Pay At State Capitol

They’re asking for a 5 percent pay hike, or about 55-cents an hour.


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Will Minnesota’s Movie ‘Snowbate’ Melt Away?

Some top House Republicans want to call it a “wrap” on Minnesota’s film board, which has brought movie business to the state for more than 30 years.


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Skeptical Reception For Soccer Stadium Tax Breaks

Plans for a new soccer stadium in St. Paul got a skeptical reception Thursday from a Minnesota House Committee.


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Lawmakers Headed On Collision Course Over Surplus

Republicans and Democrats at the Minnesota Legislature are on a collision course as they work out how to spend a $900 million budget surplus.


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GOP Aims To Strip Funds From Planned Parenthood Clinics

Planned Parenthood is calling a stack of anti-abortion bills introduced by Republicans the most aggressive attacks against the organization in years.


Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (credit: CBS)

Minn. Lawmakers Discuss Controversial Bathroom Bill

There was an emotional hearing at the State Capitol Tuesday on a bill to ban transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match their biological sex. It is supported by parents who said they are worried about the safety of their children.


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Question Before Lawmakers: Are Online Fantasy Sports Gambling?

Attention fantasy sports players, the Minnesota House was debating Monday a bill to legalize online fantasy sports betting.


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Lawmakers Push To Expand Minnesota Firework Sales

The Minnesota House passed a bill Monday evening to legalize some fireworks that you can’t buy in the state right now.


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State Senate Committee Approves Lower Penalties For Drug Arrests

A State Senate committee approved sweeping changes to Minnesota drug laws on Friday. Some of those changes would lower the penalties for drug possession.


Laura Schwendemann (credit: Douglas County Sheriff's Office)

‘Laura’s Law’ Seeks To Increase Penalties For Moving Bodies

Two farmers discovered the body of Laura Schwendemann in a Douglas County cornfield last October, after a two-week search for the 18-year-old college student. That is when Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson says his legal odyssey began.


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Dayton Issues New Travel Ban Against Mississippi

Just days after Gov. Mark Dayton banned state employees from nonessential travel to North Carolina, another state is now on the no-travel list.


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Railroad Officials Clash With Lawmakers Over Safety Bill

Minnesota railroad officials are strongly opposing a bill at the state legislature which toughens up rail safety laws, calling it unnecessary.


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Lawmakers Approve Ignition Interlock Devices For Repeat Drunk Drivers

A Minnesota House committee on Thursday approved a bill making ignition interlock devices mandatory for repeat drunk drivers.


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Senate Committee Gives Green Light On Tax Break For Minnesota United Stadium

Minnesota United team officials are cranking up the pressure at the Legislature to secure tax breaks for a Major League Soccer stadium.


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Call For Pay Hike To Address Caregiver Shortage

A State House Committee took a big step Tuesday to raise the pay for thousands of Minnesota caregivers.


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Alimony Reform Bill Passes House Committee

A Minnesota House Committee approved Tuesday a bill that could dramatically change the way some divorced spouses pay alimony.


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Minn. Senate Opens Hearings On ‘Zero Tolerance’ Teacher Assault Bill

Minnesota Senate Committee opened hearings Thursday on a bill requiring school boards to expel students who assault teachers.


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Republican Lawmakers Move To Restrict Transgender Bathroom Use

Minnesota lawmakers unveiled a bill Wednesday banning transgender people from using bathrooms different from their biological sex.


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Child’s Death Prompts Bill For CO Detectors On Boats

Minnesota lawmakers moved quickly on Tuesday to require carbon monoxide detectors on boats with enclosed spaces.


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Lawmakers Seek $15 Million For Highway 12 Safety Upgrades

Area lawmakers are asking for $15 million for emergency safety upgrades for a deadly stretch of Highway 12 in the west Twin Cities suburbs.


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State Senate Takes 1st Steps Toward ID Upgrades

The Minnesota Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to start planning for high-security Real ID driver’s licenses on Monday.


Asma Jama after attack (credit: CBS)

MN Sen. Committee Votes To Stiffen Bias Crime Penalties

A Minnesota Senate Committee voted Friday to place much tougher penalties on crimes involving bias.


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Legislators Introduce Bill To Legalize Assisted Suicide In Minnesota

It’s called the “Compassionate Care Act”, and gives terminally ill patients the right to take their own lives.


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Dayton Proposes 2016 Budget With $900 Million Surplus

Governor Mark Dayton on Tuesday unveiled his wish list for the 2016 Minnesota Legislature. The Governor released new ways to use the state’s $900 million budget surplus.




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