Based on this press release, it looks like Zach Rodvold, Tarryl’s campaign manager, wants to get into a fight over who’s the tax cutter and who’s the tax raiser between his boss and Michele Bachmann. As someone who’s followed these ladies’ careers, let’s just say that I have an opinion based on their voting records and the things they did and didn’t champion.

I also have a fair amount of quotes from Tarryl that exposes her warped thinking with regard to taxes. First, here’s what Mr. Rodvold said about Tarryl, the tax-cutting champion:

If Michele Bachmann wants to talk about fiscal responsibility, let’s talk. Tarryl Clark consistently voted to hold down taxes on 95% of working Minnesotans, including reducing the burden of property taxes. Unlike Bachmann, Tarryl has taken tough votes to balance budgets, including by cutting 10% from the state budget in the last two years alone. And unlike Bachmann, who spends hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars promoting herself and her agenda, Tarryl cut her own compensation and office expenses when Minnesota faced a record budget deficit.

With little due respect to Mr. Rodvold, Tarryl voted to raise the most regressive taxes Minnesota imposes. Tarryl voted to put the Legacy Act amendment on the 2008, which imposes a 3/8 percent increase in Minnesota’s sales tax. Tarryl also voted for the Transportation bill in 2007 and 2008. Let’s remember that that’s the bill that brought us this memorable Steve Murphy quote:

“I’m not trying to fool anybody,” said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, sponsor of the measure that would increase funding for roads and transit by $1.5 billion a year once it was fully implemented in the next decade. “There’s a lot of taxes in this bill.”

Here’s a list of the less-than-progressive taxes Tarryl voted to increase:

The bill also includes these other levies, all dedicated to roads, bridges and transit:

  • Higher registration renewal fees on future new car purchases, but no increases on currently owned vehicles.
  • A half-cent rise in the general sales tax in the seven-county Twin Cities area, imposed without a voter referendum, plus a $20 excise tax on new vehicle sales in the metro.
  • Local-option authority for half-cent sales-tax increases in the rest of Minnesota, subject to voter approval.
  • Authority for all 87 counties in the state to impose a $20-per-vehicle annual wheelage tax. Three suburban counties levied the current maximum of $5 per vehicle last year.
  • Increased fees for leased vehicle registrations, license plates, titles and drivers’ licenses, plus a $20 reinstatement fee for a license suspended for theft of gasoline.

That’s $6.6 billion worth of tax increases on the most regressive taxes Minnesotans pay. It isn’t possible for Tarryl to honestly say that she “voted to hold down taxes on 95% of working Minnesotans” after voting multiple times for a transportation bill filled with regressive taxes that hit Minnesota’s working families hardest.

Let’s remember that Minnesota had a $2,163,000,000 surplus in 2007. Instead of cutting taxes, Tarryl voted for all 6 tax increase bills. BTW, those bills were the first 6 bills submitted that year in the Senate. I attended a townhall meeting with Leo in late January. We asked Tarryl why the first 6 bills submitted in the Senate included tax increases.

Tarryl told us that only one of those tax increases were approved of by the DFL Senate leadership. By session’s end, the DFL had caved to their special interest allies and passed all 6 tax increases.

In addition to voting all those times for tax increases, Tarryl had this spin for Michele when she, along with all other Republicans and 11 Democrats, voted against ARRA:

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.”

That’s the most bizarre spin I’ve ever heard and it isn’t even close. Tarryl’s logic, if it can be called that, is that voting against hundreds of billions of dollars of pork and some one-time rebate checks is voting for a tax increase. Here I thought a tax increase was when I paid more taxes this year than I paid last year.

Rodvold cited this as proof that Michele “isn’t a friend of the taxpayer”:

Bachmann voted against renewable energy and job creation tax provisions. In September 2008, Bachmann voted against the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008, H.R. 7060. The bill included numerous tax extenders for things like the R and D credit, teacher tax credits, and suspending off-shore tax shelter loopholes. The bill passed, 257-166.

Actually, that bill didn’t pass because it was brought up under a closed rule, meaning it had to pass with two-thirds of the vote or 290 votes. The reason it was brought up under a closed rule was because Queen Pelosi didn’t want Republicans offering amendments for fear that many of her members would vote for the GOP options.

The bill was designed to offer a fig leaf to Republicans in terms of offshore drilling, then putting all other offshore drilling off-limits.

Meanwhile, Michele was one of the people who put TABOR, aka the TAxpayers Bill Of Rights, together. She’s ready to cut taxes at a moment’s notice if there aren’t any poison pills in the legislation.

When Republicans retake the majority in the House and Senate, rest assured that they’ll vote to extend the Bush tax cuts while dramatically cutting discretionary spending. They’ll do this because Republicans will prove that, this time, 1) they’re serious about reducing the size of government, 2) they understand the crisis that’s being created by these super-sized deficits are creating, 3) they want to return to a strong dollar policy and 4) balancing the budget isn’t just a goal, it’s an imperative.

When those votes are being cast, I’ll guarantee that Michele will vote to cut taxes, balance the budget and increase domestic oil production.

Tarryl’s claims that she’s a tax-cutter shouldn’t be taken seriously. She’s saying what she thinks people want to hear. (FYI- It’s a nasty habit of Tarryl’s.) Her votes don’t comport with her assertions.

The votes that Tarryl cites as proof that Michele isn’t serious about fiscal responsibility are nothing of the sort. Pelosi and Co. put together bills that sound worthwhile but that each contained poison pills, each of which essentially gutted the important parts of the bills.

When Paul Ryan, Dave Camp, Tom Price, Michele Bachmann and John Kline are writing the bills, things will be different and America will notice. That day can’t happen soon enough.

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4 Responses to “Tarryl vs. Michele: A Tale of the Taxes”

  • walter hanson says:


    I have to wonder is Tarryl and her people on drugs? Tarryl Clark because she voted for balanced budgets on the state level only because the state constitution requires it and there was a governor doing it in the form of spending cuts.

    Clark if she had been in Congress would’ve voted for the stimulus $866 billion and growing, health care a trillion and growing, the $26 billion teacher plan. Where is her $2 trillion in cuts to offset this spending.

    They say that Tarryl is the adult when Michelle is voting no to the spending cuts.

    Will the entire Clark campaign show up for their drug tests!

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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