Minnesota Cage Match

Why Minnesota matters

Featured image I started following the story that I called Minnesota Cage Match for two reasons: I thought, given the constellation of forces at work, that events here would foreshadow events in Washington, and I found the slant of the incompetent media coverage driven by the Minneapolis Star Tribune to be sickening. As in the national mainstream media, Democrats here control what Glenn Reynolds calls “the master media narrative,” only more so. »

Dayton Caves?

Featured image Here in Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton has agreed to the Republican legislature’s June 30 proposal to resolve the state’s budget impasse and end the partial government shutdown, with several conditions added. The most important of these conditions appears to be the Republicans’ agreement to a $500 million bonding bill “to put people back to work throughout Minnesota.” I don’t have a handle on the numbers, but I assume that any »

Now It’s Getting Serious!

Featured image Mark Dayton’s shutdown of Minnesota’s state government is now in its third week, and so far I’ve seen no sign of it. I mean that literally: if I hadn’t read about the shutdown in the newspapers, I would have no reason to be aware of it. Each day, the Minnesota Star Tribune runs an article on some group that ostensibly is being hurt by the shutdown. So far, the ones »

Across the great divide

Featured image In Minnesota the state government may have shut down, but the the Minneapolis Star Tribune remains hard at work. The Strib is working overtime to portray Republican legislators as hardline ideologues responsible for the shutdown and as divided in their commitment to holding the line on spending. Consider Baird Helgeson’s “In GOP, a deep divide over hard line on budget.” (Did Rachel Stassen-Berger have the weekend off?) There are many »

Rudy Boschwitz speaks

Featured image Adding some heft to the idea of a deux ex machina to resolve Minnesota’s budget battle, my friend Rudy Boschwitz writes: Inasmuch as elder statesmen are becoming involved in our state’s budget battles, I too will join the fray. Voters didn’t leave me in doubt when they went to the polls just eight months ago. The shout for fiscal restraint and responsibility was loud and clear. In May the Legislature »

A funny thing happened…

Featured image …on the way to the apocalypse — a/k/a government shutdown — here in Minnesota. We are in day 8 of Minnesota Held Hostage. Governor Dayton has precipitated the shutdown by refusing to sign any budget bill — even those he agrees on — without a resolution of all outstanding issues. He refuses to call the legislature back into session to pass a lights on bill that would keep the government »

Mark Dayton makes do

Featured image We are in day 7 of Minnesota Held Hostage. The shutdown of state government proceeds, with an exemption for staff designated essential. Governor Dayton has laid off half of his 40-member staff during the shutdown, while he has designated 20 essential and kept them at work. Dayton is of course a (South Dakota) trust fund beneficiary who has never supported himself on a salary in his life, so his idea »

Amy Koch: Inside the cage match

Featured image I put in a request for an interview with Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch a couple of weeks ago. Senator Koch is one of the Republican legislative leaders — the other is House Speaker Kurt Zellers — who is negotiating with Governor Mark Dayton in the epic budget battle/government shutdown that is playing itself out in Minnesota. If the budget battle is a cage match, as we have characterized »

Democrats ex machina

Featured image The latest development in Minnesota’s budget standoff/government shutdown is the announcement of a supposedly bipartisan committee of elder statesmen to resolve the crisis. Over at MinnPost, former Star Tribune columnist Doug Grow can barely contain his excitement. The Star Tribune reports on the formation of the committee here. Announced by Democratic former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Republican Governor Arne Carlson (emphasis on former Republican), the committee will search »

Were the Founders Democrats?

Featured image Normally we wouldn’t bother to critique an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but this one by political reporter Dane Smith, which implicitly addresses the current budget standoffs in both Washington and Minnesota, is perhaps worth a brief review. Smith’s theme is that today’s conservatives, especially those associated with the Tea Party, are like the anti-federalists who opposed the creation of the United States. Federalist heroes, notably George Washington and »

What’s wrong with this picture?

Featured image In “Dayton’s moment to decide,” Star Tribune political reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger purports to summarize the impasse that has produced Minnesota’s government shutdown. According to Stassen-Berger, Minnesota’s highly medicated governor faces a stark choice: “Dayton must decide whether to stick to his principles against determined opponents, or seek a fresh, if painful, compromise.” As usual with Stassen-Berger’s reportage on the budget battle, critical facts go missing in the interest of her »

A Tale of Two Shutdowns

Featured image Minnesota’s government shutdown has made national news, in part because it foreshadows, in some respects, the battle that will play out in Washington over the next month on the debt ceiling. What has happened in Minnesota is clearcut: our Republican legislature passed a budget for the next two years, consisting of nine spending bills. Our Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, didn’t think the legislature spent enough money, so he vetoed them. »

Katherine Kersten can’t say that, can she?

Featured image Over on the editorial pages of the Star Tribune, Katherine Kersten looks at some of the circumstantial evidence suggesting that the current government shutdown is the consummation devoutly wished by our highly medicated Governor Mark Dayton. My friend Kathy writes: Dayton — and the DFL legislators who support his plan — needed a dramatic way to persuade fiscally conservative Minnesotans to support their big-spending ways. A government shutdown could do »

Shut down the Star Tribune

Featured image In the budget standoff leading to the shutdown of the Minnesota state government, the army of reporters at the Minneapolis Star Tribune has played a bizarre role. The army first devoted itself to the catastrophes that would befall us in the event of a shutdown. It worked the hell out of the looming catastrophes until June 30. On July 1 the army made a transition. Now the Star Tribune is »

The play’s the thing

Featured image Yesterday I wrote that the Star Tribune was spinning the breakdown of negotiations between Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders on Dayton’s behalf. Seeking to understand the dynamics of the negotiations leading to the shutdown, I sought out a copy of the parties’ various positions as revealed in their most recent written offers. Here they are. I am sure these final four written offers were as readily available »

Minnesota cage match, cont’d

Featured image The big news in Minnesota today is the coming of the state government shutdown as of midnight last night. The shutdown is the result of a budget battle between Minnesota’s highly medicated Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and a Republican legislature led by House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. Zellers and Koch have done a fine job standing their ground and holding their troops together so far »