In the current budget battle heading toward a possible state government shutdown on July 1, the St. Paul Pioneer Press has served as slight counterweight to the Dayton administration public relations work performed daily by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Over the weekend the Pioneer Press editorial “Unnecessary pain” observed:
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has attempted to position himself as interested in compromise. Though both sides have compromised, the governor seems to have had the better of the “I compromised and they didn’t” spin.
But it’s not that simple. Rather than work out differences and sign off on large portions of the budget on which agreement is within reach, Dayton has as of this writing refused to get deals done and preserve operations in those parts of government. This is not compromise. This is hostage taking.
The governor is threatening to unnecessarily shut down portions of government to have his way on other, more contentious budget matters. We understand his desire to bring the greatest possible pressure to bear on the Legislature in support of his promise to raise taxes on higher incomes. Politics ain’t beanbag. But the unnecessary infliction of pain is not consistent with an attitude of compromise.
(Empasis added.) If the Star Tribune political reporters would lift a finger to turn over a rock or two in St. Paul, they would find an interesting story or two behind the looming disasters it bewails in the event of a government shutdown.