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)

Former President Jimmy Carter Speaks On Women, Human Rights At Minneapolis Event

Former President Jimmy Carter is in Minnesota Friday to make a special appearance at the Augsburg College Nobel Peace Prize Forum. President Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, more than 20 years after he left office.

03/06/2015

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Dayton, Democrats Push Forward $10 Billion Transportation Proposal

Minnesota democrats are showing a united front in the push for a multi-billion dollar transportation project. Gov. Mark Dayton and top democrats want to raise the gas tax to pay for road and bridge improvements.

03/05/2015

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Bill Would Allow Liquor Sales Before 10 A.M. Sundays

A House committee on Wednesday is revisiting a century-old law forbidding the sale of liquor before 10 a.m. on Sundays.

03/04/2015

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MN Lawmaker Lures WI Businesses Over ‘Right-To-Work’ Bill

A Minnesota Republican lawmaker is getting in the middle of Wisconsin’s “right-to-work” debate. Republican Gov. Scott Walker says he’ll sign the bill when it reaches his desk, which would make union membership voluntary.

03/03/2015

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GOP Bill Taking Aim At Teacher Seniority Nears Vote

Minnesota lawmakers are preparing to vote this week on a top Republican priority that could affect every school in the state.

The bill would allow school districts to lay off ineffective teachers even if they have union seniority and classroom tenure.

03/02/2015

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Dayton Signs Bill Retracting Commissioner Raises For Now

Minnesota lawmakers voted Thursday to cut the paychecks of more than two dozen state commissioners. That’s after Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton passed out pay hikes to all 26 members of his cabinet, causing intense political controversy. Some of the raises were as high as $35,000.

02/26/2015

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Should Lawmakers Limit Police Use Of License Plate Images?

Right now, police departments scan and keep millions of license plate images for future investigations.

02/25/2015

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Dayton Questions Termination Of UMD Hockey Coach

On Tuesday, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton added his name to a list of state lawmakers protesting the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s decision to terminate the contract of the women’s hockey coach.

02/24/2015

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Auditor: Dayton Was Irate During MNsure Website Meltdown

Gov. Mark Dayton wanted to shut down down MNsure for six weeks when the website meltdown was at its worst. That’s according to previously unseen documents obtained by WCCO-TV from a yearlong MNsure investigation by the Minnesota Legislative Auditor.

02/20/2015

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Deal Stalls Agency Leader Salary Hike, Grants Lawmaker Power

The Minnesota House has endorsed a deal that stalls commissioner pay hikes until June but gives Gov. Mark Dayton a narrow window to boost those salaries.

02/19/2015

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Ex-MNsure Director Wanted Money To Answer Auditor’s Questions

We’re getting a look Wednesday at some new documents from the investigation into Minnesota’s once-troubled health exchange.

MNsure’s former executive director, April Todd-Malmlov, resigned under pressure — not just because the website melted down, but because, for part of it, she was on a week-long vacation in the Caribbean.

02/18/2015

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Auditor: MNsure’s ‘Failures Outweighed Its Achievements’

A lack of adequate testing before the state’s health insurance exchange launched in 2013 and other issues meant the exchange’s “failures outweighed its achievements” in its first year, the legislative auditor concluded in a report released Tuesday.

02/17/2015

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Dayton Enraged By DFL Move To Suspend Pay Raises

The hefty pay hikes proposed for Gov. Mark Dayton’s cabinet were already controversial when the State Senate met on Thursday. But it was Dayton’s fellow Democrats who voted to suspend the raises until July 1. “That will give the legislature time I think to put the kind of thoughtful review into the study and the salary to make sure that it indeed is warranted,” Sen. Tom Bakk said.

02/12/2015

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Dayton, Republicans At Odds Over Cabinet Raises

Gov. Mark Dayton regards stinging criticism from legislative Republican over his raises for agency commissioners as being done out of revenge. Dayton lashed out Wednesday over the GOP’s attention to recently announced raises, which were authorized by lawmakers in 2013.

02/11/2015

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Dayton Asks For $10M To Replace Aging Aircraft

Gov. Mark Dayton said he wants to replace two aging aircraft that serve as Minnesota’s official state planes.

The Democratic governor is asking the legislature for $10 million dollars to replace them, because he says the current planes are becoming dangerous.

02/10/2015

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Republican Lawmakers Respond To Governor’s Pay Hikes

Minnesota Republican leaders today ramped up their criticism of Gov. Mark Dayton’s hefty pay hikes for his Cabinet. The Democratic governor issued a letter to the legislature, calling the pay hikes “necessary” and “legal.”

WCCO-TV–02/09/2015

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Republican Legislature Responds To Governor’s Pay Raises

Majority Republicans in the Minnesota House say they will introduce legislation to take away the Governor’s authority to raise the pay of his cabinet.

WCCO-TV–02/06/2015

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Are Massive Raises For Dayton’s Cabinet ‘Outrageous’?

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is giving members of his Cabinet a big payday: They’re getting double-digit raises totalling tens of thousands of dollars.

02/05/2015

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Reality Check: The Price Of Not Buying Health Insurance

Minnesotans have until Feb. 15 to sign up for health care insurance or pay a tax penalty. And this year, that penalty could really sting. According to MNsure, the state’s health care exchange, the 2015 penalty for not buying insurance coverage is:

02/04/2015

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PolyMet Mine Hearing Brings Clash Of Interests

A House committee opened hearings Tuesday on a plan to open a copper-nickel mine on northern Minnesota’s Iron Range.

02/03/2015

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Minnesota Zoo Seeks Emergency Funding From Government

The Minnesota Zoo is asking the legislature for help with a million dollar budget deficit. Zoo officials said they may otherwise be facing some difficult decisions to make it up, including the possibility of closing some exhibits.

WCCO-TV–02/02/2015

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Lawmakers Seek To Attract Health Care Workers To Rural MN

Minnesota’s need for rural health care services is growing at exactly the time the number of health care professionals is shrinking. In six of the largest counties in northwestern Minnesota around Crookston, it’s a crisis.

01/28/2015

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Dayton Lifts Education In $42 Billion Budget But Test Awaits

Every Minnesota public school student would be worth more in the eyes of the state if lawmakers support Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposal. Dayton wants to increase the basic per-pupil funding formula for school districts by 1 percent in each of the next two years.

01/27/2015

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Dayton Pushes Gas Tax Hike In New Transportation Plan

Gov. Mark Dayton’s plan for transportation would repair or replace 2,200 miles of state roads and 330 bridges, but would come at a noticeable cost to taxpayers. Dayton released a large-scale proposal Monday that depends on adding a new 6.5 percent tax on gas and higher vehicle registration fees.

01/26/2015

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Reality Check: Will MN Finally Get Sunday Liquor Sales?

Minnesota lawmakers are taking aim at a nearly century-old law that’s been very difficult to take off the books. Liquor stores cannot legally open on Sundays. If it’s hard to understand why, you are not alone. It’s an 82 year old law some lawmakers are trying to repeal.

01/23/2015

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