KSTP Year in Review: 2017's Top 5 Political Stories

January 02, 2018 04:51 PM

The video above aired in May when an agreement was reached between Jim Surdyk and the city of Minneapolis regarding an early open for Sunday liquor sales.


The biggest Minnesota political story of the year was by far Sen. Al Franken's announcement of his resignation amid allegations of sexual misconduct, which was followed by Gov. Mark Dayton collapsing during his state of the state address and the passage of Sunday liquor sales.

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Check out KSTP's top five local political stories for 2017:

1. 2 More Women Come Forward with Allegations Against Franken

  • Al Franken, facing allegations from multiple women of inappropriate sexual conduct, announced in December he will resign from the U.S. Senate. Franken's last day is Tuesday, Jan. 2. "I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice," Franken said in his resignation announcement on the Senate floor. Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will take over his seat after an appointment for Gov. Mark Dayton. 

2.. Dayton Eyes Fast Return to Work after Collapse During State of the State Address

  • Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed during his State of the State address in January. He announced days later he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The governor sought treatment and underwent surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. He returned back to work in March.

3. Minnesota Senate Votes in Favor of Sunday Liquor Sales

  • Sunday liquor sales passed in March after years of debate at the legislature. The liquor sales were supposed to begin in July, but one rogue store, Surdyk's liquor in Minneapolis, jumped the gun. The store was cited and suspended. Eventually, after much back and forth, Surdyk's agreed to pay a fine of $50,000, and had to remain closed for the first three Sundays in July.

4. Legislative Leaders, Gov. Dayton Point Fingers for Mediation 'Impasse'

  • Gov. Dayton walked out a mediation meeting with GOP leaders regarding his line-item veto of the Legislature's operating budget. The mediator said the two had reached an "impasse." Minnesota's highest court ended up weighing in on the matter, upholding Gov. Mark Dayton's line-item veto of the Legislature's operating budge in a November decision. The Supreme Court declined to referee a political dispute between two co-equal branches of government that it said could resolve the issue themselves.

5. Ventura Loses Appeal to Reinstate $1.8M Verdict

  • The Supreme Court has turned away former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's bid for reinstatement of a $1.8 million verdict in his defamation case against the estate of slain Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle in November. While Ventura initially said he'd seek a new trial, court documents filed in December showed the parties agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning Ventura cannot sue again on the same claim. Ventura said he could not discuss the terms of the settlement with Kyle's estate or publisher HarperCollins because it was confidential, but he claimed vindication.

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