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Last week, Gov. Dayton recommended that a fund be started to instruct police officers. At Gov. Dayton’s announcement, unfortunately, the most well-received speaker was Valerie Castile, Philando Castile’s mother.

That’s mostly because Gov. Dayton proposed that the training fund be named after Philando Castile. That didn’t sit well with the police. Their response was that “Still, the topic of naming the fund came up. Dennis Flaherty, a former executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association who was at the meeting, said it was ‘fair to say there was disagreement’ in the law enforcement community over naming the fund.”

Castile’s mother was well-received because she said “At the end of the day, everyone wants to go home. The police wants to go home and the civilian wants to go home. And if we can combine and work together as human beings that will happen. We got to learn how to communicate better with each other. We’re supposed to be the most intelligent species on the planet, but look (at) what we do to one another. We’re worse off than some animals, that just go around and prey on people.”

A loyal reader of LFR told me that Philando Castile’s uncle has participated in some meetings designed to work on police training issues. I was told that Castile’s uncle, for whatever it’s worth, is fairly level-headed. That’s believable in light of this paragraph:

Of police, she said, “We need them because the world would be chaotic if we didn’t have the police. Don’t get me wrong: I love having the police to protect and serve us. But when it comes to the point where there’s miscommunication and it turns out the way it turned out for my son, it’s unacceptable.”

This is a tragedy. This is the dashcam video of the shooting:

Gov. Dayton, unfortunately, spoke before he had the facts in the shooting. When he spoke, Gov. Dayton said that Castile probably wouldn’t have gotten shot if he was white. Gov. Dayton said that not knowing that Officer Yanez is Hispanic. Gov. Dayton said that without seeing the video of the shooting.
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Hopefully, this will be the final article on the lawsuit between the Legislature and Gov. Dayton that Judge Guthmann will rule on. I’d hate to have to write another post about the SC Times’ dishonest Our View editorial. In that editorial, the Times editors wrote “As you probably recall, Dayton’s unprecedented decision to cut most funds to the Legislature as of Friday ended (or did it?) the 2017 session. He explained his decision as a way to get the Republican-led Legislature to negotiate a handful of measures to which he objected. And most certainly worth noting is that legislation forced Dayton to either accept the Republican tax bill or defund the state Department of Revenue.”

Actually, Gov. Dayton didn’t “cut most funds to the legislature.” As former Attorney Gen. Mike Hatch explained, the funding for the legislature is a single line. It’s a binary choice. It’s all or nothing. Gov. Dayton cut all funds for the legislature. Second, the Times didn’t mention that Gov. Dayton agreed to the tax relief he now wants to renegotiate.

Here’s a message to Gov. Dayton: You agreed to the tax relief. Twice. Now you want to renegotiate the bill you just signed. Instead of using such slippery tactics, try keeping your word instead. Dishonest politicians like you created the Trump administration.

Judge Guthmann ruled that the legislature is part of government’s core function. That means it’ll get funded.

Finally, it’s time to call the SC Times out for making both sides appear culpable for this fiasco. The DFL agreed to these budget deals. If they didn’t like them, they shouldn’t have agreed to them. The GOP tax relief plan provides tax relief to farmers and small businesses. The DFL plan allows government to get bigger and more intrusive.

It isn’t difficult to see which side is on the people’s side and which is on the special interests’ side.

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Friday night on Almanac’s roundtable, Mike Hatch said something that Gov. Dayton probably didn’t want him to say. First, Gov. Dayton wants to get Republicans to renegotiate parts of the bills Gov. Dayton signed. Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka have steadfastly refused to do that.

Specifically, Gov. Dayton wants Republicans to repeal parts of the Tax Bill and renegotiate the teacher licensure reform bill that Gov. Dayton signed. At this point, there’s no incentive for Republicans to renegotiate any of those things because, in Hatch’s opinion, Judge Guthmann essentially said that the legislature is a core function of government that has to be funded.

One of the precedents established by Minnesota’s courts is that things that are deemed core functions of government get funded.

Needless to say, the St. Cloud Times published an Our View editorial that’s virtually incomprehensible. The Times is famous for blaming both sides in a political fight. This time, it’s mostly Gov. Dayton’s fault, though you wouldn’t know that from the Times’ editorial:

In the wake of a judge’s ruling last week granting temporary funding for the Minnesota Legislature, let’s hope the lawsuit in need of the ruling drags on, and on and on and on, ideally until Election Day 2018.

Why? Perhaps if this lawsuit, paid for 100 percent with tax dollars, stays in the news that long, voters will have a top-of-mind reminder to finally cast ballots for state office holders whose top priority is public service through compromise, not political gamesmanship through stubbornness.

What the Times omits from their editorial is that none of this would’ve happened if Gov. Dayton hadn’t reneged on his promise to cut taxes in 2016. Originally, Gov. Dayton agreed to a massive tax relief package. After the legislature passed the bill with overwhelming bipartisan support, Gov. Dayton vetoed the bill.

Minnesota doesn’t need tons more “state office holders whose top priority is public service.” Minnesota needs one less dishonest governor who reneges on legislation that he’s agreed to sign. Let’s be clear. Gov. Dayton isn’t trustworthy. He’s proved that the last 2 years.

Finally, I hate to disappoint the Times editorialists but this lawsuit is virtually over. Gov. Dayton has lost the suit. The only thing that’ll save him is if the Minnesota Supreme Court rules that the entire legislative branch isn’t essential. That won’t happen because the Court would become a laughingstock.

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This article announcing Gov. Dayton’s appointing of a new chairperson of the Met Council highlights the possibility of that appointee facing pushback when her committee hearing is held.

According to the article, “The Met Council has new leadership. On Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton announced that current Chair Adam Duininck will step down from his role as head of the Met Council. In his place, Dayton announced the appointment of Minnesota State Rail Director Alene Tchourumoff to head the Met Council.”

Further into the article, Alpha reporter Preya Samsundar reports “Sen. Dave Osmek of Mound, who is expected to announce his candidacy for governor this summer, had been pushing pieces of legislation to reign in, and more recently, abolish the Met Council. On the last day of session, Osmek turned in a 214-page piece of legislation which states, “A bill for an act relating to local and state government; abolishing the Met Council.” Osmek has been pushing for reformation of the Met Council since 2015.”
Sen. Osmek’s credentials as a reformer are high. Jason Lewis’ reformer credentials are pretty high, too. Rep. Lewis is working hard in DC against organizations like the Met Council:

In Washington, Rep. Jason Lewis is also doing his part to ensure the council goes no further. In March, a bill authored by Lewis passed through the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in the United States House of Representatives.

“Under the rule, the Met Council, a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), could have expanded their boundaries and taxed the suburbs to help fund downtown projects,” Lewis told Alpha News at the time. “We’re protecting the ability of local decision makers to do what works for their own communities.”

Thank goodness for Jason Lewis for protecting suburbs like Prior Lake, Shakopee and Chanhassen. Let’s hope we elect a Republican governor and keep our GOP majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate so we can, at minimum, stop the Met Council’s authority to tax people without representing people.

Right now, the Met Council ‘represents’ Gov. Dayton. They don’t represent the people. Still, they’ve been given the authority to levy taxes. There’s no way that’s right.

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This article highlights additional parts of Judge Guthmann’s ruling in the Legislature’s lawsuit against Gov. Dayton that don’t sound good for Gov. Dayton.

First, in my post, I highlighted Judge Guthmann’s statement saying that “the public would be irreparably harmed” by being deprived “of a basic constitutional right – a fully functioning Legislative Branch.”

In Judge Guthmann’s injunctive ruling, he wrote “In addition to the parties’ Stipulation that Count I of the Complaint is ripe for decision, the court also finds that the issues presented to the court in Count I of the Complaint are ripe and require a ruling from the court.”

Some Twin Cities pundits have suggested that it’s best that Judge Guthmann order the two sides to sit down and work out their differences. I’ve never agreed with that approach. The constitutional issues are too important. Gov. Dayton’s claims are too reckless. It isn’t possible to reconcile Gov. Dayton’s filings with principles befitting a democracy. If the courts finally rule that Gov. Dayton “has the absolute authority to line-item veto anything for any reason,” it’ll demolish the checks and balances in Minnesota’s constitution.

Judge John Guthmann might’ve given Minnesotans a hint as to how he would eventually rule on the legislature’s lawsuit against Gov. Dayton. Judge Guthmann ordered the “state budget chief to take all steps necessary” to fund the legislature.

In issuing that order, Judge Guthmann said “Absent (temporary) relief, the public would be irreparably harmed through the deprivation of a basic constitutional right —a fully functioning Legislative Branch.” That sounds to me like Judge Guthmann is leaning in the legislature’s direction. Gov. Dayton’s attorneys had argued that the “Governor has explicit and unqualified authority under the Minnesota Constitution to veto any line item of appropriation. The Minnesota Constitution authorizes the Governor’s line-item vetoes, without any qualification as to the Governor’s subjective intent or purpose.”

In his ruling, Judge Guthmann said that “the public would be irreparably harmed” by being deprived “of a basic constitutional right – a fully functioning Legislative Branch.” I said earlier this week that the line-item veto was a tool that might be used to shape budgets. Further, I wrote that doesn’t compare in importance to depriving the people of a basic constitutional right to representation.

This lawsuit shouldn’t have been needed. Gov. Dayton should’ve signed last year’s tax relief package. Vetoing that bill demolished Gov. Dayton’s credibility. That veto led to the GOP legislature to play hardball with Gov. Dayton this year. Thankfully, this was the last budget session Republicans will have to deal with Gov. Dayton.

Frankly, Gov. Dayton’s last day can’t come soon enough.

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John Jasinski’s op-ed in the Owatonna newspaper is hard-hitting and to the point. The point that caught my eye the most was when Sen. Jasinski said “But the biggest problem is the precedent it sets: if the governor’s decision is allowed to stand, then every future governor will effectively be able to hold the Legislature or Supreme Court hostage until they get everything they want. Imagine a governor withholding funding to the courts over a ruling they didn’t like. Gov. Dayton’s veto has opened that door.”

Think of the power that precedent would give a (God forbid) Gov. Thissen or Gov. Erin Murphy. Minnesota would turn into an autocratic state almost immediately. Let’s remember that Rep. Thissen already verbally abused paid staffers. Imagine what he’d do if the courts ruled in Gov. Dayton’s favor and Thissen became governor. It’s a frightening thought.

Another of Sen. Jasinski’s points came when he said “We also won’t be able to have session, so every urgent project will face another year without funding. Want Highway 14 to get done? Thanks to the governor’s action, we won’t be able to provide any more money for it until 2019. That goes for any other road, bridge, or infrastructure project, or any law that needs to be fixed.”

Gov. Dayton’s latest temper tantrum essentially stops the state for 2 years, though you wouldn’t know it if you got your information from the Twin Cities media’s reporting:

Gov. Dayton agreed to this budget, including the tax relief. He intended to veto this tax package just like he vetoed the tax relief package he agreed to last year. Gov. Dayton even accused Republicans of “political blackmail.” If anyone’s playing political blackmail, it’s Gov. Dayton. He agreed to the budget. Now, he’s trying to get Republicans to renegotiate major parts of the tax relief package.

Thank God Gov. Dayton won’t preside over another budget session. Every group of taxpayers is paying more taxes. Minnesotans aren’t getting more services for those additional taxes, either. It’s time he retired and spent more time with his family.

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In his lawyers’ briefs, Gov. Dayton’s arrogance shines through in stunning, repulsive fashion. This article highlights both sides’ arguments.

Let’s start with the arguments that Gov. Dayton’s attorneys made. In their filing, Gov. Dayton’s attorneys said “The Governor has explicit and unqualified authority under the Minnesota Constitution to veto any line item of appropriation. The Minnesota Constitution authorizes the Governor’s line-item vetoes, without any qualification as to the Governor’s subjective intent or purpose.”

Technically, that’s true. Then again, no right is absolute. Each right must pass a balancing test. That’s why rights don’t come “without any qualification.” It’s arrogant for Gov. Dayton’s attorneys essentially argue that a governor’s right to shape appropriations through the governor’s line-item authority is more important than the people’s right to representation. The line-item veto is a budget tool, nothing more. If the line-item veto disappeared, governors would have one less tool to shape budgets. If the legislature disappeared, the people would lose their representation. It isn’t difficult to argue that the people Losing their right to representation is infinitely more important than giving governors an additional budget tool.

The Legislature’s argument is that “Without injunctive relief, Plaintiffs are unable to fulfill their constitutional obligations, will not be able to represent their constituents, and the People of the State of Minnesota are deprived of their constitutionally-mandated voice in the administration of their government.”

If Minnesota governors lost the line-item veto, they’d lose a budget-shaping tool. If the people lost their right to representation, democracy would immediately disappear. In filing their brief, Gov. Dayton’s attorneys are arguing against democracy. In filing their brief, the Legislature’s attorneys argue for full-throated democracy.

If the court get this one wrong, the judges that sided with Gov. Dayton should be immediately impeached and removed from office.

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I don’t know whether this editorial is dishonest or if the person writing it is sloppy. Perhaps it’s both.

I take exception, though, when the editorial says “Instead Republican legislators inserted a last-minute shutdown bomb into a must-pass budget bill: Unless Gov. Mark Dayton signed off on everything Republicans wanted, the Minnesota Department of Revenue would cease to function and our state operations, highway, police, parks, and everything else, would shut down. Dayton signed the bill because a shutdown would hurt everyone. In return, however, he vetoed operating funds for the Legislature.”

Actually, Gov. Dayton is the culprit. In 2016, he agreed to a tax relief package, then vetoed it. This year, he agreed to a trimmed-down tax relief package. This time, Republicans didn’t take Gov. Dayton at his word. That’s why they planted the provision in the bill that would’ve defunded the Department of Revenue if he didn’t sign the Republicans’ tax relief bill.

The fact that Gov. Dayton line-item vetoed the legislature’s funding tells me that Gov. Dayton planned on vetoing the tax relief again. Otherwise, wouldn’t Gov. Dayton have signed the tax relief when he signed the other budget bills? There wouldn’t have been a need for Gov. Dayton to throw another hissy fit. There wouldn’t have been a need for Gov. Dayton to try to shut down the legislature for the next 2 years.

Perhaps, too, Gov. Dayton didn’t like the fact that he got called out for reneging on his tax promise in 2016. Gov. Dayton’s dishonesty is his problem. Minnesotans shouldn’t be punished with higher taxes because Gov. Dayton is dishonest.

Finally, Gov. Dayton eroded the public’s trust. Republicans didn’t renege on passing tax relief. That’s all on Gov. Dayton’s shoulders.

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Rep. Kathy Lohmer’s editorial on what Gov. Dayton did to precipitate the government shutdown should be considered the definitive truth on Gov. Dayton’s bad faith negotiating. Let’s dig right in.

In the third paragraph of her op-ed, Rep. Lohmer wrote “Last year, Gov. Dayton said he would approve a tax relief proposal if the Legislature agreed to some of his proposals. After lawmakers did that, he went back on his word and vetoed the plan.”

This squares with what Phil Krinkie said last week during the Almanac roundtable. Later, Rep. Lohmer wrote “To avoid the usual last-minute negotiating headaches, this year the Legislature set historically early deadlines and approved not one, but two rounds of budget bills. The governor did not engage in compromise discussions during the first round, approved a month before session ended, and only began to take an interest as the final days approached.”

Rep. Lohmer is right. Gov. Dayton and the DFL don’t like cutting Minnesotans taxes. In 2013, the DFL legislature passed the biggest tax cuts in Minnesota history over the objections of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, aka MnCoC. After the session, the MnCoC spoke with DFL legislators. Suddenly, DFL legislators loved cutting taxes.

This time, Gov. Dayton and the DFL are whining that Republicans “inserted a poison pill” into one of the bills to force him to sign the tax relief bill. Excuse me? It’s the bill he agreed to. He might not’ve liked it but he agreed to it. Gov. Dayton, part of compromising is not getting everything you want. Then there’s this:

The reality is this: Gov. Dayton, not to mention his commissioners, negotiated these budget bill compromises from start to finish. They either knew the provision was there and didn’t think it was worth haggling over, or they were inept when it came to proofreading the final proposals before giving them their blessing.

The bill was also posted for 39 hours before it received any legislative debate. Yet the governor’s office said nothing – before, during, or after negotiations had concluded – until the proposal arrived at his desk for his signature.

Simply put, Gov. Dayton is a sore loser. Further, he’s been on the wrong side of issue after issue, which is why he’s had to shut down government or call special sessions so often. Finally, the DFL has essentially lost outstate Minnesota over the last 4 election cycles. The DFL’s bench in Alexandria, Little Falls, Brainerd and Aitkin is about the size of a stepstool.

Over the next 2 years, the DFL better re-examine their priorities and alliances. They’ve essentially discarded their blue collar allies in favor of big campaign contributions from environmental activists. If the DFL keeps making that decision, they’ll keep losing.