BEST POLITICIAN - 2006
Mike Hatch is a mean son of a bitch. He prizes loyalty, demands competence, and ruthlessly culls out those who don't meet those standards. While he might not be the first guy with whom you'd choose to down Jell-O shots (his daughters are another matter in this regard), these character traits have made his tenure as attorney general tremendously successful. Most significantly, Hatch's dogged investigations of health maintenance organizations—Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Allina Health System, in particular—have resulted in page-one headlines for the attorney general, but also significant benefits to health care consumers. Hatch is probably the only Democrat in the state who has the tenacity and political guile to give Gov. Tim Pawlenty the sweats at night. If the attorney general can get through the September primary, we will have a fascinating showdown between the state's top two political magicians.