The reporters at the Minneapolis Star Tribune are doing their best to make sure the public assigns the blame for the looming state government shutdown to the Republican legislature. This despite the fact that Governor Dayton promised not to force a shutdown in order to enact the income tax increases that for the core of his creed. Today’s story on the pressure exerted on Republican legislators is in itself part of the media campaign supporting Dayton.
The dirty little secret of the budget battle is that Dayton wants a government shutdown, and that he wants the shutdown to be as painful as possible. So long as the public blames the Republican legislature, a shutdown works to Dayton’s advantage.
Blogger Mitch Berg has been on to the real story here for a while. Just start at the top and keep scroling down. Here Mitch tumbles to the heart of the dirty little secret. Here Mitch describes the choral support the Star Tribune is lending Dayton in the budget battle.
Yesterday the Star Tribune published an important op-ed column by Jonathan Blake on “Dayton’s cynical shutdown.” Blake essentially explains how Dayton is calculating to use the shutdown to inflict maximum pain for political advantage. It’s a story that somehow hasn’t made its way to the news section, let alone the front page.
Instead we have gotten the likes of Rachel Stassen-Berger reporting that legislators who work during the shutdown are to be paid while laid off government workers will go without. What a bombshell. Stassen-Berger even filed a second story reporting that Dayton will not accept his salary during the shutdown.
Stassen-Berger somehow omits to mention that Dayton is a trust fund baby who has never in his life lived on a salary. Rachel, reporting that Dayton will not accept his trust distributions during the shutdown might be a scoop. Over at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, columnist Joe Soucheray goes where Stassen-Berger fears to tread.
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