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With InfraGard, the FBI gives confidential briefings to Minnesota’s business community

By Mike Kaszuba The subject of the meeting was cryptic — “Containing High-Profile Attempts to Influence: Tactics, Response, and Lessons Learned.”  The location was a facility in suburban Minneapolis operated by Cargill, the meeting host and the largest privately-held company in the United States. And the meeting’s coordinator was the local office of the Federal Bureau […]

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Examining an ethics issue regarding Rep. Ilhan Omar

By Mike Kaszuba In July 2018, as Ilhan Omar was running for Congress, the rapidly rising Minneapolis DFLer suddenly faced questions about money she was paid to give speeches at community colleges while she served on a higher-education finance committee as a state legislator. Though Omar returned the money, claiming the speeches were booked before […]

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The U honors the Hubbards, But With Complications

By Mike Kaszuba By February of this year, the letters were rolling in recommending that the University of Minnesota rename its journalism school after the Hubbard family, the radio and television pioneers who had created a media conglomerate centered around KSTP-TV. One letter came from Sam Donaldson, the longtime ABC-TV anchor and White House correspondent. […]

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Inside the Vikings’ move to Eagan

By Mike Kaszuba Through last fall and into this past summer, city officials in Eagan raced to line up the necessary approvals so that the Minnesota Vikings could build a new headquarters and practice complex along Interstate 494. Public Record Media, a St. Paul non-profit, reviewed more than a thousand pages of public documents, and […]

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Documents show interplay between MN governor, news media

By Mike Kaszuba In the final days of last year’s legislative session, there was widespread grumbling – again – that many of the big decisions involving top Minnesota legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton were happening behind closed doors. The complaint was hardly new.  Often, as the governor and legislative leaders meet to negotiate a final budget agreement, reporters literally sit […]

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Stillwater Bridge controversy lived on in MnDOT-commissioned book project

By Mike Kaszuba It all seemed simple enough.  The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) would pay $50,000 to have the Washington County Historical Society write “the complete story” of the iconic Stillwater Lift Bridge.  But almost from the beginning nothing was simple, according to documents obtained by St. Paul non-profit Public Record Media (PRM). MnDOT was contractually obligated to […]

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Documents show controversy over Minnesota state auditor legislation

By Mike Kaszuba New documents show that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and his staff were caught off guard last year on what was one of the legislative session’s final surprises – the attempt to curtail the duties of the state auditor. Documents obtained by Public Record Media indicate that the governor and his staff initially underestimated the impact […]

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St. Paul district council report examines proposed soccer stadium

By Mike Kaszuba A key St. Paul neighborhood group, while remaining neutral on a Major League Soccer stadium being proposed in the city, said Wednesday that many residents remain concerned by a “lack of transparency and little public engagement” as city officials negotiate with the team. The Union Park District Council, representing the neighborhood surrounding the proposed stadium […]

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Johnson Controls, “private” data, and public programs

The Minnesota Supreme Court recently issued its opinion in the Helmberger v. Johnson Controls open records case. The case involved a suit brought by the publisher of the Minnesota-based Timberjay Newpaper against Johnson Controls of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In its ruling, the court held that Johnson Controls was not obligated to provide access to certain subcontract […]

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PRM seeks drone data from Minnesota BCA

Public Record Media (PRM) has filed a Data Practices Act request with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) seeking information about how the agency uses drone aircraft owned and operated by the federal government. An emerging picture A picture of drone use in Minnesota has been slowly emerging through documents obtained through public records […]

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