MNpublius was founded by Matt Martin in March of 2005, dedicated to politics in Minnesota. It grew to be one of the most influential blogs during the dawn of serious political blogging in the state and went through numerous iterations and hosted many different writers as online political discourse evolved.
MNpublius was many times covering political events before the mainstream media could catch up, and housed opinion and constructive insight online that predated most of current-day social media. It was a local pioneer in a day where "citizen media," as it was called, and political blogging was in its infancy. Over time, it became a serious player in the political media cycle and had direct influence in numerous races, including significant original reporting and breaking news.
MNpublius closed effectively in August 2012, and while the vast majority of its history are lost due to reiterations of the site and database crashes, the posts from "version 5" of the site can be found at mnpublius.tumblr.com.
"Publius" is reference is to John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. These three historic Americans produced and published 85 essays from 1787-1788 to rally support for the newly drafted Constitution. The essays, collectively known as The Federalist Papers are considered some of the most eloquent essays on government in the history of the English language. The essays were published in papers across the colonies under the pseudonym "Publius" in honor of Publius Valerius Publicola who played a crucial role in establishing the Roman Republic. MNpublius was dedicated to continuing intelligent political discourse in the same vein as our forefathers (although we never pretended to be as intelligent or eloquent).
Matt Martin strongly believes in the land of 10,000 lakes, where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average." With the rise of conservative blogs in the mid-2000s, Minnesota's unique brand of pragmatic progressivism came under attack and was in need of a strong voice. With the naive goal of being this voice, Matt founded the site in 2005 while attending Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. After law school at the University of Pennsylvania, he returned home to Minnesota to focus on the site and to practice law. During the first half of the site's life, he was the central voice of the site and was featured in many publications, including the New York Times, briefly hosted a radio program, and regularly appeared as a commentator on local television shows. He is currenty living with his wife in San Francisco where he is a founding member of the team at LegalReach.com. You can contact him via Twitter at @voxmatt and find occasional musings at MattMart.in.
Zach Stephenson joined MNpublius in its infancy after he and Matt met as unpaid summer interns during Senator Klobuchar's first senatorial campaign. Zach took a break from MNpublius when he went to work for Klobuchar for Minnesota after graduating college. He is now an associate at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.
Jon-David Schlough joined in May 2006 and covered numerous races, notably Amy Klobuchar's run for U.S. Senate. In February 2007, he left the site and became the Director of Interactive for Al Franken for Senate. He now runs Well & Lighthouse, LLC, a political consultancy in Washington, DC.
Sean Broom, after his term as the president of the Minnesota Young DFL, joined the site in June 2007. He now works in the office of Congressman Keith Ellison.
Aaron Landry joined the site in July 2008, primarily covering the U.S. Senate race of Al Franken. His work was featured in numerous other publications and he tracked and brought to light many issues that became key points during the election cycle. He left in 2010 to work in Honolulu and is now Director of Market Engagement for Olomana Loomis ISC. He can be contacted at aaronlandry.com.
Megan Gamble joined in March 2009, and wrote through multiple statewide recounts while working on them. She now works for Minnesotans United for All Families.
Jeff Rosenberg writes for MN Progressive Project and blogged extensively on his own site, Twin Cities Daily Liberal. In March 2009, he joined MNpublius and wrote through the site's closure in August 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @JeffRosenberg and continues to write at MN Progressive Project.
Brad Lippmann joined in January 2011 and can now be found on Twitter at @BradLippmann.
Patrick Timmons joined in January 2011 after writing for several years about campaigns and politics at Minnesota Republican Watch, which he founded in 2004. During 2006 he wrote at DFLSenate covering Klobuchar. He can be found at @MRWTweets.