I just finished watching Esme Murphy’s interview of Tarryl Clark. One thing that Tarryl said was so utterly absurd that I replayed it 3 times to make sure I heard Tarryl right. During one of her answers, Tarryl said that “she voted for higher taxes for 95 percent of Americans when she voted against the Recovery Act.”

Tarryl’s statement was a reply to a question about fiscal responsibility. What spending $862,000,000,000 on pork projects and keeping government inflated and paying off public unions has to do with fiscal responsibility is beyond me.

I’m guessing, but I’m anything but sure on this, that Tarryl is spinning this to mean that voting against the one-time rebate checks is the equivalent to a tax increase.

The logic, if that applies in this instance, is this: a vote against spending money on a $600 rebate is a vote for tax increases. In reality, it’s just a vote against increasing spending and a vote against skyrocketing deficits.

President Obama touts the $600 checks as a tax cut but it’s nothing of the sort. It isn’t attached to anything in the tax code. In truth, it’s just money spent.

I’d further argue that voting to not lower taxes isn’t a tax increase. A tax increase is when you vote to raise the marginal tax rate on small businesses, which is what Tarryl did when she cast the 67th and decisive vote to create a higher income tax bracket for small businesses. That tax legislation would’ve created a top marginal rate of 9.25 percent, significantly higher than the current top marginal tax rate of 7.86 percent.

Early in the interview, Tarryl said that “Washington still isn’t working for Minnesota and Congresswoman Bachmann certainly isn’t.” Yes, it’s true that Washington isn’t working for Minnesotans or anyone else. It’s dominated with Democrats who repeatedly refused to listen to the people in passing the stimulus bill without reading it and passing Obamacare against the wishes of the people and without reading the legislation.

Tarryl’s solution to Washington being broken? Send more Democrats to Washington to rubberstamp President Obama’s radical agenda that gets anemic support in the heartland but gets stratospheric support on K Street. That’s so intellectually inconsistent that it’s insulting.

Later, Tarryl says that Minnesotans want someone who will fight for them, not fight for their own agenda. Let’s stipulate that that’s true. When Michele called for a rally in DC to oppose Obamacare, polls showed that Obamacare had a net approval rating nearing -20, meaning 60 percent of the people opposed Obamacare while 40 percent approved of it.

I’d argue, based on those verifiable facts, that Michele was fighting for what Minnesotans wanted.

I’d argue that voting against the ARRA was voting the way Minnesotans wanted, too, because ARRA was nothing more than a payoff to big government unions. That certainly isn’t what Minnesotans supported.

That’s quite the opposite of Tarryl casting the 67th and tie-breaking vote to raise taxes on small businesses. That certainly isn’t fighting for the things that Minnesotans want. Just because it gets the Matt Entenza/Dane Smith stamp of approval doesn’t mean it gets Minnesota’s stamp of approval.

Later in the interview, Tarryl said that Michele voted to raise her own salary, something that didn’t happen. Meanwhile, Tarryl said that she reduced the cost of her staffing. I can’t verify whether that’s true or not but what I can verify is that Tarryl voted in 2007 to raise her per diem from $66/day to $96/day.

Factoring in the 43 days of out-of-session per diem she collected in 2008 plus the 280 days of regular session per diem at $96/day, that’s a total of $31,008 in per diem payments. Had Tarryl voted against raising per diem those $30/day, that total would’ve been $21,318, or $9,690 less than less than she collected.

Note that that’s just counting the per diem paid in between one session and another. That isn’t counting the out-of-session per diem paid to Tarryl in other years. Note that that money doesn’t factor in the rent subsidies legislators get or the gas money they get reimbursed for. That’s per diem only.

Let’s question why Tarryl thinks that a state legislator needs $96/day for incidental costs. There’s just a little catch with that, though. House members get paid a paltry $77/day in per diem. Why does the Senate deserve an additional $19/day for their per diem than the House gets?

Tarryl, do St. Paul restaurants charge senators $19/day more than House members?

That’s before factoring in Tarryl voting against Amy Koch’s amendment to restore per diem to its pre-2007 rate of $66/day. What’s Tarryl’s justification for not returning to the still substantial $66/day per diem when the state was running a $6,400,000,000 deficit?

I’d submit that Tarryl can’t justify that $96/day per diem any time, much less with Minnesota facing a $6,400,000,000 deficit. I’d further submit that Tarryl’s argument that she’s the fiscally responsible candidate in this race is pure spin, that it’s part of Tarryl’s PR campaign, that it isn’t based on reality.

I’ve always thought that too many of Tarryl’s statements were fabrications. During a 4:56 interview, Tarryl said at least 3 things that were effortlessly proven as spin or fabrications.

If Tarryl can’t be more credible than that, she’ll get pounded this election because voters aren’t in the mood for spin and PR. This election, voters are demanding the straight truth, something that’s apparently in short supply in the Clark campaign office.

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