Minnesota newspapers, largely, supported Governor
Messinger Dayton and the DFL. They largely not only bought the “Alliance For A Better Minnesota’s” bill of goods hook line and sinker, but most of them worked tirelessly to propagate it, and to squelch dissent from it.
They studiously avoided, almost completely, any reporting that would have impeded the DFL’s rise to power.
The Minnesota media, at large, were among the DFL’s most valuable players this past two electoral cycles. At the highest levels – the Strib, the PiPress, and at least the programming arm of MPR – they serve as the DFL’s Praetorian Guard.
But now? Now that the governor is tacking 5.5% sales taxes (for starters) onto print services, advertising and retail newspaper sales?
Business groups and retailers complain that the proposal would cost jobs. As he spoke to the Minnesota Newspaper Association, several editors and newspaper owners complained that a sales tax on newspapers would hurt their industry.
Tom West, the managing editor of the Morrison County Record in Little Falls, spoke about his concerns during a question and answer session.
“We are the ones who cover local government and state government, and we are wondering why you would think it would be a good idea to have less information about government and what government is up to,” West said.
(Cynical answer: “Because you’ve served your purpose”. See also The Minnesota Independent).
(Slightly less cynical answer: “While your contributions to DFL hegemony were vital, you don’t have the same political clout as AFSCME, the SEIU or MPR).
(Cynical and partisan but realistic answer: “How about not just “covering local government”, but turnin a critical eye on the DFL? For once?”)
Others said that expanding the sales tax to newspaper ink, paper and advertising would result in job losses. Dayton said he understood the concern but did not back away from his plan.
Job losses only matter if they’re union.
Small papers aren’t union.
Big papers are – and we’ll see what happens there.
As to the rest of you newspapers? You got the government you mostly worked for, largely shilled for, and for the most part operated as in-the-bag PR agents for. Most of your editorial stances praised Dayton and the DFL’s return to power.
So now you’re saying you’re not Happy To Pay For A Better Minnesota?
BONUS QUESTION FOR DFLers: What do you think happens when you tack 5.5% onto the price of something?
All other things being equal, people buy 5.5% less of it.
Ponder losing 5.5% of your business overnight. Ponder hard.