U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann announced today that she will not seek re-election in 2014. Here’s a look at her political career, in photos.

Top: Michele Bachmann served in the Minnesota state Senate from 2001 to 2007. Here, in 2006, she testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of a bill that would put the definition of marriage on that year’s ballot as a constitutional amendment. The bill ultimately failed. (Minnesota House Television Services)

Bottom: Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sen. Amy Klobuchar ceremonially break ground for the St. Croix Crossing bridge in Stillwater, Minn. Monday, May 28, 2013. (MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson)

From reporter Curtis Gilbert:
Abdi Warsame’s campaign has an ambitious mission: Change the way his fellow Somali-Americans see politics.
Although Warsame has never run for office before, last month he won the DFL party endorsement over a three-term incumbent. If successful, he could be the first Somali-American elected to the Minneapolis City Council.
"This community that I’m from doesn’t believe in the system. They only think President Obama solves problems," Warsame said. "So when there’s a presidential election, they get very excited. But they don’t understand that what actually impacts their lives is dealt with not by the federal government, but by the local government, the city."
Warsame ticks off a list of concerns facing his community: jobs, roads, housing, youth in need of mentors. He says his campaign has mobilized a community that now understands city politics matter.
As evidence, Warsame points to the Minneapolis DFL Ward 6 convention last month when his supporters dominated the delegation and easily handed him the party endorsement.
"You see these old ladies waving American flags, with the hijabs, and crying and feeling that they were part of the system. And I think that’s the most powerful thing, and that’s what motivates me," Warsame said.
Continue reading…

From reporter Curtis Gilbert:

Abdi Warsame’s campaign has an ambitious mission: Change the way his fellow Somali-Americans see politics.

Although Warsame has never run for office before, last month he won the DFL party endorsement over a three-term incumbent. If successful, he could be the first Somali-American elected to the Minneapolis City Council.

"This community that I’m from doesn’t believe in the system. They only think President Obama solves problems," Warsame said. "So when there’s a presidential election, they get very excited. But they don’t understand that what actually impacts their lives is dealt with not by the federal government, but by the local government, the city."

Warsame ticks off a list of concerns facing his community: jobs, roads, housing, youth in need of mentors. He says his campaign has mobilized a community that now understands city politics matter.

As evidence, Warsame points to the Minneapolis DFL Ward 6 convention last month when his supporters dominated the delegation and easily handed him the party endorsement.

"You see these old ladies waving American flags, with the hijabs, and crying and feeling that they were part of the system. And I think that’s the most powerful thing, and that’s what motivates me," Warsame said.

Continue reading…

Thousands of cheering spectators filled the south lawn of the State Capitol to watch Gov. Mark Dayton sign a bill legalizing same-sex marriage into law.

See more photos here.

These photos capture the scene at the Capitol yesterday when the Minnesota Senate voted to legalize same-sex marriage, becoming the 12th state to do so.

See more photos here.

Six months after Minnesotans rejected a constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage, the Minnesota House Thursday made an historic turn, voting to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Jennifer Simonson and Sasha Aslanian captured the scene at the Capitol yesterday.

People are already arriving to watch the debate on the floor as the House takes up same-sex marriage legislation.
Stay up-to-date on the latest by following the action on our live blog.
(Photo by Tom Scheck on Instagram)

People are already arriving to watch the debate on the floor as the House takes up same-sex marriage legislation.

Stay up-to-date on the latest by following the action on our live blog.

(Photo by Tom Scheck on Instagram)

"I am a prime example of somebody in the middle class. It’s OK with me to pay a sales tax on my pedicure. That’s OK. It’s OK to pay a sales tax on the tattoo I’m going to get on my neck."

— DFL Sen. Ann Rest on the Democrats’ plan to expand the state sales tax.

From reporter Brett Neely:

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for 6th District Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Earlier this month in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Bachmann made claims that were shredded by fact checkers. Then this week, the Daily Beast reported that congressional ethics investigators are looking into the activities of her failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

At the center of these allegations is a man named Peter Waldron who worked on Bachmann’s presidential campaign. All of the complaints against Bachmann that investigators are reportedly examining come from Waldron.

By Waldron’s own admission, he is not a neutral bystander. He and other campaign staffers were never paid after Bachmann’s poor showing in the Iowa caucuses in January 2012.

Waldron attempted to negotiate with Bachmann and former campaign officials for back pay throughout 2012 and says he waited to go public until after Bachmann was re-elected in November.

Waldron also has a colorful past, which he has attempted to turn into a film. The video here is a low-budget trailer posted online detailing episodes from Waldron’s life when he lived in Uganda in the mid-2000s.

"Was he a spy? Was he a missionary? A businessman? A mercenary? A bounty hunter? Who was Peter Waldron?" the trailer begins.

Continue reading…

Bachmann investigated for possible campaign finance violations

Congressional investigators have launched a probe into possible campaign finance violations by Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign.

In a brief statement to MPR News, Bachmann’s lawyer, Bill McGinley, said Bachmann was working with the Office of Congressional Ethics. He said there are no allegations that the four-term Republican congresswoman was engaged in any wrongdoing.

Continue reading the story from reporter Brett Neely…

"I’m very upset. I came close to resigning as chair. If that’s what the Democrats are going to do, what’s the difference between that and what the Republicans have done over the last two years?"

DFL Rep. Tom Huntley of Duluth, chairs the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee. He is unhappy because Democrats in the House and Senate want to cut $150 million in spending from health and human services programs. This comes after Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-controlled Legislature cut $1.2 billion from health and human services programs two years ago.