Chanting Points Memo: How Are They Bogus? Let Us Count The Ways

You remember the old lawyer’s bromide; “if the facts are against you, argue law; if the law is against you, argue facts; if both are against you, argue like hell”.

The DFL is arguing like hell.

The Dayton Administration and the various DFL cauci  have been claiming that the GOP’s budget proposal is a billion dollars short – based on numbers from Minnesota Management and Budget.  As we pointed out the other day, MMB is run by Commissioner Schowalter, who was appointed by Governor Dayton and serves at his discretion.  And its forecasting methods, according to a legislator closely involved in the process, are highly sclerotic, well-calibrated to ring up costs but not to account for savings.

And now – not only is MMB’s leadership not “non-partisan” (as the DFL and its minions continually claim), but either is its data:

The Dayton administration engaged in a new level of hypocrisy today in the ongoing dispute over fiscal notes used to back up spending bills. Today’s example: a fiscal note from Governor Dayton’s Department of Administration regarding the photo ID bill which cited information from Common Cause Minnesota, an overtly partisan liberal group.

The Department of Administration used numbers from a Common Cause Minnesota report to back up its contention that a multi-million dollar ad campaign is necessary to inform the public about a new photo ID requirement at the polls. They also used information from two other outside groups cited in the Common Cause report, the Brennan Center for Justice and the Pew Center on the States.

Which is a little like declaring the National Ketchup Board a “non-partisan” source in a bill aimed at making ketchup a mandatory part of school lunches.

7 thoughts on “Chanting Points Memo: How Are They Bogus? Let Us Count The Ways

  1. As I wrote earlier today, the MMB estimates are completely non-partisan. Only 1 of 31 staffers working on fiscal notes have been hired since Dayton’s tenure began. Even better, Commissioner Jim Schowalter is a holdover from the Pawlenty administration!

    As for Common Cause, you should try reading the note instead of spewing talking points. Common Cause is simply mentioned in passing in support of the following statement: “Admin has reviewed some of the available literature regarding the costs of relevant public education campaigns.
    Estimates vary widely across the states that have considered the issue.”

    Common Cause’s estimate is $17.68 million. The fiscal note actually arrives at a conclusion of $4.5 million. If the administration is using Common Cause’s numbers, they’re doing a terrible job. Almost as terrible a job as you and the House GOP did reading the fiscal note.

  2. As I wrote earlier today, the MMB estimates are completely non-partisan. Only 1 of 31 staffers working on fiscal notes have been hired since Dayton’s tenure began. Even better, Commissioner Jim Schowalter is a holdover from the Pawlenty administration!

    More or less irrelevant. Not sure you’ve ever worked in a bureacracy, Jeff, but they do serve their masters.

    But leave all that out, if you want; the most damning issue with the notes is their methodology.

    FLASH: Jeff Rosenberg tells Mitch Bert…:

    …you should try reading the note instead of spewing talking points.

    In related news, Charlie Sheen told me to “dial back the mania”.

  3. Jeff Rosenberg is so very, very funny!

    Or does he really think Governor Pawlenty put some “Republicans Only” hiring rule into effect during his time in office? If he does think so, I wonder why he never wrote about it before. Or perhaps the MMB workforce is drawn entirely from some “completely non-partisan” moon-base only Jeff Rosenberg is aware of?

    And they do probably realize who their boss is and what he wants them to do. I mean, they’re smart enough to put together fiscal notes, right?

  4. The Brennan Center for Justice is dedicated to the idea that, in a democracy where control of elections means the ability to distribute trillions of dollars to your political supporters, no one has eve voted illegally. Ever.

  5. Isn’t Jim Schowalter quite conservative? Yet he would be getting the information from agencies receiving money. As if they are going to say the proposed budget won’t affect them a bit. Ha ha ha ha ha

    But why should we even care about a static analysis, once the budget/plan is initiated it becomes obsolete. Work with what ya got, not what ya want!

    —-

    “In related news, Charlie Sheen told me to “dial back the mania”.”

    😆

  6. Tell me, Mr. Berg, exactly how have you managed to convince yourself that your position and the position of your party is worth defending when all you have to defend it with is nonsense, lies and bulldrek?

    You know bloody well that fiscal note was not using Common Causes numbers so why don’t you and your party practice the morality that your party loves to claim it follows by acknowledging its lie and apologizing for being stupid enough to attempt to con the people of this state.

    But don’t worry, Mr. Berg, I won’t be holding my breath on you or your party proving yourselfs something other then stupid morally depraved idiots.

  7. Mr. Kirien,

    Tell me, Mr. Berg, exactly how have you managed to convince yourself that your position and the position of your party is worth defending when all you have to defend it with is nonsense, lies and bulldrek?

    Because I don’t, and it’s not?

    You know bloody well that fiscal note was not using Common Causes numbers

    Reread what I wrote. I’ll emphasize the bits that you apparently missed: “fiscal note from Governor Dayton’s Department of Administration regarding the photo ID bill which cited information from Common Cause Minnesota, an overtly partisan liberal group.

    The Department of Administration used numbers from a Common Cause Minnesota report to back up its contention

    Which is different than what you accuse me of (or so I presume; it’s hard to tell; your clear anger renders you not especially coherent).

    so why don’t you and your party practice the morality that your party loves to claim it follows by acknowledging its lie

    My statement was accurate.

    and apologizing for being stupid enough to attempt to con the people of this state.

    I have presented information which was, in fact accurate; the Fiscal note DID, in fact, cite data from Common Cause as the “high range” number for the voter ID proposal.

    But don’t worry, Mr. Berg, I won’t be holding my breath on you or your party proving yourselfs something other then stupid morally depraved idiots.

    And I, in turn, won’t wait for you to take a deep breath and apologize for flying off the handle over what was a very uninformed, selective and myopic reading of my post on your part.

    Or for comment on the fact that the real problems with the Fiscal Notes – the fact that the process by which MMB generates them does not account for cost savings to be realized by reforms – renders the notes a lot less meaningful than they should be.

    But feel free to do so.

    But take a deep breath and be civil, OK? This isn’t some leftyblog, where you get points for petulance.

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