Judge, Jury, And Community Organizer

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Supreme Court orders Legislature to divulge how much money it has to continue operations, after Dayton line-item vetoed funding.

As we used to say in the olden days: objection – irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial.  This is a separation of powers issue, not a fiscal management issue.  How much money the legislature prudently set aside to weather bumps in the economy has no bearing on whether it’s constitutional for the Executive Branch to abolish the Legislative Branch using the line-item veto.

The Democrat-appointed Supreme Court is squirming, trying to avoid admitting that Democrat Dayton blundered.  Why?  He’s a lame duck.  Throw him under the bus to preserve the tattered shreds of your dignity. Or cast all pretense aside and admit the court is simply another manifestation of the DFL. Believe me, nobody will be surprised to hear it.

Joe Doakes

I’d almost appreciate the honesty.


4 thoughts on “Judge, Jury, And Community Organizer

  1. I am still confused as to how the legislature, or any government department for that matter can “set aside (money) to weather bumps in the economy”. Because I thought to spend the money required an appropriation that was created by the legislature and approved by the governor. That slush funds controlled by departments were an anathema to good governmental fiscal prudence.

    The fact that it is the currently R controlled legislature that has the funds does not lessen my concern.

    How many other pockets of money, which seem to be able to be spent at the whim of department heads, are scattered around our state government? How big are these slush funds? Could we operate the government for how many months off these previously undisclosed slush funds.

  2. I heard on a local podcast that one of the houses had funding available thru the end of Feb..IF they took out a loan from a state congressional agency. I don’t think that should be included in the total. It’s not money on hand.

  3. Agreed with both Joe and Loren. The numbers are immaterial to the lawsuit at hand, but very germane to the business of proper government. What a bummer that our state does not have an auditor or governor who might be interested in the question of whether state agencies are indeed accountable to the public, or whether they’ve got slush funds to do what they want, no matter what the legislature says they ought to be doing.

    Come to think of it, if I were in the GOP, this is the kind of thing I’d put in the negotiations; an honest accounting of existing slush funds, and a cut in funding equal to that amount. Go to the public and ask the question of why taxpayers ought to be burdened when the government already has the money, and if Dayton balks, ask the public why he doesn’t care that the state is burdening taxpayers needlessly.

  4. I worked for state government. Minnesota has zero-based budgeting meaning every year you justify your budget from the ground up, you don’t just add an inflation factor to last year’s budget. Sounds great but the biggest problem was the projections. If 2001 is the year of the regular legislative session to adopt the biennial budget, then your division starts developing your department’s budget request in 2000 using projections of what tax revenue income and department expense needs are likely to be through the end of 2002. Those estimates come from bureaucrats using assumptions about the economy. When you get a 9/11 event or a 2007 a real estate crash, income tax revenue plummets just when unemployment and welfare payments skyrocket and now you’re looking at layoffs or a special legislative session. To avoid that, everybody wants to build in a few bucks of reserve so their programs can keep running. It’s only prudent.

    I have no problem with government keeping a modest reserve. Democrats have no problem spending us into bankruptcy. The Supreme Court doesn’t need to know any of that to decide the issue at hand. The question of budget reserves is a red herring to distract us from Governor Dayton’s attempted extortion.

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