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.
Minnesota lawmakers are caught in a dust-up over office space at the State Capitol, and it’s threatening to delay the massive Capitol restoration now underway. The three-year, $272 million project is on time and on budget. But the tenants in the new building — including the governor, the Senate, the House and the attorney general — cannot come to agreement over how much space they will control.
When Minnesota lawmakers returned to the State Capitol after the bruising 2014 election campaign, Tina Smith was outside their offices to greet them.
Minnesota lawmakers are moving quickly to overhaul the state’s child protection system.
Gov. Mark Dayton blasted the new Republican Majority in the Minnesota House Friday for what he calls a “phony” transportation plan. Republicans yesterday unveiled a “no new taxes” plan to fix roads and bridges, but Dayton called it “fantasy.”
Minnesota lawmakers kicked off the new session Thursday with a sweeping package of unusual legislative priorities.
An interesting new idea from some Minnesota lawmakers this year: Cancel next year’s legislative session. The “No Session 2016″ movement began the first hour of the first day of the 2015 legislature, when top leaders revealed that they’re talking about it.
Members of the newly-elected Minnesota House took the oath of office in a major construction zone Tuesday. The Capitol is shrouded in scaffolding. Lawmakers and their families navigated closed-off hallways and long elevator lines to open the session. The new Republican majority selected Rep. Kurt Daudt as the powerful house speaker.
The U.S. Government said Tuesday the nation’s economy grew at a whopping 5 percent annual rate last summer. That’s the fastest growth since 2003, including jobs coming back to the Midwest.
Minnesota lawmakers are preparing to crack down on how police use license plate readers.
The widow of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle says she’ll have to pay lawsuit damages to former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura out of her own pocket. Ventura won the lawsuit in July after he claimed he was defamed by Kyle’s book. Taya Kyle says she’s on the hook for most of the $1.8 million in damages awarded to the former Minnesota governor.
The Minnesota State Capitol restoration makes the building look the way it did more than 100 years ago, when Minnesota’s best craftsmen built its most visible public landmark. But this project is repairing a century of cover-ups and patch-overs. Project Manager Jason McMillan showed us skylights hidden for decades above false ceilings.
Just when you thought gas prices couldn’t go any lower – they did.
Some Twin Cities gas stations are now selling gas for lower than $2.30 a gallon, a windfall for consumers.
The new Vikings stadium has 200,000 square feet of glass as part of its iconic design. Glass fabrication is well under way, with installation beginning in February. But officials overseeing construction of the billion-dollar facility met last week with bird advocates and the Vikings at 3M headquarters in Maplewood, telling lawmakers they asked the company if it could develop a new 3M adhesive film to cover the glass.
A Minnesota lawmaker is proposing much tougher state penalties for violence against health care workers.
Minnesota joins 32 other states with policies for transgender athletes on high school sports teams. But that doesn’t make it any less controversial. Minnesota transgender students can choose a sports team if parents and health care professionals can prove their gender-related identity. Students don’t need proof of sex-change surgery or hormone therapy.
Talk of tax cuts has followed word that Minnesota’s budget will run up a $1 billion surplus. Top Democrats and Republicans separately raised the prospect Thursday of giving tax breaks with a portion of the surplus. The first dose could come soon in the next session as lawmakers weigh whether to match up Minnesota’s deductions and credits more closely with those at the federal level.
Just a month before the 2015 Minnesota Legislature begins, the Capitol is in chaos. But it’s not because of politics. The 109-year-old State Capitol building is in the middle of a massive renovation that will mean limited public access during the session.
Two crucial pieces of the state’s new medical marijuana program are nearly in place. Minnesota officials announced Monday morning that LeafLine Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions will grow and cultivate the drug for the state, ending a weeks-long selection process.
AAA is forecasting more travelers will hit the road this Thanksgiving than at any time since 2007.
The final election results are in: Minnesota had its lowest voter turnout since 1986. The state canvassing board officially certified the 2014 voter turnout at 50.5 percent. It’s one of the last official acts for Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.
Shashi Chopra sat at her kitchen table, surrounded by her husband, and two children, and cried a little as she recalled that accident in March of 2013.
The Minnesota Vikings are putting more money into the new stadium under construction in downtown Minneapolis. The Vikes are adding another $647,000 for stadium extras, from sideline seating to food concessions. The latest upgrades include upgrading the team’s locker room, expanding cooking and concession areas and adding end-zone seating areas it calls “Red Zone Mini-Suites.”
Minnesota’s top two political leaders met face to face Thursday for the first time since the election. They’re pledging cooperation, not division. Minnesota’s top two political leaders met face to face Thursday for the first time since the election. They’re pledging cooperation, not division. Over a luncheon of pork loin and potatoes, the Republican Speaker and Democratic Governor met face to face at the official Residence.
Minnesota’s health insurance exchange has seen a spike in consumer visits in its first workweek since open enrollment began last weekend but is handling the load well, officials said Wednesday. MNsure CEO Scott Leitz told the board of directors there had been no major technical issues and no unplanned downtime since the system went live Saturday morning for its second open enrollment season.
The executive director of Minnesota’s health insurance exchange says a mostly problem-free weekend rollout netted more than 500 enrollees.