The Dayton Dustbowl: The “Political Stunt”

The Minnesota Legislative GOP, in the waning hours last Thursday before the shutdown, introduced a “lights-on” bill – a bill that would provide a couple of weeks of short-term funding to keep state services going to those who need them, and are genuinely dependent on the state.

Governor Dayton dismissed the bill as a “stunt”.

Here’s Governor Dayton, not “stunting”:

At the Alexandra House, a women’s shelter in Blaine that depends on state money, executive director Connie Moore has begun spending the shelter’s savings to keep the doors open. The desperate move won’t buy much time.

“We’re gambling right now,” Moore said. “If we don’t get reimbursed, the impact will be long-lived.”

The GOP’s “stunt” would have kept Alexandra House operating and solvent.

Governor Dayton tossed that aside to protect…AFSCME’s ability to retire at 55 with full taxpayer support?

In St. Paul, Rhonda Nelson, who is deaf and blnd, just lost her eyes and ears to the world. The aide who helps her go grocery shopping, to doctor’s appointments, to the post office and other appointments has been deemed non-essential in the state government shutdown.

For someone who already spends most of her days in dark silence, losing the service is heartbreaking. “I’m basically stuck at home,” said Nelson, 65, a former disabilities educator from St. Paul, speaking through an interpreter.

The GOP’s “stunt” would have kept Ms. Nelson’s eyes and ears, as it were, functioning.

Dayton sacrificed Ms. Nelson’s eyes and ears to…what? ┬áChastise entrepreneurs.

Programs that help get families out of homeless shelters, allow single parents to stay in the workforce, provide safe havens for battered women and allow those with disabilities to enjoy everyday life have suddenly lost funding and are teetering on the edge of closure.

The GOP’s “stunt” would have fixed that, while the negotiations continued.

Dayton couldn’t have that.

13 thoughts on “The Dayton Dustbowl: The “Political Stunt”

  1. And the Minnesota State Lottery is shut down! Horrors!!!

    Mark Dayton is pond scum. Anyone who voted for this piece of filth should commit sepuku without delay.

  2. As long as the media presents it as choice between millionaires buying 2nd yachts and letting children starve the GOP will lose.

  3. Terry, normally I’d share your pessimism, but I just don’t see people buying what the media (in particular, the ST) is selling. Maybe I just am in different circles, but I know plenty of people who either are themselves state workers, are family or close friends of state workers, or who are otherwise likely to be quite affected by the shutdown—and these are mostly people who probably don’t vote GOP anyway, and I’m just not hearing anyone placing the blame primarily on the GOP. In spite of the media, I think people are still quite confused as to how they should believe that Mark Dayton is in the right (and of course their confusion is appropriate). Minnesotans elected a GOP legislature not so many months ago for a reason, specifically, to hold the line on spending and government expansion, and the media wasn’t friendly to the GOP then either. None of this is to say that the GOP can’t do a better job with PR, and probably 45%+ of Minnesotans will probably blame the GOP reflexively just because that’s the sort of state we live in. But I do think Minnesotans are catching on to the DFL’s charades.

  4. The strategy has to be to parade a long line of victims out before the public and declare their suffering is the result of conservative zeal. To do this, they need the media.

    They’re counting on the public being too stupid to see through the act and not understand the underlying forces.

    Is the public that stupid? (we know the media is THAT

    They just might pull it off.

  5. That’s why everywhere you go, everyone you see, you need to say two words: Mark Dayton. There are four people living under my roof who know that this is the fault of Mark Dayton. I tell every clerk and casual acquaintance that this shut down is because of Mark Dayton.
    Berg has been using his large megaphone to declare this shut down is because of Mark Dayton. I have called (and will again) the office of Mark Dayton and said in plain language this is the fault of Mark Dayton.

    Mark Dayton
    Mark Dayton
    Mark Dayton
    Mark Dayton
    Mark Dayton
    Mark Dayton
    Mark Dayton
    Mark Dayton
    Mark Dayton
    Mark Dayton

  6. I’m not in Minnesota, mcgruff, so I am not certain how the regular citizens there feel about the budget situation, but I have two objections to Dayton’s plan, neither of which have the theatrical appeal of “2nd yachts for millionaires vs. starving children”.
    The first is that shutting down the operations of state government in order to get your hands on a larger share of the income of 7,700 out of 5 million citizens seems shabby. Any state that is that dependent on the income (not wealth) of so few of its citizens to stave off the social cataclysm that Dayton & the DFL are predicting must be run very poorly. If next year the 7,700 are gone or have shielded or lost their income, what then? Death in the streets? Old people being kicked out of nursing homes?
    The second is that the choice of yachts for the wealthy or food for starving children is “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. If you accept Dayton’s reasoning, why should the guy who makes $100k/year be allowed to use his money to buy a summer cabin on a lake when there are single moms struggling to pay for their kids health insurance and day care? Human desires are infinite, and the resources that supply those desires are finite. If you allow a minority party to determine what human needs must be satisfied and give them power reallocate resources you don’t have a republic anymore, you have one people ruling and exploiting another people to suit themselves.

  7. Part of the probem is that people who don’t pay taxes let alone government services have the thought that the rich have more than enough. Even when I pointed out to somebody who makes $500,000 in taxes will pay over $200,000 already that didn’t seem to be enough. Um if you cap it at 25% he should only have to pay $125,000.

    I wonder if the Star Tribune is going to find that person who when they polled him during a previous crisis and supported a tax increase. He made a comment which went over the reporter’s head who printed it which when you take the (dollar amount or percentage I don’t remember) but if you ran the math on that person’s position the rich person was already paying more than he thought was needed. Yet the reporter didn’t point that out, maybe they didn’t catch that.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  8. Julie Christie: cute but insipid. Ditto Yuri.
    The only one in that film with both common sense and testicular fortitude was Komarovsky.

  9. Actually, if you check out the Pioneer Press editorial from yesterday you’ll see some dissension in the ranks of the media. I freely admit to being pleasantly surprised by some rational thought going into that editorial (unlike what we’re seeing from our petulant governor and his media allies).

  10. Nerdbert, I suspect that means that the St. Paul merchants are looking at empty shops and cutting back on their advertising.
    Rational thought is often a byproduct of keeping your eye on your wallet rather than your neighbor’s.

  11. Rational thought and Mark Dayton do not belong in the same sentence. Actually, they resemble matter and anti-matter.
    We elected a congenital idiot, trust fund baby governor. Now we reap the results. See the cat? See the cradle? (Kurt Vonnegut, for those illiterate)

  12. Pingback: The Dayton Dustbowl: The Gucci Marionette | Shot in the Dark

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