|Nickname||The North Star State; the Gopher State; Land of 10,000 Lakes|
|Governor||Mark Dayton, D|
|Senator||Amy Klobuchar, D |
|Senator||Al Franken, D |
|Ratification of Constitution/or statehood||May 11, 1858 (32nd)|
|Motto: L'Etoile du nord (The star of the north)|
Minnesota (from the Dakota "Mini sota") is located in the Midwestern region of the United States and on May 11, 1858 became the thirty-second state to enter into the union. During the American Civil War Minnesota supported the Union Army. The capital of Minnesota is Saint Paul and the largest city is Minneapolis. These cities are sometimes referred to as the Twin Cities, due to their close proximity. The current governor of Minnesota is Mark Dayton, a wealthy Leftist Democrat who is a principal heir to the Target retail store fortune.
The state Constitution of Minnesota, like all of the other 50 states, acknowledges God or our Creator or the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. It says:
- We, the people of the state of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings and secure the same to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
Minnesota's climate ranges from hot, humid Summers to cold, snowy Winters. The state experiences all four seasons distinctly. Severe weather ranges from thunderstorms, hail and occasional tornadoes during the mid-Spring and Summer to subzero temperatures, heavy snowfalls and blizzards during the late-Fall, Winter and early-Spring.
Minnesota is nicknamed the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" due to its large number of natural freshwater lakes. The nickname is not an exaggeration as the actual number of lakes is about 11,842. The southern third and western edge of the state have very few lakes, but the rest of the state is dotted with small (less than 50 acres) to very large (over 100,000 acres) lakes only a few miles apart at most. The largest lake entirely within the state is Red Lake in Beltrami County, which is divided by a natural peninsula into Upper Red Lake and Lower Red Lake. The lake is 288,831 acres, or about 451.3 sq. miles, in size. The estimated total miles of shoreline of all of Minnesota's lakes is greater than the shorelines of California, Florida and Hawaii combined. As a result of this large number of lakes, Minnesota has a booming resort business, with over 1000 resorts of various kinds spread throughout the state. Year-round fishing is also a major draw for residents and visitors.
Excluding the southern border, a large portion of Minnesota's borders are defined by rivers and lakes. Big Stone Lake, Lake Traverse and the Red River compose most of the state's western border with North and South Dakota. The northern border with Canada is primarily defined by the Rainy River and Rainy Lake. Finally, the eastern border with Wisconsin includes Lake Superior and the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers.
The Mississippi River's headwaters are located at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota.
Politics of Minnesota
Minnesota has been historically a Democratic state. They have not gone Republican in a Presidential election since Richard Nixon in 1972. However, in the 2010 elections, Republicans won a majority of both chambers of the Minneota Legislature for the first itme since 1970. The 2008 Republican National Convention was held in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Minnesota is the only state in the Union in which the national Democratic Party actually is represented by the state-level Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL). All Democratic politicians in and from Minnesota work under the DFL header, though this now is an issue primarily of tradition than actual meaning.
2011 Government Shutdown
The state government of Minnesota shut down on July 1, 2011, due to DFL politicians' unwillingness to compromise on taxes and spending, despite the GOP's best efforts to avert a crisis with a compromise measure. Governor Mark Dayton, in particular, held a rigid line on taxes, and compromised only when it became clear how much the shutdown was hurting ordinary Minnesotans.
The shutdown ended July 20, 2011, with a spending bill negotiated by the GOP, DFLers, and Dayton.
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL)
- Sen. Al Franken (DFL)
- Rep. Tim Walz [DFL, MN-01]
- Rep. Jason Lewis [R, MN-02]
- Rep. Erik Paulsen [R, MN-03]
- Rep. Betty McCollum [DFL, MN-04]
- Rep. Keith Ellison [DFL, MN-05]
- Rep. Tom Emmer [R, MN-06]
- Rep. Collin Peterson [DFL, MN-07]
- Rep. Rick Nolan [DFL, MN-08]
- Governor Mark Dayton (DFL)
- Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon (DFL)
- Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (DFL)
- Attorney General Lori Swanson (DFL)
- State Auditor Rebecca Otto (DFL)