Sunday, July 10, 2011

For Such a Time as This

For such a time as this, we the people chose a change in the direction we wanted the state to go last November.  We voted as a majority to send many new faces to the Legislature, some truly remarkable people, as in Roger Chamberlain whose June 16 interview on Speechless will be reviewed below.  Only 43% of us voted for Governor Mark Dayton, a win by a mere 9000 votes.  Yet with the power of the bully pulpit, Governor Dayton has held the state hostage to his and AFSCME Council 5's mandate to "tax the rich". And he has shutdown the state government operations, for only one essentially inconsequential (for about 97% of Minnesota) reason.  Laying off the very people he promised he would not shutdown.

One of the passions for Senator Chamberlain and the legislature has been dealing with the automatic increase style planning for the state budget.  Automatic increases put us on a 20%+ growth trajectory for future budgets, unless their work on reform can reign in this devastating trend.  Taxing cannot overcome this.  Taxing "the top 2%" is a band-aid that will quickly shred.

Roger Chamberlain Introduction - video
We need people to run for office who aren't afraid, who are average normal people.  I ran because I believe the state is in serious, serious, trouble and we needed a different direction. We can do it, we can fix this and get it off the path we're on.  If we keep going on the path we were on we are going to fail.  So that's whats motivating me to do this.
Most things down there [at the legislature] are bipartisan.  Contrary to popular belief and what they hear and what people think, most things are bi-partisan.

The Dayton Non-Budget  video   
What I ask people is, what is in the Governors budget?  What's the detail of his HHS or his Education or any part of his budget, what's the detail?  Well nobody knows because he hasn't given it to us.  Honestly and frankly he has not had to make a difficult decision the whole session.  He has had the luxury of sitting on the sidelines and simply criticizing and name calling.  ... His budget lacks numbers,  we've done the work we've presented him with a balanced budget, didn't increase taxes, increased spending, which upset some of the base, but we increased spending from the last biennium by 2 billion dollars... K12 up by $400 million, HHS up by about $600 million ... we will have $34 billion in the checking account and that's how we will have to live.  Governor Dayton's budget will destroy the economy and budget of this state... If we don't stick to what we've got, the alternative is simply a disaster for this state...  We have not cut, we have reduced the increase, other wise you go up to $39 billion... a lot of people don't realize the breadth and the depth of this problem, how serious it is, how ridiculous Governor Dayton's budget is... the state will go broke, its on automatic spending [increases] and we just can't do that.

Breaking the Auto-Pilot Budget and Education Reform video  
Part of the reason the budget is broke is that there are structural problems... certain increases are automatic.  HHS is projected to increase, by itself, 8.5% a year, that's 17% increase just in HHS projected expenses in spending... We also tried to build in reform in the system to help address those automatic increases.  Governor Dayton's budget doesn't include those reforms, he includes no reforms, he just wants to spend and increase taxes to try to meet it, and his tax increases won't meet that or fill the gap.

Taxes And Business  video  
Host: There's a point where businesses are paying too much and they're better off located somewhere else.
RC: This was a debate we had quite a bit bit during the session.. Sen Pogemiller, Marty, believe this is just scare tactics ... well they have left .. we talk to businesses all the time, I know people in business .. if they're not going to get the return on their investment they are not going to invest their money here... We compete with other states, and if a business believes they can make a better investment in Iowa or Texas they will,  Gov Dayton's budget is nothing new its its the same thing we have been doing for 50 years, he will kill jobs and this will put a nail in the coffin for our economic recovery in this state.  It is a disaster, I can't say that enough, his budget is a disaster.

A Union Ad  video  
Ad showing conflict of interest of unions taking money and advertising to get more money from taxes.
We don't want people [union state workers] to be out of jobs, all we are asking if for some reasonable reform, reasonable restraints in this very difficult time ..,. if we continue what we are doing we are broke .. we need reform then we will have a better functioning government and we can keep jobs  .. if we run a better organization

Discuss Dayton's Positively Minnesota Letter  - video   

Image of the letter
Dayton's Positively Minnesota put up a letter on their website that read "As you may know, the Minnesota State Legislature adjourned May 23, 2011, without appropriating money to fund the operation of state government for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2011"
RC: Senator Thompson's came out with a press release that strongly, strongly rebuked them for that, its an outright lie, I will use that word its a lie.... It's a lie, we appropriated the money, he vetoed the bill!

AFSCME Ad Histrionics videos   
AFSCME ad said "instead of taxing the richest 2%, Republicans want to start sending out pink slips".  This is such an obvious scare tactic histrionic that I find it incredulous that anyone takes it seriously.  But there it is in the AFSCME ad.
RC: there are a lot of good workers in the State, frankly this ad is just scare tactics, its lies, the top 5% or the income earners in the state pay 43% of the state income tax ... its a flawed argument a failed argument, his [Dayton's] policies will fail because they have failed before.  They will not work, I want the state to work  .. in fact if we take Governor Dayton's budget the irony of it is that we won't have money .. he will harm these people more than our budget will!

The Property Tax Misdirect  video  
Democrats said on the floor that property taxes will go up by $1 billion.  Senator Marty during one of the debates stood up and said this   As soon as they he got done saying this I stood up ans said once and for all that's not true, the state only levies property tax on businesses  ... we do not levy a tax on personal properly, homestead property.  Cities and Counties have exclusive authority to levy that tax.  They claim that tax increase would happen because they are losing X, we are taking away, that's not true.  We all have to learn to live within our means.  They may not be able to build those cobblestone roads or that Community Center.

Does Dayton Want Shutdown  video  
This show was broadcast live on June 16.  So it presaged the actions of Gov Mark Dayton.
Host: Is the government going to shutdown?
RC: I think Governor Dayton wants it to shutdown.  I think that's his strategy and plan. I think is clear from his lack of negotiation and engagement, from his walking out of meetings,and his short time in meetings. Its been made even more clear the release of recent emails... we don't want it to go there ..  we have given out schedules but he won't meet.

Well as we all know, Governor Dayton did close down the State, despite his promises during the election here and here  not to shut it down, and despite having the legislature meet all but his demands for increasing taxes.  I would hope that this review would prompt you to want to call Governor Dayton and tell him to give the state workers back their jobs and to sign the balanced budgets that keep the state balanced and fully funded.

phone 651-201-3400
email form

Some other pieces from the show that didn't make it into the text above, but are well worth a viewing

Dayton's favored status amongst AFSCME union here and here he acknowledges the tremendous debt he has to them and reveals how much work for the democrats and him personally their army does.

Bonding, LGA And Conclusion video   
Phone Call on Constitutional Considerations of the Budget video  

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