J. Patrick Coolican | Star Tribune
Reporter | Politics and state government

J. Patrick Coolican is a Star Tribune political reporter who began his career by starting a website and following the 2000 presidential campaign. He's been a journalist in seven different states, and in 2013-14 was a Knight Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.

Coolican is married to Star Tribune visual journalist Leila Navidi, and they have a son named Liam. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he studied philosophy and literature. He has been to nearly 50 Phish concerts, and welcomes your critical disapproval.


New documents revisit questions on Rep. Omar's marriage history

Although she has legally corrected the discrepancy, she has declined to say anything about how or why it happened.


In his quiet way, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka is scoring victories

He has scored policy wins that may seem only incremental but have significant long-term ramifications.


Lopsided grants on Iron Range spark questions of favoritism

The program intended to foster economic growth on the Iron Range has given more money per capita in the past five years for projects in influential state Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk's district than any other — by about one-third, according to a review of public records.


Walz will not release his daily calendar, despite promise to do so

Governor's office refuses to make schedule public.


It's time to stop underestimating House Speaker Melissa Hortman

Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman has been underestimated for the better part of two years. Even as Democrats grew excited about their overall prospects in…


Rep. Ilhan Omar jointly filed tax returns prior to legal marriage

Questions about Omar's complicated marriage and immigration history resurfaced Thursday when a state campaign finance board revealed that she and Ahmed Hirsi filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 — a period when she was legally married to another man.


State has paid Zimmern $57,000 to promote Minnesota as a destination

Zimmern's contract, which ends this month, required two posts per month to reach his more than 1 million Twitter and other social media followers.


Child care will be a hot political issue for the next decade or more

Ask anyone you know with a child in day care what it costs. And then ask them what their mortgage is. You'll find day care is often more expensive.


New Minnesota law should make filing taxes simpler, cheaper

In rare agreement, both Republicans, Democrats praised the new measure.


Walz fights to a draw in budget battle, comes away with a win

People around the State Capitol, including Republicans who tried to thwart Gov. Tim Walz's election last year, credit him with an agile bit of statecraft, even if it took a special session to wrap up the budget. He fought to a draw and transformed the deal — and his first legislative session — into a victory.