Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Case for a Dayton Shutdown Blame Game

During the 2011 shutdown, Governor Dayton made certain that the most egregious shutdown actions possible were conducted. Essential services were cut and pain was exacted so that he could have good talking points for later use.

Is the DFL Senate majority and Governor Mark Dayton trying to force another shutdown on Minnesota? There is significant evidence to indicate that they may be working towards that. Here are the reasons.

After the 2011 shutdown in an interview Governor Dayton was asked about it:
Dayton:  And this was not apparent to me or other of our negotiators at that time of June 30, but the Republicans said subsequently [it was stated in a letter PRIOR to the shutdown] publicly that they would take all these policy items everything from banning stem cell research to abolishing teacher tenure to abrogating contractual bargaining rights to uh of employees, all that was going to be taken off of the negotiating tables so we would be able to focus just on the budget. That was not at all clear to us at all on the night of June 30th and so it really put it in a different context, and it also uh they have agreed to my $500 million bonding bill which would go a long way to putting more people to work in Minnesota [not borne out in results subsequently] .

Interviewer: Its sounds like governor, without putting words in your mouth, that it sounds like this could have been worked out on June 30th without a shutdown, except for miscommunication.

Dayton: Well uh, eh, ya, you know we were in constant communication [except for reading negotiating letters], but uh I don't know whether there was miscommunication or subsequent revision [misdirection?], I don't know, but anyway you know what's done is done and the important thing now is to get an agreement very quickly where you have our groups working very quickly on that today, we've got 10 o'clock today deadlines…

Sounds similar to Hillary's "what difference does it make" comment about the dead in Benghazi and blaming it on a youtube video no one had seen?

The 2011 interview is at 91 seconds...

So this year there were some rather banal leading questions by the media, at a Governor Mark Dayton press conference in March (full conference where Mark Dayton decried the 2011 shutdown and said he hopes other people remember it, he certainly does. See the shutdown questions from the beginning of the link above
Dayton: Compromise means you agree to things you don't agree with, obviously I'm going to have to compromise if we are going to get a resolution and avoid the serious consequences of 2011
But what he appears to remember, is how to set up the conditions for a shutdown.  In 2011 he vetoed all the bills

And he is repeating that strategy again this year!

Rather than actually working through it, he simply vetoes clearly bi-partisan compromise bills, since they had to pass both a DFL controlled Senate and GOP majority house.

Where Mark Dayton demands concession and compromise, he is far from inclined to offer any such on his part to avoid a shutdown.

While GOP House leader Daudt said:
“With his vetoes, he is rejecting bipartisan efforts to put more than $17 billion toward students in every classroom, provide resources to help farmers devastated by avian flu, send relief to miners facing unemployment on the Iron Range,” Daudt’s statement said. Daudt added while the legislature, including the DFL-majority Senate, finished its work, “the governor wants more time. We will continue to work with him for Minnesotans.”
Dayton has used inflammatory rhetoric to vilify the GOP and further draw back from any potential compromise.
They hate the public schools, some of the Republican legislators," the governor said. "They're loathe to provide any additional money for public schools and for public school teachers because all of the good programs I've seen around this state for pre-K and all-day kindergarten..
Dayton said his previous budget offers are now off the table and he intends to push for even more school funding. But he wouldn't say if he'll insist universal pre-K be a part of the final deal

And then there is the question of the blame game, because of course the DFL and Mark Dayton must ultimately be seen as blameless in the failure to negotiate and compromise

By J. Patrick Coolican MAY 12, 2015 — 1:25PM
[Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook] said he'd seen seeing polling data that would place blame for a shutdown on Republicans, but said it's not his intention.
On Mitch Berg's radio show it was revealed that no one in the Republican caucus has seen or heard of such a poll. Which means its almost certain that early during the Legislative session the DFL has had a poll taken that gives them both comfort that they will not be blamed if they bring about a shutdown, and the clear freedom to go beyond brinksmanship. All punishment for their actions will be meted out to their political opponents. That is smoking gun evidence of underhanded dealing and negotiating in poor faith by the DFL.

Sen. Tom Bakk has stated that he is not going to negotiate with House Republicans. As Senate Majority Leader, doesn't he have an inherent responsibility to make sure that the Senate has a seat at the table? Of course we know that by deferring the responsibility, he's essentially siding with Dayton in the negotiations. So with Senator Bakk abrogating his responsibilities and Dayton's radical brinksmanship approach, the evidence suggests are they simply pushing us into a shutdown deliberately?

Hopefully voters and state workers threatened with layoff notices will remember next year what transpired, and who really caused the pain that the state will go through. It was not the media's favorite piƱata, it was the Democrat Party!