DFL politicians consistently say Photo ID doesn’t have bipartisan support. It’s true that Photo ID doesn’t have bipartisan legislative support. That doesn’t mean rank-and-file Democrats don’t support Photo ID. It just means DFL politicians aren’t listening to their constituents.
Rep. John Benson is the latest DFL politician making the claim:
Democrats argued against inserting political policy in the constitution. “Constitutional amendments ought to be bipartisan. This one is very partisan,” said Rep. John Benson, DFL-Minnetonka.
I wrote here that Photo ID has bipartisan support:
Party affiliation – Yes, 92% of Republicans support voter ID. So do 76% of independents…and 59% of those wingnutty Democrats in Minnesota, too.
With near-unanimous support amongst Republicans and three-fourths of independents, it’s impossible to claim this constitutional amendment doesn’t have bipartisan support. Even 60% of DFL voters support Photo ID.
If politicians recite the DFL’s Photo ID chanting points, they’ll lose credibility with independents, the people who decide elections.
Paul Thissen’s behavior won’t play well with independents, either:
The mood of the hearing grew unusually tense, particularly when House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, ended the debate and called for a vote. House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, urged Dean not to cut off the discussion.
“Representative Thissen, we’ve been discussing this amendment for 45 minutes,” Dean said.
Thissen later told Dean that he thought it was interesting that he was suppressing debate on a measure to suppress voting.
Rep. Thissen isn’t a man of integrity. He’s a punk, a partisan obstructionist and a saboteur. He isn’t honest.
Rep. Thissen knows that Photo Id doesn’t suppress voting. That’s another DFL myth about Photo ID. It doesn’t have a basis in fact. If they had proof, they wouldn’t rely on allegations.
It’s time to call Rep. Thissen out. Where’s the proof that Photo ID suppresses voter turnout? Where’s the proof that shows state and county governments can’t get drivers licenses or state ID cards to seniors, minorities and young people?
Don’t forget that allegations, whether they’re made by the Secretary of State’s office, by DFL activists or somebody else, aren’t proof.
In 2009, the DFL leadership pushed for limiting debate on bills, both in committee and on the floor. I watched that debate. Rep. Thissen didn’t lift a finger to speak out against those limitations. In 2009, Rep. Thissen fully supported silencing the minority.
If the DFL continues to ignore the vast majority of Minnesotans, that’s their option. Republican legislative candidates won’t hesitate in highlighting the DFL’s willingness to put their special interests first, their constituents last.
This paragraph is troubling:
But the effort to forge a bipartisan voter ID compromise hasn’t gained much traction. After Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a voter ID bill last session, Republicans have made it a priority to take the issue to voters this fall. Dayton cannot veto a constitutional amendment.
The important thing to remember in this fight is that DFL politicians don’t want to do the right thing. In this instance, doing the right thing is doing what the vast majority of Minnesotans want.
Compromise isn’t a virtue if there’s overwhelming support for legislation. In this instance, an overwhelming portion of Minnesotans want Photo ID. If anyone should move, it’s the DFL. Why should the GOP move when they’re on the 76% side of a 76-18% issue?
If the DFL wants to be stubborn about Photo ID, they should prepare to pay the price for their obstructionism.