On most issues, I’m pretty detached – clinical, really. Politics, really, is mostly just politics.
But my blood shot from Scandinavian cool to full boil yesterday with the news that our plutocratic playboy rent-a-governor vetoed the Custody Reform bill we talked about earlier this week:
Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed the final bill of 2012, an attempt to change the child custody formula to guarantee parents more time with their children
“Both proponents and opponents make compelling arguments in support of their respective positions,” Dayton wrote in a Thursday letter to the Legislature, after opting not to sign the custody bill, essentially issuing a pocket veto of the legislation.
Right now, Minnesota law presumes that both parents in a custody settlement will get a minimum amount of time — 25 percent of the year — with their child. The bill would have increased that minimum to 35 percent.
Supporters of the change said it would give non-custodial parents more quality time with a child than every other weekend and two weeks during the summer — a breakdown that doesn’t even equal 25 percent of the child’s year.
The bill isn’t the bill that I wanted – which would have created a rebuttable presumption that joint physical custody was in the best interests of the children involve.d
No, this will merely created a presumption (rebuttable, of course) that children should have 35% of their time with the “non-custodial parent”, and that this calculation should be used in calculating child support. .
And that would have been very, very much in the “best interest of the children”:
Opponents said the new formula took control away from courts and was designed to represent a parent’s interest more than the child’s.
That is a completely meaningless phrase – one that the bill’s various opponents have been chanting mindlessly ever since the veto came out, and can only have come from someone who doesn’t have children, or has never dealt with chidlren of otherwise-capable divorced parents.
What could be more in the “best interest of the children” than spending more time with both parents?
In his letter to lawmakers, Dayton said there was too much uncertainty about how the change in the custody formula might affect children. But he urged lawmakers to take up debate on the issue again during the 2013 session.
When, he hopes, a DFL majority will make it a non-issue. Otherwise, he’ll veto it again.
Look – Governor Dayton’s veto was loathsome unforgiveable, and I hope he answers to a higher power for it someday. But it’s understandable; he’s acting at the bidding of the radical feminists who are among his most vital constituents. And radical feminists hate any divorce reform – because that would involve reforming the transfer of money from men to women that has sprung from the de facto alimony system that the child support system has become.
But I’m not as angry with Governor Dayton – who, let’s be honest, isn’t doing any of the thinking, he’s just doing what his shareholders tell him to do – as I am with the legislators of both parties who cut the guts out of the original reform proposal (which would have created the rebuttable presumption of joint physical custody). They, not our playboy plutocrat rent-a-governor, are the ones who see and hear the pain caused by the barbarism of our current divorce system.
(Yes, I’m looking at you, Steve Smith; if you run in the primary, I will do everything I can to see that Cindy Pugh crushes you without mercy).