Here’s where we’re at: The GOPer controlled Minnesota Legislature refused to send DFL Governor Mark Dayton a budget Dayton could/would sign. The session ended at Midnight on Monday, May 23rd. The Press asked the Governor what was the wrench in the gears of government, holding up a deal. The Governor pointed at all the newbie, Freshmen GOPer Legislators; he called them (correctly, IMNSHO) “right wing extremists.”

Here’s what Minnesota Public Radio reported on Wednesday, 5-25:

Throughout the five months of the legislative session, Dayton aimed most of his criticism at GOP legislative leaders. But in recent days, he’s been critical of the roughly 50 new members of the Legislature.

He blamed what he called “an extremist right-wing group” of Republican legislators for refusing to move off their position that the state should spend $34 billion over the next two years and not a penny more.

“First it’s $34 billion, then they prefer $32 billion, and then $31 billion,” Dayton said. “They don’t even know what those numbers mean. They never developed a budget for 32 or 31. All they know is the number 31 is less than 32. And that makes it a good idea because they’re just anti-government.”

Again, IMNSHO, Gov Dayton is correct; those GOPers don’t seem to have a clue about the history of that $31/$32/$34 Billion they keep talking about. And many of those thin-skinned – when the barbs are pointed THEIR direction – Freshman went ballistic about being called “extremist.” Some of ‘em held a presser and everything! At it, GOPer Sen Ted Lillie claimed “We’re not being extreme. We’re being mainstream.” “Mainstream”? Yeah, “right.” Others, such as Sean Nienow, took to twitter:

So, I responded:

So far, GOPer Rep. Nienow has declined to say what he considers himself.

So I figured we should have a poll!

Now for some background – from the May 13th Politics In Minnesota:

By last Monday, posters had begun popping up on Republican legislators’ office doors depicting an overflowing bag of cash with “$34 billion” stenciled on the front and the legend “Not a Penny More” inscribed above. Many of the members who have hung the signs are new to the Capitol, including freshman Assistant Majority Leader Kurt Daudt as well as Reps. Mary Franson and Doug Wardlow.

The Rochester PostBulletin’s Heather Carlson has a photo of that “Not A Penny More” sack, to the right, in a story about a visit to a Freshman GOPer Legislator. Carlson reports:

Recently stopped by Rochester Rep. Mike Benson’s office and couldn’t help but notice the big poster on his door declaring “Not a penny more.” So what’s the story behind the poster?

Benson said a group of 34 GOP House members have joined the Not a Penny More Caucus pledging that they will not approve any budget solution that would go beyond $34 billion. That’s the figure House and Senate Republicans’ budgets are based on, which relies on no new tax increases to balance the state’s projected $5 billion budget deficit.

Bottom line? There is no doubt that the 50 or so newbie, GOPer Freshmen Legislators have influence. There is no doubt those Freshmen Fifty are against a budget compromise – newbie GOPers didn’t get endorsed by the GOPer Faithful to go on the November 2010 ballot by running on a “work together and compromise” platform. There is no doubt they don’t like that “right wing extremist” label.

So what are they? Now is where you, Gentle Reader, step in – vote!

Final results in a couple of days…..

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Cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; votes and/or comments welcome there.

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