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Yesterday, I wrote that Rep. Thissen reflexively criticized the Republicans’ transportation proposal. This post will show how Sen. Bakk’s math doesn’t add up. Here’s what Sen. Bakk said about the Republican transportation plan:

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL- Cook, said constitutionally-dedicated funding, like the gas tax, is a better approach for transportation. Bakk said the House Republican plan to use general fund revenue could too easily be undone by the next Legislature.

“There’s just no guarantee that roads and public infrastructure are going to continue to be a priority once you’ve put them in the mix of having to compete with everything in the state budget,” Bakk said. “I think it’s unlikely that transportation competes in that environment in the next budget cycle.”

First, the DFL essentially raised the gas tax unilaterally in 2008. That tax, we were told, would solve our problems. I wrote this post in 2008. It turns out that that “constitutionally-dedicated funding” plan didn’t fix anything, which proves that Sen. Bakk is full of it.

Why trust a guy who promised a solution that didn’t work the last time? It’s foolish to trust people who’ve failed us before. That’s what Bakk did. There’s also no reason to trust Sen. Bakk, especially after he said that “There’s just no guarantee that roads and public infrastructure are going to continue to be a priority once you’ve put them in the mix of having to compete with everything in the state budget.”

Under the GOP plan, those sales taxes on lease vehicles, auto parts and car rentals wouldn’t be part of the general fund. They’d be part of the Transportation Stability Fund. The only way that changes is if the DFL would vote to take money out of that fund to pay for other things that they want.

If Republicans hold their House majority and retake their majority in the Senate, they could put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2018. If that passed, then the Transportation Stability Fund would become constitutionally dedicated fund.

Finally, beyond Sen. Bakk’s shaky math, it’s shameful that the DFL is ignoring their constituents. According to KSTP’s latest poll, 75% of Minnesotans oppose raising the gas tax. What part of that doesn’t the DFL understand? Perhaps the better question is this: Does the DFL care what their constituents want? I’m not certain they do. At minimum, I haven’t seen proof that they care about their constituents, though there’s tons of proof they care about their special interest allies.

In fact, there’s ample proof that that’s all the DFL cares about.

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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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House Speaker Kurt Daudt issued this statement after announcing the House GOP transportation proposal:

“Minnesota families rely on our road and bridge infrastructure to get their kids to school and themselves to work. To help them, our goal from the beginning was to refocus transportation dollars on roads and bridges and deliver a real, long-term solution without increasing their tax burden. I’m proud today to unveil our vision for the next decade that achieves our shared goal,” announced Speaker Daudt.

“Republicans have developed a thoughtful solution to adequately maintain and expand our road and bridge infrastructure without raising gas taxes, because Minnesotans can’t afford to pay more at the pump. Our proposal will benefit small cities, rural areas, suburban communities, and elderly and disabled Minnesotans while also making significant commitments to state roads,” said Senate Republican Leader Hann.

“Most Minnesotans count on safe roads and short commutes every day, and our plan focuses on those daily needs. It fills potholes and repairs streets in their neighborhoods and will alleviate congestion on Minnesota roads. Now, Minnesotans have a choice between smart budgeting that dedicates existing transportation taxes to roads and bridges without a tax increase and a plan that raises the gas tax by at least 16 cents per gallon,” added House Majority Leader Peppin.

Predictably, the DFL immediately criticized the plan:

DFLers, in contrast, attacked the Republican plan for shifting money from other sources. “What programs will (Republicans) cut to pay for (money) they are taking from (the) general fund?” Dayton’s deputy chief of staff Linden Zakula wrote on Twitter.

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, responded that the GOP plan “irresponsibly raids” the general fund. “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,” he said in a prepared statement.

Here’s my response to Mssrs. Zakula and Thissen: What corrupt programs will the DFL fund with the money that the GOP proposes to fix roads and bridges with? Does the DFL plan to finance more trips for Sen. Hayden? Or would they rather direct money to Community Action? Would the DFL rather funnel more money to MnSCU to sign contracts with their friends to do ‘consulting’ work ?

Actually, Rep. Thissen, putting some things on the state’s credit card is the right thing to do. Why should this generation pay the entire cost for fixing bridges? Shouldn’t subsequent generations pay for their fair share of the cost since they’re going to get a substantial benefit from new bridges? Why shouldn’t younger generations pay for some of the cost of lane expansions?

There’s nothing wrong with paying for road repairs with current money. Maintenance is a short-term proposition. Fixing potholes is something that’s done annually. Widening State Trunk Highway 23 to 4 lanes from St. Cloud to Foley is a one-time thing. That’s something that should be paid for by multiple generations.

Finally, it’s interesting to watch the DFL immediately insinuate that Republicans want to “siphon money from schools and hospitals.” It didn’t matter to Rep. Thissen that there’s literally no proof that Republicans want to do that. In fact, there’s proof that Republicans don’t want to do that.

That’s irrelevant to Rep. Thissen. The truth isn’t relevant to him because it’s about frightening people with baseless allegations. It isn’t about having an honest debate based on reality. Simply put, the DFL is the Fearmongering Party.

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The DFL’s full court press for “transportation” is nothing more than the DFL’s attempt to increase spending on transit projects. There’s no question whether the DFL wants another middle class tax increase. This article highlights how the DFL’s transportation activists push for transit funding:

Someone asked why the draft update of the state’s rail plan seems to put extending Northstar commuter rail to St. Cloud on the back burner behind other rail corridors that wouldn’t have as high of ridership. Zelle said that while Dayton supports Northstar and thinks it should have been built to St. Cloud in the first place, he is skeptical there will be any federal funding for intercity rail projects.

That’s relatively mild compared with this in-your-face LTE about the ‘need’ to expand Northstar:

Now is the time to push again for Northstar for the following reasons:

  • The economy is on the upswing.
  • We have a new member of Congress, Tom Emmer.
  • The transportation bill is up for renewal this spring in the U.S. Congress.
  • The Homeland Security bill is up for discussion.
  • Minnesota has a budget surplus of a billion or more dollars.
  • The sequestration law and review will likely increase defense spending, i.e. troop transportation.
  • Northstar creates economic development, especially housing.

I believe Northstar should come to St. Cloud and go beyond, heading north to Little Falls, Camp Ripley and end at Brainerd — Camp Ripley because of military needs and Homeland Security issues and Brainerd as an entry point for the lake and resort industries.

The Brainerd area could see the development of a privately owned shuttle service to get visitors and lake residents off the Northstar on Friday afternoons and evenings. What a blessing to the environment if we could reduce the thousands of automobiles on U.S. Highway 10, Minnesota Highway 25 and on Interstate Highway 94 on Friday and Sunday afternoons.Northstar isn’t what’s needed. In fact, it’s a hindrance, not a benefit. What’s needed is money to fix Minnesota’s roads and bridges. That means cutting funding for things like Northstar and the Southwest Light Rail project. Those projects won’t help goods get to markets. They’ll help implement the Met Council’s goal of a transit-driven state transportation system.

Several years ago, before Northstar came to Big Lake, we had a grassroots group called “All Aboard” that lobbied for Northstar at the Minnesota Legislature. “All Aboard” had great community support including the veterans hospital; St. Cloud Hospital; colleges and universities including St. Cloud State University, St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict; trades and labor; chambers of commerce; and other local businesses.

Now, with the establishment of the “Greater St. Cloud Community Priorities” we have the broad support to get the ball rolling or the “train rolling.”

The thought that there’s a groundswell of support for Northstar is BS. There’s a handful of go-along-to-get-along people who support expanding Northstar. Finding a transit activist in Brainerd, Little Falls or Rice is virtually impossible. Finding a dozen Northstar activists in St. Cloud is difficult at best.

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The only thing missing from the Bakk-Dayton transportation press conference was a picture of them kissing after making up. True to form, Gov. Dayton said at least one thing that’s utterly laughable:

Gov. Mark Dayton didn’t mince words Thursday when it came to the House Republican transportation plan, calling it “fiction.”

“All we get from House Republicans and even Senate Republicans is whack at this and whack at that, and rant about this and rant about that,” Dayton told reporters. “There’s nothing coming forward except a slice of the surplus and a double dose of make-believe.”

This coming from the buffoon who published this side-by-side comparison of his plan vs. the Republicans’ plan:

Check out this BS from the table:

In January, Governor Dayton introduced a straight-forward, honest proposal to make long-overdue investments in our aging, under-funded transportation system. The Governor’s proposal would honestly address our state’s $6 billion road and bridge deficit over the next ten years, fix 2,200 miles of state roadways and 330 bridges, provide nearly $2.4 billion for local road and bridge improvements, and invest $2.9 billion in Greater Minnesota and Metro Area transit improvements.

By contrast, the transportation proposal introduced by Republicans in the House of Representatives would fix just 40 miles of local roads over the next four years.

According to Gov. Dayton’s own document, his tax increase, most of which will be paid for by the middle class, will be $13,150,000,000. By comparison, his tax increase from 2013 was $2,100,000,000 for the current biennium.

For all of his “tax the rich” rhetoric, Gov. Dayton’s history is that he’s raised taxes on the middle class far more than he’s raised taxes on “the rich.” The numbers that he’s published verify that statement. Gov. Dayton’s transportation taxes (roads, bridges and transit) are a bigger tax increase than his 2013 tax increase. His 2013 tax increase increased revenues by $1,050,000,000 per year. The Dayton-DFL transportation tax increase is projected to raise transportation taxes by $1,315,000,000 per year.

With a $2,000,000,000 surplus and over $1,000,000,000 in the state’s rainy day fund, there’s no justification for a middle class tax increase, especially a middle class tax increase of this size.

Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt said last week that the expanding budget surplus should mean a gas tax hike is off the table. After Dayton’s Thursday news conference, House Transportation Chair Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, said he plans to release the details of the House GOP proposal this month.

Kelly declined to say how much it will spend but said it will likely include money from the surplus, some borrowing and dedicating existing tax revenues from auto parts, rental cars and leased vehicles. “These are real dollars,” Kelly said. “This does mean investment into transportation and it does not mean a tax increase.”

Dedicating existing tax revenues from “auto parts, rental cars and leased vehicles” makes more sense than raising taxes on the middle class. Redirecting existing taxes to pay for fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges is infinitely better than raising taxes on the middle class.

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Thursday afternoon, Gov. Dayton sent out an email highlighting their transportation plan. Saying that their math is questionable is being charitable in the extreme. Here’s what I’m talking about:

In January, Governor Dayton introduced a straight-forward, honest proposal to make long-overdue investments in our aging, under-funded transportation system. The Governor’s proposal would honestly address our state’s $6 billion road and bridge deficit over the next ten years, fix 2,200 miles of state roadways and 330 bridges, provide nearly $2.4 billion for local road and bridge improvements, and invest $2.9 billion in Greater Minnesota and Metro Area transit improvements.

By contrast, the transportation proposal introduced by Republicans in the House of Representatives would fix just 40 miles of local roads over the next four years.

That’s BS. First off, the Dayton-DFL plan would raise taxes by $6,000,000,000 over the next 10 years. The Dayton-DFL plan doesn’t focus on just roads and bridges, though. A significant portion of that tax increase comes in the form of a sales tax for the 7-county metro area which is dedicated to transit projects.

That means the Dayton-DFL plan raises taxes dedicated to roads and bridges by $450,000,000 a year for 10 years. The initial Republican plan called for spending $750,000,000 over the next 2 years. All of that money is dedicated to fixing roads and bridges. The final GOP plan will likely jump to $1,250,000,000 for the next 2 years. If that’s what the GOP plan calls for, that means Republicans will spend $400,000,000 more on fixing roads and bridges over the next 2 years than the Dayton-DFL plan will spend.

I’d love hearing the DFL’s explanation on how they’ll spend less money fixing roads and bridges over the next 2 years than Republicans but they’ll fix 55 times as many miles of roads as Republicans. That’s with an asterisk, too. According to the Dayton-DFL email, the DFL allegedly will fix 2,200 miles of state roadways and 330 bridges. According to the Dayton-DFL email, Republicans will only fix 40 miles of roads.

I might’ve been born at night but it wasn’t last night. This chart is pure fiction or it’s proof that the Dayton-DFL transportation plan is a massive middle class tax increase:

Check out this statement:

Would invest $785 million per year over the next 10 years to repair and replace state and local roads and bridges.

If that’s accurate, that’s $7,850,000,000 worth of middle class tax increases over the next 10 years. Earlier in the email, Gov. Dayton said that his proposal “would honestly address our state’s $6 billion road and bridge deficit over the next ten years.” According to the chart, they’d spend nearly $8,000,000,000 on fixing Minnesota’s roads. Which is it?

The $7,850,000,000 figure is 31% bigger than the $6,000,000,000 figure. They can’t both be right.

The difference, I suspect, is a significantly bigger middle class tax increase.

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Conn Carroll’s article is frightening. Check this out:

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed Monday that President Obama is “very interested” in the idea of raising taxes through unilateral executive action.

“The president certainly has not indicated any reticence in using his executive authority to try and advance an agenda that benefits middle class Americans,” Earnest said in response to a question about Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) calling on Obama to raise more than $100 billion in taxes through IRS executive action.

“Now I don’t want to leave you with the impression that there is some imminent announcement, there is not, at least that I know of,” Earnest continued. “But the president has asked his team to examine the array of executive authorities that are available to him to try to make progress on his goals. So I am not in a position to talk in any detail at this point, but the president is very interested in this avenue generally,” Earnest finished.

The thought that President Obama “has asked his team to examine the array of executive authorities” on raising taxes without congressional approval is proof that he’s either a scofflaw or he isn’t the constitutional scholar he claims he is. Here’ the text of the heart of Article 1, Section 7:

SECTION. 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Article 1 of the Constitution deals exclusively with the Legislative Branch’s authorities and responsibilities. Here’s the only time anyone from the executive branch is mentioned in Article 1:

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

If it took President Obama’s team more than 15 minutes to determine “the array of executive authorities that are available to him” for unilaterally raising taxes, then they’re illiterate.

A first-year law student knows that the Executive Branch doesn’t have any authority to raise taxes, especially unilaterally.

The thought that a Democrat US senator sent President Obama a letter “imploring the Obama administration” to raise taxes through executive action is proof that Democrats hate the Constitution. President Obama’s overreaches have repeatedly gotten shot down unanimously by the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Democrats have sat quietly on the sidelines without dissenting.

The Democrats’ silence is deafening.

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I’m not the world’s best predictor but some things aren’t predictions. They’re sure things. I wrote this post to lay out the statistics indicating that the Dayton-DFL cigarette tax increase would hurt Minnesota’s convenience stores. That prediction took less than a month to come true:

“Petro Serve USA” CEO Kent Satrang says the shift to North Dakota was almost immediate. Satrang says the convenience store industry lobbied the legislature for a smaller tax increase.

I wish I could say that these businesses weren’t getting hurt but I can’t. Thanks to the Dayton-DFL cigarette tax increase, they’re getting hurt. Don Davis’ article highlights the situation:

Recent news reports of cigarettes being smuggled into Minnesota come as no surprise.

Dale Erickson, general manager of Henry’s Foods in Alexandria, told Governor Mark Dayton in a March 2013 town hall meeting in Moorhead that a proposed cigarette tax increase would mean Interstate 94 “will become a black market highway” as cigarettes taxed at a lower North Dakota rate would show up in Minnesota. “There is no way to trace the cigarettes,” Erickson said.

Erickson and convenience store owner Frank Orton told Dayton that they would lose business to Fargo, North Dakota stores that collect smaller taxes. “Minnesotans could drive across the bridge to Fargo and buy their cigarettes for $18 less per carton,” Erickson said.

The Dayton-DFL ‘solution’ is as foolish as their tax increase is hurtful:

[S]tate officials say they need $1 million to improve their tobacco law enforcement. Officials say cigarette smuggling costs the state $2.6 million in tax revenues.

Repealing the cigarette tax would help these small businesses that are getting hurt. Unfortunately, that isn’t an option with the DFL. Republicans should refuse to spend a penny on additional “tobacco law enforcement” by saying that we don’t need to tie up the courts with these prosecutions.

God bless John McCormack for highlighting the lie in Gail Collins’ column. Check this out from Collins’ column:

Mainly, though, The Speech was about waging war on public employee unions, particularly the ones for teachers. “In 2010, there was a young woman named Megan Sampson who was honored as the outstanding teacher of the year in my state. And not long after she got that distinction, she was laid off by her school district,” said Walker, lacing into teacher contracts that require layoffs be done by seniority.

All of that came as a distinct surprise to Claudia Felske, a member of the faculty at East Troy High School who actually was named a Wisconsin Teacher of the Year in 2010. In a phone interview, Felske said she still remembers when she got the news at a “surprise pep assembly at my school.” As well as the fact that those layoffs happened because Walker cut state aid to education.

The title of Collins’ article is “Scott Walker Needs an Eraser”. I’d argue that it’s Ms. Collins that needs either an eraser or an editor. Ms. Sampson didn’t lose her job in 2010 because Gov. Walker “cut state aid to education.”

The reason McCormack highlighted that part of the paragraph is because Scott Walker didn’t take the oath of office as Wisconsin’s 45th governor until January, 2011, which means that Ms. Sampson lost her job because of Democrat Gov. Jim Doyle’s budget cuts to education.

McCormack’s article actually highlights this:

Emily Koczela had been anxiously waiting for months for Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s controversial budget repair bill to take effect. Koczela, the finance director for the Brown Deer school district, had been negotiating with the local union, trying to get it to accept concessions in order to make up for a $1 million budget shortfall. But the union wouldn’t budge.

“We laid off 27 [teachers] as a precautionary measure,” Koczela told me. “They were crying. Some of these people are my friends.”

On June 29 at 12:01 a.m., Koczela could finally breathe a sigh of relief. The budget repair bill?—?delayed for months by protests, runaway state senators, and a legal challenge that made its way to the state’s supreme court?—?was law. The 27 teachers on the chopping block were spared.

With “collective bargaining rights” limited to wages, Koczela was able to change the teachers’ benefits package to fill the budget gap. Requiring teachers to contribute 5.8 percent of their salary toward pensions saved $600,000. Changes to their health care plan?—?such as a $10 office visit co-pay (up from nothing)?—?saved $200,000. Upping the workload from five classes, a study hall, and two prep periods to six classes and two prep periods saved another $200,000. The budget was balanced.

Here’s the difference between Jim Doyle, who supposedly supports teachers, and Scott Walker, who supposedly hates union workers: Scott Walker’s reforms saved jobs, Jim Doyle’s status quo policies would’ve led to teacher layoffs or major property tax increases.

Gail Collins’ editors either don’t give a shit about the truth or Gail Collins doesn’t give a shit about the truth. Either that or liberal ‘journalists’ are only interested in pushing the progressives’ agenda. Either that or it’s all of the above.

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Gov. Dayton’s justification for his pay increases is a novel approach:

Gov. Dayton’s documents show Hennepin and Dakota County administrators make more than Minnesota’s highest paid Commissioners, who earn $154,000.

Hennepin County’s top administrator earns $194,750; Dakota County’s administrator, $165,776. City managers in St. Louis Park, Edina, Woodbury and Eden Prairie all make more than top state commissioners.

So do Department directors in Minneapolis, Bloomington and Hennepin County.

Here’s a partial list:
St. Louis Park Manager – $162,240
Edina Manager – $157,602
Woodbury Administrator – $157,227
Minneapolis Public Works – $156,997
Bloomington Public Works – $156,148
Hennepin County Transportation – $156,000
Eden Prairie Manager – $155,584

In Plymouth, the City manager makes $142,800, about the same ($144,991) as the Minnesota Commissioners of Administration, Agriculture, Civil Rights, Commerce and Labor.

Apparently, Gov. Dayton’s justification for overpaying his commissioners is that poorly run cities and counties are overpaying their employees even worse. Here’s the job description of the Hennepin County Administrator:

The county administrator makes recommendations to the county board, implements its policies, provides leadership to the organization and assures effective delivery of county services.

That’s worth $200,000 a year? That’s insulting. Further, cities and counties that overpay their administrators, directors and managers have to pay for that somehow, most likely with higher property taxes.

That means Gov. Dayton is justifying his pay increases by citing city and county employees that are driving up cities’ and counties’ property taxes. Further, where’s the proof that these cities’ and counties’ employees are actually doing a good job? That’s got to be part of the discussion, doesn’t it?

I won’t even get into that with Gov. Dayton’s commissioners. Myron Frans is the highest paid commissioner at $154,992. Frans is the corruptocrat that accepted the gambling lobby’s estimate that e-pull tabs would bring in $35,000,000 per year, which was supposed to pay for the public’s share of the Vikings stadium. The estimate Frans approved fell just $32,600,000 short of what was needed. Based on his incompetence-to-salary ratio, we’d need to pay commissioners $500,000 a year, not $155,000.

Finally, if these cities want to pay their employees these salaries, then it’s time to question whether they need LGA.

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