Independence Party's Hannah Nicollet Plans to Sue for the Right to Debate

Screenshot of Hannah Nicollet from October debate in Rochester

Politics is inherently a game of winners and losers, those with money and resources and those without. But in Minnesota, with its rich history of third-party candidates, it's also about giving voices to those who aren't just pure red or blue.

Hannah Nicollet, the Independence Party candidate for governor, believes that. She feels she had the right to be up on the stage at last Sunday's gubernatorial debate, debating incumbent Mark Dayton and GOP challenger Jeff Johnson on issue after issue. Yet she was denied. But she's not going down quietly.

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Kurtis Hanna Petitions Minnesota Board of Pharmacy Over Contradictory Cannabis Laws

E. Katie Holm
Kurtis Hanna, a cannabis activist, was featured in our January 29, 2014, cover story
Last time we checked, cannabis was still a Schedule I narcotic in Minnesota. Why? Because, according to the statute, it has, like heroin, "A high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision."

At least the last of those two is false. Minnesota is in the midst of establishing a medical cannabis program and 21 other states, plus D.C., have their own on the books. Other states, like Utah, allow for the use of CBD-rich oil to treat certain ailments.

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DFL: "Fake Republican Outrage" Fuels Stink Over Photoshopped Candidate Pics [IMAGES]

A number of local Republicans got in touch with us in recent days to express dismay about photoshopped images of MNGOP candidates that the DFL has included in attack mailers put together by the party.

We were sent a DFL mailer that goes after Kirk Stensrud, a former legislator and MNGOP House candidate in an Eden Prairie-area district that should be closely contested next month.

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Chris Christie's Visit Leads to Awkwardness Between Jeff Johnson and Mike McFadden

Paul Blume on Twitter
Chris Christie hangs out with Johnson and McFadden before things took a turn for the awk.
-- Scroll to bottom of this post to watch a live stream of this morning's 8 a.m. Dayton/Johnson debate --

Yesterday, New Jersey Governor and Chairman of the Republican Governors Association Chris Christie visited the Twin Cities to campaign with MNGOP gubernatorial challenger Jeff Johnson (and MNGOP Senate hopeful Mike McFadden) at the Global Academy public charter school in Columbia Heights.

We put McFadden's name in parentheses because his presence sorta gave off the vibe of an affection-starved friend who crashes his buddy's big date because he's got nowhere else to be.

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Owatonna People's Press Blasts Jeff Johnson Over Misquote Controversy

Johnson is taking heat for saying a paper acknowledged misquoting him when, in fact, it never did.
Years ago, yours truly interviewed Amy Klobuchar while she was touring a business in Faribault, Minnesota. As soon as I approached the senator to ask a couple questions, one of her aides swooped in with a tape recorder, presumably to ensure I didn't end up misquoting anything she said. I can't think of another time that's happened before or since.

Of course, it's understandable that big-time politicians are concerned about media members getting their comments right. But in an editorial, Jeffrey Jackson, managing editor of the Owatonna People's Press, blasts MNGOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson for saying that the paper misquoted his running mate, Bill Kuisle. According to Jackson, he has the tape to prove they actually got it right.

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Mike Parry falsely claims Faribault Daily News' endorsement; gets scolded by editor

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DFL Candidate Eric Bergeson Draws Scrutiny for Off-Color Columns

YouTube screengrab
Bergeson delivers a keynote speech at a conference on cognitive impairment. Ironically, he's taking heat for writing about pretending to be "mentally impaired."
Here's how politics works: On Wednesday, the race involving Eric Bergeson, the DFL candidate for a House seat in northwestern Minnesota, was added to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee's "2014 Races to Watch" list."

"Democrat Eric Bergeson, a local columnist and business owner, is mounting a serious challenge" to two-term MNGOP incumbent Debra Kiel, the DLCC writes.

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MNGOP Candidate Jeff Backer Clarifies Strange Anti-Gay Marriage Argument

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Rick Nolan and Stewart Mills Debate: Watch It Here

Stewart Mills (left) and Rick Nolan
At 8 a.m. today, the two leading candidates in Minnesota's hottest 2014 congressional race debate in Duluth.

Thanks to the Uptake, you can watch Democrat incumbent Rick Nolan and Republican challenger Stewart Mills go at it live below the jump.

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On Eve of Big Game, DFL Goes Hard After Stewart Mills for Being a Packers Fan

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MNGOP Candidate Jeff Backer Clarifies Strange Anti-Gay Marriage Argument

Jeff Backer photo via Google Plus
A DFL source alerted us to the "Issues" page on the website of Jeff Backer, an MNGOP candidate for a House seat in a far western district currently represented by DFLer Jay McNamar.

Under the heading of "Traditional Marriage," Backer makes a strange case that rape and bigamy are illegal because they violate the "sanctity of marriage." But Backer says reading his argument in that way is a misinterpretation.

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On Eve of Big Game, DFL Goes Hard After Stewart Mills for Being a Packers Fan

In hindsight, Mills's wife probably wishes she hadn't posted this picture to Facebook.
-- Update at bottom --

Tomorrow night, it'll be Teddy Time in Green Bay, as the Vikings take on the Packers in a much-anticipated nationally televised matchup.

The DFL knows a news peg when it sees one, apparently. Today, mailers are hitting mailboxes throughout Minnesota's Eighth Congressional District making light of a story we broke back in June 2013 -- Rick Nolan's Republican challenger, Stewart Mills, is a Packers fan.

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Franken/McFadden and Dayton/Johnson Debate Today: Watch Them Here

On the top row (from left to right), IP candidate Hannah Nicollet, Dayton, and Johnson will participate in the gubernatorial debate. On the bottom... well, you know who those guys are.
It's October, which means we're hitting the homestretch of the election season.

Today, in fact, may be one of the biggest days between now and November 4, as debates will be held in the races for the two highest-profile offices up for grabs in Minnesota -- the gubernatorial seat currently held by Mark Dayton, and the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Al Franken.

Thanks to the Uptake, you can watch both of them, streaming and on demand, below the jump.

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Independence Party becomes first major party to support legalization of marijuana

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