19 episodes

Reformer Radio goes deep with people at the center of important stories from around our state. We bring you context and analysis to explain not just what happened, but why it happened, who is responsible, and what it means for Minnesota.

Reformer Radio Minnesota Reformer

    • News
    • 5.0 • 38 Ratings

Reformer Radio goes deep with people at the center of important stories from around our state. We bring you context and analysis to explain not just what happened, but why it happened, who is responsible, and what it means for Minnesota.

    The Watchdog

    The Watchdog

    Jim Nobles spent nearly four decades uncovering fraud, waste and malpractice in Minnesota state government as the nonpartisan Legislative Auditor.

    He oversaw literally hundreds of investigations over his time, from police abuses of power to child care fraud to mistreatment of the mentally ill. It often took his office months to complete its work, issuing reports that were incredibly detailed and sometimes damning.

    The job made him new friends and enemies with each report, but even so, Nobles managed to be widely respected by members of both parties, who appointed him six times.

    Nobles retired earlier this month and spoke with us about his career, including three of the most significant reports his office issued.

    • 26 min
    How Mary Moriarty would prosecute

    How Mary Moriarty would prosecute

    Mary Moriarty spent her entire career trying to keep people out of prison as a public defender.

    After being ousted as Hennepin County’s Chief Public Defender, she’s now running to be county attorney to transform an agency she spent decades fighting against.

    If Moriarty wins, Minneapolis and its suburbs would follow cities like San Francisco and Philadelphia in electing a defense attorney who promise to remake the prosecutor’s office — replacing a tough on crime agenda with one of criminal justice reform.

    • 26 min
    140 years of redistricting failure

    140 years of redistricting failure

    The Minnesota Legislature hasn’t successfully redrawn legislative and congressional districts on time without intervention by the courts in 140 years. This time around looks to be no different.

    For the past 50 years, the courts have taken to drawing them when the Legislature reliably fails to agree to new boundaries. The courts don't do this unprompted — a private citizen must file a lawsuit to ensure Minnesota residents have equal representation in the Legislature and Congress.

    Peter Wattson, a retired attorney for the Minnesota Senate, took up the mantle of suing the state this year after the 2020 census. He explains Minnesota's 140 years of redistricting failure, his idea for a better way and the problem with relying on the courts.

    • 18 min
    The loss of leadership at MNGOP

    The loss of leadership at MNGOP

    The Minnesota Republican Party needs a new leader. But it’s a job few people want.

    The federal indictment of a major Minnesota GOP donor on charges of sex trafficking minors set in motion a series of events that led to the ouster of party chair Jennifer Carnahan. The crisis in leadership comes on top of persistent financial troubles and a 15-year losing streak in statewide elections.

    Reformer reporter Ricardo Lopez explains how Carnahan lost her grip on power and what’s next for the Minnesota Republican Party.

    • 22 min
    The hardest job

    The hardest job

    Minnesota can’t fill thousands of job vacancies for home care workers — the people who help the state’s disabled and growing elderly population bathe, get dressed, eat, exercise and otherwise enjoy dignified lives.

    The cause of the shortage is easy to identify: The job is physically grueling with high rates of workplace injury, while low wages keep people on the edge of being able to pay their bills. Nearly half of home care workers in Minnesota receive some form of public assistance.

    The shortage has dire consequences for people who can’t find reliable care, while it also has ripple effects throughout the labor market. Due to the shortage of home care workers, people are increasingly having to quit their jobs to become personal care aides for their loved ones.

    This week, the stories of two personal care aides.

    • 24 min
    The wild politics of the zombie deer disease

    The wild politics of the zombie deer disease

    Since chronic wasting disease was first found in wild deer in Minnesota in 2010, it’s shown up in more deer and in more places across the state. Preventing the so-called Zombie Deer Disease from spreading is especially difficult because the vector — a folded protein called a prion — can contaminate plants and soil for years.

    But stopping the spread is just as much a political problem as it is a scientific one, and the disease has pitted two industries against each other. Hunters point at captive deer and elk farms, which have been linked to numerous CWD outbreaks, as a threat to wild herds across the continent. But the deer farm industry has successfully warded off the tougher regulation from the Department of Natural Resources.

    No humans are known to have been infected with CWD. But experts worry it could jump species like “mad cow disease,” which is also spread by a prion, and hunters are advised not to eat contaminated meat. The disease's spread poses a significant threat to the 12,000 jobs, $93 million in taxes and $417 million in salaries and wages that the state’s half-a-million hunters support.

    Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville, is a lifelong hunter who’s taken up CWD as one of her top legislative priorities. She explains what she thinks the state has done to control the spread and what she thinks it still needs to do.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

Lil-Corn ,

Fantastic Reporting

The Reformer is unmatched!

__darksword20 ,

Great Podcast

The MN Reformer does excellent local reporting; their podcast is no exception.

20SLG ,

AMAZING! Well produced, interesting, the best MN podcast!

Incredibly high quality and well structured podcast. I look forward to it each week!

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