You asked — Mayo funding ‘Tracking the Truth’ campaign

Can you find out where the so-called Rochester Coalition gets their money for the "Track the Truth" marketing campaign that includes billboards, banners, Web sites, mailings and more? Is this funded strictly through Mayo, or is the city involved, using taxpayer money for this? — Stephan Jennebach

The money all comes from Mayo, according to city sources. Judging by the number of billboards, polls, etc., they’re spending a lot.


Oh great Suzerain of all knowledge! Can you tell all of us worshippers of your great knowledge when licenses were first required in Minnesota to hunt deer?

Then, for a bonus answer, when were small game and fishing licenses first required? — Wayne Brooks, Stewartville


I’ll assume Wayne is a fan of brook trout fishing, so let me start with that angle. Fishing licenses were first issued in Minnesota — way back when. Jason Abraham, information officer at the Department of Natural Resources (and a former reporter for the Winona Daily News), says he went trolling in the archives and couldn’t find a date when fishing licenses were first issued.

The state created a fish commission in 1873, though, and a year later was trying to stock whitefish in Lake Superior, so Jason believes those types of programs probably were financed by licenses early on. By 1915, the state made sure that revenue from fishing licenses was dedicated to fish and game conservation and programming.

So that’s my answer: Before 1915. If you know more, tell me.

Regarding big game, the first reference to licensing was in 1899, when a resident could buy a license to hunt deer, elk, moose or caribou for 25 cents — 1/10th of what I pay for my morning latte at Caribou Coffee. Nonresidents paid $25.

Minnesota didn’t get genuinely serious about wildlife protection until the Department of Conservation was created in 1931. Forty years later, the agency became the Department of Natural Resources.


Fact-master, is it true that Tim Penny was the only Republican to represent the 1st District in the 20th century? — Unreformed Political Geek

Pointless question, my unreformed friend. The 1st District covered only southeastern Minnesota for a good part of the century, so you’re comparing elephants to — burros. And from 1931 to 1933, it was represented by Henry Arens, a Farmer-Labor Party member. As you presumably know, the Farmer-Labor Party merged with the Democrats in 1944 to form the DFL. So while Penny, who served from 1983 to 1995, was the first Democrat, he wasn’t the first non-Republican.


Assuming Gutknecht doesn’t run again and his tenure ends at 12 years, he’ll be No. 3 for longevity as 1st District congressman. No. 2 was Al Quie, at 20 years, and the champ was August Andresen, who enjoyed the job from 1933 to 1959. Prior to that, he was the 3rd District rep for eight years.

He must have loved being a congressman.

If you knew the Suzerain like I know the Suzerain, you’d call him great, too! Send challenging questions to the Suzerain of the Scoop at P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903 or

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