July 1, 2005
My nominees for next year's legislative leadership
I nominate Bobo (to the left) as Speaker of the House, Jojo (center) as Governor, and Spanky (right) as Senate Majority Leader. The great thing about monkeys as our legislative leaders is that they'll work for bananas, and they will pretty much be able to get the same exact thing done on the budget that the current bunch of "leaders" got done: NOTHING.
This failure of our government is nothing short of stunning. The last state that suffered this embarrassement was Tennessee in 2002. Yes Minnesota, we are now grouped in the same category with a state that considers Hooters as fine dining, cousins as suitable spouses, and where the governor's mansion is the nicest home in the trailer park.
Long time readers of this site know that I have criticized our elected officials before, usually in regards to efforts to build a new Twins stadium. This failure, though, this shocking disregard for the people they serve is so outrageous, so upsetting I honestly don't know how any of them will politically survive. Minnesotans seem to have a short memory, true, but 9,000 people are out of work right now. The state is shut down! I truly can't believe it.
The blame is easily bipartisan. Pawlenty's "no new taxes" pledge is too inflexible and just plain stupid. Does he serve the people of Minnesota or the Taxpayer's League? By immediately removing from his tool-chest an important option such as even considering tax increases he proved to be less of a leader and more of a lacky to special interests. Pawlenty's "leadership" is, quite frankly, driving Minnesota into the ground.
And the DFL, led by Dean Johnson, is playing a very dangerous political game. It is obvious, at least to me, that they are trying to make Pawlenty look bad. They are trying to get people angry in the hopes that we will blame the Republicans in control of the House and governor's mansion. So far it is working, but Dean, where is the money that you want to spend? Increased funding for MinnesotaCare and education are noble causes, but there is no more money! Pawlenty and Sviggum have made it clear that they won't raise taxes, you have made your point, now accept a compromise so we can move on!
It is time for a change. Minnesota politics have become so polarized that it appears the normal functioning of state government is an impossibility. I have never wanted a unicameral legislature more in my life than a I do right now.
As jthielman has already pointed out we need to give this bunch of "stumblebums" the pink slip. They do not deserve their jobs. They have not done their jobs. The sad thing is, even though they now truly have nothing to lose, the cherry on the top of this legislative session will be their inability to pass the Twins stadium bill. This group of do-nothings couldn't pass a budget bill to keep the state running!!! We need to vote all of them out of office. They are worthless.
Posted by snackeru at July 1, 2005 7:08 AM | Politics
Yep, Fall 2006 we get to put them all out of work. People better not have short memories about this. At least The WifeŽ was saved when the History Center's budget was attached to the park bill at the last minutes. She's solid for the next 2-years now. But many, many others were not so lucky.
A few years ago when The WifeŽ was poking fun at the Gov who "hunted man" I told her he had one great idea. (Actually two as the reduction in car tags was bonus!). That idea was the unicameral legislature.
Disagree about T-Paw. He's the man right now. We cannot keep spending and spending and spending. Dem's have to make some concessions unless they can provide the plan for making the dough. I was surprised T-Paw pulled the racino bill.
Oh, I made it to work today doing 140 mph the whole way without hitting the brakes once.
Posted by: Brian Maas at July 1, 2005 9:18 AM
Come election time, I am voting against all incumbents. What the hell? If a corporation does this, the board and all the execs get fired and it would be condemned by the entire business world as a catastrophic failure. Borderline criminal negligence even.
I am now even prouder I voted for Jesse back in the day.
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at July 1, 2005 9:19 AM
Jesse "Pet" Ventura also spearheaded the lightrail.
Without getting into specifics, because I don't know the specifics quite frankly, I've always hated economic mantras like no new taxes or we need a balanced budget amendment (federal issue, I know, but part of the point). Whether we are spending too much as COD maintains is a difficult question to answer. Maybe a new blog that discusses questions like that would be a good idea. (wink,wink)
I don't know if I am embarassed or not by the shutdown. I would agree on the polarization. It seems to me that political discourse has changed to a more shrill tone. Perhaps I'm wrong about that. If this implosion results in a better governance of the state in the long run, it will be worth it. If it has no impact on the public discourse, well then, embarassment is the operative word.
Posted by: SBG at July 1, 2005 9:39 AM
CC: I can see the bumperstickers now, "Just Vote Against the Incumbent!" I'm with ya 100%.
SBG: Very good point. If it results in improvement then the shutdown will be worth it. For now, I'll be in Hell making those snowballs.
Posted by: Brian Maas at July 1, 2005 10:52 AM
Hey, why badmouth Tennessee? Spent some time in Nashville a few years ago. Great restaurants, wonderful music...especially if you like country, a great arena for a NHL team, and some beautiful southern houses.
Posted by: roger at July 1, 2005 1:29 PM
Sorry Roger. I didn't mean to offend, I was just going for the stereotypes to illustrate the ineptitude of our legislature. I even had to look up Tennessee stereotypes in Google because I didn't know any. As far as I know it is a wonderful state.
And while I understand your point, COD, that we can't just keep spending, and spending, and spending, there is also a time to spend. I'm not saying it is now, but Pawlenty has removed that option all together no matter how appropriate it is. That is just plain stupid.
And I'll join you in making snowballs. Nothing good will come from this unless we see a huge turnover of legislators in 2006. When does Pawlenty go up for re-election?
The sad thing is I don't think many people care about this. Sviggum even said it would be interesting to see how many people care that these services are gone, and for right now I'm not sure anyone really cares. Why are we so apathetic about this?
Posted by: Shane at July 1, 2005 1:37 PM
Having lived in the only state with a unicameral congress, I can tell you some of the drawbacks. (Nebraska in case you didn't know...) I didn't live in Omaha or Lincoln. Thus I know that anyone living in Brainard or Ely or anywhere but the Twin Cities is hosed. This was true in Nebraska it would be true here. The outlying areas couldn't muster the votes to stop any Twin City desired legislation. This would make a ballpark a snap. We just tax farmers, and they wouldn't be able to do a darn thing about it. That is an exageration, but the point stands. This would be good for Twin City residents, but outlying areas would have little influence. This just isn't the answer.
Posted by: DouglasG at July 1, 2005 2:50 PM
Interesting Douglas. That is assuming that it is the House that we keep in a unicameral legislature. Could the Senate be an option? I also disagree with your conclusion that a ballpark would be a snap, but if you are right then where do I sign up?!?!?
Your point is understood, though. A unicameral legislature where the House is retained would indeed give TC legislators more power. That would be dangerous, even if it does get me my precious stadium...
Posted by: Shane at July 1, 2005 2:59 PM