As I do every week, I watched Almanac’s Roundtable. This week, Brian Sullivan and Laura Brod represented the good guys, Brian Haas represented the forces of evil like, aka the IP, while Rep. Karla Brigham and Mike Hatch represented the forces of evil, the real stuff.
The two people who didn’t belong on the panel were Rep. Brigham and Brian Haas. Rep. Brigham kept referring to the discredited MPR-Humphrey Institute poll even after Hatch agreed that it’s findings weren’t accurate. The other thing that was evident was that she couldn’t tout the DFL’s positions on the issues while looking people in the eye.
I’m not as skilled at reading body language as Tanya Reiman but even I know that people that can’t look people in the eye aren’t confident in the validity of their positions.
Haas was little more than a space filler. The best he did was one time saying that the DFL’s and the GOP’s bickering proves that Horner was the right pick for Minnesotans.
Brian Sullivan demolished the MPR poll, citing the poll’s findings that there’d been a 15 point swing in the enthusiasm gap in a single month. Sullivan noted that Laura had walked in tons of parades helping legislative candidates this summer and that there was plenty of volunteers for walking in those parades.
I’d add that I’ve talked with GOP state legislative candidates and congressional candidates from every part of the state. They’re finding more than enough volunteers to drop lit, knock on doors and march in parades.
The only place where a GOP enthusiasm deficit can be found is in the MPR poll’s report. It doesn’t exist in reality.
The other thing that shows that there’s an enthusiasm gap favoring Republicans is that I’ve heard of more than a few DFL candidates who are, at best, running ‘going through the motions’ campaigns.
Hatch clearly didn’t want to talk about the issues that matter most to the people. He steered clear of issues like taxes, growing jobs and balancing the budget.
The closest Hatch came to talking the issues was done in platitudes, saying that Dayton was “the only candidate who will protect the middle class” and that Minnesota knows Mark Dayton and that he can be trusted.
Each time Hatch trotted those arguments out, Laura immediately turned the debate back to not raising taxes and how Tom was the only candidate who wouldn’t raise taxes.
Hatch’s response was the DFL’s typical ‘if you don’t raise income taxes, you’re just pushing the tax increases onto the local government’ argument. Laura rightly stated that raising property taxes was what happens when local governments continue their spending habits.
This post highlighted the cities’ refusal to tighten their belts when revenues dropped:
Emmer has stated that when it comes to LGA, government should restrain itself and only provide for what he deems â€œcoreâ€ needs, including public safety and drivable roads. Those are undeniable core city services, but as the mayor of a small town, I know my residents would say that list falls short. Minnesotans want to live in an educated community where the public library attracts both young and old. They want recreation centers where youth can find positive and safe ways to occupy their time. They want senior centers so our elderly can socialize instead of feeling abandoned. For decades, Minnesotans have viewed government as a partner, not an enemy, in achieving a quality of life that other states envy, and this has only been possible through LGA.
Saying that recreation centers and public libraries are core needs that the state must fund when revenues are tight is silly. It’s proof that mayors are addicted to spending and that they aren’t willing to say no when revenues shrink.
With all due respect to Hatch and Mayor Wolff, unwise spending piorities are the biggest driver of property tax increases, not LGA cuts. A simple postponing of projects often would stave off property tax increases.
As for Hatch’s claim that Minnesotans can trust Mark Dayton, Laura rightly highlighted the fact that Minnesotans do indeed know him and that they were set to kick him out of office in 2006. That’s why he ‘retired’ and let A-Klo run.
I’d further add that anyone who’d have his family run the most dishonest ads savaging his opponent isn’t a trustworthy person. That’s before I start talking about Dayton’s whining that “the rich don’t pay their fair share” of the taxes while his riches are hidden in tax-free shelters away from where his tax increases would eat into his family’s wealth.
That sounds more like a person who thinks he should be exempted from the rules that he’s imposing on others. That sounds like an elitist’s attitude, not the attitude of someone who lives by the same rules he imposes on others.
What was clear is that Rep. Brigham and the IP spokesman aren’t ready for primetime. They might never be. Hatch was definitely better prepared but Brian Sullivan and Laura Brod pretty much refuted his arguments.
The election will be decided by who outworks the other side.