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Milestones in Ventura administration

St. Paul, Minn. — Some significant moments in Jesse Ventura's administration.

November 1998 - Ventura elected governor in stunning win over Democrat Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III and Republican Norm Coleman. Ventura declares: "We shocked the world." December 1998 - Gov.-elect Ventura breaks with tradition and says his wife, Terry Ventura, should be paid. She doesn't get the money.

January 1999 - The oath of office is administered and Jesse "The Body" Ventura becomes Governor Ventura. At the inaugural, Ventura dons a feather boa and sings a duet with rocker Warren Zevon.

March 1999 - Actors Sean Penn and Jack Nicholson have dinner and cigars at the governor's mansion with Ventura and Ventura's son, Tyrel, who had been working as Penn's personal assistant.

March 1999 - Ventura is attacked by a man armed with a banana cream pie. A state trooper blocks most of the dessert, but Ventura is splattered. The thrower is convicted of disorderly conduct.

May 1999 - NBC airs "The Jesse Ventura Story." The real Ventura shuns the production, which local critics pan for a host of inaccuracies.

May 1999 - Ventura releases autobiography. Among the details: the loss of his virginity and his visits to prostitutes.

May 1999 - Ventura's first legislative session as governor ends, with him helping broker a deal including a tax relief package worth nearly $3 billion. All three income tax rates are cut and Minnesotans get a $1.3 billion sales tax rebate.

August 1999 - Ventura returns to pro wrestling ring in foul-mouthed and much-criticized appearance as "guest referee" at Minneapolis WWF event.

September 1999 - In Playboy interview, Ventura says religion is for "weak-minded people." The interview is met with widespread anger and Ventura spends weeks backpedaling.

October 1999 - To mixed reviews, Ventura releases first part of his "Big Plan" for fixing everything from education to political campaigns. By 2002, Ventura had achieved his goal of simplifying the property tax, but little else from the policy blueprint.

January 2000 - The St. Paul Pioneer Press angers Ventura with plan for cartoon called "Venturaland."

February 2000 - Ventura leaves national Reform Party, saying internal strife hurting efforts to build strong independent political movement. Revives Minnesota's old Independence Party.

April 2000 - Ventura's favorite nickname for the press, "jackals," appears in the title of his second book, "Do I Stand Alone? Going to the Mat Against Political Pawns and Media Jackals."

April 2000 - Ventura tries to find middle ground on abortion issue, but ends a week of high drama by vetoing a bill that would have imposed a 24-hour waiting period.

May 2000 - Ventura confirms that he has sold the rights to his life story to a producer who planned to turn it into a musical, with David Hasselhoff considered for the title role. Show never materializes.

May 2000 - Ventura finishes another legislative session with a budget surplus. He sends out refunds that he dubs "Jesse Checks" and wins approval of his plan to cut vehicle registration fees.

June 2000 - George Bush, Al Gore and Ralph Nader court Ventura during the presidential campaign. Ventura meets all of them, but doesn't give an endorsement.

June 2000 - Ventura makes cameo in "The Young and the Restless," playing himself in several scenes with villain Eric Braeden. He makes a second appearance in September 2001.

October 2000 - Ventura defends free trade in testimony before U.S. Senate. He will speak on the topic many times in the future.

October 2000 - Ventura tells radio listeners he drank gin shots with President Clinton at the White House. White House unamused. Ventura says he was joking.

November 2000 - NBC taps Ventura as commentator for short-lived XFL. The network pulls the plug after one season when the ratings flatline.

January 2001 - Ventura toys with run for president. Las Vegas odds makers give him respectable 20-1 shot. Ventura doesn't run. He now says he fanned flames for fun.

February 2001 - Reporters rebel at Ventura's plan to make them wear credentials designating them an "Official Jackal." Ventura backs off the plan.

February 2001 - President Bush gives Ventura face time over the national budget. Ventura gives it his approval after a closed-door meeting with Bush.

April 2001 - While lashing out at a columnist critical of his natural resources policies, Ventura says "Until you've hunted man, you haven't hunted yet."

June 2001 - He and Republicans craft sweeping reforms of the state's property tax system after a special session that pushed the state to the brink of a government shutdown.

October 2001 - Ventura dodges striking state workers by using a helicopter to fly over picket lines in Willow River.

December 2001 - Ventura wins battle of sound bites with Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig while they testified before Congress. Ventura says owners aren't so dumb they will lose money while paying out huge salaries.

January 2002 - After releasing budget plan that would cut spending and raise taxes, Ventura is primed for battle and says he is inclined to seek re-election.

February 2002 - Ventura records his lowest mark in Star Tribune poll with 49 percent approving of his job and only 29 percent saying he deserves re-election. His highest approval rating was 73 percent in July 1999.

May 2002 - The legislative session ends on a low note for Ventura, whose plan for fixing a deficit was ignored. Budget bills were passed over his vetoes. He went fishing while legislators balanced the budget, and golfing as they trudged through the last day of session.

June 2002 - Ventura lashes out at the media over reports that his 22-year-old son, Tyrel, used the governor's mansion as a party pad. A day after the story broke, Ventura announced he wouldn't seek re-election. He said his heart was no longer in the job but also criticized the media for invading his family's privacy.

June 2002 - At Ventura's urging, former Democratic congressman Tim Penny announces he'll run for governor as an Independence Party candidate.

September 2002 - Ventura visits Cuba as part of a U.S. food show in Havana.

October 2002 - U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone's plane crashes. A few days later, Ventura walks out of a memorial service after it turns sharply partisan.

November 2002 - Ventura appoints state planning Director Dean Barkley as Wellstone's interim replacement.

November 2002 - Penny loses the gubernatorial race to Republican Tim Pawlenty.

November 2002 - Ventura broadcasts final "Lunch with the Governor" radio show.

November 2002 - Ventura releases evaluation of his so-called "Big Plan." Overall, people inside and outside the administration give him a grade of about 7 on a scale of 1-10.

December 2002 - Ventura's administration releases a revenue forecast that shows Minnesota's deficit will approach $4.56 billion by 2005. (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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