As we kick off the special session sometime this week, probably, Gary Gross at LFR tallies up winners and losers from the regular session.
Business? They get a draw:
Minnesota businesses still pay too high an income tax but at least it isn’t getting worse. With this settled for at least another 2 years, businesses can breath a sigh of relief.
Gary counts coup for the legislative freshmen, and a few upperclasspeople who just plain got the message:
Steve Gottwalt and Dave Thompson emerged as the next generation of GOP leaders thanks to Sen. Thompson’s stout-hearted defense of conservative principles and Rep. Gottwalt’s seizing the moment to push Gov. Dayton into settling the shutdown. These gentlemen deserve high praise for being great spokesters/legislators for conservative principles.
King Banaian and Keith Downey are winners because they stood their ground on important reforms to state government’s makeup and King’s priority-based budgeting reform of the budgeting process. These gentlemen have proposed legislation that would change how government operates and how it spends money. These aren’t tiny considerations.
I’m looking – and I’m saying this out of hope as much as expectation – to the Freshmen to take great advantage of the out-year session. I think by the time this budget deal is done, the GOP stock is going to be a strong “buy and hold”. Yes, I’m biased; with good reason, I think.
And I’m with Gary here:
Speaker Zellers and Leader Koch deserve credit for keep the troops unified. It wasn’t difficult picturing scenarios where moderates could abandon the GOP on this or that vote. That they didn’t is a testimony to their whip operations and their leadership.
Koch and Zellers were at the business end of a regional media that, when they could be bothered to report at all, were hostile to the point of scandalousness, but for the fact that that same media also decides on what is or is not a “scandal” outside the wonk class. And Gary’s right; they held the caucus together. To be fair to previous GOP leaders, more of this class was in St. Paul on a mission than some of the previous classes. To be realistic, pressure is pressure.
The biggest loser was Gov. Dayton. He lost on his signature issue. Initially, Gov. Dayton wanted to raise taxes on the rich. After getting defeated on that, he tried settling for shaking down whoever he could shake down. Both attempts were defeated.
That’s the crux, so far, as we head into the special session; while the GOP didn’t get a perfect 100 – I’d say 75 – an honest appraisal of Dayton as of last Friday had to say “20” to you.
You know the DFL is reeling; it was the height of cynicism to see the DFL’s minions in the media demanding compromise on Wednesday, and on Friday saying that the GOP giving the governor his putative spending figure was “borrow-and-spend”.
Further proof that “compromising” with the DFL is always a lousy idea.