A loyal reader of LFR sent me the text of an article in the Legal Ledger about what happened after Sen. Julianne Ortman proposed raising taxes in 2011. Here’s the key part of the article:

The letter comes after a few days’ worth of news reports and speculation about some willingness to raise taxes within the GOP Senate caucus, whether it be by broadening sales taxes, eliminating tax breaks, or other means. Taxes Chair Julianne Ortman was at the center of the speculation after she made comments calling tax expenditures government spending. Ortman has told us in the past that she fully intends to review and eliminate some tax breaks, although she disavowed any express wish to raise total revenues. She also mused favorably about how some states have been able to broaden sales taxes and lower rates.

In turn, it seems GOP communications staff kept Ortman under wraps most all day Thursday. After her Taxes hearing Thursday morning, the head of communications for the caucus, Michael Brodkorb, was seen waiting in the wings with another communications staffer to lead Ortman away. In response to a question directed at Ortman, Brodkorb simply replied: “No comment today.”

At the time, the House and Senate GOP caucuses were saying that they were committed to balancing the budget without raising taxes, which they accomplished after Gov. Dayton shut down the state government for 2 weeks.

First, Sen. Ortman’s proposal was terrible policy because it didn’t do anything to fix out-of-control DFL spending increases. Giving the DFL additional revenue is like putting out a fire with a little extra gas on the fire. Secondly, when Sen. Ortman went rogue, she did so without telling her colleagues. That’s the fastest way of stabbing her colleagues in the back.

It was her way of saying that her priorities were more important than her colleagues’ priorities, that her priorities mattered and that their policies didn’t. When Sen. Ortman went rogue, House and Senate GOP leadership were in the process of negotiating with Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and then-Minority Leader Thissen. Her proposal cut the legs out from under the GOP leadership.

The lesson to be learned from this is that Sen. Ortman a) isn’t a team player, b) isn’t “a conservative champion” and c) can’t be relied on to do the right thing in holding down taxes.

Minnesotans don’t need someone who will fit right in with the DC Surrender Caucus right alongside John McCain and Lindsey Graham. We need someone principled who will fight for smart policies that grow the economy, create jobs and make Minnesotans’ lives better.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply