Archive for the ‘Tom Bakk’ Category
If this article is right, then we’re seeing the first signs that opposition to the Senate Office Building is mounting:
Lawmakers in Minnesota had hoped to break ground in March on a $63 million new state Senate office building next to the state Capitol in St. Paul.
But a fight has broken out over the project, which critics have called an unnecessary expense in a city with high office vacancy.
The project has been delayed amid the debate, and now could face further delays because a committee of the state House of Representatives intends to hold a hearing in coming weeks rather than vote immediately on the project.
House Majority Leader Erin Murphy said in an interview that she felt some of the concerns raised by critics were legitimate. “Before we’re going to take that vote, I want to make sure that we’ve had ample time to consider the options before us,” she said. Those options include using existing government space to house Senate workers, she said. “I think that it is important to get this right, versus get it fast.”
Yesterday, I wrote this post to highlight the fact that Sen. Bakk shrouded this project in secrecy because he knew that publicity would kill the plan. In that post, I highlighted the fact that Sen. Bakk didn’t write a standalone bill for this project.
That’s exceptionally odd for this big of a project, especially in light of the fact that legislators routinely write bills for tiny projects to be included in the Bonding Bill.
Sen. Bakk didn’t write a bill for this project, opting instead to introduce this project as an amendment to last year’s Tax Bill. Testimony wasn’t taken for or against Sen. Bakk’s ‘amendment’, probably because Sen. Bakk didn’t want the publicity.
Opposition to this project must be building. If it wasn’t, Erin Murphy wouldn’t be exercising this tiny amount of fiscal restraint. Rep. Murphy is lots of things but the taxpayers’ watchdog isn’t one of those things.
This feels like a sinking ship. Holding a hearing on the project will bring out tons of angry taxpayers protesting this project. I’m betting there won’t be many people testifying that the project should proceed. I’d bet the proverbial ranch that Sen. Bakk won’t testify that this project is needed.
Like the Tax Bill this project was contained in, this project is a portrait of the Democrats’ lack of fiscal restraint. Now that it’s exposed, they’ll try telling us that they had to vote for the Tax Bill. The Tax Bill itself is part of the Democrats’ attack on taxpayers.
This weekend, Javier Morillo-Alicea tried spinning the repeal of the B2B sales tax increases as proof of the DFL’s plan for tax relief. That’s chutzpah personified. They raised those taxes last May. If people hadn’t expressed their disgust with those tax increases, they’d still be in the bill.
Thanks to that opposition, they’re likely to repeal those sales taxes. Thanks to this uprising, they’re likely to defund the SOB (Senate Office Building).
The thing to remember is that the Democrats’ first instinct was to a) raise taxes on the middle class and b) spend money on a lavish, ill-advised palace for themselves. They voted for the Tax Bill. They voted against stripping out the Senate project. Democrat legislators can’t credibly say that they oppose it. They cast their votes. They expressed their priorities.
They’re opposing this project because they’d get clobbered this November if they didn’t.
Keep the pressure on. Don’t relent. Plan on attending this hearing. Plan on testifying against this project. Let’s sink this project once and for all.
If anything is gaining traction as a totally unexpected issue, it’s the DFL’s palace, aka the Senate Office Building. In January, Joe Soucheray wrote this blistering piece about the SOB foolishness. He wasn’t finished. He’s written this article to blast the foolishness again.
The duplicitous DFLers in the state Senate are moving the marble around under the thimbles. Again. Watch it. Keep your eyes sharp.
As near as I can understand it, they are now informing us that a new Senate office building they want to build for themselves has always been a part of the plan to renovate the Capitol building.
We didn’t know that. Most of us are on board to renovate the Capitol, but we didn’t sign on to build a new office building for 44 of the 67 senators as part of the project. No, they tossed that new building into a tax bill in the closing minutes of the last legislative session and are now trying to sell us on the idea of how desperately they need the new space and that was the plan all along.
Let’s cut through the DFL’s spin. It’s entirely possible that Democrats, starting with Sen. Bakk, always planned on building this monument. Before you get upset with me, take time to think of it from an Obamacare perspective. After President Obama said that people could keep their health plan if they liked it, they followed that up by saying it was never their intent to let people keep their “substandard health insurance plan.” There’s no disputing that.
Pay attention to this thinking. President Obama and DC Democrats always planned on quietly pushing people out of the health insurance plans that they liked. Likewise, it’s totally plausible that Sen. Bakk and the Democrats supported this ill-advised project if it was done quietly.
If you need to seriously remodel your house to the point where you have to move out, it is unlikely that you are going to build a new house for yourself in the interim. No, you would rent a house.
The senators can rent office space in St. Paul. They don’t need an opulent $63 million building with a $27 million parking ramp on the side. That parking ramp is a beautiful window into the minds of the people who brought you light rail. In fact, light rail will swing right by the Capitol. So they should put their mouths where your money is, rent some of the extraordinarily available office space in St. Paul, hop on the train and get dropped off at the Capitol for votes and meetings and whatnot. Why would they need a parking ramp? They don’t even like cars.
Let’s get to the heart of this. Had the Capitol press paid attention and if they were in touch with Main Street Minnesota, they would’ve highlighted this foolish spending. Rather than actually reading bills and asking questions about whether the bills working their way through the legislature, the Capitol press spends most of its time tracking down quotes from legislators.
That isn’t journalism. That’s stenography. If newspapers want to increase readership, they should require their reporters to read the bills that are getting passed.
Part of the problem, unfortunately, is because people don’t care until after the outrage has happened. If people don’t want money to be spent foolishly, the citizenry should be eternally vigilant. Then, if politicians spend money this foolishly, the citizens should boot their arses out.
Finally, let’s have a straightfoward discussion about what Sen. Bakk perpetrated. Sen. Bakk didn’t want anyone to testify about his ill-advised initiative. That’s why he slid the proposal into the Tax Bill as an amendment in the final weeks of the session. If you look, Sen. Bakk didn’t author legislation proposing construction of the Senate Office Building.
It’s time for Minnesotans to step forward and speak with a loud, passionate and unified voice that any politician that isn’t willing to stop this project dead in its tracks will be targeted and defeated this November. Legislators who aren’t the taxpayers’ watchdog are utterly worthless. They should be fired this November.
That’s the only remedy for this disease. When people get re-elected after spending money foolishly, citizens are sending the signal that they’re ok with foolish spending. I’m not ok with this foolish spending.
Defunding this project is imperative to good governance and protecting the taxpayers’ pocketbooks. The House Rules Committee can stop this ill-advised project with a simple vote. Here’s the committee website. All of the GOP legislators will vote against the project so it’s imperative to call or email the DFL committee members and politely but firmly tell them that a vote to approve this project is a vote that will be remembered this November.
Technorati: Tom Bakk, Plutocrats, Senate Office Building, House Rules Committee, Committee Hearing, Legislative Amendment, Secrecy, Pork, DFL, Accountability, Transparency, Taxpayer Revolt, MNGOP, Election 2014
This SCTimes Our View editorial highlights something obvious: that the “legislature didn’t consider [the] taxpayers’ interests:
The Legislature’s $90 million plan to build a Senate office building is as wasteful as it is self-serving.
Lawmakers signed off last session on a multimillion-dollar plan to construct a new Senate office building and parking structure across the street from the Capitol.
The office building is as pure of pork as you’ll ever find. It wouldn’t house the entire Senate. It would only house 44 of Minnesota’s 67 state senators. I agree with this part of the editorial, too:
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk has said the new building is needed to ensure the Senate has enough office space the next three years during the Capitol renovation.
But a $90 million office building and parking ramp paid for by taxpayers is excessive, especially if some senators will not continue to have offices there once Capitol renovations are complete.
Lawmakers should have considered housing senators’ offices in rentable commercial properties near the Capitol. Surely that would have been a more affordable plan than building new offices, which also will take time to construct.
Sen. Bakk should be run out of St. Paul for shoving this project down our throats. It’s excessive. It shouldn’t have gotten a committee hearing. It certainly shouldn’t have gotten through a committee. The DFL legislators who voted for the Tax Bill had the opportunity to strip this provision from the bill. They voted against stripping the provision from the bill.
That means they’re just as guilty of pouring on the pork as Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton are. Gov. Dayton could’ve line-item vetoed out the appropriation of money for this project. That’s certainly within a governor’s rights under Minnesota’s constitution. They can’t line-item out policies but they can line-item out appropriations.
The House Rules Committee should reject the proposal. If they did that, they’d stop the project dead in its tracks, which is what it deserves. We know that ground hasn’t been broken yet. That means construction hasn’t started. While there’d be some hard feelings in the Senate if the House rejected the project, it’d be worth it because it would halt the project.
I didn’t know about Joe Soucheray’s column from the Jan. 11, 2014 edition of the Pioneer Press. It’s a fascinating read. Here’s part of Mr. Soucheray’s column:
Not only is a new state Senate office building unnecessary, but the effort to bring it about was, essentially, crooked. In the final minutes of the last legislative session, the lodge tucked into a massive tax bill language that authorized a new edifice for themselves. They might as well have been throwing candy from a parade float.
They didn’t even know what it would cost, and they apparently didn’t care. They didn’t even seem to care that their action might very well have been unconstitutional. Former state Rep. Jim Knoblach, R-St. Cloud, filed a lawsuit in October. We should be cheering for this guy. He contends in the suit that authorizing the project in a tax bill, instead of the usual bonding bill, violates a state constitutional requirement that a law embrace only one subject. A hearing is scheduled this month in Ramsey County District Court.
Mr. Soucheray is right. Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk, Speaker Thissen and the DFL didn’t care how much this building cost. They didn’t care that the building wasn’t needed or that there were cheaper ‘solutions’ to this non-problem. The Minnesota Senate needed that building like this ship needed more ice near Antarctica:
The Minnesota Senate needed that office building like Olympic athletes need this type of drinking water:
Let’s get serious about this. If we do, then we’ll be more considerate of the taxpayers’ plight than the DFL was. The DFL Tax Bill is a disaster. First, it raised taxes on the middle class and on small retailers. Next, it’s spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need, aka the Senate Office Building. Third, the DFL is already admitting that they raised taxes too much because they’re already preparing to repeal some of the taxes they created less than a year ago.
All of these things are major mistakes. Building the SOB is the biggest of those mistakes because, potentially, it’ll exist a generation or more. Hopefully, the middle class tax hikes will be repealed. (The sooner the better, right?) Repealing the B2B sales taxes will happen this session.
Unfortunately, if it’s approved by the DFL House Rules Committee, the SOB will be with us for a generation or more.
The biggest question Minnesotans need to ask themselves is whether they want inconsiderate, thoughtless people running state government. The DFL did what conservatives predicted they’d do. They raised taxes on the middle class and working poor. They foolishly spent money on things like the Senate Office Building. They built a collosal monument to their warped ideology when they passed MNsure.
I’d argue that the DFL is the ‘gang that couldn’t shoot straight’ if I thought that were true. Unfortunately, this DFL governor and this DFL legislature has aimed their taxing and spending guns at every Minnesotan. Every Minnesota taxpayer will pay for this monstrosity.
Mostly, the SOB is a testimony to the DFL’s appetite for spending money foolishly. That alone should get them fired this November.
Last night, I heard that the judge dismissed Jim Knoblach’s lawsuit. The twisted logic behind the judge’s ruling has essentially given future legislatures a gigantic loophole that essentially nullifies the Single Subject Clause of Minnesota’s Constitution. Jim Knoblach’s argument, the DFL’s counnterargument and the judge’s ruling are found in this document:
Here’s where the judge created a gigantic loophole:
The crux of the plaintiff’s argument is that, based on legislative custom and history, the passage of Section 21 was a significant deviation from traditional practice — by its inclusion in a tax bill and consideration before a tax committee — and was the product of impermissable logrolling that violates the Single Subject and Title Clause. Where the court has found that legislation is germane to a single subject, however, allegations of legislative improprieties cease to be a proper subject of judicial review. Certainly Plaintiff has highlighted significant oddities about this legislation and its passage, but such factors only become relevant if the legislation has failed the mere filament test.
What this judge just did was rule that the DFL could’ve put other capital projects into last year’s Tax Bill:
But Judge Lezlie Marek rejected that argument, writing in her order of dismissal that the legislation did not violate the single subject requirement. The $2 billion tax bill was a sprawling piece of legislation, but Marek ruled that the office building provision is linked to the rest by a common thread of “financing and raising revenue to fund state and local government operations.”
In other words, it’s a single subject because the tax bill finances government operations. That’s absurd illogic. The Senate Office Building project isn’t part of government operations. It can’t be part of government operations until it’s actually built, if then.
By this judge’s ruling, anything can be justified if it’s ruled to be part of state or local government operations and it’s included in the tax bill. That’s a gigantic loophole for the DFL to exploit.
The lesson taxpayers should take away from this is that the DFL won’t hesitate in spending hard-working families’ money on things that aren’t needed. Last spring, the DFL voted to spend $63,000,000 on an impractical building. Here’s what we’re getting forced down our throats:
Under the approved design, 44 senators from both parties and their staffs would relocate to the new building, and 23 others — the DFL and GOP leaders and committee chairs — would keep offices in the Capitol.
The “heart” of the new building would be the main floor with large, open public gathering spaces that look out on the Capitol through a “sweeping curve” of a glass and stone wall, said Jon Pickard, the principal designer with the Pickard Chilton architectural design firm. Large committee hearing rooms, which the Capitol lacks, also would be located on the main floor.
Senators and their staffs would have offices on the top two floors. A two-level, 265-stall parking garage would be built under the building.
The House Rules Committee hasn’t voted to approve this monstrosity. DFL legislators can stop the building of this disfunctional, ill-advised project by not approving this project. If they approve Sen. Bakk’s palace, they will have proven that they’re irresponsible stewards of the public’s money. Only a fool thinks that spending $63,000,000 on this ill-advised SOB (Senate Office Building) is a wise investment.
Anyone voting for the SOB isn’t a trustworthy watchdog of the taxpayers’ money.
This morning, Judge Lezlie Ott Mareck will hear the lawsuit Jim Knoblach, former chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, filed challenging the constitutionality of Sen. Bakk’s Omnibus Tax Bill. Specifically, Chairman Knoblach’s lawsuit argues that the 2013 Tax Bill violates Article IV, Sect. 17, informally known as the Single Subject Clause. Article IV, Section 17 states that bills can only be about a single subject.
For example, if the plain letter of the law is followed, it would be unconstitutional for a bill funding veterans programs to also include tax increases to raise money for Minnesota’s general fund. Funding veterans programs obviously is a different subject than setting marginal income tax rates.
The purpose of the Single Subject Clause is clear through this. Minnesota’s Constitution was written to prevent people from putting an unpopular provision on one subject into a popular bill of another subject.
Chairman Knoblach’s attorney, Erick A. Kaardal, stated the purpose of this lawsuit clearly when he said this:
Believing that a separate bill could not have survived the scrutiny of both houses, or taxpayer wrath, the leadership simply avoided the state constitution, rules of both houses and responsible fiscal policy and put the senate office measure within the tax bill that had to pass to balance the budget within the last days of the 2013 session.
Kaardal is exactly right on each part of his statement. Sen. Bakk knew that a standalone bill building a Taj Majal monument to Sen. Bakk wouldn’t pass the House. That’s why he put the funding in the Tax Bill. He knew Speaker Thissen wouldn’t torpedo his provision in that context.
Next, Kaardal is right that a standalone bill would’ve incurred the taxpayers’ wrath. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if taxpayers took out their wrath on DFL legislators this time if they find out about Sen. Bakk’s gimmick.
Third, Sen. Bakk’s gimmick attempts to skirt the Single Subject Clause. That doesn’t guarantee the courts reaching the right ruling. It just says that they’ll rule against Sen. Bakk’s gimmick if they follow Minnesota’s Constitution. FOOTNOTE: If Judge Mareck rules against Sen. Bakk, that will essentially finish Sen. Bakk’s funding for what I’m calling the “Politicians’ Pork Palace.” There isn’t a chance Sen. Bakk will want to appeal that ruling because that will raise the profile of the lawsuit. That’s the last thing Sen. Bakk wants to do going into a political campaign.
Finally, Sen. Bakk knew that his gimmick wasn’t popular. That’s why he didn’t propose it earlier in the session. Had it been proposed in February as a standalone bill, it wouldn’t have passed any committees because of the toxic nature of the bill. That’s why he’s attempting this end run around Minnesota’s Constitution.
Sen. Bakk is a nasty man when it comes to ignoring the Constitution:
Recent laws struck down under this single subject provision include:
1) a prevailing wage provision authored by then Rep. Tom Bakk in the 1997 Omnibus Tax Bill (Associated Builders and Contractors v. Ventura; Minnesota Supreme Court, 2000);
Apparently, trusting that Sen. Bakk will follow the Constitution isn’t a safe bet. The courts have already ruled that he ignored this same provision before. Apparently, Sen. Bakk just won’t learn.
Next November, DFL legislators will likely pay a steep price at the voting booth for voting for the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. They know the B2B sales taxes are wildly unpopular so they’re attempting to distance themselves from the tax increases they voted for.
They’re hoping that by submitting repeal bills, they’ll be able to distance themselves from their previous votes for the Tax Bill. I don’t think it’ll work because it feels too much like John Kerry’s I-voted-for-it-before-I-voted-against-it statement. Here’s a list of bills submitted by DFL legislators that would repeal the tax increases they voted for:
According to the House Journal’s record of the vote, only Reps. Selcer and Halverson voted against the Omnibus Tax Bill, aka HF677. It’s noteworthy that none of the IRRRB representatives are listed as co-sponsors of any of the repeal legislation. I wish I could say I’m shocked but I’m not. The DFL legislators representing the IRRRB districts think Minnesotans aren’t taxed enough.
The DFL passed the biggest tax increase in state history. House Republicans didn’t vote for the bill, meaning that the DFL owns the wreckage it’ll cause. Their voting to repeal the B2B sales taxes won’t hide the fact that they raised taxes first, then reacted when they saw the people’s outrage.
That’s only part of the House DFL’s problem. Another significant part of the House DFL’s problem is that Sen. Bakk isn’t likely to consider repealing those taxes. Sen. Bakk is a socialist through and through, indoctrinated to believe in the collective, not the individual.
The Senate isn’t up for re-election this year so he’s likely thinking that people will forget the tax increases. As businesses like DigiKey, Polaris and Red Wing Shoes start leaving the state, Minnesota’s projected deficits will increase. Then there’s the ‘MNsure Deficit’.
House DFL legislators have ample reason to worry about re-election. They passed tons of objectionable legislation that hurts Minnesota’s economy. Couple these unpopular tax increases with passing MNsure and you potentially have a toxic situation for the DFL to run in.
Technorati: Tax Increases, Mark Dayton, Tom Bakk, Paul Thissen, Farm Equipment Repair Sales Tax, Warehouse Services Sales Tax, DigiKey, Polaris, Red Wing Shoes, North Dakota, Wisconsin, MNsure Deficit, Health Insurance Exchange, DFL, Election 2014
This morning on At Issue With Tom Hauser, Mr. Hauser raised the question about the DFL getting fined $100,000 for coordinating campaign activities between the candidates and DFL campaign committees. Hauser pointed out that “the DFL paid the fine without admitting wrongdoing.” (That’s fine. They don’t have to admit it. Everyone knows what they did was illegal.)
For his part, Andy Brehm nailed it by saying that this is Campaign 101, that everyone who’s ever been involved in a campaign knows that it’s illegal for candidates to coordinate their efforts with outside expenditure organizations, PACs or with a party’s campaign committee.
When it was Ember Reichgott-Junge’s turn, she said that “campaign finance laws are too complicated” before launching into the rules governing independent expenditure organizations, superPACs and other special interest efforts.
Saying it was a wimpy, insulting answer is understatement. While there’s many rules and regulations about reporting requirements, transparency requirements and other considerations, that’s irrelevant to this discussion. The only thing that’s relevant to this discussion is that DFL campaign committees knowingly violated campaign finance law by coordinating advertising with a dozen DFL state senatorial campaigns.
What’s also insulting about Reichgott-Junge’s statement is that it played into the ruling that the DFL campaign committees didn’t admit to wrongdoing. Like I wrote earlier, they didn’t need to. What they did has been illegal since Watergate. Reichgott-Junge knows this. She’s run for election. She can draw on her own experience.
She knows that the DFL was willing to do anything, legal or illegal, to have a DFL governor and DFL majorities in the House and Senate. They’re perfectly happy paying this fine. That’s a tiny price for ramming the entire DFL special interest wish list down Minnesota’s throats.
Does anyone think Tom Bakk lost sleep over this? Is it more likely that he laughed when he heard the ruling?
Don Davis’s article is this weekend’s must reading.
Overall, much of the $2.1 billion, two-year tax increase comes from the state’s highest earners and smokers. Dayton made the point that if property taxes rise 2 percent statewide, that would far less than the 83 percent they have gone up in the past decade. “I think that we did the job of delivering property tax relief,” House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said.
Democrats say that higher taxes usually mean better services.
That’s fantasy. Higher taxes usually means mayors feel less inhibited to spend significantly more money on things their cities don’t need. Considering the fact that the same Tax Bill that raised every Minnesotan’s tax bill was used to appropriate money for a pork palace for politicians. I’d love hearing Sen. Bakk or Speaker Thissen explain how higher taxes and shiny new office buildings mean more and better services for Minnesotans.
I’d also highlight the fact that higher taxes didn’t make MnSure more taxpayer-friendly. Despite the multi-billion dollar tax increase, MnSure still gets weekends and holidays off while Minnesotans scramble franticly to get insured.
“Any tax increase in inherently unpopular,” Gov. Mark Dayton said in a Forum News Service interview. “But it will be a message battle. Republicans will try to say ‘largest tax increase in history’ and we will say ‘the people who have the most are paying it, and smokers.’”
The DFL, aka Democrats, will argue that they ‘taxed the rich’. Republicans will highlight the fact that the DFL also raised taxes on farmers, small businesses and chased a major part of Cargill’s operations to Colorado:
Why Denver? Dan Dye, Horizon’s president and Ardent’s CEO-to-be, said in a statement that the decision “will allow us to offer great quality of life for employees, provide excellent service to our customers and position the business for long-term growth.”
The Democrats’ policies are hurting Minnesota’s economy while piling additional tax burdens on farmers, blue collar workers and small businesses. Couple that with the DFL’s intent to dramatically increase the minimum wage, via constitutional amendment if necessary, and you’ve got the recipe for economic calamity.
Based on what we’ve seen thus far, the DFL’s claim that higher taxes equals better services is spin, not fact. Higher taxes just mean people have less money to spend.
Technorati: Tax The Rich, Property Taxes, Mark Dayton, Paul Thissen, MnSure, Government Services, Tax Increases, Minimum Wage Increase, Constitutional Amendments, Recessions, DFL
Perhaps, I’m a bit sensitive about the Senate Office Building lawsuit because Jim Knoblach is a friend of mine. Still, it’s puzzling to me as to why conservative activists and organizations haven’t jumped on the Stop the SOB bandwagon.
Jim’s lawsuit has something in it for all different stripes of conservatives. For the liberty movement, Jim’s lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of a Tax Bill that does more than address tax policy. In other words, the lawsuit accuses Sen. Tom Bakk of violating the Single-Subject Clause in Minnesota’s Constitution. (Building pork palaces for politicians doesn’t fit with setting tax rates and policies.)
For fiscal conservatives, Jim’s lawsuit highlights the DFL’s propensity for proposing pork projects. Simply put, the proposed Senate Office Building is pure pork. The notion that a new office building is needed is foolish. Taxpayers need to fund politicians’ palaces like Minnesota needs a $4/hr. increase in the minimum wage.
For political candidates, Jim’s lawsuit offers a great opportunity to highlight the fact that Democrats love pork projects, especially pork for pompous politicians. I’d be surprised if 80% of Minnesota’s taxpayers didn’t agree that politicians don’t need to spend $90,000,000 on a building that’s occupied 140 days during each biennium. Further, taxpayers don’t need a palace that includes “a reflecting pool, skylights and a fitness center.”
For GOP political strategists, it’s a fantastic opportunity to prove the DFL is the party of pompous politicians, not the party of the people. Think of the opportunity to paint Sen. Bakk and the DFL legislators who voted for the Tax Bill as pork-loving, tax-raising politicians who are out of touch with Main Street Minnesotans. Frankly, this is a gift that might keep giving, at least until judges rule that Sen. Bakk’s pork project is unconstitutional.
It’s a great opportunity for GOP legislators to push a defunding bill when the session re-opens in February, 2014. If Sen. Bakk bottles up the GOP repeal bill, they can use that against Democrats in their campaigns. If their legislation repeals funding for Sen. Bakk’s pork palace, it will be a stinging defeat for Sen. Bakk.
I understand why the GOP leadership in the Senate hasn’t expressed outrage thus far. Now that Gov. Dayton has criticized the bill he signed, he’s essentially given Senate GOP leadership ‘permission’ to criticize Sen. Bakk on this issue.
Finally, organizations like the Taxpayers League and Minnesota Majority should have a field day with this. It’s right in their wheel house. The great news is that there’s tons of potential political upside. The fantastic news is that there’s virtually no political downside to criticizing Sen. Bakk’s pork palace.
After all, how often do conservsatives get the opportunity to criticize a powerful Democrat for punishing taxpayers twice within a single bill? It’s important to remember that this year’s Tax Bill raised taxes on “the rich”, the middle class and working poor while spending money on palaces for politicians.
Technorati: Tom Bakk, Senate Office Building, Tax Increases, Mark Dayton, Pork Projects, Minimum Wage Increase, Tom Anzelc, Minnesota State Constitution, Single Subject Clause, DFL, Jim Knoblach, Stop the SOB, Taxpayers League, Minnesota Majority, MnGOP, Election 2014