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

Patrick Coolican began his career by starting a website and following the 2000 presidential campaign. Before coming to the Star Tribune, he was a longtime reporter in Las Vegas.


Tax cuts drive another wedge between GOP, Gov. Dayton

Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans will get more money in their pockets thanks to tax cuts beginning July 1, costing the state treasury about $650 million over the next two years.


DNC's Perez tries to rally the troops in South St. Paul

If his union hall speech is any indication, Perez seems to have decided Democrats need a positive message.


Legislative leaders, Gov. Mark Dayton agree to temporarily fund legislative operations

Legal fight between Dayton, GOP leaders headed to court but they agreed on 90-day funding.


DNC Chairman Tom Perez, sans profanity, tries to rally DFLers

Tom Perez was joined by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison during a rally at a South St. Paul union hall.


Thissen's DFL run for governor puts urban-rural chasm to test

Rep. Paul Thissen joined a crowded DFL field of gubernatorial candidates last week, and during an interview he explained his campaign themes: economic security and…


With Mille Lacs tourism still hurting, Legislature helps one — and only one — resort

It was tucked inside a new state law that distributes $378 million in taxpayer dollars to create jobs and spur economic development.


Former Minnesota DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen to run for governor

The DFL field in the race to replace Gov. Mark Dayton continues to grow.


Dayton's budget legacy: Surpluses and spending rise

Mark Dayton, a second-term DFL governor not running for re-election, largely sealed his ambitious budget legacy in May when he signed his final two-year budget.


Dayton, GOP lawmakers dig in deeper as cutoff looms

It's unclear if average Minnesotans know or care, but the Legislature's operating funds will be cut off in just a few weeks, leaving it to survive on reserves while pay and benefits for lawmakers and staffers hang in the balance.


Conservative group sues Dayton administration over Legislature defunding

A conservative group on Monday sued to ensure continued paychecks for state lawmakers who are trapped in a fight with Gov. Mark Dayton over the…