Minnesota progressives take back the state, Mother Jones says

Mother Jones magazine says Minnesota’s progressives have artfully revived the state’s blue status and can offer some tips to other states.

In an article now available online that ran in its September/October print edition, the magazine looks at how far the state’s DFL had fallen after Paul Wellstone’s death, when Republicans took control with Tim Pawlenty as governor, Norm Coleman in Wellstone’s Senate seat and Karl Rove calling us a battleground state.

But now, with Gov. Mark Dayton, control of the state Legislature and two Democratic U.S. senators, the state is firmly blue once again and has quickly legalized gay marriage, created a state health insurance exchange and added taxes on smokers, car rentals and the top earners.

The story asks: Can DFLers maintain their control?

 It’s all about defense now for Minnesota’s progressive machine as it gears up to protect a 12-seat majority in the state House, as well as Gov. Dayton and Sen. Al Franken, who ousted Norm Coleman in 2009 after a seven-month recount.

DFL state Chair Ken Martin thinks they can, and says:

 “Most important to me is how do you set yourself up to build a permanent majority?”

The story also mentions how Democrats in four other states — Colorado, Maine, New Mexico and New Hampshire — seem to be inspired by the Minnesota model to build their own political machines.

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