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

House GOP leader says the paper’s fiscal condition undermines its deficit-plugging advice.
By David Brauer

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.”

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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.