May 1, 2023
Minnesota Senate
Capitol News Coverage
Directory 2023

Published by:
Tom Bottern
Secretary of the Senate
Room 231 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
(651) 296-0266

Members of Capitol News Coverage Organizations are accredited through:

Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate
Suite G430
95 University Ave W.
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
(651) 296-1119

This publication was developed by the following departments:
Senate Sergeant-at-arms; Senate Information Systems and Senate Media Services

 Andrew J. Olmscheid
Information Supervision 
 Bryan Pierick
Information Maintenance 
 Aaron Person
Information Systems 
 Anna Moorjani
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 4
Senate Rule 16

16. Credentials for News Coverage

16.1 (a) The Secretary of the Senate shall provide a reasonable number of spaces on the Senate floor and in the Senate gallery for individuals and organizations with credentials and passes issued under this rule.

(b) The Sergeant at Arms may not issue credentials or day passes under this rule to political organizations or to individuals affiliated with a political organization. For the purposes of this rule, "political organization" means an organization owned or controlled by a registered lobbyist, a political caucus, a political party, or any party organization and "individuals affiliated with a political organization" means an individual who, during the preceding 24 months, has been employed by or received any compensation from a political organization.

(c) Due to the limited space available for organizations or individuals providing news coverage of the Senate, the Senate finds that there is a compelling public interest in limiting credentials issued under this rule to organizations or individuals who demonstrate that they provide regular news coverage of the legislature. For session credentials, an organization or individual must submit an application to the Sergeant at Arms. The Sergeant at Arms must review the application and approve or reject it within 14 days after receipt. Upon the request of the Sergeant at Arms, an applicant for credentials must provide evidence of the applicant's activities in providing regular news coverage of the legislature. Evidence of regular news coverage must include examples of news coverage of legislative matters produced by the applicant. The examples must include written, video, or audio coverage written or recorded in the past year, and a description of how they were publicly distributed. Any opinion expressed in the examples is not subject to review under this rule at any time.

(d) If an application is rejected, the Sergeant at Arms must state the reason for the rejection in writing and notify the applicant, the Secretary of the Senate, the Majority Leader, and the Minority Leader in writing.

(e) An appeal of a denial of credentials must be made in writing to the Secretary of the Senate, the Senate Majority Leader, and the Senate Minority Leader. The Committee on Rules and Administration shall review and decide the appeal within 14 days after receiving a letter of appeal.

16.2 The Sergeant at Arms may grant a day pass for access authorized under Rule 16.1, paragraph (a) The day pass may be issued for a single day to an individual or organization who has not applied for credentials and who is not prohibited from receiving credentials under Rule 16.1, paragraph (b). The pass may be granted upon the request of a member or the organization or individual, and may be renewed from day to day upon request.

16.3 The Secretary shall compile and distribute to the public a directory of individuals and organizations who have been issued credentials under Rule 16.1 to provide news coverage from the Senate floor. The directory must include each individual's picture and organization and a brief biography.

16.4 The Secretary must issue each individual or organization with credentials an identification badge showing the individual's name and organization. The individual must wear the badge when in the Senate Chamber.

16.5 (a) A credential shall be revoked by the Sergeant at Arms if the Sergeant has received credible information indicating that the individual or organization either was not qualified to receive the credential when it was given, or no longer qualifies for a credential.

(b) An appeal of a revocation of credentials must be made in writing to the Secretary of the Senate, the Senate Majority Leader, and the Senate Minority Leader. The Committee on Rules and Administration shall review and decide the appeal within 14 days after receiving a letter of appeal.

adopted January 06,2015

Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 5
Trisha Ahmed
Associated Press
Cell: 612-383-6375
Steve Karnowski
Associated Press
Capitol: 651-222-4821
Newsroom: 612-332-2727
Fax: 612-342-5299
Cell: 612-442-7649
Education: BA from the University of Minnesota in journalism and political science, 1982.
Experience: Associated Press reporter since 1994; Conus Communications All News Channel, associate producer, 1994; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany, senior news editor, 1985 - 1994; United Press International in Washington, national desk editor, 1985, Minneapolis Bureau reporter, 1983 - 1985; Minnesota Daily, political reporter, 1979 - 1983.
Abbie Parr
Associated Press
Capitol: 612-419-0891
Newsroom: 612-419-0891
Education: B.A., Colorado State University
Torey Van Oot
Cell: 310-903-2160
Education: BA, political science and print journalism, University of Southern California.
Experience: Axios Twin Cities (2020 - present); Star Tribune Capitol Bureau (2018 - 2020); Refinery29 (2015 - 2018); NBC-owned TV stations national digital desk (2013 - 2015); The Sacramento Bee Capitol Bureau (2009 - 2013).
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 6
Alex Derosier
Forum News Service
Capitol: 651-290-0707
Cell: 651-734-5336
Education: University of Wisconsin-Superior, University of Missouri
Experience: Superior Bureau of Wisconsin Public Radio, WNAX, Missourinet Radio, Southern California Public Radio, CBS News Washington Bureau, Associated Press Raleigh North Carolina Bureau, WDAY-TV and The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.
Thomas A. Olmscheid
Freelance Photographer
Cell: 651-208-4885
Education: AA degree, Inver Hills Community College.
Experience: 1975 - 2011 Chief Photographer, MN House of Representative 1978 - 2020 Freelance Photographer, Associated Press 2012 - Present Freelance Contributing Photographer MinnPost
Quinn Gorham
Gray TV
Newsroom: 507-280-5125
Education: B.A. Broadcast Journalism, Biola University
Experience: Reporter, MMJ for KBJR/Northern News Now
John Croman
Capitol: 651-292-8988
Newsroom: 763-797-7215
Fax: 763-546-1111
Cell: 612-209-9091
Education: BS, journalism, University of Kansas.
Experience: Reporter for KARE since 1997. Previously worked in TV news in Phoenix, Omaha and Lawrence, Kan.; and radio news in Kansas.
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 7
Theo Keith
Newsroom: 952-946-5767
Cell: 763-257-9690
Education: Bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science, University of Missouri.
Experience: WITI-TV/Fox 6, Milwaukee, Wis., political reporter (2015-2018); WAVE-TV (NBC), Louisville, Ky., political reporter (2013-2015); WISC-TV (CBS), Madison, Wis., reporter (2011-2013); KMOX-AM (CBS) and KOMU-TV (NBC), Jefferson City, Mo. (2009-2011).
Tom Hauser
Capitol: 651-665-0920
Newsroom: 651-642-4455
Fax: 651-642-4409
Education: BA, Journalism and Political Science, University of St. Thomas; MA, Journalism and Mass Communications, Drake University.
Experience: KAAL-TV, Austin, MN; WINK-TV, Fort Myers, FL; WHO-TV, Des Moines; KSTP-TV, Mpls-St. Paul.
Allysa Marrall
Capitol: 651-392-1075
Newsroom: 651-641-4412
Fax: 651-642-4412
Education: Media and Production Studies, Lake Superior College (Duluth, MN)
Experience: One year TV news editor at KBJR/CBS3 (Duluth, MN); two years as editor/photojournalist at KSTP.
Pafoua Yang
Capitol: 612-802-9014
Newsroom: 651-642-4412
Education: B.A., University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
Experience: Journalist, FOX 11 Green Bay - 2 years Journalist, CCX Media Brooklyn Center - 2 years Journalist, WCCO-TV - 6 months Journalist, KSTP-TV
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 8
Darian Leddy
KTTC-TV 10 - Rochester, MN
Capitol: 507-215-5009
Newsroom: 507-288-4444
Fax: 507-288-6324
Education: University of Minnesota (BA)
Experience: MPR digital team intern, Gopher Sports production assistant, Timberwolves/Lynx production assistant, Nine North production assistant.
Dan Ochsner
Leighton Broadcasting AM 1450/FM 99.3 KNSI - St. Cloud, MN
Capitol: 320-492-5661
Newsroom: 320-203-4831
Fax: 320-251-8952
Cell: 320-492-5661
Education: Associates Degree Radio/TV Broadcasting; Bachelor's Degree Media Business.
Experience: 20+ years in radio news and talk radio; KDLM news director, 1998-2001; MN Associated Press Broadcasters Board, past president; Political talk show host, KNSI St. Cloud, 2001-present.
Alex Steil
Minnesota Daily
Cell: 651-231-9818
Education: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Bill Werner
Minnesota News Network
Capitol: 651-224-0355
Newsroom: 952-545-6660
Education: BA, Political Science, Macalester College.
Experience: Political correspondent, Minnesota News Network since 1993.
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 9
Brian Bakst
Minnesota Public Radio
Capitol: 651-291-1035
Newsroom: 651-290-1424
Cell: 651-226-6089
Education: BA, Political Science/Journalism, University of Minnesota.
Experience: Copy editor, Albuquerque Journal; legislative correspondent, Murphy McGinnis Media; legislative reporter, Associated Press, 1999 - 2016.
Dana Ferguson
Minnesota Public Radio
Capitol: 651-290-0707
Cell: 952-215-4046
Education: DePauw University, BA, 2014.
Experience: Joined MPR News, 2022. Previously Forum News Service as Minnesota Capitol correspondent in 2018-2022. Previously worked as a state government and politics reporter for the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D., and The Associated Press in Madison, Wis.
Tim Nelson
Minnesota Public Radio
Newsroom: 651-290-1393
Cell: 651-315-4900
Education: BA, Gustavus Adolphus College.
Experience: Minnesota Daily, St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Michelle Griffith
Minnesota Reformer
Capitol: 763-331-1359
Newsroom: 202-491-7755
Education: B.A. Journalism, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Experience: Capitol Correspondent, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead; Student Reporter, Star Tribune; Intern, Pioneer Press.
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 10
Nicole Neri
Minnesota Reformer
Newsroom: 480-619-3162
Education: B.A., Journalism and Mass Communications, Arizona State University.
Experience: Freelance photojournalist with bylines including Minnesota Reformer, Associated Press, Minnesota Public Radio, Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg Business.
Max Nesterak
Minnesota Reformer
Cell: 612-360-4843
Education: BA, Swarthmore College.
Experience: MPR News, NPR.
Deena Winter
Minnesota Reformer
Capitol: 763-283-9012
Newsroom: 202-491-7755
Education: University of Mary (Bismarck, N.D.)
Experience: Bismarck Tribune, Associated Press, Lincoln Journal Star, Denver Post, Nebraska Watchdog, Southwest News Media, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, New York Times, Wall Street Journal.
Peter J. Callaghan
Newsroom: 612-455-6950
Fax: 612-455-6960
Cell: 253-219-6332
Education: BA, University of Washington
Experience: MinnPost; Associated Press in Olympia and Seattle; Everett Herald; Tacoma News Tribune.
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 11
Walker Orenstein
Cell: 651-276-7490
Education: BA, University of Washington.
Experience: Reported on Washington State's Legislature for The (Tacoma) News Tribune and The Associated Press. Interned for The Seattle Times.
Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
Mshale - Minneapolis
Capitol: 612-353-1056
Newsroom: 612-454-5648
Fax: 612-454-5008
Education: University of Minnesota
Experience: Covering the African community in Minnesota for Mshale since 2021. Topics include politics, culture, education, and arts and entertainment.
Richard Ooga
Mshale - Minneapolis
Capitol: 612-353-1053
Newsroom: 612-454-5648
Fax: 612-454-5008
Education: B.A., Metro State University; A.A. Photography, DCTC
Experience: Photojournalist with Mshale since 2010 covering politics, culture and entertainment, etc. Current chief photographer at Mshale.
David Pierini
North News
Newsroom: 612-701-3883
Education: B.A. Photojournalism, Western Kentucky University (1998); B.A Journalism, Michigan State University (1991).
Experience: North News, Nov 2016-present (Editor 2022-present); Wednesday Journal (Oak Park, IL), 2012-2014; ABC7 Chicago, 2011-2012; Chicago Tribune, 2008-2011; The Herald (Jasper, IN), 1998-2008.
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 12
Martin D. Owings
Public Record Media
Capitol: 612-819-8599
Cell: 612-819-8599
Education: BA, history and political science, Metropolitan State University.
Experience: Reporter/editor/online host; Board President at Public Record Media.
John Eric Autey
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Capitol: 651-228-5136
Newsroom: 651-338-5497
Fax: 651-228-5528
Cell: 651-328-1753
Experience: St. Paul Pioneer Press photographer: 20 years with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, 15 years in the newsroom.
Mara Gottfried
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Newsroom: 651-228-5262
Cell: 651-503-0163
Education: BA, University of Maryland.
Experience: St. Paul Pioneer Press, 2001 - present.
Christopher Magan
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Cell: 513-535-0281
Education: B.S. Journalism from Tennessee State University
Experience: Education reporter for Pioneer Press, 2011 - present; education/government reporter for Dayton Daily News, 2004-2011
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 13
Bill Salisbury
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Capitol: 651-228-5538
Newsroom: 651-228-5448
Cell: 651-706-7027
Education: BA, history, University of MN, Morris.
Experience: Reporter, Fairmont Sentinel, 1971-72; reporter, Rochester Post-Bulletin, 1972-77; reporter, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 1977-present.
C. Scott Takushi
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Newsroom: 651-228-5497
Fax: 651-228-2169
Education: BA, Wheaton College.
Experience: Seattle Times, 1985-1987; St. Paul Pioneer Press photographer since 1987.
Briana Bierschbach
Star Tribune
Capitol: 651-925-5042
Cell: 320-469-3206
Education: BA, journalism, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Experience: Star Tribune since 2020. Previous experience at the Capitol for The Associated Press, Politics in Minnesota, MinnPost and Minnesota Public Radio.
Ryan Faircloth
Star Tribune
Newsroom: 612-673-4234
Cell: 832-331-8390
Education: 2018: B.A. Journalism, University of Minnesota
Experience: 2018-2019: Political Report, St. Paul Pioneer Press 2020-2022: Breaking News Reporter and Higher Education Reporter, Minneapolis Star Tribune 2022-Present: Political Reporter, Star Tribune
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 14
Patricia Ava Lopez
Star Tribune
Newsroom: 612-673-7028
Cell: 612-599-2654
Education: California State University, Los Angeles.
Experience: Editorial writer, Star Tribune; former state and national political editor, Star Tribune; former chief political reporter; Star Tribune; Previously reporter for Cincinnati Enquirer, Los Angeles Times, Roanoke Times, Los Angeles City News Service.
Leila Navidi
Star Tribune
Newsroom: 612-673-4840
Cell: 612-710-1293
Education: Rochester Institute of Technology, B.A. Applied Photography, 2003
Experience: Star Tribune since Sept. 2014; Las Vegas Sun, 2007-2013
Rochelle Olson
Star Tribune
Newsroom: 612-673-1747
Cell: 612-202-6487
Education: M.S. Journalism, University of Kansas; B.A. French, Hamline University.
Experience: Star Tribune since 2000. Associated Press in Kansas City, Topeka, KS, Charleston, WV, and St. Paul from 1992-2000.
Glen Stubbe
Star Tribune
Capitol: 612-210-8603
Newsroom: 612-210-8603
Education: BS Photojournalism, Syracuse University.
Experience: Wilkes-Barre, PA, Times Leader, 1981-83; Tampa Tribune, FL, 1983-86; Washington Times, DC, 1986-98, Star Tribune, 1998 - present.
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 15
Jessie Van Berkel
Star Tribune
Capitol: 651-925-5044
Fax: 651-222-0101
Cell: 612-516-0121
Education: BA, journalism, University of Minnesota.
Experience: Star Tribune (2014-present). Previously: Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Post-Crescent.
Michael McIntee
The Uptake
Capitol: 651-261-2272
Newsroom: 651-538-0411
Education: BA, journalism, University of MN.
Experience: WMMR-AM news director, 1977-81; WCCO -TV producer, 1979-1982; KGBT-TV producer, 1982-84; KETV-TV producer 1984-87; KWTV TV producer, 1987-88; Conus Communication 1989-2002; cofounder and executive producer, The UpTake, 2006-present.
Sheila Regan
The Uptake
Cell: 612-447-6983
Education: BA, Macalester College; MFA, Indiana University.
Experience: Twelve years' experience as a freelance journalist. Bylines in the Washington Post, Star Tribune, Salon, Mic, PRI, Vice; stringer for The Associated Press.
Cirien Issa Saadeh
The Uptake
Capitol: 651-538-0411
Cell: 952-423-8186
Education: PhD in Sustainability Education from Prescott College, Masters in Humanities from Prescott College. Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Catherine University.
Experience: Executive Director of The UpTake. Founder of and Program Director with the Journalism of Color Training Center. Formerly with North News and currently affiliated with other community journalism outlets.
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 16
Brian Few
Twin Cities PBS
Capitol: 612-458-3105
Education: B.S. Mass Communication
Experience: 13 years as camera operator.
Mary Lahammer
Twin Cities PBS
Capitol: 651-402-8848
Education: University of Minnesota, Journalism & Mass Communications Major, Constitutional Law History Minor, Phi Beta Kappa & Summa Cum Laude
Experience: Capitol correspondent since 1998 for Almanac and creator of Almanac at the Capitol. 12-time regional Emmy Award Winner.
Rachel Mueller
Twin Cities PBS
Capitol: 970-319-2184
Education: Master's of Journalism, University of California Berkeley
Experience: Director of Photography, Twin Cities PBS; independent journalist.
Sergio Rapu
Twin Cities PBS
Capitol: 808-255-6100
Education: B.A. Film Production
Experience: 25 years of documentary experience as a producer and camera operator.
Minnesota Senate 2023 Capitol News Coverage Directory 17
Scott Trotman
Twin Cities PBS
Capitol: 612-867-8358
Newsroom: 651-222-1717
Education: BA, Winona State University; major, Mass Communications, Broardcasting; minor, Speech Communications.
Experience: Over 20 years of video production experience; 16 years with TPT. Worked four sessions with Senate Media in 1990's.
Susan Jones
WCCO- Radio
Capitol: 612-735-2738
Newsroom: 612-333-9181
Education: BA Communication
Experience: 25 years at WCCO experience.
Caroline Cummings
Newsroom: 612-330-2509
Cell: 240-899-4639
Education: BA, broadcast journalism, University of Maryland, College Park (2017).
Experience: Iowa statehouse reporter, KGAN-TV, June 2017-December 2020; reporter, WCCO-TV, January 2021-present.