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…..

***

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

…”compromise is the DFL doing it OUR way.”

Rather than taking the time on the last day of the Easter Break to pay their overdue bills, Minnesota’s GOP “Leaders” took off on a fly around to eight cities yesterday – the “Cooked Books Tour.”

The goal was to sell their budget bills. Here’s how Big E, a couple o’ weeks ago, described the GOPer bills:

They have broken precedent and are using numbers created by business lobbyists and other states. The MMB and Dept of Revenue question the validity of their numbers.

Personally, I like the Twitter hashtag – #EnronAccounting – to describe the GOPer’s make (stuff) up numbers, but hey – that’s just me. So, while flying around the great state, did the GOPers leave any room for compromise between them and DFL Governor Mark Dayton? Let’s look!

First stop, Rochester. From the Post Bulletin, here’s the lede:

With less than a month until the legislative session deadline, GOP legislative leaders on Monday reiterated they will not consider tax increases as part of a final budget deal.

“There is a lot of room to compromise and we will compromise and we will cooperate with the governor. We’re just not going to compromise our principles and we’re not raising taxes. Minnesotans can’t afford it,” said Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo.

To recap: GOPers ran on not raising taxes, DFL Governor Mark Dayton ran on raising taxes on those paying less than their fair-share: the rich. It’s a matter of principle for both, and the GOP’s solution?

“Compromise is the DFL doing it OUR way.”

Next stop, Mankato. From The Free Press, here’s the lede:

MANKATO — During a stop in Mankato Monday, Republican leaders of the Minnesota House and Senate again vowed to oppose any of the state tax increases Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton is insisting be part of budget compromise.
.
.
The legislative leaders were asked about a Minneapolis Star Tribune report on Sunday that backroom discussions at the Capitol showed some GOP willingness to consider possible revenue increases as part of a compromise budget, including closing tax loopholes that mostly benefit high-income Minnesotans. Dayton’s budget proposal focuses tax hikes on higher income tax brackets, based on the argument that wealthier Minnesotans are paying a lower percentage of their income in state and local taxes than middle-class residents.

“Don’t believe them,” Deputy Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel said. “Don’t believe the Star Tribune.”

Message from GOPers, at Mankato? Well, there’s TWO messages:

1 – “Compromise is the DFL doing it OUR way.”, and

2 – “Don’t believe the Star Tribune.”

Way to work the refs Geoff!

The fly around included Bemidji; from The Pioneer:

(GOPer Senator Amy) Koch said the business climate can’t improve until the state government gets the budget under control. With that accomplished, the economy will grow, she said.

“This is about so much more than making the books balance,” she said.

“…so much more than making the books balance.”??!?

Yeah, “right.” For the GOP, it’s about cookin’ the books, too.

From the St. Cloud Times:

Less than a month remains before May 23, the scheduled end to the 2011 legislative session that’s prescribed in Minnesota’s Constitution. Yet Republican legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton appear to be miles apart on how to dispatch the state’s deficit.

Republicans would balance the $5 billion deficit primarily with spending cuts, and by delaying repayment of a funding shift to school districts.

Dayton’s budget proposal also would delay repayment of the school-district shift, and would cut projected spending by an additional $300 million in the next two years.

But the Dayton plan also would generate about $3.3 billion in new state revenues, by hiking income taxes on the state’s highest earners and imposing new fees and surcharges on health care providers and individuals.

In an interview after Monday’s event, (St Cloud GOP State Senator John) Pederson expressed optimism that legislators and Dayton can find common ground.

“There probably is some room for compromise, if we can stay away from the tax increases,” Pederson said.

Once again, the GOP position is clear: “compromise is the DFL doing it OUR way.”

From the Alexandria Echo Press:

Published April 22, 2011, 12:00 AM

GOP leaders to stop in Alexandria Monday
Minnesota Senate and House GOP leaders will be doing a statewide fly-around on Monday, April 25. They will be arriving at the Alexandria Airport around 4:40 p.m.

Oops! The GOPer’s Cooked Books Tour couldn’t even get coverage; it seems one paper had the good sense to ignore the BS the GOP is spewing.

Here’s what the Duluth News Tribune had to say:

Published April 25, 2011, 08:57 AM
Minnesota GOP legislative leaders to tour Duluth, state
Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and House Speaker Kurt Zellers start this morning in St. Paul before making stops in Rochester, Mankato, St. Cloud, Moorhead, Bemidji, Alexandria and Duluth.”

Oops, AGAIN!!!

From Fargo-Moorhead Forum:

MOORHEAD – Minnesota Re publican legislative leaders made a stop here Monday to promote their party’s plan for battling the state’s budget deficit.

“We say: ‘What’s in our checkbook is what we have to spend,’ ’’ said Sen. Majority Leader Amy Koch of Buffalo.

Three points – as noted here, GOPers were quite comfortable ordering recount copying services when they didn’t have the “money in the checkbook” to pay for it, and “what’s in the checkbook is what there is to spend” is obviously a concept unfamiliar to squawk-talker and reliable GOPer bootlicker Mitch Berg; and once again, GOPer Senator Amy Koch paints her party into a corner with no negotiating room, unless:

“compromise is the DFL doing it OUR way.”

Get ready for the GOPers to shut this state down, folks – in GOPer world, there is no compromise.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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Now, I’m not one to normally post press releases; that’s what they do over at MudSlingerMike’s blog. Normally.

But, this one is too good NOT to!!!

For far too long, Democrats have deferred from hitting back and pushing back against the distortions and lies from the GreedOverPrinciples party.

Not today!

Full presser, below the fold – and TBag’s Emergency Executive Order 10-07, too!!!

Here’s the Press Release:

Subject: NEWS STATEMENT: SPEAKER KELLIHER COMMENTS ON GOVERNOR’S CABINET MEETING

Margaret AndersonKelliher
NEWS STATEMENT
Minnesota House of Representatives
District 60A (651) 296-0171
463 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155
May 7, 2010

SPEAKER KELLIHER COMMENTS ON GOVERNOR’S CABINET MEETING

Governor is in a fiscal straightjacket of his own making

ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Tim Pawlenty met with his cabinet this morning to discuss the recent budget developments. Speaker of the House Margaret AndersonKelliher had this to say about the ongoing budget work at the state Capitol:

“The Governor’s irresponsible and illegal actions created this financial mess and now he refuses to come to the table and negotiate a responsible way to clean it up. His refusal to compromise on a balanced budget is a fiscal straightjacket of his own making. The state can’t afford to default on payments, and Minnesotans won’t stand for it.

“Let’s be clear: the government is not in shutdown mode. It will only shut down if the Governor wants it to – if he is unwilling to work with the Legislature on a balanced budget solution in the best interest of Minnesotans.

“The Governor must continue making payments as required by law until the state runs out of money. The Governor has no authority to pay some bills and not others – that’s what the Supreme Court clearly stated in the unallotment ruling.

“It’s time for the Governor to come to the table, and finally do the work he was elected to do: work with the Legislature to balance the state budget.

“If the governor is unwilling to put his political ambitions aside this week, we are prepared to do what’s necessary to stand up for Minnesotans.

Our schools,nursing homes, and hospitals are more important than scoring political points.”

-30-

Here’s TBag’s Emergency Executive Order 10-07 – I got it from TheUpTake.org:

EMERGENCY EXECUTIVE ORDER 10-07

DIRECTING THE COMMISSIONER OF MINNESOTA MANAGEMENT & BUDGET TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY CASH MANAGEMENT PLANNING FOR PRIORITIZATION OF CORE GOVERNMENT SERVICES

I, TIM PAWLENTY, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the applicable statutes, including Minnesota Statutes 2009, Section 4.035, do hereby issue this Executive Order:

WHEREAS, Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Minnesota requires that the State balance its budget for each fiscal biennium; and

WHEREAS, the Minnesota Legislature has not enacted an acceptable and appropriate balanced budget for the current Fiscal Year 2010-2011 biennium; and

WHEREAS appropriations enacted for the Fiscal Year 2010-2011 biennium during the 2009 legislative session were $2.7 billion in excess of available revenues for the biennium; and

WHEREAS, continued deterioration of the fiscal climate as a result of the historic economic challenges facing the nation have resulted in an additional deficit of $536 million for the current biennium; and

WHEREAS, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued on May 5, 2010, its opinion in the matter of Brayton et al. v. Pawlenty et al., Appellate Court File No. A10-64, which stated that “[b]ecause the legislative and executive branches never enacted a balanced budget for the 2010-2011 biennium, use of the unallotment power to address the unresolved deficit exceeded the authority granted to the executive branch by the [unallotment] statute” and thus held that the unallotment authority in Minnesota Statutes 2009, Section 16A.152 cannot be used to address the budget deficit created by the appropriations enacted by the Minnesota Legislature during the 2009 legislative session; and

WHEREAS, individuals and organizations seeking the restoration of government funding affected by the 2009 unallotment actions have threatened to seek litigation for a restoration of the unalloted funds in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brayton v. Pawlenty; and

WHEREAS, restoration of the previously-reduced allotments would result in payment obligations for the current fiscal biennium greatly in excess of the State of Minnesota’s ability to pay for them; and

WHEREAS, the State of Minnesota is facing an imminent and severe cash flow crisis as a result of the potential restoration of previously-reduced allotments; and

WHEREAS, the Minnesota Legislature is scheduled for adjournment on May 17, 2010, but has still not enacted an acceptable and appropriate balanced budget plan for the biennium; and

WHEREAS, the Ramsey County District Court’s 2005 order in In re Funding of Core Functions of the Executive Branch of the State of Minnesota, District Court File No. C9-05-5928, directed that the State of Minnesota prioritize performance of core functions of government during the 2005 government shutdown when state obligations exceeded appropriated spending authority; and

WHEREAS, it is imperative that Minnesota Management & Budget identify and develop comprehensive criteria to guide in the prioritization of payment of State obligations, including those relating to the life, health, and safety of Minnesota citizens, in the event that appropriated and allotted obligations continue to exceed the ability of the State of Minnesota on a cash-flow basis to pay for those obligations.

NOW, THEREFORE, I hereby order that:

1. The Commissioner of Minnesota Management & Budget is directed to undertake emergency cash management planning as necessary to plan for the prioritization of core government services.

2. The Commissioner of Minnesota Management & Budget shall immediately prepare and review its operational plans for the identification of core government functions which would be funded on a funds-available basis should the current fiscal crisis result in appropriated and allotted spending obligations continuing to exceed funding available in the State general fund.

Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2009, Section 4.035, Subdivision 2, this Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until the conclusion of the emergency.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have set my hand this 7th day of May, 2010.

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)