This weekend, I’ve written about deconstructing Lori Sturdevant’s column and Esme Murphy’s interviewing Tarryl Clark. What I haven’t written about yet was Rachel Stassen Berger’s tweet in which she said this:
There’s anti-Dayton lit at the GOP fair booth but no pro-emmer lit.
She later updated that with this tweet:
In the strongest possible terms the GOP insists there was always pro-Emmer lit at their fair booth.
I’m incredibly disappointed in the media to varying degrees. In the case of Rachel Stassen-Berger, I’ll probably be a bit more lenient than I’ll be with Lori Sturdevant and Esme Murphy, if for no other reason than she posted a tweet saying that the GOP insists that “there was always pro-Emmer lit at their fair booth.”
I believe the pro-Emmer lit was there from the start because Eric Radtke told me that “he GOP booth is all about Emmer. The buttons are Emmer the balloons are Emmer, and yes there is Emmer lit. Put it there myself.” Knowing Eric, I’ll trust him.
I won’t be as lenient with Lori Sturdevant because didn’t take into account a number of different things that should’ve been taken into account. Let’s start with what she said in column:
In three early morning debates in as many bleary-eyed days, Emmer denied that there’s a red-ink tsunami ahead in the state’s 2012-13 budget.
In fact, the three-term state rep from Delano asserted, the state is going to have $2 billion more to spend in the next two-year budget period than it’s spending in the current one. That’s a 7 percent increase, he allowed, and that ought to be sufficient for any sensible Minnesotan.
Shortly thereafter, she made this comment:
Emmer’s numbers aren’t wrong. They’re just misleadingly incomplete.
Nowhere in her article does Ms. Sturdevant say what I’ve said: that Mark Dayton’s numbers don’t add up to a balanced budget. In fact, they fall far short. More on that later.
I spoke with a man who I consider to be a budget expert last night by the name of Jim Knoblach. Jim had a $4.2 billion deficit dumped in his lap shortly after Tim Pawlenty was first elected governor.
I specifically asked Jim whether cleaning up the permitting process could create jobs and whether those jobs would change the revenue projections. I specifically talked about the mining jobs that will eventually be created when Polymet gets its permits.
Jim said that streamlining Minnesota’s permitting process would help create jobs. In Polymet’s instance, that’s supposed to be north of 2,000 highpaying jobs in an area with high unemployment.
Not so coincidentally, streamlining the permitting process is high on Tom Emmer’s priority list. Wouldn’t it have been informative if Ms. Sturdevant had mentioned that in her article? It isn’t like this is treated like top secret information.
By including that information in her article, though, Sturdevant would’ve admitted that Tom Emmer a) has a positive agenda that will put people back to work, b) has a plan to get Minnesota’s economy going and c) thinks it’s important to make Minnesota more business friendly. That certainly wouldn’t fit into Ms. Sturdevant’s storyline.
Admitting that Mark Dayton’s numbers don’t add up to a balanced budget doesn’t fit into Ms. Sturdevant’s storyline, either. Sen. Dayton says that he’ll get $4,000,000,000 in additional revenue with his tax-the-rich plan. The Minnesota Department of Revenue says that that figure is more likely to be $3,300,000,000 to $3,600,000,000.
It’s important to note that the Minnesota Department of Revenue uses static scoring, meaning they don’t take into account the unintended consequences that happen when policies shift. For instance, they don’t take into account the fact that businesses will leave Minnesota for states with friendlier business climates. Suffice it to say that it isn’t likely that Sen. Dayton’s numbers will come close to being right, perhaps to the tune of $1,000,000,000.
During a debate on Almanac, Rep. Emmer talked about streamlining permitting. When Sen. Dayton said that he wouldn’t have a problem with streamlining the permitting process, Rep. Emmer noted that Sen. Dayton had never written or co-sponsored a bill streamlining any part of government.
This leads to Sen. Dayton’s supposed detailed budget plan, all 2 and a half pages of it. There’s nothing in Sen. Dayton’s supposed detailed budget plan that talks about regulatory reform. in fact, there’s nothing in Sen. Dayton’s supposed detailed budget plan that even talks about reform.
It’s disturbing that Ms. Sturdevant didn’t mention Sen. Dayton’s inconsistencies. If Dayton’s revenue projections are off that much, what will he cut? Or whose taxes will he raise? It’s much more likely that Sen. Dayton will raise taxes on suburbanites making $75,000 than he’s likely to cut spending.
Here’s reality: Dayton can’t cut spending much because he has too many DFL special interest allies to pay off.
It isn’t a secret that Lori Sturdevant is a DFL partisan. It hasn’t been a secret for years. Now it’s getting dangerous, though, because the numbers matter, the policies matter. If you won’t challenge the DFL candidates, then you’re just part of the problem.
Minnesota can’t afford more of this journalistic malpractice.