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

Democratic Presidential Candidates Hold First Debate In Las Vegas

Hillary On Republicans: ‘They Don’t Want To Run Against Me’

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that she is a target of unfair Republican attacks, but believes voters will ultimately support her because “people can trust me to fight for them.”


(credit: CBS)

Stewart Mills Announces 2nd Run For Minnesota’s 8th District

Stewart Mills has officially announced he is in the race for Minnesota’s 8th congressional district. Mills ran in 2014, opposite incumbent Democratic congressman Rick Nolan. Although he lost to Nolan, the votes came within 3,600.


money, cash, 1s, ones, dollar bills, generic

DHS Sees Oversight Changes Following Audit On Court Monitor

A 6-month audit of a federal court monitor who charged the state more than a million dollars in expenses is complete.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: CNN)

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.


(credit: Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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.


(credit: Minnesota Vikings)

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.


(credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.


(credit: CBS)

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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