Yesterday and Monday, we went over the chronology of the last-minute negotiations and back-and-forth leading up to the State Government shutdown, which started seventeen months ago last night. The abbreviated time-line:
- On June 29, the GOP made an offer. It traded giving some ground on revenue for some movement on social issues.
- On the morning of June 30, the DFL leadership – Dayton, Senate minority leader Bakk and House minority leader Thissen – demanded $1.4 billion in new revenues.
- Much discussion ensued. It ensued under the “cone of silence”; the participants really didn’t let on much about what was going on.
- At noonish on the 30th, Dayton – without Bakk and Thissen – made an offer that dropped most of the revenue demands, and was pretty close – almost dead-on – with the GOP’s letter. The letter mentioned no social issues – because they were off the table at this time.
- More discussion. More cone.
- Mid-afternoon, the Legislature sent its counteroffer, including revenue from the “school funding shift” and the tobacco bond money. This should have settled it – and indeed, was substantially the same as the offer that Dayton finally accepted to end the shutdown.
- Late-afternoon, the DFL ratcheted back to their morning demands.
- More cone.
- At 10PM, the Governor essentially claimed that he was shutting down the government because the GOP had rejected the offer in 7, above, and was unwilling to compromise.
And that was that.
In the hour or so after the shutdown, the GOP Caucus released the contents of the letters that had transpired on the 29th and 30th. The release included pages 2-4 of this document here:
No mention of social policy in there. it was not an issue.
So the government shut down. DFL and media narratives aside, it was a disaster for the governor. Government actually saved money; hardly anyone outside of government missed it; the people largely were apathetic, as the Governor learned on a tour of the state to attempt to rally support that drew nothing but dispirited SEIU goons. He returned to the Capitol, and returned to the GOP’s last offer.
And not long after, he gave this talk in WCCO-TV with Esme Murphy – which we’ve featured a time or two:
I was unaware on June 30, in fact I was clearly aware to the contrary, that all these social policy issues, from banning stem cell research and everything else, and just really reactionary social policy, was taken off the table.
Esme Murphy let that line pass without comment – as, in fact, she always does, as her mission seems to be to make sure DFL pols get a nice massage on the air.
But nobody else noted the contradiction; of course he was aware.
- The GOP mentioned no policy issues in its June 30 proposal! As we noted above, it was nearly identical to the governor’s previous offer, differing on a few fiscal tweaks!
- His rejection of that offer mentioned no social policy issues. Because they were off the table.
- Read the speech he gave as the shutdown started. Nary a peep about social issues.
Mark Dayton was shot down completely on the shutdown. And yet the media have allowed him to carry on with the “social policy” canard.
If I were a cynic, you’d think it was because the media was in the bag for Dayton, and wanted to give him cover. You’d also think the media were even more in the bag for the DFL – and chanting the governor’s version of the shutodwn is a key part of the DFL’s attempt to retake the legislature, which a good chunk of the media (at least at the management and editorial-board level) clearly wants.
And I am a cynic.
Because the alternate explanation is that the media just isn’t as smart and attentive to details as I am.
And that just beggars the imagination.
So when will the media start “fact-checking” Dayton’s story? Or their own, for that matter?