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Seifert disses ‘bankrupt newspaper trying to give advice to bankrupt state’

Man, Strib publisher Chris Harte reorients his editorial-page staff in a less liberal direction, endorsing Republicans like Norm Coleman, and this is the thanks he gets?

From House Republican Minority Leader Marty Seifert, on the so-called “Plan B” tax bill today:

“One of the senior Democrats last night said they were basing it on the model of the Star Tribune poll. To raise taxes on job providers, heavy taxes on beer — my understanding it would be one of the highest in the United States on beer and wine, alcohol and cigarettes et cetera — one of the highest income taxes in the United States, one of the top three or four.

And I asked a senior Democrat what his thought was, and he said essentially, it’s a bankrupt newspaper trying to give advice to a bankrupt state. No offense to the Star Tribune reporters here today. But the reality is, it’s from a Democrat. And the reality is they are trying to build a budget based on flimsy polling data. We are trying to build a budget based upon the needs and priorities of the people of Minnesota.”

I’m pretty sure Seifert wasn’t taking the Strib’s advice when they were safely in the black, but you gotta love his insult skills. Not only does he update the GOP’s perennial rant against the Minnesota Poll with a slap at the Strib’s business practices, but he makes the slur bipartisan!

For what it’s worth, the Minnesota Poll is now done by an outside firm, Princeton Research Associates, after being done for decades in-house, when GOP complaints first bloomed.

The April 30 survey showed 70 percent of Minnesotans considered higher booze taxes acceptable, the most popular of several options. (Taxes on tobacco and rich folks earned 69 percent and 67 percent support, respectively.)

Overall, 54 percent favored tax increases, or hikes paired with spending cuts, versus 40 percent who backed spending cuts only.

To be fair to Harte: The editorial page, under tutelage of old guard holdover Lori Sturdevant, hasn’t gone all no-new-taxes on the budget crisis. They’ve favored a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts, though with a different revenue-raising philosophy than the public, or the poll Seifert critiqued.

Comments (16)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 05/07/2009 - 05:18 pm.

    So Marty, on behalf of a morally, ethically, and intellectually bankrupt party whose revenue policies for the state of Minnesota have been the biggest, oddest, dumbest cross-species breeding of a one note samba and a one-trick pony, now speaking on behalf of ignoring the expressed will of the people of Minnesota in favor of continuing to beat that same sad, sorry, rotten-to-the-core, stinking-to-high-heaven dead horse has the unmitigated gall to question those who reported the results of the pole that shows how massively the public now disagrees with that policy?

    Just goes to show us, that their policy was always based on a particular ideology and constituency (the tax whiners league) and NEVER had anything to do with what would serve the public well (but only themselves and their supporters’ efforts to pad THEIR OWN pockets at the expense of the rest of the state’s citizens).

  2. Submitted by John Jordan on 05/07/2009 - 05:30 pm.

    Wow, someone needs to step away from the 30 gallon drum of DFL Kool-Aid.

  3. Submitted by William Wallace on 05/07/2009 - 06:15 pm.

    If the world’s population reached its limit, and a poll were taken on how to deal with it, that is, which groups to cull in order to ensure that some of us survive, do you supposed that people would favor it when others get to pay the price?

    If the poll had included taxing already existing Indian casinos, it would have won.

    On the other hand, if a television viewer fee were levied against those who watch television, it would have been the least favorite–certainly among those who watch television.

  4. Submitted by David Brauer on 05/07/2009 - 06:22 pm.

    John – what flavor is the GOP’s? Bottom’s up!

    I’d suggest taking a cue from William Wallace, who makes a substantive critique about the public’s willingness to tax someone else. (Analysis the Strib included, by the way.)

  5. Submitted by Matt Linngren on 05/07/2009 - 07:20 pm.

    Oh David… not that I want to be caught defending a Republican, but did you actually read Seifert’s comments? He’s not the one dissing the Strib! True, he may have been the ones to choose those words for his paraphrase, but he was relaying the impression of a “senior Democrat”… right?

  6. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 05/07/2009 - 08:18 pm.

    Nicely reasoned, carefully considered argument, John. In case you hadn’t noticed, there was a great deal of factual and psychological reality woven into what I said, perhaps a hyperbolically — and your disagreement with me was what?

    And that disagreement was based on what?

  7. Submitted by William Souder on 05/07/2009 - 09:02 pm.

    Uh-oh. Hold on, now. Let’s don’t go down the ol’ who’s-the-most-bankrupt road, shall we? I mean, where would it stop? The country’s bankrupt. The GOP is bankrupt. The banks are bankrupt. The car companies are bankrupt. Minnesota is bankrupt. The Star Tribune is bankrupt. And Allison got kicked of American Idol last night…so it’s now officially bankrupt and dead to me.

    And I know we’re all good friends here, but I’ve noticed BrauBlog rattling its own tin cup every couple of days lately. My hunch is the only reason online newspapers aren’t bankrupt is because they never had any money to begin with. Me? I’m freelancing…big ol’ glass house, baby.

    On the plus side, the airlines have recently been bankrupt and fares to Sweden have never been lower. I hear it’s a non-bankrupt paradise full of of beautiful blonde people and a healthy press.

  8. Submitted by David Brauer on 05/07/2009 - 09:33 pm.

    Matt – Seifert’s is the equivalent of “some people say …”

    I don’t doubt his veracity (really, I don’t), but there’s no doubt he agreed with the sentiment enough to broadcast it.

    As I said, clever dude, even if – as Bill Souder notes – it’s a fundamentally dumb argument on Seifert’s (and the DFLers!) part.

  9. Submitted by Lora Jones on 05/08/2009 - 07:45 am.

    It’s instructive (to me, at least) that Wm. Souder wants to move to Sweden, where taxes are high and services are good — which is exactly where Minnesota (back in the Miracle days) used to be. I’m also in that (apparently) contrarian minority that’s more than willing to pay higher taxes . . . as Kirby Puckett said . . . I’m just happy that I’m earning enough money to owe them. The bottom line is that the road we’ve been on these last 20+ years since Reagan has proved to be the well-paved highway to hell our Sunday School teachers always warned us about.

  10. Submitted by Lori Sturdevant on 05/08/2009 - 02:31 pm.

    David, who are you calling old?

  11. Submitted by David Brauer on 05/08/2009 - 03:08 pm.

    Old GUARD, Lori! At least I didn’t say “respected elder.”

    And I write this as a guy who entered his 50s this week …

  12. Submitted by Lori Sturdevant on 05/08/2009 - 03:20 pm.

    Welcome to the club of “veteran observers.”

  13. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 05/08/2009 - 04:29 pm.

    Lori Sturdevant is a SANE, thoughtful, fair and sometimes entertaining alternative to the syndicated holdovers from the failed neocon philosophy that the StarTribune publishes in its op-ed pages(Krauthammer and Max Boot for just a couple)and to our own Dear Leader, Mr. Pawlenty, and his acolytes.

    Thank you, Lori S.!!

  14. Submitted by John Edwards on 05/09/2009 - 09:33 am.

    The Minnesota Poll had nearly twice as many admitted Democrats as Republicans in its sample about the tax question. Moreover,outsourcing is not a remedy for liberal bias. In 1978 during the Quie-Perpich gubernatorial race the Minnesota Poll outsourced the interviewing to an Arizona firm. When the editors did not like the results, they changed them to show a Perpich lead. The polling firm resigned. the Pioneer Press broke the story. The disgraced Minnesota Poll was discontinued for several years. It was later resurrected after the outrage was over. The newspaper has continued to use the poll as a political tool ever since.

  15. Submitted by Howard Miller on 05/09/2009 - 02:06 pm.

    How ironic that the political leaders who have helped engineer the current budget problems are critical of advice from anyone, whether editors of a financially floundering newspaper, or anybody else for that matter.

    Siefert may be skilled in sticking a needle in the opposition’s butt, however that’s not really why he and others were elected to their public offices. Finding solutions besides “NO” to the budget problems of the state is important work, and partisan slams impede that work.

  16. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 05/10/2009 - 11:06 pm.

    When was the last time Max Boot got a printed word in the Strib? Randi Reitan gets more ink. I do agree that Lori S. is entertaining with the weekly homage to a DFLer, but E.J. Dionne every other day gushing about President Obama is getting tiresome. At least by allowing Mr. Krauthammer some space readers can at least hear the other side…

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