As the Attorney General files to get the courts to determine what workers are “essential”…:

In her petition, Swanson asked the court to fund a broad expanse of state services and appoint a “special master” — essentially a shutdown referee, to sort the details.

…Governor Dayton goes back to his old dodge:

Dayton offered a different solution in his petition.

“Order the parties to mediate,” Dayton asked the court. He suggested former Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz or former Associate Justice James Gilbert to act as court-appointed mediators. Swanson had asked that Gilbert be appointed special master.

Only if mediation fails, Dayton’s brief said, should the court infringe “on the constitutional powers of the legislative and executive departments.”

For starters – ask any lawyer:   Mediation only works when both sides are entering into the discussion in good faith.  As Gary Gross, Janet Beihoffer and I have all shown this week,  Dayton is not.  He has been staging the shutdown from the word go.

(Leftybloggers will chime in around this point: “But the GOP was talking about a shutdown right after the election!”.  Yep.  Many of us expected that Dayton, facing an overwhelming legislative deficit with a real mandate, unlike his near-record weak plurality and feckless Legislative contingent, would head straight for the shutdown, and let his buddies in the DFL-allied media do the hard work for him – a prediction that is, as always, correct.  The GOP said “bring on the shutdown”; Dayton actively sought, planned for, and ensured it would happen).

3 thoughts on “Stalling

  1. But Dayton is just reacting to “the buyer’s remorse across the country that indicates voters regret voting for the right”. I don’t even see why he has to tell obvious lies. The People are behind him!

  2. Many people don’t understand how arbitration and mediation differ.

    In arbitration, a neutral party decides and you’re stuck with it. That ends the dispute, generally quickly and cheaply.

    There is no way the court can imagine it has the power to order binding arbitration between the other co-equal branches of government. So there is no quick-and-easy process to reach a decision.

    Mediation simply provides a neutral person to facilitate discussions, to help the parties understand each other’s points of view, to point out areas where agreement might be possible and ease the tension of face-to-face negotiations. Think Henry Kissinger shuttling around the MidEast.

    Don’t get me wrong, mediation can work. I’ve seen astounding results in cases I’d never have believed would settle. But it requires good faith on both sides and a willingness to compromise for the greater good. Those points don’t seem to be present in this dispute.

    But the politicians know the public doesn’t understand the difference. They can go behind closed doors, strike a private deal they never could admit in public, then tell the media “We didn’t compromise our principles, the mediator made us do it.” The vast majority of the mushy-middle public won’t know any differently and won’t care because now we have the magic consensus so all is well with the state and we can get back to protesting Israel.

    A mediator would provide cover for the parties to cave in so they can reach an agreement. Question is: who will cave?


  3. This is a silly question, but sometime during the Pawlenty administration didn’t she or Hatch before her give guidelines on what essential is. It seems like they should just dust off what they said in the past and not go to court.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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