Archive for the ‘Ryan Winkler’ Category
The DFL must see the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment, as utterly annoying. What other reason would the DFL have for pushing that’s already been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court? This language from HF1944 looks familiar:
Subdivision 1. Electioneering communication. (a) “Electioneering communication” means a communication distributed by television, radio, satellite, or cable broadcasting system; by means of printed material, signs, or billboards; or through the use of telephone communications that:
(1) refers to a clearly identified candidate;
(2) is made within:
(i) 30 days before a primary election or special primary election for the office sought by the candidate; or (ii) 60 days before a general election or special election for the office sought by the candidate; (3) is targeted to the relevant electorate; and (4) is made without the express or implied consent, authorization, or cooperation of, and not in concert with or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or a candidate’s principal campaign committee or agent.
(b) If an electioneering communication clearly directs recipients to another communication, including a Web site, on-demand or streaming video, or similar communications, the electioneering communication consists of both the original electioneering communication and the communication to which recipients are directed and the cost of both must be included when determining if disclosure is required under this section.
McCain-Feingold, aka the BCRA, prohibited certain types of speech 30 days before a primary election and/or 60 days before the general election. Here’s the relevant part of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling:
The statute is underinclusive; it only protects a dissenting shareholder’s interests in certain media for 30 or 60 days before an election when such interests would be implicated in any media at any time.
Here’s another important part of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. the FEC:
Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy—it is the means to hold officials ac-countable to the people—political speech must prevail against lawsthat would suppress it by design or inadvertence. Laws burdening such speech are subject to strict scrutiny, which requires the Government to prove that the restriction “furthers a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.”
Despite that clear ruling, the DFL insists on pushing a bill that includes provisions that the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled unconstitutional. It isn’t just that they’ve ruled these provisions unconstitutional, either. It’s that they said future legislation had to pass strict scrutiny, which is described like this:
subject to strict scrutiny, which requires the Government to prove that the restriction “furthers a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.”
The DFL knows that this is an extra-high hurdle that they likely can’t overcome. What’s disturbing is that the DFL isn’t hesitating in writing legislation that violates people’s rights to participate in the political process.
This is the definition of shameful, too:
Question: Why do Democrats hate certain types of political speech?
Technorati: SCOTUS, Citizens United, First Amendment, Constitution, Political Speech, Censorship, Al Franken, Katie Sieben, Jim Carlson, John Marty, Kent Eken, Steve Simon, Laurie Halverson, Ryan Winkler, Connie Bernardy, John Persell, Democrats, DFL, Elections, Election 2014
When it comes to highlighting liberals’ wrongheaded economic thinking, nobody’s been better at it than Milton Friedman. This video is a great example of Friedman’s wisdom:
Friedman’s wisdom on the subject of minority education is playing out in big cities daily. First, Friedman said that nothing traps young people in poverty more than underperforming “government schools.” That’s being verified by the fact that the DC Opportunity Scholarship program has far more minority applicants than scholarships. The documentary “Waiting for Superman” highlights parents as they attempt to rescue their children from government schools by getting them into charter schools. In St. Paul, a healthy portion of the families wanting their children in charter schools are minority parents.
Time after time, minorities are hurt by government schools. What’s worst is that the teacher unions and Democrat politicians protect bad schools. New York City is famous for its Rubber Room:
Educators accused of breaking rules, abusing kids, or simply failing to provide students with a decent education, will be paid a stunning $22 million by the city this year for doing absolutely nothing.
Charter schools aren’t restricted by union rules, which gives them more latitude to innovate. Charter schools can get rid of underperforming teachers quickly, something government schools can’t do.
Here in Minnesota, Republicans included a Basic Skills Test requirement in the Omnibus Education Bill that Gov. Dayton signed. This year, with the DFL running state government from A to Z, Democrats repealed the Basic Skills Test requirement. It wasn’t surprising that Gov. Dayton didn’t hesitate in signing the requirement’s repeal.
The message that sends to teachers is that competence isn’t required, that a union card is what’s important. That cheats students by telling parents, students and teachers alike that union membership is more important than high quality teachers.
Friedman also explains why increasing the minimum wage hurts minorities. Mitch Berg’s post highlights why increasing the minimum wage is actually keeping unemployment high:
The inevitable result of across-the-board minimum wage hikes? Fewer minimum wage jobs.
Case in point; as minimum wages around the country rose during the 2000s, McDonalds started pre-cooking its hamburger patties, so they’d only need to be reheated in the stores. This got rid of most of the traditional “burger-flipper” jobs, the ones that liberals sneered at but provided hundreds of thousands of opportunities for teens and others entering and re-entering the workforce to learn how to show up for work on time and do a good job at something.
Democrats will argue that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t affect hiring. They’re wrong. It’s accurate to say that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t always affect unemployment. Democrats think businesses owe it to society to hire people. That’s wrongheaded thinking. Entrepreneurs hire people if they think it’ll makes them money. Period.
If hiring a person at minimum wage will hurt profits, businesses won’t hire people. It’s that simple. The benefit must exceed the expense. If it doesn’t, unemployment is the result. It’s that simple regardless of what Rep. Winkler and other Democrats say.
The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald’s Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data. McDonald’s could potentially track every Big Mac, McNugget, and large shake you order. A calorie account tally at the end of the year could be a real shocker.
The touch screens will only accept debit or credit cards, adding to the slow death knell of cash and coins. This all goes along with an overall revamp of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide aimed at projecting a modern image as opposed to the old-fashioned golden arches…
While it’d be pushing it to say that McDonalds is installing these touch-screen ordering kiosks because of the minimum wage, it isn’t a stretch to say that installing those kiosks will help McDonalds avoid dealing with minimum wage employees. Rep. Winkler isn’t interested in increasing the minimum wage to help the working poor. He’s interested in it because many union wages are based on the minimum wage.
Limiting government’s size and influence isn’t just an ideology. It’s a time-tested method for ushering in lengthy periods of prosperity. Capitalism is still the greatest weapon in fighting poverty and creating upward mobility.
Tags: Milton Friedman, Free Market Capitalism, Charter Schools, Upward Mobility, Prosperity, Conservatism, Minimum Wage, Ryan Winkler, Government Schools, Rubber Room, Union Protection, Waiting For Superman, DC Opportunity Scholarships, Liberalism
When MSNBC’s Chuck Todd mocked President Obama for his latest pivot to jobs, the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent took umbrage via Twitter:
Genuinely sad to see supposedly neutral news orgs mocking the idea of a “pivot” to jobs.
First, was MSNBC ever a “neutral news org?” Apparently, it is in Greg Sargent’s opinion. That should tell us everything we need to know about Sargent’s opinions. Thankfully, others pounced on Sargent’s tweets. Here’s one from DCDude1776:
LOL! You haven’t noticed the pattern? Poll #s sink—> pivots to economy E-V-E-R-Y T-I-M-E
Here’s something more from Richard Grenell:
It’s just that he’s pivoted all the way around
Is it just me or does it seem like President Obama has pivoted to jobs more often Anthony Weiner holds press conferences admitting he’s been sexting again? The thing about pivoting is that it causes people to go in circles, which is what the economy is doing. Growing at 1% (roughly) per year isn’t how to build the middle class.
Let’s focus on some economic realities. First, it’s impossible to strengthen the middle class when we’re turning into a part-time nation. Last month’s job report said businesses created 195,000 job. Then it said that 240,000 full-time jobs were lost and that 360,000 part-time jobs were created.
Economists attributed this to President Obama’s ACA. Employers aren’t hiring full-time workers because of the PPACA. Increasingly, they’re hiring part-time employees instead. If the PPACA continues to be the law of the land, we’ll continue to turn into a part-time nation.
President Obama can’t point to an impressive growth spurt on his watch. That’s because his economic plan isn’t geared toward growth. It’s geared towards creating a European stagnation economy.
In the 1992 debates, Bill Clinton said, rightly, that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. With a stagnant economy, lackluster job growth and an obvious culprit to blame for all this, you’d think President Obama would quit insisting that his plan is working. Unfortunately, he’s so arrogant that he won’t accept reality.
The nation is a mess. His policies have failed repeatedly. Part-time employment is increasing. Full-time employment is either shrinking or stagnating. That isn’t the recipe for success. It’s the pathway to failure. For altogether too many Americans, Obamanomics has led to chronic failure.
I’ll summarize things by citing Sen. Ted Cruz’s tweet comparing Reaganomics with Obamanomics:
Reaganomics: Start a business in your parents’ garage.
Obamanomics: Move into your parents’ garage.
Republicans, it’s time to tell this president that his economic policies are a total disaster and that it’s time to start with new, pro-growth policies before it’s too late.
While trying his best to put out the fire caused by his tweet calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rep. Winkler’s attempt at damage control is pathetic at best. Based on his quote in this article, Rep. Ryan Winkler doesn’t think people should judge him by words he said were made in haste:
Asked if he believes his use of the term on social media will hurt his future political career, he said: “I don’t know. I hope people judge people on the merits of what they do in public office and not on the firestorm of a term that is used hastily but with no malintent.”
The thing is that most of Rep. Winkler’s statements are flippant, spur-of-the-moment comments. Few of his statements are thoroughly thought through. Few of his statements are taken seriously in terms of policy. That type of statement is part of his hit-and-run tactics of communicating. (Some might say he’s better at agitating than at communicating.)
Still, that isn’t the most cringe-worthy statement in the article. This is:
Winkler, who had been considering a bid for secretary of state, has called off his plans. He said it was a decision he made before “Uncle Thomas” started trending on Twitter and making headlines around the country, although not one he had voiced publicly.
I can smell the stench from that BS in St. Cloud, which is amazing considering it was made in St. Louis Park, more than 50 miles away.
The reality is that Rep. Winkler’s tweet ended Rep. Winkler’s bid for higher office in the future. I don’t think Rep. Winkler hates minorities, though I agree with much of what Michelle Malkin wrote in this article:
This Ivy League-trained public official and attorney relied on smug bigotry to make his case against a Supreme Court justice who happens to be black. “Uncle Thomas” wasn’t a typo. Denigration was the goal, not an accident. It was a knowing, deliberate smear.
While I don’t think Rep. Winkler hates people of color, I think he’s been exposed as a less-than-serious politician who lives by the code ready — fire — aim.
Rep. Winkler can now join Tarryl Clark in living in anonymity after supposedly being the DFL’s rising star.
Prior to his putting his political foot in his mouth, Rep. Ryan Winkler was just an obnoxious liberal who thought of himself as a rising star in the DFL. Yesterday morning, Rep. Winkler put his foot into his mouth bigtime. This tweet touched off a firestorm:
Instead of quitting while he was behind, Rep. Winkler thought it’d be best to issue this non-apology apology:
“I did not understand ‘Uncle Tom’ as a racist term, and there seems to be some debate about it. I do apologize for it, however,” he said.
That’s BS. Rep. Winkler graduated with a B.A. in history from Harvard University in 1998. If Rep. Winkler thinks that we’ll buy the fact that he didn’t learn about Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic from 1852, he’d better think again. Allan West, the former congressman from Florida, isn’t buying Rep. Winkler’s BS:
Former Rep. Allen West, a prominent black Republican, poured scorn on Mr. Winkler’s explanation and said the lawmaker should resign, noting the precedent of cooking-show host Paula Deen being fired and losing endorsement deals for admitting long-ago use of racial epithets.
“If Paula Deen must resign so should MN Rep Winkler. Didn’t know Uncle Tom is a racist slur? I’m sick of liberal hypocrisy,” he said on his Twitter account.
I don’t think Winkler is a racist. That said, Rep. Winkler has a reputation of speaking first, thinking later. He’s earned the reputation of being a loose cannon who says lippy things that he thinks fires up the DFL base. Saying that he isn’t particularly well-respected on policy issues is understatement.
Prior to Tuesday morning, Rep. Winkler had been thinking about running for Minnesota Secretary of State. Those plans died abruptly in less than 140 characters.
It’s no longer debatable whether the DFL hates business. They certainly hate entrepreneurs. Rep. Ryan Winkler’s minimum wage legislation is the ultimate combination of nanny-statism and heavyhanded government:
The Minnesota House likely will approve a minimum wage increase later this week, after a committee Monday expanded the bill’s reach by doubling state-required parental leave for a new child.
Under the amended measure by Rep Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, employers would be required to grant 12-week leaves after a birth or adoption.
The House Ways and Means Committee tacked the provision onto Winkler’s bill that aims to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour in 2015 from today’s $6.15. Then the wage would automatically increase.
Why would employers do business in a state that requires 12 weeks of maternity leave? For an employer, that means an extra 6 weeks of doing without an employee. That’s almost a fourth of the year without an employee. This is nanny-statism that’d make Michael Bloomberg proud.
That’s before talking about raising the minimum wage by almost 50% in 3 years. To cover the cost of higher wages, they’ll hire fewer people. Rep. Winkler should rename his legislation the ‘Growing the Nanny State and Killing Jobs bill’ because that’s what this bill will do.
A few weeks ago, Rep. Winkler tried spinning his legislation by saying that raising the minimum wage doesn’t hurt employment. At the time, I argued that that isn’t accurate. It’s true that raising the minimum wage doesn’t always hurt employment. It’s equally true that there are times, like during a weak economy, when raising the minimum wage kills jobs.
Businesses that are having trouble making money simply won’t hire people if the cost of wages increases. When the increased minimum wage is increased dramatically, like what’s being done in Rep. Winkler’s legislation the hiring freeze is that much more dramatic.
Further, employers seeking to expand will cross Minnesota off their list of destinations when they see this level of regulation and overbearing government. Business starts will shrink. Mitch’s post shows that people are already leaving Minnesota:
Though data can deliver mixed messages, data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) point to one clear and worrisome fact: Minnesotans and their wealth are moving to Southern and Western states. Between 1995 and 2010, an average of $340 million in income—based on 2010 dollars—moved each year from Minnesota to other states—a movement totaling more than $5 billion over 15 years. The states that on net receive the most Minnesota income tend to be low tax states such as Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, and Washington.
It pains me to say this but it’s got to be said: Minnesota isn’t special anymore. The lakes are still beautiful. The woods are still picturesque. The regulatory burden is excessive. Do-gooder organizations like Conservation Minnesota are attempting to kill industry in northern Minnesota. Tax rates are confiscatory. The special interests, aka AFSCME, MAPE and ABM, run the DFL. They say jump. The DFL asks ‘off what’?
Sacred cows abound within the budget. Bills pass through this legislature because we have to ‘invest in higher education’ or all-day Pre-K or whatever else the special interests demand of the DFL.
It’s time for the DFL to wake up to the fact that they’ve reached a breaking point on excessive taxation, irresponsible spending and overregulation. These statistics prove that people are voting with their mortgages (and their feet) on what’s excessive.
These paragraphs are a stinging indictment of Rep. Winkler’s bill:
Republicans and business leaders generally said the higher wage would hurt Minnesota firms. “There is no capacity on Main Street to absorb any more expense,” Rep. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, said.
Rep. Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls, said he talked to a restaurateur who makes $60,000 profit a year. The new minimum wage requirement would cost him $60,000, Nornes said. “Why should he stay in business?” Nornes asked. “We’re going to lose some.”
As damning as that information is, and it’s plenty damning, it’s nothing compared with this admission:
However, Rep. Tim Mahoney, DFL-St. Paul, added: “It is a small number of businesses that will be hurt.”
Isn’t that reassuring. It’s only a few businesses that will get hurt. I’m sure that’ll ease those businesses’ minds.
The DFL can argue all it wants but capital flight from Minnesota exists. It’s just that the delusional idiots running the DFL think it doesn’t exist. In the end, reality trumps theory.
Friday night on Almanac, Rep. Pat Garofalo exposed Rep. Ryan Winkler’s opposition to small business during their debate on Rep. Winkler’s minimum wage legislation. Here’s the transcript of the opening exchange between Rep. Garofalo and Rep. Winkler:
REP. GAROFALO: Today, I was talking with a small business owner in Apple Valley named Erin. She runs Revive Salon in Apple Valley. She was talking to me today that, as a small business owner, she pays more in taxes to the government than she takes home for her family and the Winkler proposal will increase her costs by $5,000. Now Erin knows a lot about her business. She knows how to price her products and she knows she can price it at a maximum price before people are going to stop purchasing those services. Unfortunately, this is an unfunded mandate so the question I’d have for Rep. Winkler and anyone that supports the minimum wage would be how are businesses supposed to pay for these increases?
REP. WINKLER: That’s just the same old line that businesses that oppose the minimum wage have used every single time it’s been increased. In fact, all the evidence, all the history since the minimum wage was enacted in 1938 shows that there’s been no negative impact on employment.
Apparently, Rep. Winkler thinks he knows what’s best for businesses, though there’s no history of him having run a successful small business.
What’s worse is that Rep. Winkler apparently isn’t interested in what small businesses are saying or the effect his legislation will have. The fact that he’s willing to dismiss legitimate issues without a discussion indicates that he isn’t interested in employers.
I wish I could say that I’m surprised but I’d have to ignore this post about how rudely Gov. Dayton was towards St. Cloud business leaders recently. Whether it’s Gov. Dayton or Rep. Winkler, the DFL’s hostility towards businesses isn’t difficult to find.
Thoughtful people know that it isn’t credible to first be hostile to employers, then say that you’re pro jobs.
The ‘proof’ that Rep. Winkler supposedly has that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t affect employment is ignoring reality. Anyone thinking that increasing businesses’ costs during difficult economic times simply doesn’t think staying competitive is important. Apparently, that’s the DFL’s belief, because that’s the playbook they’re following.
I’ve been a hockey fan since the mid-1960’s. In 1967, I bought a copy of the Minnesota North Stars Yearbook. That yearbook had a picture of Bill Masterton, the only hockey player to die as a direct result of an injury sustained in a hockey game. I watched the U of M, then coached by Herb Brooks, win 3 national championships. Those games weren’t broadcast on ESPN. I’m enjoying watching the Minnesota Wild play (and defeat) some of the strongest teams in the NHL.
In short, I’ve got the credentials to prove that I’m a hockey fanatic.
That said, it irritates me when a meddling legislator, in this instance Rep. Ryan Winkler, wants to spend $800,000 to continue the rivalry between the U of M and the University of North Dakota:
Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, introduced a bill on Thursday that would give the University of Minnesota the money if at least one game is scheduled against the University of North Dakota that year.
“We have to maintain that hockey tradition,” said Winkler, who grew up in a hockey family in Bemidji. “I think it’s enough to get the athletics department attention.”
Winkler said he was trying to make a statement with the bill; nothing will happen with it. The two teams faced off in their final conference game on Jan. 19. North Dakota will depart for the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference, while Minnesota will join five other Big Ten teams with hockey programs.
That’s BS. If he just wanted to “make a statement” about keeping the rivalry going, a simple resolution and a press conference would’ve gotten the teams’ attention.
Attaching a dollar amount, especially $800,000, won’t just get the teams’ attention. It’ll get the teams’ hands out with the expectation of getting paid to continue the rivalry.
It’s also likely to stir up some bad blood with St. Cloud State. SCSU’s rivalry doesn’t have the lengthy history that the U of M-UND rivalry has but it’s had some memorable games in its history, starting with the 2-2 tie in the first SCSU-U of M game. Nobody gave
St. Cloud State a chance in that game, which was the first game played at the then-brand new National Hockey Center.
But I digress.
Here’s a suggestion for Rep. Winkler: Quit meddling in collegiate sports. Allegedly, you’re a legislator dealing with serious budget issues. Perhaps your time is best spent figuring out how to save money. Better yet, perhaps you could focus on not spending money this foolishly.
Apparently, Rep. Winkler’s priorities and time management need adult supervision. It’s clear he’s spending too much time focusing on trivialities and not enough time on Minnesota’s priorities.
When KSTP Political Director Tom Hauser asked Gov. Dayton about Gov. Dayton’s tax increase proposal, Gov. Dayton reflexively regurgitated the ABM/DFL Chanting Point that the rich weren’t paying their fair share. It isn’t acceptable any more to have the fascists within the DFL and ABM to define fair share. It’s time to challenge their chanting points on this.
First, it’s insulting to think that the DFL thinks some members of the MAPE or AFSCME are paying their fair share. They’re sucking taxes from productive members of the private sector. In far too many instances, these people are political cronies of high-ranking officials at a university or department commissioner or do-nothing council. They often are put in do-nothing jobs like PR director of a tiny office that nobody’s heard of before. Sometimes they’re hired to be a “legislative liaison” in the MPCA or the BCA. Legislative liaison is a euphemism for taxpayer-funded pro-big-government lobbyist.
People in these position frequently draw salaries of $75,000-$150,000 but the DFL thinks that they’re actually contributing something meaningful to Minnesota’s taxpayers. I’m still waiting to hear the DFL’s/ABM’s explanation as to what these millstones contribute to Minnesota’s GDP or competitiveness.
Compare that with entrepreneurs. The first 5-10 years they’re in business, they frequently work from sunrise until midnight, sometimes later. They employ anywhere from 10-40 people if it’s a small business. If it’s a mid-size business like Quad Graphics, they employ 250+ people, all of whom have been offered quality health insurance. With Quad Graphics, the company pays a significant portion of the health insurance premium.
It’s easy to quantify these companies’ contributions towards a fiscally healthy Minnesota.
Next, the ABM/DFL definition of paying their fair share is based solely on the government’s take of these entrepreneurs’ profits. It’s never defined by anything other than contributing to bigger government. The entrepreneurs’ definition of paying their fair share is frequently measured by how families’ lives are improved through lower-priced goods and services, inventions and innovations that make like easier or through improving profits because they’re producing things of value.
If a pollster were to ask which is the more sensible definition of paying their fair share, there’s little question that the people would pick the entrepreneurs’ definition over the ABM/DFL definition of fair share.
It’s painfully obvious that the DFL should be stripped of their acronym. It’s painfully obvious that the DFL should be changed to the Progressive-PEU-Environmentalist Party.
When was the last time the DFL stood with the Iron Range mining unions? They haven’t stood with them since the Perpich Administration. He won his last gubernatorial election in 1986.
When Gov. Dayton negotiated the contract with state employees, they hid the proceedings and the details of the contract’s provisions. I’ve written these articles highlighting Gov. Dayton’s and the PEUs’ stealth in these proceedings.
It’s against this backdrop that Sen. Parry held a hearing on the contract between the PEUs and the state. Predictably, the DFL stood with their PEU ‘constituents’:
“It’s probably a blessing you’re down to your last three meetings,” said Lillie, referring to Parry’s expiring state Senate term. “I figure you’ll milk this for three days of per diem, perhaps.”
I wish I could say I’m surprised with Leon Lillie’s statements but I’m not. It’s the same BS that I’d expect to hear anytime that Rep. Thissen or Rep. Winker were talking.
Reps. Thissen and Winkler aren’t legislators. They’re the PEUs’ puppets. They always have been. Yesterday, MNGOP Chairman Shortridge issued a statement highlighting the DFL’s reliance on these PEUs. This part of Chairman Shortridge’s statement says it all:
A list of public sector union contributions to the Minnesota DFL this year alone, are listed below:
AFSCME AFL CIO $200,000.00
AFSCME Council 5 $5,000.00
Education Minnesota $229,857.22
MAPE Educational and Political Fund $87,500.00
MAPE PAC $87,500.00
Minnesota AFL-CIO $26,250.00
Mpls Federation of Teachers Local 59 $1,250.00
That’s just their contributions in 2012. They contributed a ton in 2011, too. Is it any wonder why the PEUs got such a sweetheart deal from Gov. Dayton? Here’s a few of the details of the contract:
Today AFSCME and MAPE reached a tentative deal on a two-year collective bargaining agreement with the State of Minnesota. Highlights include a 2 percent pay raise beginning January 2013, plus step increases both years, with modest cost increases to employees for health insurance effective January 2013.
Here’s their stated goals for negotiations:
The union seeks a two-year deal that looks something like this:
No changes in health insurance plan design for levels 1 and 2
Increase the maximum dental benefit from $1,000 to $1,500
Maintain steps both years
2 percent wage increase effective July 1, 2012
$500 contribution to HRA on January 1, 2013
$500 lump sum
AFSCME, the SEIU and MAPE essentially got everything they were hoping to get. Fortunately, the executive branch and the PEUs don’t have the final say in the matter. Fortunately, the legislative branch has oversight responsibility to protect the taxpayers.
That’s what yesterday’s hearing was about. It isn’t surprising that the DFL attempted to disrupt Sen. Parry:
Democrats portrayed the pay increase as restrained after 19,000 state workers lost three weeks of pay during last year’s government shutdown, caused by a political dispute over taxes and spending between Republican legislative majorities and Dayton.
“What are we doing here?” said Sen. Jim Metzen, DFL-South St. Paul.
AFSCME President Eliot Seide accused Parry of trying to boost his profile in the days leading up to the primary.
“What we saw today was a grand political stunt at the taxpayers’ expense,” Seide said.
First, there’s documented proof that Gov. Dayton shut the government down, not the GOP legislature. Second, the DFL’s dispute wasn’t just with the GOP. The DFL’s dispute was with most Minnesotans, too.
It’s clear that the DFL thinks of PEUs and militant environmentalists as their constituents. There isn’t much proof that they think of the people who vote for them as the people they’re supposed to represent.
That’s why it’s likely that the GOP will keep control of the legislature this November.