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What's your reaction to the shutdown deal?

Gov. Mark Dayton speaking to reporters Thursday night.
MinnPost photo by Terry Gydesen
Gov. Mark Dayton speaking to reporters Thursday night.

After several weeks of dread leading up to two weeks of shutdown, there is an agreement that is expected to put this profound failure of governance behind us.

If you’re a Mark Dayton supporter, what's on your mind? What would you have had him do differently? If you back the GOP, do you feeling vindication or disappointment? For both sides: would you have tolerated a longer shutdown if it meant a different agreement?

Nonprofits, social justice organizations and community activists, I have a question for you too: Could more have been done at the grassroots level to prevent the shutdown? If so, what?


I want to know what’s on your mind. If you are a state employee and you are eager to speak your mind but protect your identity, you probably know the drill by now. I've created a form for this purpose. I'll identify you by first name only if you provide me with the details I need to confirm your identity. You can share your thoughts confidentially by clicking here.

As always, I'll be reading what you write and pulling some of it up from the comments and into this post.

My humble request: I'm always hoping for diversity of opinion. Share yours and speak as strongly as you need to. Argue where you feel you must. But please, no personal attacks. Let's get as many voices as we can into this thing.

Your voices (updated 7/15/11 4:30 PM)

"I'm happy that I likely will be going back to work soon. However, this deal didn't really bring anything new to the table. It makes me wonder why we allowed the shutdown to happen at all if they weren't willing to hold out for something new. I've lost 15 days of pay so far. For what?"  — Chris, state employee

"I am incredibly frustrated with both parties. All they are doing is borrowing and delaying payments. Speaking as an independent, I do think Dayton came out better than the Republicans. He was in the news constantly offering compromises and the republicans weren't."  TJ Simplot

"Speaking as communications director of the American Lung Association in Minnesota, we are very disappointed in the decision to issue tobacco settlement bonds. It's an one-time fix that doesen't really fix anything. It will hamper the state's ability to reduce tobacco use for years to come, and it will cost taxpayers in added interest fees. Bad idea. Raising the tax on tobacco could have closed a big chunk of the budget gap and would have been a long term, sustainable path out of the budget mess."  Robert Moffitt

"Sooner or later we have to come to grips with the fact that we have been shortchanging society by putting government on the credit card, mostly to the benefit of our high income residents. We need to reform the tax code and be honest about what government costs us and pay the bill. The poor, the disabled, the elderly and our school children will pay the price if we don't. Ultimately, we will all suffer as a consequence."  Patrick Guernsey

"I'd like to see some deep reporting on the mythical 'job providers' who who can't be taxed. I want profiles with names and faces of folks whose profits (net after expenses and deductions) are over a million dollars and who are willing to say that they will shut down their business rather than pay a fair share in taxes."  Steve Waage

"It is absolutely terrible, but there is really no other choice. Just as the DFL had to do with Pawlenty, it has to do with an obstinate GOP legislature — temporary fixes. Remember when the GOP and the DFL could work together? Now the state parties are mirror-images of their national counterparts."  — Chrish Henjum

"I am a Dayton supporter and I support the deal. I work for a non-profit social service agency. Through the two court rulings, most but not all of our services were deemed critical core services. But the shutdown has still been very stressful for our clients and the employees who serve them.

"I know all this deal does is kick the real problems down the road. But it's clear to me, and apparently it was to Dayton, that this was the best deal we could get. The offer the Republicans put out there on June 30th, with the 'policy' conditions, made me angry. It seemed to give the lie to their campaign slogans about jobs and reducing spending, and instead showed me that apparently they are willing to spend more if they can get their conservative social agenda through.

"I think Dayton called their bluff. Because the shutdown's wide impact had begun to evidence itself (even beer!), the Republicans found they had to say yes. The Republicans will work hard to spin it another way to the media, but I think Dayton was brilliant, actually."  Margaret Macneale

 "I'm a Dayton backer. Yes, I'm disappointed. Disgusted, in fact, by stealing money from education and future revenues. However, I'm not one of those suffering greatly in the shutdown. I know several state workers that have said they support Dayton and would be willing to go without work longer. However, how much longer can they truly afford to? If he stands his ground on removing the social issues, he'll have redeemed himself a tiny bit in my mind."  Rachel Kahler

"My take is that regardless of the party this is a 'Live to fight another day' move. And for Dayton there will be one more budget cycle, possibly with a DFL majority." David DeCoux

"I don't think the Republicans were ever going to be willing to really work with Gov. Dayton on a true compromise solution. As a result the governor was left with two options: strike a deal on a bad budget now or strike a deal on a bad budget several weeks from now.Neal Williamson

"Mark Dayton has repeatedly said that this plan is bad for the state and that he disagrees with it wholeheartedly. I completely agree with him there. However, I don't feel that we've exhausted all options."  Andrew Richner

"It's a lousy agreement that puts off real solutions — again. As bad as it is, it is better than continuing the shutdown. The biggest lasting effect on me is a firm decision to get back into politics in a big way. I am angry, and can't stand on the sidelines anymore.

"Growing up in a small business family with a parent who was very heavily involved in Republican politics, I grew weary of that party as they strayed further from their true fiscal conservative roots and increasingly insisted on stepping into religion and personal decisions. How different would the shutdown have been if we had a stronger presence from the only true moderate party — the Independence Party?"  — Tim, state employee

"I have mixed feelings about this potential agreement. On the one hand I REALLY need to get back to work. On the other hand I'm extremely disappointed at the 'framework' as it fixes none of the mess that got us here to begin with and only compounds those problems well into our future.

"As painful as it has been I think I would have preferred to wait it out until a better plan could have been developed, but then again the GOP may never have come around to that anyway. The Governor gets high marks for at least trying to compromise where others have not budged a millimeter."  — Kristin, state employee


"I'm a Republican who does not support the present party. I am not a Dayton supporter either. I was horrified that the Governor chose to go to a shutdown, rather than a lights on bill. All of the negotiating could have continued and the state would have been spared the expense, the taxpayers would have been spared the pain. And we still would have the same result we ended up with.

"I am also a horseman. Closing the track over an accounting technicality even though the fees to keep it running have been paid through the end of July was ridiculous. Even more ridiculous was a single judge's decision to keep it closed without a clear reason and then to hear an appeal to her own decision which she naturally upheld. This move has lead us to another closed weekend and another hit on the livelihood of the track people. These people represent a large industry in the state. Because they only have one venue in the state, they are dependent on its operation. The closure took away four weeks of races that are hard to make up this late in the season."  Claire Lundgren


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Comments (29)

For myself, I am booking a long therapy session at one of Marcus Bachmann's therapy clinics. If he can restore my faith in Minnesota government, it will be one the great prayer miracles of the Christian Era.

I'm a Dayton backer. Yes, I'm disappointed. Disgusted, in fact, by stealing money from education and future revenues. However, I'm not one of those suffering greatly in the shut down. I know several state workers that have said they support Dayton and would be willing to go without work longer. However, how much longer can they truly afford to? And how much MORE of a deficit are we going to hit specifically due to this shut down? If he stands his ground on removing the social issues, he'll have redeemed himself a tiny bit in my mind, and I hope the voters remember that the Republicans held our state hostage and their best "compromise" was to steal from our childrens' future.

If only the Republicans had a statesman among them, who would say to the GOP: "With this deal, we achieved our cuts, and adjusted revenues so that we do not borrow from our children today, nor borrow from their future."

I am a Dayton supporter and I support the deal. I work for a non-profit social service agency. Through the 2 court rulings, most but not all of our services were deemed "critical core services". But the shutdown has still be very stressful for our clients and employees who serve them.

I know all this deal does is kick the REAL problems down the road. But it's clear to me, and apparently it was to Dayton, that this was the best deal we could get. The offer the Republicans put out there on June 30th, with the 'policy' conditions, made me angry. It seemed to give the lie to their campaign slogans about jobs and reducing spending, and instead showed me that apparently they are willing to spend MORE if they can get their conservative social agenda through. I think Dayton called their bluff. He took the "spending more" portion (unfortunately through borrowing rather than raising revenue), but forced them to take off the policy stuff. AND he got the bonding bill added. Because the shutdown's wide impact had begun to evidence itself (even beer!), the Republicans found they had to say 'yes' – too many of their constituents were starting to make noises. The Republicans will work hard to spin it another way to the media, but I think Dayton was brilliant, actually.

NOW the hard part. If by some miracle (and a decent reapportionment plan from the courts) the DFL can take back control, then the DFL must, must, must do the hard work that has been put off too long. In the remaining 2 years of Dayton's term (and I hope he runs again), we can not go on a spending spree. We need to really dig in and change the way we do business. It will be the DFL's responsibility, and we'd darn well better do it. Or we would deserve getting booted out for years to come.

Speaking as communications director of the American Lung Association in Minnesota, we are very disappointed in the decision to issue tobacco settlement bonds.

It's an one-time fix that doesen't really fix anything. It will hamper the state's ability to reduce tobacco use for years to come, and it will cost taxpayers in added interest fees.

Bad idea. Raising the tax on tobacco could have closed a big chunk of the budget gap and would have been a long term, sustainable path out of the budget mess.

I'm not a state employee but I support Governor Dayton. I'd like to see some deep reporting on the mythical "Job Providers" who who can't be taxed. I want profiles with names and faces of folks whose profits (net after expenses and deductions) are over a million dollars and who are willing to say that they will shut down their business rather than pay a fair share in taxes. I'm suspecting that you will find that they consist of lots of inheritors of wealth who never earned it in the first place, lots of folks who mine State and Federal programs like Michele and Marcus Bachmann and lots of folks like bankers whose business success is built on the guarantee of Federal or State deposit insurance.

This is a "band aide" that will just mushroom on us again in the next budget cycle. Sooner or later we have to come to grips with the fact that we have been shortchanging society by putting government on the credit card, mostly to the benefit of our high income residents. We need to reform the tax code and be honest about what government costs us and pay the bill. The poor, the disabled, the elderly and our school children will pay the price if we don't. Ultimately, we will all suffer as a consequence.

I am incredibly frustrated with both parties. All they are doing is borrowing and delaying payments. This is just going to make the same problem happen next time the budget is up for balancing.

Speaking as an independent I do think Dayton came out better than the Republicans. He was in the news constantly offering compromises and the republicans weren't.

My take is that regardless of the party this is a "Live to fight another day" move. And for Dayton there will be one more budget cycle, possibly with a DFL majority.

The shutdown and the agreement to end the shut down are examples of the profound failure of governance. The Governor and GOP leaders have caused many problems for many people in our state. And for what? To delay dealing with the financial crisis our state has been facing for at least 15 years. There is no reason to believe they will address the problem now. They haven't and they wont.

How do we fix it? I believe Unicameral legislative would be an improvement. Perhaps returning to a non-partisan legislature like we had prior to 1973 could help. Ultimately, I believe the only true fix is an alternative to D's and R's. Not to mediate or try to bring these two extremist parties together but lead Minnesota. I am hopeful the Independence Party and its candidates will mature and gain the confidence to do this.

I don't think the Republicans were ever going to be willing to really work with Gov. Dayton on a true compromise solution. As a result the governor was left with two options: strike a deal on a bad budget now or strike a deal on a bad budget several weeks from now.

This budget deal is devastating both emotionally and personally. For the next two years at least the cost of an economic recession is being shouldered by those of us who are most invested in the community in terms of the ratio of the taxes we pay to what we make as well as in terms of the services that we use which are now being drastically cut. Mark Dayton has repeatedly said that this plan is bad for the state and that he disagrees with it wholeheartedly. I completely agree with him there. However, I don't feel that we've exhausted all options. I supported Dayton from the start because I thought he was more honest than that.

Governor Dayton caves?
I posted on http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/07/dayton-caves.php

Minnesota expects to receive nearly $320 million in tobacco payments in FY 2012-13.
http://www.tcdailyplanet.n​et/blog/scott-russell/toba​cco-bonding-would-borrow-o​ur-future

Gov Dayton proposes "borrowing" $700 million from future tobaccos settlement revenue. If it is a true loan the interest rate will be relatively good but that will add to the potential liability of the state of MN.

If sold as a future "securitization" with no future liability to MN (a "clean sale") the rate of return will be fairly low. (think of selling bad debt). The future payments depend on mostly "big tobacco" remaining solvent businesses and people continuing to smoke primarily "big tobacco" brands.

Maybe, maybe not. Off brand and "bootleg" cig sales are growing as part of market share, abet slowly. The original master settlement had some odd provisions. In one non-settlement ("small") tobacco could join. If they didn't they would need to escrow 150% of the payment in case their are any future claims against them. The original tobacco litigation is based on the idea that cig sellers deceived the public about the dangers of smoking. It's hard to see how new ("small") tobacco is doing this.

Of course, if new/small tobacco doesn't have the settlement surcharge they potentially have a price advantage over "big tobacco". It is slow but legal challenges are slowly making their way up the court ladder. Basically, the tobacco settlement is not the best future revenue stream.

If you in the mood to read here is an explanation of tobacco securitization Iwrote two years ago.
http://freedomtoact.blogsp​ot.com/2009/02/redrant-pro​posed-minnesota-tobacco.ht​ml

hard to believe the only reason we had a shutdown was two social issues, abortion and stem cell research. Love the republicans. Remember to thank them.

I am profoundly disappointed that this is the best agreement that could be reached. I am glad the shutdown is over but firmly believe that all that has been accomplished is to shove our immense problems down the road! From my standpoint, the republican party will pay a dear price when the 2012 elections are held. I am deeply ashamed of the majority of the republicans who seem to think acting like a three year old is the proper response to our problems. I anxiously await the elections.

Maybe the Republican leadership can make the cover of Time magazine holding a picture of uneducated and emaciated child with big grins on their faces caption reading Minesota revenue miracle and the shadow of grover norquist in the background. Where is community in this budget ?

When you find yourself at the bottom of a deep hole, the first rule is to stop digging it any deeper. "The Deal" digs our hole much deeper.

We're just kicking the can down the road and, pretty soon, the can is going to be too big to kick any further.

I'm a Republican who does not support the present party. I am not a Dayton supporter either. I was horrified that the Governor chose to go to a shutdown rather than a lights on bill. All of the negotiating could have continued and the state would have been spared the expense, the taxpayers would have been spared the pain. ANd we still would have the same result we ended up with.

I am also a horseman. Closing the track over an accounting technicality even though the fees to keep it running have been paid through the end of July was rediculous. Even more rediculous was a single judge's decision to keep it closed without a clear reason and then to hear an appeal to her own decision which she naturally upheld. This move has lead us to another closed weekend and another hit on the livelihood of the track people. These people represent a large industry in the state. Because they only have one venue in the state they are dependent on its operation. The closure took away 4 weeks of races that are hard to make up this late in the season. And our season is short. If the tracks can't make up the required dates of live racing it will close down the card club and simulcasting revenues. These are our only revenue sources outside of selling horses. WHo wants to buy race horses in a state that does not support racing? Without this weekend's race dates it will be very tight to fill races and make up our dates as other tracks will open and the horsemen will leave. You can't run races without entries. I'm afraid for the survival of the industry which is valued at well over $1 billion per year.

It looks to me like the horse industry in Minnesota will become one of the largest losers from the shutdown. Even though we have always been a source of revenue for the state, and have never received any special considerations, have never taken money from the state, and have always tried to promote Minnesota as a special place for the horsemen, it would appear the state has let us down. We feel betrayed by a state that we have tried to make our home. I'm not sure there is much left. Will Minnesota miss the taxpayers and thousands of agricultural related jobs that we represent? Probably, when it's too late.

The "profound failure of governance" is "resolved" by another one, one we routinely saw during the tp years--kicking the can down the road, which likely will result in a further lowering of the state's credit rating, higher costs, and more besmirching of the reputation of our formerly exceptional state. That the Governor thought it was the only way to get a deal is sobering; that people who call themselves conservatives were willing to propose it in the first place so they wouldn't have to raise taxes on their rich friends is nothing short of stunning.

Dayton supporter.

The shutdown is not over. All we have yet is a framework that is very unpopular with many of those who have to agree to it.

BUT it is the furtherest along the road we have come by far, and I think the only possible out at this point. The state needs to have this shutdown over with and very quickly.

Once the shutdown became reality enough has changed and changed for the worse that exceptional responses are needed and needed now. We are only a brief step away from more than just liquor and beer licenses and permits expiring. Layoffs will only accelerate the longer this proceeds as more and more Minnesota companies find themselves running up against this issue.

The Republicans have found out in spades that the citizens of this state do not approve of state shutdowns. They have heard from tens of thousands of Minnesotans to get the state back up and running again, and so has Dayton.

The framework better get filled out and quick. The ball is now in the legislature's court and if the Republican majority screws up this opportunity there is going to be real hell to pay and very soon.

#18 While Ms. Lundgren and I don't agree on the Racino or horse racing (at least not anything under 4 year - maybe three year olds for sprints starting in May of their three year old year) I do agree that it was unfair for the tracks to be shut down because of how they are paid.

The Minnesota horse industry is more than the Thoroughbred industry. According to the U's Minnesota Tourism Research Center in an independent study funded by the DNR Horseback riders in the metro area were the number one trail group in the area of purchasing and maintaining capital equipment. Restated: Horseback riders in the metro area spend more money than all other trail users combined.

In fact here is the link to the American Horse Council data

http://www.horsecouncil.org/nationaleconomics.php

"The American Horse Council study published these numbers:

Racing - 844,531
Showing - 2,718,954
Recreation - 3,906,923
Other - 1,752,439
Total - 9,222,847

Gross Domestic Product

The study documents the economic impact of the industry in terms of jobs and contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The study’s results show that the industry directly produces goods and services of $38.8 billion and has a total impact of $101.5 billion on U.S. GDP.

It is strong in each activity with racing, showing and recreation each contributing between $10.5 and $12 billion to the total value of goods and services produced by the industry."

The research summary goes on to talk about the rest of the industry and impact by segment.

Rest assured with or without racing the horse industry in Minnesota is just fine.

#18, the Guv did the smart thing when he refused a "lights on" bill. TP did the same thing and for the same reasons. (Did you chastise him for that?) A "lights on" makes no sense without a budget agreement signed, sealed, and delivered. Have you noticed that the Rs were not negotiating? Only the Governor was making any moves. A "lights on" bill would have removed what little incentive the Rs did have to deal, so don't kid yourself that "All of the negotiating could have continued." Dayton was smarter than that.

Oh, and the judge did in fact have a "clear reason" for not granting your industry an exemption. It's the same "clear reason" she gave the loggers, the highway construction companies, etc. You are not a service without which lives would be put at risk, and, as she put it, mere financial hardship does not rise to that level.

The Rs were willing to cause you misery in order to protect their rich friends from having to pitch in with the rest of us to resolve the deficit. If you don't like shutdowns, you may want to mention your concerns the next time you run into them.

#22 Will Lynott I must again come back to the judge's ruling. The tracks were placed in the category with the Zoo and heard with them. The Zoo is directly affiliated with and regulated by the state. They also do not really affect anyone's life or put them at risk. The Zoo does receive some state funding. During the summer they generate enough income to be self sustaining and because they are self sustaining they were grouped with the tracks, also self sustaining. The Zoo was allowed to open. Yet the tracks, who do not receive any money, job contracts, tax considerations, and have prepaid the state for the right to pay the salaries of the MRC, track stewards, and veterinarians ( Got that? prepaid and no cost to the state, only revenue) were not allowed the right to open. Does that sound like a fair judgement? And in fact, lives are at risk as much as the welfare mothers and other monies reinstated to avert undue hardship. The trackpeople are not eligible for unemployment because they are independent contractors who work for many separate trainers. No work, no money, no food, and no where to turn. A different situation from the construction guys. They can get some state money to tide them over.

Do I think it was a good deal..? No..but it was the only one the Governor was going to get
from this group of Republicans bound and
determine to protect their wealthy friends.
I am not happy with Education being held hostage again. But I he did get some concessions that I am happy about. Social issues do not belong in any budget discussion. He also prevented the deeper cuts the republicans wanted. On to 2012 and and election of Legislators who care about the people in this state and not their pocket books.

Ms Patterson (#23): I believe you're confusing Anarchism and nihilism ... (and, of course, giving Anarchism a bad name in the process ...)

I am a Dayton supporter. I voted for him and I am very happy with his performance.

Dayton has been at a disadvantage from the beginning of the budget crisis, because he sees himself as the governor of all Minnesotans, while the Republicans are fighting solely to protect the wealth of the wealthy. Obviously the people who were hurt most by the government shutdown were the most vulnerable members of our society. The Republicans could care less about them, so they didn’t feel the same pressure Dayton felt to compromise.


I am disgusted--but certainly not surprised--that the Republicans would not compromise at all on taxes. Given a choice between making school children pay for a big part of the budget gap and making the rich pay a little more in taxes, it’s obvious what Republicans would choose. They opposed an increase in taxes on just the top 2% of income earners, and then on just the top 1% of income earners, in spite of the fact that the MN Department of Revenue released a report a few months ago indicating that the top 10% of MN income earners have an effective tax rate of 10.3% and the rest of us an effective tax rate of 12.3%. The Republicans have that information.

There is greater disparity today between the wealthy and the rest of us in this country than at any other time since the years leading up to the Great Depression. There is greater disparity between the wealthy and the rest of society in this country than in any other developed country in the world. Tax rates and tax loopholes (designed to protect the wealth of the wealthy) have been critical factors in our evolution toward a two-class society. The opposition of Koch, Zellers, and other Republican legislators to fair taxes (i.e., tax increases on the wealthy) guarantee this state will continue evolving in the direction of a two-class society.

As long as Republicans have any power in this state, our public schools will suffer, our public colleges and universities will suffer, and accessibility to higher education will continue to decline. Minnesotans will do themselves a great favor by voting Republicans out of office in 2012. If we don’t, we can expect the same kind of budget crisis in less than two years.

If Dayton can begin working in 2013 with a legislature made up primarily of open-minded legislators (as opposed to the closed-minded, my-way-or-the-highway Republicans) committed to the common good (and not just to the wealthy), he can be a great governor and we can once again have a great state--the kind of state we had before Pawlenty became governor.

#24, you must think I disagree with you. I don't. As I recall, the judge agreed to let the zoo stay open because they had their own funding, which is irrelevant. Only critical (life saving) functions were supposed to be kept open. The zoo should not have gotten a pass.

It's possible the judge reasoned that the animals would not get cared for and fed if the zoo was closed, something not true of your crowd.

I'm concerned that all of the states school districts just got robbed to take care of the Police Departments, Fire Departmenst LGA of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth. And this deal isn't done yet. Social policy issues MAY be removed. That doesn't mean things like re-districting etc are out. Remember people. Gov Dayton accepted the Republican bill with three proviso's. I believe that leaves the Repubs with three items to be enumerated.

Well, I'm a skeptic. "It ain't over til the fat lady sings." Is she waiting in the wings yet?