Wednesday’s Strib had a story about financial problems in some K-12 school districts here on the frozen tundra; “Elk River looks for more school aid”. In it, was this:

Elk River schools officials are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to pry some more funding out of the Legislature.

Two bills have been introduced this session that would help offset the heavy amount of debt the district took on for major school construction and renovation that has occurred since 2001.

In other words, they’re looking for a bail out. Yes, a bail out.

The Cucking Stool took a closer look at who wrote those bills and wrote about it yesterday: Koch and Kiff: “cuts for thee, but not for me”. The bottom lines, there?

Operational starvation comes to Elk River schools as well as, say, Minneapolis schools, on the per pupil formula, but we’ll figure out a way to help the schools in Koch and Kiffmeyer’s districts – and Pat Garafalo’s, too, incidentally – but certainly not in Minneapolis.

Republican legislative leaders obviously recognize the inadequacy of education funding, but seem only willing to address it in weasely ways for favored districts. Disgusting.


Why might the Elk River school District be looking for that bailout now? Well, let’s take a look back in time:

Elk River likely to hold school levy vote in November

west today, Star Tribune
Last update: June 23, 2010

The district has had a mixed record in getting voters to approve levy and bond requests.

Voters turned down a $133 million bonding request three years ago to build a new high school and new K-8 school, among other things. They also rejected one $5.1-million-a-year levy request since Bezek started four years ago.

A year and a half ago, voters approved renewal of an expiring levy that provides $1.6 million a year.

In the past 15 years, the fast-growing Elk River district has held eight bond referendums to raise money for school construction and renovation. Three of those passed. In the same time span, the district posed 11 levy questions to voters, and won approval on six.

So, how did that levy request last November turn out?

New $3 million-a-year operating levy for 10 years to reduce the need for future budget cuts. Estimated tax impact on home with $150,000 assessed value: $74 a year.

Yes – 8,197 (33%)
No – 16,279 (67%)

To recap: as of June 2010, over a 15 year time span, local residents voted town 5 of 8 bond referendums and 5 of 11 property tax levy referendums; they voted – overwhelmingly – last November to turn down another property tax levy.

So now comes along Amy Koch and Mary Kiffmeyer riding to the rescue, asking the State’s Taxpayers to pay for what the Local Taxpayers won’t??!?

This stuff cannot be made up.

Nothing should be surprising coming from Kiffmeyer. Kiffmeyer, Gentle Readers, belongs to the GOP , which is always claiming “government should be run like a business.” And how did Kiffmeyer run one o’ her businesses, Riverview Community Bank in Otsego (a/k/a, “The bank that God built”) where that picture to the right (“Jesus At The Closing Table”) once adorned a wall?

“Into the ground” might be one description:

October 23, 2009

Riverview Community Bank, Otsego, Minnesota, was closed today by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Central Bank, Stillwater, Minnesota, to assume all of the deposits of Riverview Community Bank. (

Now, I’m writing that Kiffmeyer owned Riverside Community Bank, but that’s only because Kiffmeyer reported to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board that she was the owner; in a letter to the editor Kiffmeyer also claimed she wasn’t the owner (see “Was Mary Kiffmeyer Lying Then, Or Is She Lying Now?”).

And this little side trip of looking back at Kiffmeyer talking out of both sides of her mouth (“I owned it/no, I didn’t own it”) in conjunction with Koch and Kiffmeyer’s bailout bills is just another pathetic example of You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

(cross posted at; comments welcome there)

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