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This Is Not A Transparent Process

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 05/23/17 13:58

by Dave Mindeman

We have a serious transparency problem in our Minnesota legislature. They cannot get things done while the public is watching.

These continuous last minute and late night flurries at the end of session are not in the public interest. The horsetrading in the dead of night leaves all of us wondering how it will affect us - and too often we find out about big changes only when we have to deal with it directly.

We shouldn't have be surprised by what our legislature did in the dead of night. We should be able to see exactly what was done and what we need to do to prepare for it.

House Republicans have printed things overnight to vote on immediately in the morning. They have passed bills knowing they will be vetoed and only change them when they can make the deals while no one is watching.

Minnesota ranks 25th in the nation for transparency. We have never addressed this and continue to make it worse.

We have a very adequate amount of time to get the state business done during a regular session. More than adequate. But petty partisanship that only listens to special interests (both sides guilty) seeks to delay and obstruct until the sunlight disappears.

This state deserves better. We can handle the truth. You don't need to keep us in the dark. You are making being a legislator a harder job than it needs to be.

Don't do that. Be honest with all of us. Let the public have a proper say.

The Budget Is About Numbers - Not Policy

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 05/21/17 13:40

by Dave Mindeman

We always seem to come down to these end of session disasters when the Republicans control too much of the budget process. Dayton has pointed out the major reason for why this happens.

Policy positions.

The budget is about numbers. Dollars spent. Taxes. Revenue. It is not about the Met Council structure. It is not about vouchers. It is not about restricting local governments on policy making.

And if you listen in to the policy makers, they really are not that far apart on the numbers. The guts of it. The real budget.

But Republicans (mostly in the House) cannot let go of those policy issues. They have to ram them into the omnibus bills. If they don't get what they want in the early part of the session, they revisit them now - and it is not appropriate.

The business of the state requires the budget to be passed - on time. And the Republicans continue to fail to do that. And here we are again.

Because of policy issues.

Whether or not vouchers can be utilized in education has to be debated separately. And it should be done with hearings and openness. Not railroaded into an education bill. Not squeezed in, in secret, without proper transparency. But it happened.

Other policy issues get slapped into defunding this, defunding that. Health and Human services is especially vulnerable. Please, just pass a clean HHS bill that meets the needs of what we know. Don't speculate on motives or wants - the changing demographics speak for themselves. Deal with that - just don't add arbitrary policy.

Why is this so hard to understand?

Break Up that "White Male Card Game"

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 04/04/17 10:31

by Dave Mindeman

On the House floor, Minority Leader Melissa Hortman noticed something after listening to an impassioned speech from Rep. Omar about "Bloody Sunday"...

Hortman noticed that several of her male colleagues were not on the floor listening to the speech and made a "call of the House", a motion that brings members back to the floor. "I hate to break up the 100 percent white male card game in the retiring room, but I think this is an important debate."

Maybe a trace of sarcasm in there, but it rings true.

However, Rep. Dettmer found this somehow offensive and responded...

"I'm a white male. I respect everybody. But I really believe that the comments made by the Minority Leader were really not appropriate."

Really? You respect everybody but cannot seem to see the point of concern raised by your House colleague? Your white male colleagues disrespect and ignore the women on the floor...women of color...and YOU are the one that gets offended?

Oh, Rep. Dettmer, life is so tough for white male Republicans. There are so many racist comments against YOU. The House puts up a bill which, if truth be told, targets Black Lives Matter's ability to protest...and it is YOU who are offended.

Dettmer demanded an apology. Yes, an apology. But Hortman was having none of that..

"I have no intention of apologizing. I'm really tired of watching women of color in particular being ignored. So I'm not sorry."

Which prompted Dettmer to give us one of those patronizing, sexist, horsepuckey responses....

"All I know is if I would have made a comment like that, it would have probably made the front page of the newspapers. And Minority Leader, I do forgive you."

Nobody asked for your forgiveness. Nobody asked you for anything. You just volunteered your mansplaining sexist condescension...as an aside.

And then here is the kicker. Rep. Greg Davids, who had the gavel at the time, later gives his own lecture to Melissa Hortman on Twitter:

"I was greatly offended by minority leader Hortman's racist statement about white males." Said created "hostile working environment"...Rep. Greg Davids said he thinks House DFL Leader Melissa Hortman should resign for comments re: breaking up 100% white male card game.

Resign? Seriously? The "boys club" is not allowed to be criticized?

The ridiculous nature of how the GOP House Republican majority rules the House needs to be examined.

Dettmer and Davids are in the clown car.
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