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One of the reasons why Republicans should write more letters to the editor is because editorial boards aren’t that bright. This Our View editorial is a perfect example of their bias.

It starts by saying “The Minnesota Supreme Court last week upheld the line-item veto of the state Legislature’s budget and told its warring co-equal branches to work out their problems themselves. The court is right on that. It remains to be seen if Gov. Mark Dayton and the leadership of the Legislature are willing to do that.”

Let’s be clear about this. While there’s a political component to this, it’s still a constitutional issue. By siding with Gov. Dayton, the 5 clowns in black robes gave future governors the upper hand in budget negotiations. All that’s required is for the governor to reach an agreement on a budget, the legislature passes that budget, the governor signs the agreed-upon budget before he line-item vetoes the legislature’s operating budget. At that point, the governor would have a stacked deck in demanding the opposition party renegotiate parts of the deal that the governor didn’t want to compromise on.

We are where we are: Dayton has his hand on the Legislature’s financial windpipe and appears quite willing to strangle it to get what he wants. The Legislature’s argument that the governor is effectively abolishing the legislative branch fell on deaf ears with the justices. And the relationship between the governor and the Legislature grows ever more toxic.

It’s wrong to call the black robe bandits justices. They’re DFL operatives first. They aren’t principled jurists who understand the concept of co-equal branches of government. Further, they’re cowards. They didn’t want to be criticized by the media, which is overwhelmingly liberal, so they ruled in the DFL’s favor.

It is well past time for Dayton and Daudt to rise above their mutual contempt. It is not enough for one to do so. It is incumbent on both to act in good faith. The poison pill provisions must stop; the veto should be the last option if a deal has been struck.

Again, this editorial board plays the ‘they’re both guilty’ card. That’s BS. Forgotten is the fact that Gov. Dayton agreed to the tax bill. If he didn’t agree with it, he shouldn’t have agreed to it before calling the special session.

When the legislature opens its session in February, the House should pass a bill funding the legislature, then send it to the Senate. After it’s passed by the House and Senate, they should send it to Gov. Dayton. If he vetoes the funding bill, the House should immediately schedule an override vote. If the DFL legislators want to kill their political careers for a lame duck governor, let them vote to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto.

If they vote to override Gov. Dayton’s veto, Republicans should highlight the fact that every DFL legislator voted against the GOP tax relief bill in 2017. I’d love hearing them explain why they voted to not cut taxes but voted to override Gov. Dayton’s veto of the Republicans’ tax relief bill in 2017.

Liz Mair’s article strongly hints that the DFL would hold Sen. Franken’s seat if Sen. Franken resigned as a result of this ethics scandal. In her article, Mair wrote “It just so happens that Minnesota has a lot of Democratic women who could make for viable Franken replacements; at least six, depending on who you ask. One is Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. Another is Attorney General Lori Swanson. A third is State Auditor Rebecca Otto. A fourth is state House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman. A fifth is Rep. Betty McCollum. And a sixth is former state House Majority Leader Erin Murphy.”

Mair isn’t wrong that each of these women would be viable candidates in the eyes of DFL activists. The thing that Ms. Mair is missing is the fact that these candidates have in common is that they’re from the Metro. In the eyes of rural Minnesota, especially the Iron Range, these women would be rejected like Hillary was rejected. In fact, I’d posit that they’d get rejected worse than Hillary was in 2016.

Trump won the Eighth District with 53.76% of the vote to Hillary’s 38.27%. None of these candidates would do that well on the Range. Further, most of these candidates favor single-payer health care.

Meanwhile, Republicans have 2 candidates that would be able to run well in the suburbs, the exurbs & rural Minnesota. If Stewart Mills or Kurt Daudt were to run, they’d be favored because they both support the Iron Range, they both support the construction unions and they’re both seen as sensible policymakers.

The DFL’s biggest problem is that they’re the urban party, which helped them win statewide races in the past. That’s coming to an end because farmers and unions are abandoning the DFL because of the DFL’s hostility towards building pipelines, approving mining projects and Gov. Dayton’s hostility towards farmers. The sad part for the DFL is that Gov. Dayton is sensible compared with the 6 ladies mentioned earlier.

If Sen. Franken resigns, which looks more possible each week, Gov. Dayton will have a difficult decision. It’ll take quite a bit to wash the bitter taste of Sen. Franken out of people’s mouth:

At the end of the day, I’d put the DFL’s chances of holding Sen. Franken’s seat as a toss-up.

According to this article, Sen. Dan Schoen and Rep. Tony Cornish will resign soon, with Sen. Schoen resigning Wednesday and Rep. Cornish leaving ” on or before Dec. 1.”

According to the article “House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Majority Leader Joyce Peppin say they asked Cornish to resign.” It then added a statement, saying “We asked Representative Tony Cornish to offer his resignation from the Minnesota House of Representatives. Over the last week, it has become increasingly clear his resignation is the most appropriate course of action for him, his constituents, and our institution. As House leaders, we will continue to take concrete steps to combat misconduct at the legislature and ensure a safe and respectful work environment for legislators, staff, lobbyists, and the public.”

Cornish released his own statement, saying “As a proud former peace officer and longtime champion for public safety, I am forced to face the reality that I have made some at the Capitol feel uncomfortable, and disrespected. To those individuals and specifically the unnamed lobbyist , I sincerely apologize for my unwelcome behavior. “I would also like to apologize to God, my family, my constituents, and friends for the mistakes I have made. After having conferred with family members, friends and advisors, it is with deep regret tonight that I am announcing my intention to resign from the Minnesota House of Representatives. I do so after reaching an agreement in principle with the unnamed lobbyist that has been mentioned. The agreement is basically that I offer the enclosed apology, and resign from my office, on or before December, 1st 2017 and that we both provide each other with a mutual release of any claims against each other now and in the future.”

After the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in Gov. Dayton’s favor, he tried spinning the situation as best he could, saying “It is time for us all to agree that this dispute has been concluded and resume working together for the best interests of Minnesota.” The legislature quickly said, essentially, ‘Thanks but no thanks.’ They said that because Gov. Dayton negotiated a budget settlement in bad faith. Gov. Dayton pushed this lawsuit in his attempt to intimidate the legislature into caving on tax relief. Thankfully, the legislature didn’t relent. Here’s something worth considering, Gov. Dayton. The legislature worked in the best interest of their constituents. They did their best to enact much-needed tax relief while reforming teacher licensure.

The first thing that the legislature will do when the next session convenes on Feb. 20, 2018 is pass a budget restoring their budget. It will sail through the House and pass the Senate. That’s when things get interesting. Will Gov. Dayton veto that funding, setting up a high-stakes showdown on an override vote? That’s a lose-lose situation for Gov. Dayton. If he vetoes the funding, it’s likely that he’ll get overridden.

That’s because I don’t think it’s likely that outstate DFL legislators will vote to end their political careers to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto. If the DFL legislators vote to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto, they can kiss their political careers goodbye. Republicans should portray each DFL legislator as representing Gov. Dayton first, their special interest allies second and their constituents somewhere down their list of priorities.

If Gov. Dayton signs the appropriation, he will have won a victory in court but lost the PR war. Pyrrhic victories don’t make for great legacies. Either way, Gov. Dayton’s victory will be short-lived.

Top legislative leaders are refusing to make key payments on a new Senate office building, an action that could hurt the state’s credit rating, and they won’t allow the executive branch to use nonpartisan staff to draft proposals. “I am not willing to bail the governor out,” Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt said Thursday. “He needs to own that.”

This video perfectly explains what Gov. Dayton has done with his line-item veto:

Republicans need to not let Gov. Dayton off the hook. Gov. Dayton is a lame duck governor who must be thinking about what his legacy will be. At this point, a significant portion of his legacy will be shutting down government once and calling special sessions to finish the budget. Will he want to preside over a downgrading of Minnesota’s credit rating, too? That will be on him if he vetoes February’s appropriation funding the legislature.

Each time Republicans have stood up to him over the budget, Gov. Dayton has lost stature while losing the fight. There’s no reason to think he won’t lose this fight, too.

Finally, the Supreme Court disgraced themselves yesterday. They didn’t rule on whether Gov. Dayton’s line-item veto achieved an unconstitutional result, which is the central question. They didn’t rule on that question while pretending to exercise judicial restraint. They exercised judicial cowardice, not judicial restraint. They did that because they didn’t want to hand Gov. Dayton a political defeat.

That’s pathetic. Whatever it is, it isn’t justice.

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To: Speaker Daudt, Sen. Gazelka
From: Gary Gross, Chief troublemaker, Uppity Peasants Brigade
Subject: Gov. Dayton standoff

Gentlemen, I’m proud of you for standing your ground in this fight against Gov. Dayton. Don’t renegotiate the tax bill that Gov. Dayton signed. Instead, tell Gov. Dayton that you’ll broadcast the fact that Gov. Dayton and the DFL didn’t put a high priority on serving their constituents.

Instead of renegotiating the tax bill, the House should immediately submit a clean funding bill that funds the legislature for the rest of the biennium. Pass it ASAP, then send it to the Senate. If Gov. Dayton vetoes the clean funding bill, I’d schedule an override vote immediately. If the House or Senate votes to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto, tell each outstate DFL legislator that voted to sustain Gov. Dayton’s veto that they’d better prepare for the onslaught of advertising that’s heading their direction. Tell these DFL legislators that their constituents will hear that they voted against the GOP tax relief package for farmers, small businesses and the middle class. Tell these DFL legislators that their constituents will hear about their votes to keep the legislature shut down, too.

Let them know that voting with Gov. Dayton will come at a political price.

Gentlemen, tell the DFL that listening to their special interest allies will cost them bigtime this election cycle. Gov. Dayton told Tom Hauser that he wants to drag you back to the negotiating table because he’s worried that the government might run a deficit. Like you, I’ve paid attention to Gov. Dayton’s message from the start of his administration until his lame-duck year. Not once has Gov. Dayton or his DFL allies said a thing about being worried that families have enough to put a roof over their head, save for retirement or for their children’s college education or help meet their bills.

Thanks for standing tall. Thanks for not letting Gov. Dayton’s special interest allies bully you. Keep up the good work.

Earlier this week, I wrote about Paul Gazelka’s Strib op-ed in this post but I missed Speaker Daudt’s op-ed. I’m upset with myself that I did. That’s because Speaker Daudt’s op-ed opened my eyes to something that I hadn’t considered previously.

The first paragraph that caught my attention was when Speaker Daudt wrote “That’s why at the end of the last legislative session, I was so proud of the historically productive results we achieved. A Republican-led House and Senate worked with our Democratic governor and balanced the budget while investing a historic amount into roads and bridges; boosted funding to our schools; passed Real ID enabling Minnesotans to travel; lowered health insurance premiums; and reduced taxes for millions of Minnesotans. Most important, we did it together.”

Lots of people have written about the fact that this was a productive session. There’s no disputing that fact. The paragraph that got my undivided attention was where Speaker Daudt wrote “The Legislature didn’t get everything it wanted, and the governor didn’t get everything he wanted. But in working alongside one another, we brought the session to a productive conclusion. Then, perhaps after hearing complaints from members of his own party, Gov. Mark Dayton expressed second thoughts about the compromises he had negotiated. Despite personally having agreed to each and every one of the bills, including the amount and provisions within the tax relief bill, the governor tried to go back on his word. He line-item-vetoed funding for the Legislature in an attempt to force us back to the negotiating table.”

Think about that a split-second. Neither the governor nor the legislature got everything they wanted but they negotiated a deal that both supposedly could live with. After Gov. Dayton agreed to the size of the tax relief bill and the provisions in it, the legislature passed the bill and sent it to Gov. Dayton. Despite the agreement and the fact that Gov. Dayton got lots of the things he’d prioritized, Gov. Dayton line-item vetoed the funding for the legislature.

Gov. Dayton said he vetoed their funding to coerce the legislature into renegotiating the Tax Bill. I’m betting that isn’t why he vetoed it. I’m betting that his special interest allies told him that they were vehemently opposed to the tax bill for ideological reasons. In 2011, Gov. Dayton reneged on a budget agreement he’d negotiated with then-Speaker Zellers and then-Senate Majority Leader Koch. They reached an agreement. They returned to their caucuses to tell them they had a deal. When they returned to Gov. Dayton’s office, they learned that Rep. Thissen and Sen. Bakk talked Gov. Dayton into reneging on the deal that he’d agreed to and initialed.

There’s a significant part of Gov. Dayton that simply can’t sign a bill unless he’s certain he’s getting the better end of the agreement. He’s simply too rigid. That’s why 3 of the 4 budget sessions during Gov. Dayton’s time in office required a special session. What’s particularly upsetting is that Gov. Dayton won’t admit that he’s attempting to preserve his bargaining leverage when the legislature returns in February. Both sides know that the legislature has some reserve funds that they can use but they both know that it isn’t enough to fund the legislature for the rest of the biennium.

It’s also upsetting to hear Gov. Dayton accuse the legislature of lying to him and to the Supreme Court:

Gov. Dayton needs to quit with his my-way-or-the-highway shtick. It’s getting old.

When Gov. Dayton whined about being lied to about the House’s and Senate’s reserves being enough to allow them to operate until the 2018 session starts, he said that the legislature could then attempt to override his veto. That’s a rather duplicitous statement made during a speech when he accused Republicans of lying to him, “to Minnesotans and to the Supreme Court.” It’s duplicitous because he knows the chances of a single DFL legislator voting against him is virtually non-existent if not actually non-existent.

Further, Gov. Dayton knows that his line-item veto didn’t just zero out the legislature’s budget for 3 months or 6 months. Gov. Dayton’s line-item veto eliminated funding for the entire biennium. Saying that the legislature has the option of overriding his veto is duplicitous because, while technically available, the reality is that it isn’t a realistic option. It’s worth noting that legal theories don’t exist in a vacuum. It isn’t honest to say that the legislature can override his veto when everyone knows that the DFL won’t supply a single vote to override.

During his press conference, Gov. Dayton said that the “2017 Tax Bill will seriously jeopardize Minnesota government’s future and financial stability.” Notice that he didn’t say anything about the Tax Bill’s benefits to families, hard-working small businesses and farmers. That’s a pretty clear insight into Gov. Dayton’s governing philosophy. It’s the DFL’s governing philosophy, too.

By comparison, when Speaker Daudt spoke about the impasse, he said that “we consider ourselves to be in survival mode. The Governor has literally eliminated our funding. The Court has given us funding through October 1st. We do have some funds that we can use beyond that. We will look at any other option to make sure that people have a voice here at the Capitol in their elected representatives. We feel very strongly about upholding Minnesotans’ constitutional right to 3 branches of government.”

The difference in tone between Gov. Dayton and Speaker Daudt was sharp. Gov. Dayton sounded like a petulant child throwing a hissy fit. Speaker Daudt sounded like an adult.

When Paul Gazelka stepped to the podium at Friday’s press conference, one of the first things Sen. Gazelka said was “both mediation and why we sued was because the governor can’t defund the House and the Senate. That’s the issue. The issue isn’t how far we can run. We have a 2-year budget that we have to fund that we have to fund all the way to July, 2019.” I hadn’t seen this press conference but I’m happy that I’m on the same wavelength as Sen. Gazelka. I wrote about that identical principle earlier this week.

Another thing that caught my attention happened when Sen. Gazelka said “We went back in our notes and found that the governor absolutely said that he’d support the tax bill as is on the Saturday before the end. It would have been a shock had he not signed that bill.” Let’s examine that a minute.

In 2011, GOP legislative leaders met with Gov. Dayton on June 30 to make a final attempt at reaching a budget deal before the midnight end of the biennium. When Gov. Dayton agreed to a budget deal that didn’t include tax increases, legislative leaders went back to their caucuses to tell them that they’d hammered out a deal that didn’t include tax increases. When Speaker Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch returned to Gov. Dayton’s office, Gov. Dayton told GOP leadership that he’d rejected the deal that he’d initially signed off on.

After a 2-week shutdown, Gov. Dayton agreed to the budget that the GOP leadership had proposed on June 30. When he finally accepted the deal, Gov. Dayton admitted that he didn’t realize Republicans had stripped out the controversial language from their proposal.

This year, Gov. Dayton signed off on the GOP Tax Relief Bill. Now he wants the GOP to renegotiate their tax relief bill in exchange for him signing a bill funding legislative operations. Sound familiar? If you answered yes, it’s because Gov. Dayton has shown a habit of reneging on deals that he’s initially signed off on.

Here’s the GOP press conference from last Friday:

I’d recommend watching Gov. Dayton’s’ press conference, too. Watch the difference between Gov. Dayton’s attitude and GOP leadership’s attitude. Gov. Dayton looked peevish and petulant. Speaker Daudt and Sen. Gazelka looked like adults.

Like in other years, GOP leadership will be waiting to pass a bill to restore funding for the legislature when the legislature opens in February. It’s still debatable whether Gov. Dayton will sign that bill. If Gov. Dayton vetoes it, Speaker Daudt should immediately schedule an override vote. Let’s see if DFL legislators would vote to not fund themselves. If they stick with Gov. Dayton, rural DFL legislators should expect to be tied to Gov. Dayton. They should also start writing their concession speeches or their retirement speeches.

If the DFL sides with Gov. Dayton, it will be proof that they’re Democrats first and that representing their constituents ranks way down their list of priorities.

Now that both sides have agreed to a mediator, the next question is whether that mediator will get Mark Dayton to negotiate in good faith. The odds of that are slim.

Based on past reporting, Gov. Dayton wants the GOP Tax Relief Bill significantly reduced. He wants the cigarette tax breaks eliminated. Further, he wants business property tax relief reduced. Meanwhile, Republicans have little incentive to modify their tax bill, which was already trimmed down from the 2016 bill that passed with overwhelming support.

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the line-item veto was constitutional, which wasn’t surprising. They also ruled that a constitutional tool can’t be used to achieve an unconstitutional result. Part of their ruling stated emphatically that Minnesotans have the right to a fully functioning legislature. When the court said that, they telegraphed where this case was heading if a negotiated settlement isn’t reached.

Further reducing the Republicans’ incentive to renegotiate their tax relief bill is the fact that Mark Dayton signed the bill into law. The Court can’t negate that. They can’t order the legislature to reduce the size of the tax relief package. They couldn’t enforce that if they ordered it.

I wouldn’t blame Republicans if they didn’t give much in mediation. The Court ordered mediation because Mark Dayton negotiated in bad faith. The Court is asking them to negotiate in good faith, something that Dayton doesn’t have a reputation for doing.

Negotiations are expected to start next week. I’m not expecting miraculous results:

Emperor Dayton apparently thinks that he doesn’t have to worry what Minnesotans think anymore now that he’s a lame duck. Monday afternoon, Mike Rothman, Dayton’s commissioner for the Department of Commerce, announced that Enbridge hadn’t proved the necessity for replacing Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline.

According to the article’s opening paragraph, “Enbridge Energy has failed to establish the need for its proposal to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota and it might be better to just shut down the existing line, the Minnesota Department of Commerce said Monday.” As stunning a statement as that is, it pales in comparison with the Department of Commerce’s filings with the Public Utilities Commission.

According to the article, it said “In filings with the state Public Utilities Commission on Monday, the agency said refineries in Minnesota and the upper Midwest already have sufficient supplies of crude oil and little capacity for processing more of it. It said Minnesota’s demand for gasoline and other refined petroleum products appears unlikely to increase over the long term. And it said the proposal carries serious environmental and socio-economic risks that outweigh the benefits to Minnesota. ‘In light of the serious risks of the existing Line 3 and the limited benefit that the existing Line 3 provides to Minnesota refineries, Minnesota would be better off if Enbridge proposed to cease operations of the existing Line 3, without any new pipeline being built,’ said a filing by Kate O’Connell, manager of the department’s Energy Regulation and Planning Unit.”

I don’t know what Ms. O’Connell is smoking but it must be the good stuff. Thinking that “Minnesota’s demand for gasoline and other refined petroleum products appears unlikely to increase over the long term” is proof of delusional thinking. Most importantly, it’s proof that the DFL doesn’t care about farmers or construction unions.

Not building the pipeline doesn’t mean that this crude oil won’t make it to a refinery. It simply means it’ll be part of an oil train. Putting it on an oil train hurts Minnesotans 2 different ways. First, it ties up trains so farmers’ products can’t get to market as fast. Next, putting oil on trains creates a safety risk.

Despite the Department of Commerce’s head-in-the-sand statements, the United States is going through an energy revival. We’re becoming energy dominant. We’re becoming a net exporter of oil and other fossil fuels. Despite those indisputable facts, Minnesota’s Department of Commerce wants to cripple Enbridge.

This pipeline project is a $7,500,000,000 project that would create thousands of construction jobs. If the DFL gets its way, it will shortchange construction workers. Isn’t it impossible to be the party of labor if you’re opposing labor’s highest priority projects?

Here’s proof that Emperor Dayton is out-of-touch:

“This document will arouse considerable controversy,” the governor said in a statement. “That discord should be recognized as part of the wisdom of the process.”

Speaker Daudt has a different perspective:

Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt called the filings “yet another example of (Democrats) siding with extreme environmental activists while putting Minnesotans’ jobs and safety at risk.”

There’s no reason to think that the environmental activist wing of the DFL will let any gubernatorial candidate (that includes Tim Walz) do anything to rebuild Minnesota’s energy infrastructure. This is a major project:

Commerce said that if the PUC approves the project, it should require a stronger emergency response plan, thicker pipe and other safety measures, as well as more insurance coverage and other financial assurances for cleaning up major releases and decommissioning the pipeline when it reaches the end of its useful life.

There’s no chance that the PUC will approve this during the Dayton administration. Dayton has filled PUC with environmental activists who hate fossil fuels.