Two of the most quoted people in the presidential campaign have Minnesota ties.
Bill McAllister, spokesman for Sarah Palin, was an award-winning reporter for the St. Cloud Times, and Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Barack Obama campaign, was the press secretary for former Minnesota congressman Bill Luther.
McCallister’s impact on Minnesota politics was substantial when, in 1990, he reported that longtime Republican congressman Arlan Stangeland had made hundreds of phone calls to a woman in Virginia and charged those calls to his House credit card. Stangeland, who had won a special election in 1977, denied any romantic relationship with the woman, but voters pitched him out of office in favor of DFLer Collin Peterson in 1990.
McCallister worked briefly for Peterson, before moving on to a number of reporting positions in Alaska. In his last journalistic stint before joining Pallin’s staff, he was the Capitol bureau chief for a Juneau television station.
Burton, a native New Yorker, is Obama’s national press secretary. He served as press secretary to Luther, leaving before he was defeated by Republican John Kline in 2002. Burton served as a press secretary to Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin and also worked on the presidential campaigns of Dick Gephardt and John Kerry in 2004.