Tom Steward covers government waste, spending and policy issues in his home state of Minnesota. Also a documentary filmmaker and in-depth broadcast journalist, Tom's work has appeared on NPR, Animal Planet, WCCO-TV, WGBH-TV, PBS, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, KSTP-TV, CBC, among other outlets. Highlights include the fall of the Berlin Wall, a Peabody Award, the first footage in the wild of the endangered Sumatran tiger and rhino and countless individuals who shared their stories, big and small. Steward served as a communications strategist in the U.S. Senate before returning to reporting on issues and people often overlooked by other media.

Endangered bats may pose little threat to wind developers

By   /  October 1, 2014  /  Energy and Environment, Minnesota, News, Public Utilities  /  No Comments

Photo by New York Department of Environmental Conservation; Al Hicks

Nothing strikes fear into developers and property owners more than a new critter on the Endangered Species Act list.

Case in point: The northern long-eared bat, found in 39 states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will probably place it on the list in April, and the logging industry is worried.

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Mail centers on chopping block make last stand

By   /  September 26, 2014  /  Federal Government, Good Government, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

Photo from USPS.

Neither senators nor congressmen nor mayors nor gloom of MoveOn.org stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds — namely, streamlining postal service operations and cutting billions of dollars in deficits.

That could be the U.S. Postal Service’s updated motto…

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Focus of forum turns from candidates to video tracker

By   /  September 24, 2014  /  Censorship, First Amendment, Free Speech, Minnesota, News, Politics, State Politics  /  No Comments

Photo from MN Jobs Coalition.

No reward has been offered to the person who identifies the guy who, apparently, took it upon himself to enforce a League of Women Voters ban on videotaping candidate forums at Edina City Hall.

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Minnesota reboots e-gaming meant to pay for Vikings stadium

By   /  September 22, 2014  /  Legislature, Minnesota, News, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo by Watchdog.org.

The game plan called for electronic pull-tabs to score up to $350 million for the Minnesota Vikings’ controversial billion-dollar stadium, now under construction.

Yet Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, and state legislators’ projections turned out to be more overly optimistic than any fan’s preseason expectations, leading to an industry shake-up and the departure of the Las Vegas player that provided most e-games.

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Biggest MN provider ditches Obamacare state health exchange

By   /  September 17, 2014  /  Health Care, Minnesota, Obamacare, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo from MNsure.

The prognosis for Minnesota’s state health insurance exchange, MNsure, took a turn for the worse this week, as the provider offering some of the lowest premiums in the country opted out of the program, amid financial concerns.

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Flipped out? Political pundits pan Maher’s MN Flip A District

By   /  September 16, 2014  /  Congress, Elections, Minnesota, Politics  /  No Comments

Photo from HBO Youtube Video.

Bill Maher admitted on his latest show that he didn’t know much about Minnesota politics. He doesn’t know much about comedy, either, but that hasn’t stopped him.

After soliciting suggestions via tweets from his audience from among 16 GOP congressmen for his 2014 “Flip a District” campaign contest, Maher selected Rep. John Kline from Minnesota’s second congressional district.

“I know what you’re thinking, I’ve never heard of John Kline,” Maher told his D.C. studio audience.

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