Archive for the ‘Paul Thissen’ Category

This scathing editorial doesn’t mince words. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what Bill Hanna’s opinion of Gov. Dayton is:

And now, unencumbered by running another election campaign, Dayton evidently feels free to wage a nasty bipartisan political battle with not only traditional GOP opposition but also with DFL leaders and lawmakers who worked compromises with a $1.9 billion budget surplus to reach adjournment on time without the need for a special session.

Dayton has turned to name-calling to try to get his way. He has said that Republicans who would back his early childhood funding request of another $170 million “hate public schools.” That prompted eight House GOP lawmakers, who also have experience in teaching in the public schools, to respond in a much more civil way than how the governor labeled them.

Gov. Dayton has also thrown verbal jabs at DFLers, including Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook, who supported the K-12 $400 million education bill. Dayton said he was “astounded” that anyone calling themselves a Democrat would support it.

In terms of the budget fight, Gov. Dayton still has everything he needs to shut the government down, which is his veto pen. It doesn’t matter that people are infuriated with him. It doesn’t matter that he’s acting like a spoiled brat throwing a hissy fit. In that context, it doesn’t matter whether he’s so unlikable that he’d need to tie a pork chop around his neck just to get dogs to play with him.

In that context, all that’s needed is his veto pen.

At some point, though, the DFL will turn on Gov. Dayton. They’ll deny it but they’ll turn on Gov. Dayton. Mr. Hanna is right in saying that Gov. Dayton was “never a darling of the DFL Party leadership apparatus”. In 2010, then-Candidate Dayton wasn’t even allowed to address the DFL convention in Duluth. That tension disappeared until Sen. Bakk ambushed him over the commissioners’ raises. That re-opened old wounds. This quote will be remembered:

“To have a majority leader of the Senate come in and stab me in the back and blindside me is absolutely unacceptable,” Dayton said. “I’m confronted with two hostile bodies of the Legislature, one with a leader I believe I can trust (Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt) and one I know I can’t trust,” Dayton said. “I certainly learned a brutal lesson today that I can’t trust (Bakk.) I can’t believe what he says to me and connives behind my back.”

Gov. Dayton is losing allies fast. Right now, his closest allies are Rep. Thissen and Lt. Gov. Tina Flint-Smith. Lt. Gov. Smith hasn’t shown herself to have the ability to build coalitions. Rep. Thissen thinks that what’s good for the Twin Cities is good for Minnesota. In that sense, they’re both useless in helping outstate candidates win elections.

When the DFL turns on Gov. Dayton, it will partially be because he’s become a liability to their own re-election. The Dayton-Smith-Thissen coalition might be popular in the suburbs but it isn’t popular in the exurbs and rural Minnesota.

TEA Party Alliance president Jack Rogers is upset with House Republicans for not delivering on his demands for tax cuts:

“My heart is heavy with grief from the actions taken by the MN House Majority and some of the MN GOP Senators,” wrote Minnesota Tea Party Alliance president Jack Rogers on his Facebook page.

“Unfortunately, every house rep let us down in the final 48 hours,” commented Jake Duesenberg, the Tea Party’s executive director. “No tax cuts at all. Huge spending increases in public education and socialized health care.”

That’s disappointing coming from a group that’s supposed to know the Constitution. To expect tax cuts with a DFL majority in the Senate and a DFL governor is like expecting to buy winning lottery tickets each month. The odds are the same. Republicans passed tax cuts in the House. They were DOA when they arrived in the Senate. That’s political reality.

It’s also political reality that Republicans weren’t going to win many battles when controlling one half of one of the two political branches. If Rogers and Duesenberg want some of these accomplishments, then they should work tirelessly to elect more Republican legislators and a Republican governor. Without that, Republicans can’t enact their reform agenda.

While I’m disappointed with Mssrs. Rogers and Duesenberg, I’m not surprised that Paul Thissen and Ken Martin still won’t tell the truth. Check out Ken Martin’s whopper:

Said DFL Party Chair Ken Martin: “Republicans refused to compromise and are more interested in providing tax giveaways to corporations than investing in education.”

What is it that causes DFL politicians to reflexively lie? Does Alida Messenger implant a chip in these politicians’ brains that forces them to lie profusely? Martin saying that “Republicans refused to compromise” is disgusting dishonesty. It’s quickly disproven. Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk reached a budget agreement a week ago today. Of course, they kicked Gov. Dayton out of the room to finish the deal but they got it done.

Then there’s Paul Thissen. Here’s what Thissen said:

“House Republicans failed to finish the job,” DFL Minority Leader Paul Thissen said Wednesday. “They refused to compromise with Gov. Dayton. They wanted to keep this money so they can give corporate tax cuts.”

There’s those non-existent corporate tax cuts again. It’s stunning how frequently the DFL lies about this. Last weekend, I contacted Greg Davids, the chair of the House Taxes Committee, about the House Tax Bill. Here’s what he told me:

Eighty percent goes to individuals. Tax relief is for the middle class…. My tax bill is tax relief for the poor and middle class.”

It’s disappointing when people I agree with don’t acknowledge political reality.

What’s worse is when an entire political party proves itself incapable of telling the truth.

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At the end of each legislative session, each chamber’s leaders issue statements on what did or didn’t get accomplished. Predictably, there’s quite a difference of opinion. Check Rep. Thissen’s statement out:

House DFL Leader Paul Thissen released the following statement:

“I would grade this session an ‘F.’ House Republicans failed to pass a transportation bill when this was supposed to be the transportation session. They failed to freeze tuition for Minnesota’s students despite our $2 billion budget surplus. They failed Greater Minnesota, ignoring broadband, oil train safety, and local property tax relief. They failed to get their job done on time, chaotically passing a jobs bill with no public input or debate. And they refused to negotiate with Governor Dayton, forcing a special session over their insistence on underfunding Minnesota’s earliest learners.

What makes this session’s failures so disappointing is the golden opportunity that Republicans have wasted- all to protect corporate special interests. With a growing economy and $2 billion surplus, we had the opportunity this session to provide greater economic security to hardworking families, fix our state’s roads and bridges, make college more affordable for students, and take needed strides to ensure all of Minnesota’s earliest learners have the chance to get ahead.

We should have done much better for hardworking Minnesotans, but Republican failed to deliver results.”

Compare that with Sen. Bakk’s statement:

Saint Paul, Minn.—Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) released the following statement regarding the end of the 2015 legislative session.

“Tonight the legislature passed the final components of a two-year budget to keep Minnesota moving forward. Protecting MinnesotaCare from elimination, $138 million for nursing homes, and important new investments in education were significant accomplishments for the DFL Senate.

The last five months, we have seen what divided government looks like. Many bills this session passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support. However, the challenge presented by divided government immobilized many promising, critical initiatives.

I, and many Minnesotans, am particularly disappointed we were unable pass a comprehensive transportation bill this session. I will work tirelessly to pass a comprehensive transportation bill with stable funding during the 2016 legislative session. I will also work to dedicate portions of the projected budget surplus to investment in education and property tax relief for all Minnesotans,” Bakk said.

Last Friday night on Almanac, Sen. Bakk’s positive tone spoke volumes about how he felt about the budget he’d just negotiated with Speaker Daudt. He said “We didn’t get everything we wanted but we got everything we need to keep Minnesota moving forward.”

Thissen’s statement sounds like the type of political statement that an out-of-touch Twin Cities Metrocrat would write, which is what it is.

Expanded broadband isn’t a high priority for Greater Minnesota. Fixing Greater Minnesota’s pothole-filed roads are their highest priority, followed by building the Sandpiper Pipeline project to free up railcar space. Greater Minnesota understands that oil train safety, as defined by the DFL, isn’t the solution. Building pipelines is the solution, plus it kills 2 birds with one stone. First, pipelines are the safest way to get oil from Point A to Point B. Second, pipelines free up rail space for agricultural products.

Metrocrats like Thissen, though, don’t approve of that because the environmental activist wing of the DFL don’t approve of fossil fuels. The DFL’s record proves that they do exactly what their special interest masters tell them to do.

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If the universal pre-K bill that the Dayton-Tina Smith administration supports got votes based on what’s good policy, it wouldn’t have made it out of committee. It certainly wouldn’t still be alive with 20+ hrs. left in the session. This article just adds to the policy justifications for killing the Dayton-Smith bill:

Rolnick, now a policy fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, has made researching early childhood education a big part of his life’s work. He argues that the earlier kids start a good education, the better off they will be in life. But he doesn’t back the governor’s universal preschool plan for 4-year-olds.

“It’s not cost effective,” Rolnick said. “There’s a much better way of doing this.” Rolnick prefers an existing scholarship program that pays for needy children to attend Head Start, a child care facility or a public school program that meets quality standards. He said Dayton’s plan is misguided because it would subsidize early education for all kids rather than target low-income children who need early education the most and are the least likely to have access to it.

Unfortunately, people who like great public policy have one strike against them. This paragraph highlights what’s missing:

The governor’s plan is backed by the state teachers’ union, Education Minnesota. But some early education groups and experts are skeptical, which may not bode well for Dayton in the Legislature.

Dr. Rolnick has a way that’s more effective and less expensive. If the Dayton-Smith administration’s highest priority is to eliminate the achievement gap and help children, then they should be for plans that are effective and inexpensive. If their goal is to pay off another DFL special interest ally, then they should shut down the government again and admit to Minnesotans that their highest priority is to pay off Education Minnesota.

To find out more about who opposes the Dayton-Smith-EdMinn plan, check out this audio of Sen. Carla Nelson talking on the subject.

Here’s a partial transcript of Sen. Nelson’s statement:

It’s very frustrating for me as a legislator and I can only imagine for Minnesotans all across this state to know that, as of Thursday night, just 4 days out from adjournment, there was still no budget agreement on the individual targets for the individual conference areas. Quite frankly, there is no excuse for that. We should have had those targets early, in late April. So, first of all, it was frustrating getting those targets so late and then to add to add fat to the fire, so to speak, there was this agreement between Democrat Senate Majority Leader Bakk and the Republican-controlled House Speaker Daudt and them the Governor is suddenly threatening a veto of the Education Bill. I find that worrisome for a number of reasons. Minnesotans want bipartisanship. We got that here and then the Governor is concerned about one provision in the Education bill and, quite frankly, I understand his concern. He’s very concerned about high quality early learning, making sure kids are ready when they get to Kindergarten and are prepared to learn. I support that, too, but I believe the Governor’s initiative, which is universal pre-Kindergarten, is very premature at this time and is not what Minnesotans want or the school districts need. They just don’t want to build wings of Kindergarten wings onto their buildings for all-day Kindergarten. They are not wishing to now go out and build wings of pre-Kindergarten rooms. Those would be additional property taxes. Also, interestingly enough, early education advocates throughout the state, including myself, a person like Art Rolnick, a person who has pushed early childhood learning to the head of our state, is saying that the Governor’s plan to implement is wrong. We should be targeting resources to those kids most in need.

Let’s be clear about this. The Dayton-Smith-Thissen pre-K bill is a massive property tax increase waiting to happen. Schools throughout the state will have to build onto their existing schools to house all of the extra children. That’s inescapable.

Dayton, Smith and Thissen know this. They don’t care. Their allegiance isn’t with the students, as they’ve insisted. It isn’t with the school districts that’ve protested this throughout the state. The Minnesota School Board Association opposes the program, too. Check this out:

Some school districts indicated to the House Education Finance Committee that they don’t have space to add “basically an entire new grade in our public school system,” its chair, Rep. Jenifer Loon, an Eden Prairie Republican, told us.

There’s concern about facilities, equipment and transportation, she said. “There may be money the governor is proposing per pupil, but there’s no money there to help districts if they have to build classrooms,” for example. “That’s a huge cost that would largely fall on local property taxpayers.”

TRANSLATION: There’s money in this bill for Education Minnesota but there’s a major tax increase in the bill for parents and other taxpayers.

This video shows that Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is driving the DFL’s shutdown train:

Check out this partial transcript of Lt. Gov. Smith’s interview with WCCO’s Esme Murphy”

ESME MURPHY: Not all lieutenant governors are at the negotiating table. You, as I understand, have been. What has happened with the Majority Leader here, Sen. Bakk? I mean, obviously, a very fractured relationship earlier in the year and the previous spat. The Governor called Tom Bakk a “conniving backstabber who couldn’t be trusted.” What does he have to say about him now?
LT. GOV. SMITH: Well, you know, I think it is the…um…at the end of the session, there is always lots of personal interaction back and forth. I have to say, sitting at the table with Sen. Bakk and the Speaker the last 5 days, there was no animosity at all, very little personal animosity. It’s just a fundamental disagreement.

Lt. Gov. Smith later said that “it’s really just a matter of getting the Republicans to support it.”

That’s a telling interview in that it shows how much authority Tina Smith has. The rumors that she’s really been the one running the day-to-day operations of the office were virtually confirmed when it was established that she was at the table. Yvonne Prettner-Solon certainly wasn’t given that type of authority.

She was picked to push Dayton over the top in the 2010 DFL primary by bringing in Range votes. After that, she was treated like a potted plant. Tina Smith had more authority over legislative priorities as Gov. Dayton’s chief of staff than Prettner-Solon had as the lieutenant governor. Isn’t that exceptionally odd?

That isn’t the only oddity in Gov. Dayton’s office. Bob Hume is married to Carrie Lucking, Education Minnesota’s Policy Director. Hume joined “the Mark Dayton administration as a senior communications adviser.”

With Smith planning on replacing Dayton as governor some day, there’s no way she’ll fight Education Minnesota, especially when important players in the Dayton administration has strong ties to Education Minnesota.

Sunday night, Republicans started pushing back hard, saying that Gov. Dayton had 4 months to make his case for universal pre-K. They highlighted the fact that the DFL Senate defeated the Dayton-Smith-Education Minnesota bill a month ago.

Rest assured that Education Minnesota will push their legislators hard until and through the end of session. Smith saying that it’s really a matter of getting Republicans on board verifies the fact that Education Minnesota will push DFL legislators until they crack. It’s just a matter of time before Education Minnesota and Tina Smith get the DFL to crack. That will prove beyond a doubt that the DFL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Education Minnesota.

Republicans should stand strong against the coming PR battle. First, they should highlight the fact that they negotiated in good faith to reach a bipartisan budget agreement. Next, they should tell Gov. Dayton that they won’t budge on universal pre-K that requires school districts to build new school buildings, mandate class size and staff-to-student ratios, parent participation requirements and coordinate professional development with community-based early learning providers.

Demand that the DFL explain how they’ll pay for those things. Specifically, ask them if they’re planning on raising taxes to build new schools to meet the class size and teacher-to-student ration requirements or if it’s another unfunded mandate that the DFL will dump in school districts’ laps.

I’m betting that the DFL focused so intently on getting the legislation passed that they haven’t identified the hidden costs associated with universal pre-K.

If there’s a government shutdown, Tina Smith’s, Gov. Dayton’s, Paul Thissen’s and Education Minnesota’s fingerprints will be all over it…again.

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Gov. Dayton continues to insist that he’ll veto a bill that doesn’t fund universal pre-K. Though he’s been the point person, the personality in front of the cameras, on this issue, Gov. Dayton has had plenty of support from Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, House Minority Leader Thissen and Education Minnesota. This Pioneer Press article puts the blame for this impasse at the legislature’s feet while exempting Gov. Dayton, Lt. Gov. Smith from recriminations:

Dayton, who claimed he was cut out of the final deal-making, said he would not sign the education bill that lawmakers planned to send him. The deal doesn’t adequately fund the state’s education needs, the governor said.

“I’ll say it again and I’ll say it again and I’ll say it again: I’m going to veto $400 million because it’s wrong for the people of Minnesota, for the parents of Minnesota, for the schoolchildren of Minnesota. It’s wrong,” Dayton said early Saturday. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor said the state should increase state funding for E-12 education by a minimum of $550 million, $150 million more than the Legislature is willing to spend.

The governor had significant support for his demand. Several DFL senators, nearly five dozen DFL House members and the DFL Party all said Dayton is right to push for more education funding. “I still think we should do and can do better,” said Senate Assistant Majority Leader Katie Sieben, DFL-Newport.

FYI- This officially verifies that the DFL has declared war on Sen. Bakk and outstate Democrats. This is now officially the Metro DFL, with Tina Smith and Paul Thissen leading this new party.

I wrote this post to highlight what’s wrong with the Dayton/Tina Smith/Paul Thissen/Education Minnesota universal pre-K plan:

  1. the elimination of the school readiness program;
  2. requiring that 4-year-olds be in school longer than other students;
  3. limited facility resources;
  4. mandatory class size and staff-to-student ratios;
  5. parent participation requirements;
  6. requiring that early childhood teachers be paid comparable to K-12 teachers;
  7. coordinated professional development with community-based early learning providers;
  8. requiring school districts to recruit, contract and monitor early childhood programs for fiscal and program quality.

What’s wrong, Gov. Dayton, is shoving a program down school districts’ throats that requires them to dramatically increase staffing levels, build bigger schools to accommodate additional students and pay pre-K teachers virtually the same as K-12 teachers.

But the powerful Education Minnesota teachers union, which would add members if pre-K became universal, as well as many education experts say the cost is worth the result. They say it would mean better outcomes for students, particularly minorities who have lagged behind Minnesota’s white majority.

TRANSLATION: We want our cut. We’re the DFL’s GOTV operation and we demand our payoff.

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Paul Thissen, the House DFL Leader, is a classless jerk. This article offers proof of that:

In the House debate Tuesday, lawmakers exchanged words over an amendment offered by DFL leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, to name a part of U.S. 12 the “Tim Miller Goat Trail” after a freshman Republican lawmaker from Prinsburg who has sparred with Thissen. House GOP leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, responded by saying it was the latest in a series of examples where Thissen had behaved inappropriately.

I won’t demand that Thissen apologize. If he mouthed the words to an apology, it wouldn’t mean anything. It wouldn’t be sincere. Thissen is who Thissen is.

What Rep. Thissen is isn’t a picture of statesmanship. He’s been a picture in classless partisanship. In that respect, it looks like Rep. Thissen studied under the tutelage of Tony Sertich although, to be fair, Sertich wasn’t classless like Thissen is.

What type of classless partisan offers an amendment that gives a road a name that insults a colleague? The DFL isn’t the party of Hubert Humphrey anymore. It’s the party that looks for opportunities to humiliate their political opponents.

I hope Republicans remind voters who the DFL really is. I hope Republicans remind voters that the DFL is the political party that puts a higher priority on playing partisan games than they put on doing the right thing.

During Gov. Dayton’s State of the State Address, he insisted that the state of the State was good:

For right now, we have a rare moment of great opportunity. The state of our state is good. Not everywhere. Not for everyone. But overall, Minnesota is doing better than it has for some time, and Minnesota is doing better than most other states.

That’s spin. This is reality:

According to the Getting Prepared report by the Office of Higher Education, 28 percent of Minnesota’s 2011 high school graduates were required to take remedial courses when entering college. Together these students spent $9 million in tuition just on remedial classes – covering K-12 material that taxpayers already funded. The problem affects students from across the state, from affluent suburbs to rural communities to the Twin Cities’ largest districts, but students of color and low-income students are most deeply affected.

When 1-in-4 high school graduates take remedial classes upon entering community college, that says K-12 schools have failed these students. What’s worst is that, according to the Office of Higher Education’s report, these problems affect “students from across the state, from affluent suburbs to rural communities to the Twin Cities’ largest districts.”

That means this problem isn’t confined to students languishing in impoverished inner city schools. It’s happening across the state. Rep. Thissen said that the DFL had made “historic investments” in education. That’s proof that the DFL’s education motto is still intact. FYI- DFL’s education motto is ‘more money, bigger achievement gap, less accountability.’

When one-fourth of MnSCU’s community college students need to take remedial courses, the state of Minnesota’s K-12 program isn’t good. It’s bleak. It need to improve. That won’t happen without a change in policies and leadership.

The Duluth News Tribune’s Our View editorial highlights Gov. Dayton’s attempt at slick advertising:

The governor’s bonding bill — er, sorry, Dayton and his staff even came up with a far-more-fetching name: “jobs bill” — has little to no chance of going anywhere. And that makes all the effort to get it ready and proposed, as well as the ballyhooed rollout, all that more curious. Anyone with even a hint of cynicism may have smelled politics at play.

The proposal has little to no chance of passage because such a bill has to originate in the House, and the House this year is led by Republicans who not only aren’t DFLers like Dayton, they’ve made it quite clear they have no plans for such a proposal right now.

Among other reasons for pause, it’s just not the right year. Bonding bills, or jobs bills, if you wish, typically are the products of even-numbered years’ sessions. This session has to be all about passing a budget, which the law requires, and passing a transportation bill, which our crumbling, too-long-overlooked highways and bridges demand. Republicans and DFLers, including Dayton, are far apart on those priorities and others and can spend the remaining weeks of the session compromising and working together with the good of all Minnesotans and their pocketbooks first and foremost in their minds.

That’s insulting on multiple fronts. When Republicans unveiled their Transportation Bill, one of the first complaints that the DFL made was that the GOP plan borrowed money while running up the credit card bill to pay for future road and bridge projects. I said then that putting a multigenerational bridge repair project on Minnesota’s credit card was totally justified because multiple generations will be using the bridge that’s getting repaired.

The DFL, led by Rep. Paul Thissen, criticized that approach. That’s frightening considering the fact that Thissen’s voted for bonding bills that paid for ‘important’ infrastructure projects like repairing gorilla cages at Como Park Zoo or a sheet music museum in southern Minnesota.

Based on the DFL’s actions, it’s apparent that the DFL thinks it’s fiscally irresponsible to pay for transportation infrastructure projects with the state’s credit card but it’s prudent to pay for frivolous projects like museum and zoo repair projects with the state’s credit card.

Bonding bills aren’t “jobs bills.” That’s just Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s slick advertising name for them. A high percentage of the projects in the average bonding bill pay off special interest constituencies. If you want to give these types of bills an honest name, let’s call them “the special interests’ appeasement bill.” Either that or let’s call them the “special interests’ pay-off bills”.

This year, let’s give them this name: dead on arrival.

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Rep. Paul Thissen, currently the House Minority Leader, issued this totally dishonest statement after Republicans presented their comprehensive transportation plan:

“Minnesotans who are sitting every day in traffic, who are afraid their kids can’t get to school safely, who can’t get to that new job that promises a brighter future for their family, demand real transportation solutions. Unfortunately, the Republican plan is the same old shifts and gimmicks budgeting we’ve come to expect from them. Siphoning money from schools and hospitals and relying on the state’s credit card is no way to fund Minnesota’s transportation system. This is a ‘Give the Deficits Back’ Act.

House Democrats have said all along we will work to pass a comprehensive, statewide transportation solution that meets the needs of our entire state, roads, bridges, and transit, in a permanent way, without excessively siphoning money from our kids’ education or running up the credit card. It’s our hope Republicans will get serious about a plan that solves our transportation problem without creating new potholes in our budget.

The Republican plan irresponsibly raids the general fund, shifting hundreds of millions of tax dollars that should pay for better schools and uses it to pay for transportation projects. The next economic downturn could be around the corner, and if we use general fund tax dollars to fund transportation projects then we are hurting our schools, hospitals and other basic priorities in the future. Investments in Minnesota’s transportation systems shouldn’t compete with our kids’ education.

And the Republican plan excessively borrows money, running up the credit card bill to pay for future road and bridge projects. Minnesota is finally in a better financial position. We shouldn’t go right back to the borrowing and gimmicks that got us in trouble for the previous decade.”

Let’s go through Thissen’s diatribe paragraph-by-paragraph, starting with this:

Siphoning money from schools and hospitals and relying on the state’s credit card is no way to fund Minnesota’s transportation system.

First, Rep. Thissen can’t offer proof that the GOP transportation plan siphons “money from schools and hospitals” because that proof doesn’t exist. Period. Next, it’s entirely appropriate to put major bridge repairs on highway lane expansions on the state credit card because a) the rebuilding of a major bridge is expensive and b) it’s the type of thing that’ll benefit multiple generations. Why should 1 generation pay the entire bill for a bridge that multiple generations will benefit from? Why shouldn’t multiple generations pay for adding lanes for a state trunk highway? After all, multiple generations will benefit from it?

When the DFL raised taxes just 6 short years ago, we were promised that the DFL’s plan was the investment that would fix our transportation funding problems. Either the DFL lied to us then or they don’t know what they’re talking about. Why should we trust them at this point?

House Democrats have said all along we will work to pass a comprehensive, statewide transportation solution that meets the needs of our entire state, roads, bridges, and transit, in a permanent way, without excessively siphoning money from our kids’ education or running up the credit card.

It’s without question that the DFL has said that they’d work with Republicans on “a comprehensive, statewide transportation solution.” It’s just that their statements aren’t credible. The DFL always meant that they’d work with Republicans if the Republicans’ transportation plan included a major middle class tax increase. The DFL never meant that they’d work with Republicans if the Republicans’ transportation plan didn’t include a major middle class tax increase.

The Republican plan irresponsibly raids the general fund, shifting hundreds of millions of tax dollars that should pay for better schools and uses it to pay for transportation projects.

If there’s a political party that knows about irresponsibly raiding the general fund, it’s the DFL. That doesn’t mean they’re trustworthy. It just means that they know about irresponsibly raiding Minnesota’s general fund. Look at all the money they shipped to Community Action’s corrupt leaders. That includes the money CA shipped to Jeff Hayden while stiffing the people who needed the money to survive.

Minnesota is finally in a better financial position. We shouldn’t go right back to the borrowing and gimmicks that got us in trouble for the previous decade.

Rep. Thissen shouldn’t talk out of both sides of his mouth. Year after year, the DFL has called their bonding bill their jobs bill. The DFL has told us time after time that borrowing money to build civic centers and sheet music museums was essential to creating jobs. It’s astonishing that the DFL can tell us that borrowing money to pay for critical highway infrastructure is a negative.

It isn’t astonishing that Rep. Thissen could tell us this without hesitation. You can’t be a leader in the DFL if you can’t lie through your teeth with a straight face.

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