Archive for the ‘Special Interests’ Category

With Democrats and the Washington Post criticizing him for not bringing Loretta Lynch up for a confirmation vote, Mitch McConnell is still playing hardball:

The hardball tactics, coming in McConnell’s first 100 days as majority leader, pose some risks for a GOP majority determined to show it can govern. Democrats can win back the Senate in 2016 by winning four or five seats, depending on the outcome of the presidential race.

McConnell is facing rising pressure to allow a vote on Lynch, who Democrats this week noted has waited 160 days since her nomination for a confirmation vote.

Supporters launched a hunger strike this week, and The Washington Post editorial board on Thursday slammed the GOP leader for the “shabby treatment” of Lynch, who would be the first black woman to serve as attorney general. The Post wrote there is “no principled reason to link Ms. Lynch’s nomination to the passage of the trafficking bill,” and that she should get “immediate floor consideration.”

However, McConnell’s strategy also has benefits for the GOP leader and his conference, which has unified around him.

Republicans are irked that Democrats blocked the trafficking bill over language that would prevent money for a victims fund set up by the bill to be used for abortions, even after some Democrats voted for the bill in committee. Democrats later said they did not realize the abortion language had been included in the legislation.

The Washington Post Editorial Board said that there is “no principled reason” for denying a vote on Lynch. They’re wrong.

Actions have consequences. Democrats unanimously voted for the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act in committee. Then the Democrats’ pro-abortion special interest groups descended on the Judiciary Committee Democrats like locusts descended on Egypt in the time of Moses. Immediately, Democrats started lying, saying that they didn’t know the 68-page bill contained Hyde Amendment language. That’s BS.

If Democrats want to continue pandering to Planned Parenthood, NOW and other abortion extremists, there’s a price to be paid. Breaking promises has consequences. Democrats broke their promise on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. Until they stop pandering to these extremists, Mitch McConnell should let them know that lying isn’t acceptable.

There’s a simple solution to this. Democrats will get what they want the minute Republicans get what they want. If Democrats insist on getting everything, they’ll get nothing.

Finally, it’s disgusting that these Democrats are these abortion extremists’ puppets.

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The DFL is opposed to not raising every Minnesotan’s taxes. The Dayton-DFL transportation plan would impose a tax increase on everyone who owns a vehicle. It would also impose a tax increase on everyone in the 7-county metro area via a sales tax increase. The 7-county sales tax increase is collected from anyone buying things in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties. The sales tax revenue collected, however, mainly gets funneled into transit projects in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

The Move MN plan isn’t focused. It wants to raise taxes on everyone to pay for this list of items:

Any plan that prioritizes everything doesn’t prioritize anything.

Minnesotans are imploring politicians to fix their roads and fill their potholes. The Republican plan focuses their attention on that. In fact, the Republican plan essentially told transit lobbyists that they’re on their own. That’s a bit of an oversimplification but it isn’t an outrageous oversimplification.

If I polled Minnesotans what they wanted their money spent on this session, bike trails and pedestrian infrastructure wouldn’t break the top 25 items. It just isn’t a priority. It wouldn’t be surprising if that same imaginary poll found that transit projects in the 7-county metro area would be a priority for a plurality of voters in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

Predictably, the DFL is outraged by the Republicans’ plan. It’s predictable because Republicans listened to Minnesotans’ priorities while the DFL listened to transportation lobbyists. The DFL opposes redirecting the sales taxes away from the general fund.

The question Minnesotans should ask DFL legislators is straightforward. Why should taxes collected on vehicles and auto parts not be part of the solution for fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges? Another question that would be appropriate to ask is why those sales taxes are being directed at anything from funding corrupt organizations like Community Action of Minneapolis to funding MnSCU’s Central Office to paying for outrageous pay raises for Gov. Dayton’s commissioners.

Follow this link for more on this subject.

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Thursday night, Gov. Dayton delivered his annual State of the State Address. True to the DFL’s creed, there’s something in there for each of the DFL’s special interest groups. True to the DFL’s creed, there’s a ton of spin in Gov. Dayton’s speech. Here’s a perfect example of that spin:

At the other end of the education continuum, higher education: the University of Minnesota, the MnSCU colleges, and universities, and state financial aid for students are equally deserving of increased support. In 2013, the legislature approved a $249 million increase in higher education funding for the current biennium. That increase, however, only replaced the $246 million reduction enacted in 2011.

In real, inflation-adjusted dollars, state support for higher education in FY 2012 dropped to its lowest level in over thirty years. No wonder tuitions have been forced higher and higher in both systems, causing Minnesota students to graduate with the fifth highest average debt loads in the country.

That’s just dishonest. One of the reasons why tuitions “have been forced higher” is because MnSCU presidents and the MnSCU Central Office have spent outrageously on consultants and administrators. Couple that with the reckless fiscal mismanagement in years past, mostly in the name of pursuing lofty-sounding visions or outright legacy-building and it isn’t surprising why tuitions have skyrocketed.

Pitting students and parents’ budgets against university presidents’ and MnSCU administrators’ wish lists isn’t the best way to build a better Minnesota, though it’s the fastest way to pay off one of the DFL’s strongest special interest allies.

To show how misguided Gov. Dayton’s policies are and how blindly the DFL will follow Education Minnesota’s instructions, check out how Gov. Dayton, the DFL and Education Minnesota are cheating Jazmyne McGill:

Despite meeting all of the requirements for a diploma, I had to take a class in college that covered material I had already passed in high school. Worse, this class wouldn’t earn me any credit toward a degree, although I had to pay full tuition for it.

Coming from a low-income family, I did not have the extra money to take a class that wouldn’t count toward my degree. Minnesota’s college graduates already carry one of the nation’s highest student debt loads and repay their loans at an above average rate. Yet remedial classes saddle students with additional debt, don’t earn them degrees, and deter them from completed their degrees – at a time when an increasing number of Minnesota jobs require post-secondary education.

Jazmyne paid hundreds of additional dollars for a class Education Minnesota told her she’d satisfactorily passed. That’s the definition of educational theft.

Rather than verifying whether the K-12 or higher ed money is producing excellent educational outcomes, the DFL just keeps returning for more money for a system that’s failing Minnesota’s youth. Cheating Minnesota’s students isn’t acceptable — except if it’s Education Minnesota cheating students while the DFL are running things. Then it’s apparently fine.

Finally, check out the transcript. It’s traditional Dayton in that it’s filled with terrible punctuation and grammar. Thank God he hired the best speechwriters, then gave them big raises. Spending lots of money, then not paying attention to whether it’s being spent wisely isn’t proof that government is treating its taxpayers wisely. It’s proof that the DFL cares more about their big government allies than they care about the taxpayers.

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In a stunning development, the DFL has promised it’ll never raise the gas tax again to fix Minnesota’s roads and bridges. Let the parsing begin. Actually, the DFL didn’t make that promise this session. That’s what they promised in 2007-08. Back then, Sen. Steve Murphy, then-chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, promised that passing a nickel-per-gallon gas tax increase would be the only tax increase they’d need to fix “Minnesota’s crumbling roads and bridges” for the next 25 years.

Just 7 years later, Gov. Dayton is back, insisting that “Minnesota’s crumbling roads and bridges” require a 6.5% wholesale gas tax increase. The DFL and Move MN support Gov. Dayton’s plan. This time, they aren’t promising this will be the last tax increase they’ll ask for to fix Minnesota’s roads and bridges. Instead, this is what the DFL is saying to rationalize their latest tax increase:

“I don’t relish having to raise the revenues needed to start fixing 25 years of deterioration and deficiencies in Minnesota’s transportation system,” Dayton said.

It’s interesting that Gov. Dayton totally ignored the $6.6 billion tax increase the DFL imposed on Minnesotans in 2008 in the name of fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges. It isn’t surprising but it’s definitely interesting.

What’s really happening is that the DFL is settling an old promise with their transportation special interest lobbyists. Their transit activists expected to get paid when Mark Dayton was governor and the DFL had majorities in the House and Senate. It’s likely that the DFL’s transit activists were told that an income tax increase and extending the sales tax to farm equipment repairs and warehousing services were the DFL’s highest priorities.

It’s likely that they were told they’d be first up on the tax increase list in this session. Clearly, they didn’t expect the House Republican majority to tell the transit activists to get their money from the local communities where the LRT corridors run through.

That’s the worst possible news for transit activists because it’s tougher for city councilmembers to justify raising taxes for transit projects.

Republicans shouldn’t consider raising the gas tax this year. First, it’s a proven failure. The DFL will be back in just a few years for another tax increase because this tax increase, they’ll say, wasn’t enough. (It never is.) The difference the next time they ask for a tax increase, they’ll be able to say that Republicans better vote for this one because they voted for the last one.

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Juan Williams’ pro-Harry Reid blinders are on full display in Williams’ latest column:

Republicans campaigned last fall voicing a constant refrain that voters should free them from Reid’s control of the Senate. McConnell promised that Republicans would prove they could govern once Reid’s hold had been broken. As the cynics say, “How did that work out for you?”

Frankly, I’ll take Mitch McConnell’s attempting to get things done over Reid’s one-man legislative branch veto anytime and it isn’t close. Harry Reid was and is a tyrant who should be in prison. He shouldn’t be praised.

Reid is now in the minority. He has announced he will not run again. But the GOP’s inability to get anything done in the Senate for three months and counting is leading to new appreciation for the much-maligned Reid. Compare Reid’s record to the GOP’s ongoing failure to pass legislation to stop sex trafficking, to approve highway trust-fund spending or to confirm an attorney general.

There’s no place in America’s heartland where people have a new-found appreciation of Harry Reid. Since when do celebrate a person who essentially stopped the deliberative process? Why shouldn’t such a tyrant be vilified for essentially preventing red state senators from representing their constituents?

There’s nothing virtuous about that type of tyranny.

As for not passing the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, place that totally at the feet of the Democrats. I wrote this article to highlight the fact that the bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and was on its way to winning full approval in the Senate when Democrat-aligned special interest groups told the Democrats that having the Hyde Amendment, a provision that was in the bill from the start, in the bill was a deal-breaker. Dutifully like all puppets do, the Democrats who both co-sponsored the bill, and who voted for it in committee, voted to filibuster the bill.

There’s nothing virtuous about a political party that’s so wedded to its special interest supporters that it’ll turn its backs on victims of sex trafficking in exchange for ideological purity and additional campaign contributions.

Selling one’s soul for political expediency has a name but that name isn’t virtue.

“The corrosion of the Senate took place over many years,” McConnell said in an e-mail to Jennifer Steinhauer of the Times. “So restoring the institution to allow members of both parties and their constituents to have a voice in the legislative process will take longer than three months. But we’re making progress.”

And who is responsible for that “corrosion”? McConnell’s “progress” is slowed by the same political divisions among Republicans that gummed up the works when Democrats had the majority. Maybe Republicans will now acknowledge that Reid was never the problem. The real issue all along has been the GOP’s antipathy to the president.

Let’s be blunt. Harry Reid worked to protect President Obama and Democratic senators. Sen. Reid prevented legislation that got overwhelming support in the House from even getting debated in the Senate. Sen. Reid wasn’t the Senate Majority Leader from 2007-2014. He was the self-appointed emperor of the Senate.

Sen. Reid didn’t let Republicans represent their constituents. I won’t appreciate a tyrant who won’t let elected officials represent their constituents. That’s who Juan Williams thinks we should find a new-found appreciation for.

The mission statement of contemporary Republican Senate politics was issued by McConnell himself in 2010. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he proclaimed. In response, Reid limited votes on amendments to rein in the political circus and focus attention on legislation that could win passage. “All I want to do is legislate,” a frustrated Reid told me and a small group of columnists last summer.

Harry Reid lied and Juan Williams was gullible enough to believe him. Listen to this sentence:

In response, Reid limited votes on amendments to rein in the political circus and focus attention on legislation that could win passage.

TRANSLATION: Reid shut down debate because he didn’t want debate on issues that the American people disagreed with Democrats on. This wasn’t about reining in “the political circus.” That’s pure spin. This has everything to do with a) preventing Republican from presenting their ideas and b) protecting hard-hearted Democrats who didn’t want to listen to the American people.

Sen. Reid and President Obama are only part of the Senate’s problem. The Democrats’ special interests are another part of the problem as is Sen. Schumer, Dick Durbin and their shrinking band of puppets. It’s long past time we exposed the real cancer in the Senate. We have a republic, not an autocracy.

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Harlan Madsen’s op-ed for Move MN in Monday morning’s St. Cloud Times fits Move MN’s habits perfectly. I first wrote about Move MN’s deceptions in this post. This is content from Move MN’s website:

We are calling on the Minnesota Legislature to pass a comprehensive transportation funding solution in 2015 that requires additional transparency and efficiency for current resources.

  1. Be comprehensive to address, roads, bridges, transit, and bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
  2. Equitably balance the transportation needs of Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area.
  3. Be a long-term, sustainable funding solution that is gimmick-free and dedicated only to fixing transportation.

It’s pretty straightforward. Move MN’s website is filled with talk about bike paths, transit projects and “pedestrian infrastructure.” Their op-eds, though, are all about fixing roads and bridges:

Local roads account for 38 percent of transportation funding. For every dollar dedicated to Minnesota’s highway trust fund, 38 cents is directed to the statewide network of county, city and township roads. That means every new dollar we invest in transportation repairs our local roads too.

Semitrailerfreight traffic is going to multiply on our highways in the next 10 years. Over the next 10 years, freight being moved on Minnesota’s roads is projected to increase by 30 percent. That means more traffic, more wear and tear on our roads.

More than 300 Minnesotans lose their lives on our roads every year. Whether you drive, bike or walk, Minnesota’s roadways still remain a dangerous place. Unfortunately, some of the most simple fixes like median barriers and rumble strips are left unfunded.

Move MN’s op-eds wouldn’t be complete without this type of advocacy:

The task force concluded that without new, sustainable and dedicated funding, our roads and bridges will continue to crumble at an alarming rate; our statewide transit systems will be unable to meet growing demands; and our economy will ultimately suffer from our inability to efficiently move goods, services and people to their next destination.

Move MN clearly isn’t interested in telling the whole truth. The House Republican plan includes a new way of funding road and bridge repairs. The House GOP plan includes a Transportation Stability Fund, which is funded by dedicating the sales tax already paid by auto parts sales, rental cars and leased vehicles. Leased vehicles and rental cars produce wear and tear on highways, roads and bridges. Why shouldn’t those sales taxes be dedicated to fixing roads and bridges?

A Move MN op-ed wouldn’t be complete without this:

Because of decades of delays and inconsistent funding, the poor quality of our roads has caught up to us.

First, the DFL raised transportation taxes in 2008. Back then, Steve Murphy was asked why he was trying to hid lots of tax increases in his bill. Here’s his epic answer:

“I’m not trying to fool anybody,” said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing…”There’s a lot of taxes in this bill.”

We were told then that that tax increase would fix things. Except that it didn’t. Eight years later, the DFL is telling us that another tax increase, this time twice as big as the 2008 tax increase was, is needed. You’ll forgive me if I think the DFL is lying through their teeth again.

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Sen. Bakk has a reputation of being a smart political strategist. After reading this post, though, I have to consider updating my opinion on that. Here’s what he said that’s forced me to reconsider my opinion:

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk offered a sharp rebuke of the House Republican budget targets unveiled this week that would offer $2 billion in unspecified tax relief and mostly hold the line on spending. “It’s really not a place we’re gonna start negotiating. I think they’ve gotta get a little more serious with the budget proposal before we’re gonna actually start trading nickels back and forth,” said Bakk, DFL-Cook.

Senate DFL budget targets will be released Friday at 9 a.m. Bakk reiterated that the Senate would spend more than the House GOP proposal, but less than the budget plan of Gov. Mark Dayton, while putting more money in reserve than either.

Bakk said DFL Senators have received emails from health care and education groups this week, worried the House budget targets would slow spending below inflation and require program cuts. “The governor raised a lot of expectations of the advocacy groups, so some of them are gonna be a bit disappointed, but I expect they’re gonna feel better than they felt when the House targets came out,” Bakk said.

A DFL politician promising the special interests the world isn’t surprising. That’s a DFL tradition. What’s surprising is that Sen. Bakk admitted that in an on-the-record situation.

Frankly, that isn’t the brightest thing to do.

Sen. Bakk thinks that handing out goodies to all of the DFL’s special interest groups is good politics. To a degree, it is. To a large extent, though, it’s foolish. Doing things that help families is a smart thing. Promising handouts to special interests, though, tells families that they aren’t important to the DFL.

If Republicans were smart, and the jury’s still out on that, they’d start asking their neighbors if they want their politicians favoring special interests with their hands out or if they’d rather support politicians who worried about their neighbors and co-workers.

The DFL is the party of the special interests. That’s their identity. It’s time for Republicans to force the DFL to defend their habit of supporting the special interests, especially when the DFL’s special interests are hurting Minnesota’s economy.

Let’s ask Minnesotans if they think it’s ok for a sitting congresswoman to say that it’s ok to hurt an entire region’s economy. Similarly, let’s ask Minnesotans if they’ll continue supporting a political party that’s more attuned to the wants of the special interests rather than families’ needs.

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Terry Stone’s LTE highlights what’s wrong with how transportation issues get settled. Here’s what happens that inevitably leads to chaos:

Currently, state transportation planning is done by various counties, cities and the Met Council. Then the Metropolitan Airport Commission, the Port of Duluth, the Port of St. Paul and a slug of lobbying groups chime in. Minnesota Department of Transportation and the University of Minnesota have their own ideas and the Legislature has theirs. The federal government uses money to push its own agenda. Intelligent planning for efficient pipelines and safe, efficient railroad infrastructure are largely left to the private sector.

When the transportation suggestions from this gaggle of transportation planners hit the Legislature, the lobbyists descend upon St. Paul like a hungry horde of locusts. Frequently, the special interests with the most effective lobbyists end up with the transportation projects they want.

What could possibly go wrong with so many people wanting their slice of the transportation pie? This isn’t a failure of too few dollars to meet Minnesota’s transportation needs. It’s that there’s too few dollars to fund the special interests’ wish list items and too little time spent prioritizing Minnesota’s transportation needs.

Why isn’t the DFL putting the highest priority on fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges? Why is the DFL paying any attention to increasing transit funding? What proof do we have that transit ridership is increasing dramatically?

The DFL had complete control of Minnesota government in 2013 and 2014. They could have created a state planning agency to develop a plan for building and funding transportation intelligently. Instead, they chose the politically expedient status quo. Now we are being herded and asked to believe that only massive tax increases can allow Minnesota to perform a core function of government; building and maintaining roads and bridges.

I’ll just add that we’re being railroaded into thinking that our transportation needs have dramatically increased since the DFL held total control of government in 2013-2014. In 2008, Steve Murphy pushed through a massive tax increase that was supposed to solve this problem. At the time, Sen. Murphy bragged that he wasn’t “hiding anything. There’s lots of taxes” in his bill.

At the time, the DFL, with Sen. Murphy leading the way, told Minnesota that our roads and bridges were crumbling and only a massive tax increase could fix the situation. It’s 6 years later and the DFL is telling us that our roads and bridges are crumbling and only a massive tax increase will fill the potholes and fix Minnesota’s bridges.

When I went back to my original post about Sen. Murphy’s quote, I noticed something that I’d forgotten. Sen. Murphy wanted the gas tax increased, then indexing the gas tax with the CPI. Before another step is taken, the first thing that needs to happen is determine what Minnesota’s transportation needs are. I’m totally disinterested in what’s included in the lobbyists’ wish lists. I’m just interested Minnesota’s roads being in good repair and Minnesota’s bridges being safe.

This is great advice:

It’s time to think twice before buying into this transportation panic scenario. The Minnesota House has a thoughtful, calm plan to fund roads and bridges without raising a dime of new taxes. The plan deserves our careful consideration.

The DFL’s manufactured transportation crisis should be ignored. The DFL had the opportunity to fix Minnesota’s highways and bridges last spring when they controlled all of the levers of political power. They didn’t get it done. In fact, they adjourned several days before the constitutional deadline.

It’s time to focus solely on roads and bridges. Everything else is a nicety.

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Scott Brener’s op-ed in this morning’s St. Cloud Times introduces some important questions into the transportation debate at the state legislature. Here’s an example:

In 2012, the Transportation Finance Advisory Committee projected we needed $250 million a year to “maintain” our state roads and bridges. Today, Gov. Dayton says we need $400 million.

Gov. Dayton’s math is terrifying. What he’s saying is that the cost of maintaining Minnesota’s roads and bridges cost 60% more now than they did 2 years ago. High school math says that that’s a 30% increase per year.

That isn’t an estimate. That’s fiction. It’s insulting, too.

Here’s another piece of data that needs to be introduced into the transportation conversation:

In 2012, TFAC projected we needed $210 million a year to build out the Twin Cities transit system. Today, Gov. Dayton says we need $280 million.

That’s a 33% increase in 2 years. Forgive me if I’m skeptical of Gov. Dayton’s estimates. This is worthy of debating, too:

Someone must ask: Are other government services any less long term and in need of stable funding than transportation? If the answer is “no,” then why is it appropriate to fund, say, health care services with those dollars but not transportation? Thirty-three states use the general fund to supplement financing for state roads and bridges. This also could force everyone to redouble efforts to redesign the delivery of all state programs and services.

There’s nothing in the state constitution that prohibits using general funds on repairing roads and bridges. Neither is there anything in Minnesota state statutes that prohibits using general funds on repairing roads and bridges.

There is something, however, in the DFL’s DNA that prohibits them from using general funds to repair roads and bridges. The DFL is reflexively opposed to using general funds to repair roads and bridges because the DFL insists that general funds be spent to pay off their special interest allies.

Each session, the DFL enters with the mindset that they need to increase spending to pay off the environmental activists, the farmers, the nonprofits and the bureaucrats that form their political base. This isn’t about fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges. Move MN, Gov. Dayton and the DFL constantly talk about transportation. The DFL has consistently talked about raising the wholesale gas tax, the license plate fees and the metro sales tax. At this point, only the gas tax can be used for road and bridge repair projects.

Kurt Daudt has talked consistently about fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges. He’s ruled out funding the SWLRT. Period. Move MN’s agenda includes lower priority items:

Accessible Transit Statewide
Transit is important to every community in Minnesota. Move MN supports closing a sales tax loophole by dedicating all of the sales tax from leased vehicles to suburban highways and Greater Minnesota transit.

The Twin Cities metro’s sales tax would be increased by ¾ cent and extended to the seven county metro area. It would fund improved transit connections in the metro area, increasing transit service hours and coverage. Ten percent would be set aside for bike/walk connection planning and implementation.

In short, Move MN’s agenda isn’t rural Minnesota’s agenda. Hell, it isn’t event exurban Minnesota’s agenda.

Move MN’s agenda is the Twin Cities DFL’s agenda. The Twin Cities DFL’s agenda includes “bike/walk connection planning and implementation.” If that’s true, then they can take a hike on raising taxes.

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Now that Gov. Dayton has thrown another of his temper tantrums, it’s time to let some of the DFL’s front organizations to step forward with wildly foolish proposals. This time, Move MN is the DFL front organization that’s proposing to raise taxes without thinking things through:

Senate Transportation Chairman Scott Dibble, D-Minneapolis, said he will release his plan in coming days, but unlike the GOP it is expected to include a transit component. It likely will include some form of a gasoline tax increase and a Twin Cities tax for transit.

Dibble said his plan will look a lot like one Dayton has sketched out and that transportation advocates in Move MN propose. The Move MN plan mixes a wholesale gasoline sales tax increase with higher vehicle license fees. Also included is an additional tax in the Twin Cities to fund transit needs there.

According to KSTP’s reporting Sunday, Move MN’s plan would raise taxes and fees by $8,500,000,000 over the next decade. That’s approximately $1,700,000,000 this biennium. That’s on top of the $2,400,000,000 increase in taxes and fees from the 2013 session. That might be the most frightening news of the article if not for this:

Estimates for transportation needs in the next 10 years range from $2 billion to $6 billion.

That’s frightening! I don’t want estimates on what Minnesota’s transportation needs for the next decade are. I want a detailed list of aging roads and bridges that need repair. I want that list prioritized by which roads and bridges are oldest, which roads and bridges that have the highest expected traffic over the next decade.

That ‘estimate’ sounds more like a lobbyist’s wish list than it sounds like a responsible list of high priority project that Minnesota needs. A responsible estimate would say Minnesota’s transportation needs are between $2,000,000,000 and $2,400,000,000. A reckless estimate, like the kind I expect from Gov. Dayton and the DFL, would estimate Minnesota’s transportation system needing between $2,000,000,000 and $6,000,000,000.

Then there’s Move MN’s estimate. Move MN’s estimate that Minnesota’s transportation system needs $8,500,000,000 is what I’d expect if I grabbed a pedestrian off the street, got him drunk, put him in a blindfold, then told him to throw darts to determine what Minnesota’s transportation system needs are. That’s likely to be just as accurate as Move MN’s estimate.