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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Control Of The MN Senate In The Balance

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 02/18/18 14:35

by Dave Mindeman

The 2018 session is about to start and we have a unique situation that will make the MN Senate interesting.

Michele Fischbach is the President of the Senate and a State Senator. She is also, right now, the sitting Lieutenant Governor - as stated by the Minnesota Constitution (because Tina Smith moved on to be appointed US Senator).

So, we have a dispute. The Democrats point to the law that states a legislator cannot hold two offices at the same time. The Republicans point to an older law that allowed a sitting Senator to hold two positions - but that was back in the 1800's. The courts decided to punt it until there is an actual event.

The event begins when the legislature meets and how it will be triggered is anybody's guess. But it needs to be resolved definitively or there will be all sorts of questionable actions taken by the Senate.

If it is ruled that Fischbach cannot hold her Senate seat while being Lt. Governor, then the Senate is a 33-33 tie until a special election can be held. And there is little chance an election can happen before the session ends.

That would mean that Gazelka and Bakk would have to come to some sort of an agreement as to how the Senate can operate.

My guess is that the Republicans will not take any action and force the Senate Democrats to file a court action. And then they will go into a public relations debacle claiming that the Democrats are doing an "unnecessary" power play. Which once again will be the usual hypocrisy because if you reversed the situation the Republicans would be in the courts yesterday.

My feeling is that the Democrats are going to have to play hard ball here. And they better have their messaging in order. This is a very unique situation and frankly, the Democrats have the law on their side; and should make their case in the courts and to the public.

They need our support on this. The Republicans have played too many games in the past and need to be challenged on this one.

Pay attention and keep up with the facts.

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LTE Writer Thinks A Story On Sexual Harassment Is Just Politics

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 12/05/17 13:18, Edited: 12/05/17 13:19

by Dave Mindeman

Well, this was inevitable...

To the Editor (SunThisWeek):

For two out of the last three weeks, state Rep. Erin Maye Quade has received front page above the fold stories. This past week, the story was regarding sexual harassment at the Minnesota Capitol. I don't dispute that what happened to Maye Quade was wrong and inappropriate, nor do I dispute that it deserves front page above the fold coverage. However, I do draw some conclusions from the story. Conclusions not about Maye Quade, but about the pro-DFL slanted reporting by the new newspaper staff. Maye Quade appears to have been the only person interviewed for the story on sexual harassment. In the article, Maye Quade is quoted various times with critical opinions and remarks regarding GOP handling of the allegations, as well as, her view of Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt's reaction to reports of sexual harassment. Yet, the article never mentions even trying to obtain a statement from Speaker Daudt or any other local GOP legislators. What kind of journalism is that? It was a politically charged article by including Maye Quade's comments, yet only presented her opinion of how the two parties are handling the situation. It seems that the new staff at the newspaper is just another biased, voice piece for the DFL. While I don't expect much from a free newspaper, advertisers are paying for it. If this kind of "journalism" continues, I guess advertisers will have to consider if it is wise to spend their advertising dollars in one-sided political newspaper.

This particular letter writer seems to have missed the entire point - and obviously assumes that everything is just a partisan political stunt.

It is like this letter writer (and believe it or not, the writer is a "she" ), is thinking the local paper is some kind of Maye Quade/DFL mouthpiece to get some articles written about her in regard to the harassment issue.

I guess Maye Quade is a glutton for punishment that wants all these details of her personal life to be shouted out in megaphone style so all of her friends and neighbors will know about it.

The letter writer admits that what happened was wrong - she just doesn't like all the publicity about our representative (as if this is somehow like a "campaign ad"? Really?) Erin has no control over how the local paper is going to treat the article. I would say it probably is more newsworthy than the local fish market having a shortage on shrimp.

The letter writer believes that the article should have "more balance". What is not balanced? It is a story about what happened to Erin - not a political statement. The initial confrontation was with a Democratic Senator. Maye Quade responed to questions from the paper about what happened in regards to these incidents involving the House leadership - which is Republican at present. Maye Quade naturally would like more attention to these matters in the future and said as much.

The only thing involving Republicans (outside of the growing revelations about Tony Cornish that developed) was really about the "no action taken. Not that they necessarily had good options - but a "not aware of it" from Kurt Daudt would have added nothing to the story. And Daudt isn't exactly publicity happy about the subject.

And what is with the "politically charged" comment. Sure there is a political aspect to this because Maye Quade is a sitting legislator. But the story can be just as relevant in any work place, any where. The only thing politically charged about this issue is the letter writer's reaction to the article. When someone assumes a political motivation, especially in regards to how a woman was treated in the work place, then the letter writer should be examining her own motives - rather than the motives of anyone else.
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The Games And Soap Opera Of Kurt Daudt

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 09/29/17 00:49

by Dave Mindeman

Kurt Daudt continues to escalate the impasse. He responded to the Dayton op-ed in the Star Tribune with his own - in which he stated this:

As he left the mediation room, it became shockingly clear to me what really upset the governor is that he did not completely eliminate the Legislature. This should disturb everyone.

As usual, Daudt uses extreme language to further his aims. Dayton's intent from the very beginning of this dispute was to bring the legislature back to talks about disagreements without shutting down the government.

As usual, Daudt has tricks up his sleeve which allow the legislature to continue funding itself without the funding that was line item vetoed....

The governor claimed he was surprised to learn that the Legislature may be forced to dip into the appropriations to the Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC) to survive a little longer. We did not hide this from the courts or the governor, and it was wrong for the governor to say we did. The governor and his attorneys have argued since June that his vetoes are constitutional because the House and Senate may be able to take funds from the LCC.

The LCC funds support a lot of legislative offices, and is not meant to be a funding source for day to day legislature funding. But Daudt appears to have decided on using this from the beginning when forced to disclose his plan by the court. He never intended to talk with the governor or negotiate. He has simply decided to frame this dispute as the governor trying to "eliminate" the legislative branch.

Shameless political stunt. But that is how Daudt always operates. Everything he does is politically calculated. He is the epitome of the hyper partisan nature of politics today.

Daudt plans to continue this charade as long as the courts allow it. If it goes into the next session, they will pass a measure to restore those funds and, once again, intentionally force a showdown with the Governor.

Daudt has turned legislating into a 24 hour soap opera. And like the writers of any good soap opera, he looks for that unusual plot twist that will give him the best ratings. He doesn't care about simple governing. About actually getting things done for the people of Minnesota. He wants drama but most of all, to win.

Politics is a game to Kurt Daudt and because of his position - we all have to play.

We need to stop this nonsense as soon as possible.
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