As I wrote earlier today, Minnesota’s legislative session ends at midnight tonight. Despite the Democrats’ large majorities in both the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate, the session is shaping up as a huge victory for Republicans and conservatives. This is due mostly to Governor Tim Pawlenty, the only man standing between Minnesota and economic irrelevance. Pawlenty vetoed a billion dollar tax increase sponsored by the Democrats. Moreover, when the Democrats foolishly sent final spending bills to Pawlenty’s desk for action, they forgot that, having vetoed the tax increase, and the state being constitutionally bound to balance its budget, they had put Pawlenty in a position to essentially write the state’s budget for the next two years, via line item vetoes and “unallotments.”
All of this worked because a rock-solid Republican House caucus, under the leadership of Minority Leader Marty Seifert, consistently marshaled enough votes to block the Dems’ efforts to override Pawlenty’s vetoes. In fact, when it came to the billion dollar tax increase, House Democrats were peeling off to join with the Republicans in upholding Pawlenty’s veto.
So, with the end of the session only hours away, a group of anti-excessive taxation, anti-wasteful spending conservatives assembled on the Capitol steps to celebrate the victory and encourage Republicans to hold firm. The gathering was much smaller than the tea party in the same location a few weeks ago, as the organizers started planning it just last Friday. But it was a good time on a stunningly beautiful spring evening.
I was one of the first speakers; the quality is pretty good, so you may need to pause it for a bit before you play it:
A few minutes later, I was followed by House Minority Leader Marty Seifert:
It was a fun event, and Governor Pawlenty’s rout of the Democrats might, indeed, turn out to be a sort of turning point, not just for Minnesota but for the nation. Let’s hope so!