Marching Orders

As we get ready for tomorrow’s beginning of the 2015 Legislative session, Senator Dave Hann gave the state a pretty fair look at conservative GOP priorities in an open letter to Governor Flint-Smith…er, Dayton in the PiPress over the weekend.

The whole thing is worth a read.  I’m going to pullquote the bit on education, which sounds like a little Scott Walker might just at long last be leaking across the border, thank God:>

Republicans will also be ready to consider bolder ideas and reforms such as breaking up our large urban school districts into smaller and more nimble organizations, able to better focus on solving our persistent achievement gap. Empowering parents and local school boards through public-employee-union rules reform and expanded school choice options are tools other states are using effectively. Every year there is talk about closing the achievement gap. But the policy of the DFL is always the same: increase spending. Every year we get the same results: flat or declining achievement. It borders on criminal to tell half the parents in Minneapolis we’ve improved education by providing more expensive schools from which their children will not graduate.

The whole letter is music to my ears – provided the GOP delivers on it (and prevails over the DFL majorities in the Senate and Governor Flint-Smith’s…er, Dayton’s partisan obstruction.

Hann was silent about the elephant in the room (for conservatives, at least), and perhaps justifiably so, from his perspective; the need for the GOP majority in the House to hold, or at least work hard to try to hold, the line on spending – especially the mindless pork-mongering that marred the GOP’s generally decent performance in the majority in the 2011 and 2012 sessions.

Wanna fire up the base?  Get the House caucus to chug a down some of whatever Scott Walker has for breakfast, sack up, and tell Governor Flint-Smith…er, Dayton where to put those proposed spending increases; show the “targeted tax breaks” (aka, swag to DFL constituencies) off to a place where the sun rarely shines.

Be, in short, what you were elected to be.  You were sent to office over the peoples’ revulsion over tax hikes, spending orgies, losing our doctors and our clinics and spending days signing up for MNSure, union money-grubbing from childcare and home care providers, and building useless trains while our roads flake away into impassability.

Remember that. Seriously.


14 thoughts on “Marching Orders

  1. Empowering parents and local school boards through public-employee-union rules reform and expanded school choice options are tools other states are using effectively.

    Over across the river in Wisconsin, costs have declined and stabilized based not so much on salaries but on the ability of school boards to choose more reasonable benefit plans.

    But making unions optional in Wisconsin did expose something pretty interesting. The unions were so popular that when they were reduced to actually representing teachers they lost 60+% of their members.

    The other interesting quote in that article is that while the media reports were that teachers were the ones protesting in Madison very few teachers actually were according to the WEA. It appears it was more the “fellow travelers” and local communists who were protesting, not the teachers. When pressed, the actual leadership of the unions admit that their employees were roughly equally split Rep/Dem/Ind and that the union didn’t accurately represent their employees’ political beliefs and it hurt their ability to actually advocate for education rather than for Democrats. Funny that: leftists hijacked a professional organization and bastardized the purpose of it to the point of destroying it. We’ve never seen that before, have we? (Where’s the closing /sarc tag when you need it?)

  2. Dear Governor Dayton:

    The State budget is huge. We’re concerned it may not be justified in its entirety. We’ll be forming committees to study every nickel spent, in detail, before we send you a budget, probably in the 2016 legislative session. Meanwhile, we’ll approve a continuing resolution to keep the government running at 2014 spending levels during all of 2015.

  3. If they’ve got to spend some of that revenue….hey, could we skip the bonding bill this year at least? Really, 157 years after becoming a state and only moderate population growth in the past half century (about 40%), shouldn’t we be beyond the point of needing debt now?

  4. And I don’t know what you do about the schools–seems to me that separating of the low performing regions of the cities would expose them to a “manure-storm” from “Most children left behind”. Somehow you’ve got to fix the family structure if you want kids there to have much hope.

    Small and accountable might help, but somehow you’ve got to persuade the residents of those areas that they ought to care about their children enough to turn off the TV and open a book. Not easy.

  5. The Republicans have become a lazy party. There is about 30% of the country, we’ll call them the nativists, who like to be told how ‘others’ (race, religion, ethnicity, sex, whatever) are to blame for all that ails us. This has, unfortunately, become the Republican base. There is another 30-40% who dislike the way the Democratic party operates, and will regularly vote against them. This second group will only vote for Republicans once, though, before switching back, if the Republicans actually have some ideas worth implementing while in office.

    The Republicans should be pushing reforms which allow government to do more with less. Low taxes and small government should be the long term goal, rather than the short term crusade. Instead, they’re simply the party of budget cuts, which are sold to their base as cuts of benefits to those ‘others’, pleasing the nativists. And that middle third that regularly wants to slap down the Democrats increasingly feels that the Republicans are nothing but a way station on the way to a new set of Democrats. The Republicans themselves have little to offer. The Republicans are stuck in this rut until they can move away from nativism and become a party of ideas for reforming government to make it leaner and smaller, yet still effective.

  6. ” . . . allow government to do more with less.” Precisely the wrong solution. The more government does, the more it crowds out private enterprise, private charity and volunteers. The more government does For You, the less incentive you have to do For Yourself, the weaker the nation, the more dependent the populace.

    It should say: “Republicans should be pushing reforms which REQUIRE government to do less” or better still: “Republicans should be pushing reforms which PROHIBIT the government from doing as much as it does now, restoring government to its proper role as peacekeeper, provider of sewer and water services, and enforcer of contracts.”

  7. I read Hann’s piece and heard him yesterday on the other radio station. One really good point he made was that if Dayton is going to take it to a shutdown over his gas tax increase…sorry, fee to wholesalers that will in no way shape or form to the end users, then the GOP House should only give in if they can get a REALLY BIG concession, such as union reform (don’t remember his specific examples). He prefaced his point with Governors usually get 60%-80% of what they want.

  8. Emery, if you want to look for a party that thrives by blaming everyone else, don’t look at pachyderms. Look at equus asinus.

    Honestly, wanting immigration laws to be enforced…..that’s paranoia? Here’s a hint; give blood and tell me if you recognize all the tropical diseases you’re being asked about these days. Consider where those diseases are coming from, and ask yourself whether maybe, just maybe, we ought to at least require a background check and a blood test before coming here.

    And the GOP maintains a strong hold on conservative Jews, Christians, and many Muslims and others by….appealing to their denominational differences? Seriously?

    You say some weird stuff sometimes, Emery, but that one was a doozy.

  9. Bikebubba: Perhaps the GOP legislators will govern like adults this time around. It’ll be interesting to see if they fritter away the legislature and lose it in 2016. One should note that record low voter turnout benefited the MN GOP (and nationally as well) in 2014. They won’t have that edge again in 2016. Minnesota is a blue state, not a red state. Legislate the state you have and not the state you dream about.

    Where I do agree with you is your earlier comment regarding education. Too many parents aren’t prepared to accept that their kids must work very hard at school and at home for the nation to achieve better grades. Parents don’t accept that the strongest correlation to poor academic achievement is the parent, not the teacher, the budget, or the technology in the school.

    It is essential that some ability to fire teachers at their supervisors discretion exist, but firing teachers will not solve the problem alone. Better trained teachers (a major in their field, far less ‘Education’ training) is essential. Most of my children’s’ teachers have been very unimpressive in their knowledge of their fields.

    If teachers are paid too little, I would expect a stream of teachers into other better-compensated professions. The only teachers who I see leaving are those who were trained outside of teachers’ colleges. Let’s remember they don’t work 12 months a year for those salaries.

  10. The rot is deep in the government-education complex, Emery. They are institutionally committed to producing what they think are “good citizens”, rather than happy, productive citizens. A happy citizen is too accepting of the status quo, too reluctant to accept the radical change the leftists want. A productive citizen is a capitalist collaborator.
    I always tell people that they would be very surprised at what people are taught in education grad school. Bill Ayres knew what he was doing when he went into administration of education schools.

  11. I always tell people that they would be very surprised at what people are taught in education grad school.

    I would be very surprised if people are taught in education grad school. Seriously, a place with a 3.9 GPA isn’t doing any teaching, it’s minting certificates to allow teachers to get better pay and pass continuing ed requirements, not actual teaching.

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  13. Oh, the stories friends of mine in the College of Education told me about how worthless their “Education” classes were at Michigan State… was a necessary evil, not a good. And then one of them up & got her doctorate at the same place. Go figure.

    Now I would concede that there could be a lot gained if we utterly simplified the goals we’re targeting–say a high school graduate ought to read at least at a 10th grade level (instead of the 7th grade reading level said to be the man for college freshmen these days, sigh), but again, you’re not even going to get there unless you get parents involved again. That’s going to take some things that are not part of any Department of Education.

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