A shutdown domino effect?


In case you hadn’t followed the cost of a state government shutdown, MPR Elizabeth Dunbar walks us through it one more time: “[A] shutdown could have a domino effect, said John Gunyou, the city manager of Minnetonka who served as state finance commissioner under former Gov. Arne Carlson. ‘It’s not just the shutting down and starting up again,’ he said. ‘Especially when you talk about the human services area, it’s this mosaic of public and nonprofit agencies. … There are these relationships of funding for which you’re dealing with multiple, multiple agencies.’ Gunyou said the fact that the Bren Road/Highway 169 road project being managed and inspected by the city is a good example of something that would be affected by a shutdown for no good reason. Delays could cost the $15 million project up to $3 million more, he said. On many projects, including the Bren Road/Highway 169 project, local and state officials are working together and splitting the costs, Gunyou said. But political maneuvering that ends in delays can hurt the state’s reputation with businesses, he said. ‘Do I want to get into another partnership with these guys who are willing to shut this down when they didn’t have to?’ he asked. ‘Now expand that to the rest of all the services the state’s performing.’ “

CNN Money’s Tami Luhby writes: “Social service agencies around the state are scrambling to find ways to continue helping their clients if Governor Mark Dayton and Republican lawmakers don’t settle their budget differences before Friday. Without an agreement, the state government would shut down and many agencies could see their main source of funding disappear. ‘It could be life-threatening for some families,’ said Joanette Robertson, the associate director at the Family & Children’s Center in southeastern Minnesota. Some 90% of the center’s clients are covered by a state health-insurance program, such as Medicaid. If the center loses that funding, it will have to cut off services for children and families contending with severe mental health issues.”

At the AFL-CIO’s Newsblog, Mike Hall posts: “[T]he Republican-controlled legislature passed a two-year budget that attacked the state’s deficit only through spending cuts [MinnPost], including education, health and human services, public safety, jobs and economic development. Gov. Mark Dayton’s (D) proposed budget also called for significant spending cuts, but included a small tax increase on the state’s richest 2 percent. Dayton vetoed the cuts-only budget and Republicans have refused to reach a compromise. If a deal is not reached by July 1, the state government will shut down. If it does, says Bill McCarthy, president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation (MRLF), it won’t just close the doors on 38,000 state workers who’ve already received their layoff notices. It will adversely affect ‘everyone who counts on services the state provides or funds — from highways to health care to unemployment checks to state parks — is at risk of a serious disruption to their lives.’

On the flip-side, John Hinderaker at Power Line writes: “Our Republican legislature enacted budget bills that would increase spending over the past biennium. Governor Mark Dayton, however, wanted even bigger spending increases, so he vetoed the spending bills. As a result, a government ‘shutdown’ impends. Based on experience, I don’t see anything to fear in such a ‘shutdown.’ I’m not sure I would notice it.”

Over at Twin Cities Daily Planet, Rich Broderick notes a local anarchist group lending its support to the state GOP: “A new organization of radicals calling itself the Coalition for Restoring Anarchist Principles has come out with an endorsement of the Minnesota GOP’s lawsuit asking the State Supreme Court to order a shutdown of all Minnesota state government functions in the event that the Minnesota Legislature, controlled by the Republican Party, and DFL Governor Mark Dayton cannot reach an agreement on how to balance the state’s biennial budget by the June 30 deadline mandated by the Minnesota Constitution. The anarchists’ support for the Republican position, which many view as extreme, has taken everyone by surprise, none more so than GOP state officials. ‘This is totally unexpected news, of course, but we welcome the genuine support of everyone sincerely hoping to help restore America’s traditional values in the face of the growing threat of a socialist takeover by the Democrat Party under Barack Obama and Mark Dayton,’ Tony Sutton, the GOP state chairman, said in a statement issued by his office earlier today. ‘We hate socialists, too,’ responded CRAP spokesperson, P. A. ‘Pete’ Kropotkin. ‘So that’s at least one more thing we share with the Republican Party.’ ” But will Chairman Sutton in turn embrace the full CRAP agenda?

I would say the weekend’s Gay Pride Festival got solid coverage from every outlet in town. Andy Birkey at The Minnesota Independent checks up on the pro-ammendment (i.e., anti-marriage equality) crowd. “Minnesota for Marriage — a coalition that includes the Minnesota Family Council, the National Organization for Marriage and the Minnesota Catholic Conference — criticized the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York. … ‘This is exactly why we need the constitutional amendment to protect marriage in Minnesota,’ said Jason Adkins of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Roman Catholic Church in Minnesota. ‘Marriage between one man and one woman has served mankind for all of recorded history as the building block of civilization and the best institution for children. Now marriage has been radically redefined in New York and gay marriage imposed without a vote of the people. Placing one-man, one-woman marriage in Minnesota’s Constitution ensures that only voters will ever be able to decide the meaning of marriage, not politicians.’ ”

A Sunday story by Brandon Stahl in the Duluth News Tribune asks if sex offenders should ever be paroled? “Hennepin County petitioned the courts to civilly commit [51 year-old Wayne] Clements on the grounds that he had a psychopathic personality and his ‘bad sexual behavior is escalating and with it the risk for serious sexual assault to a completely innocent victim.’ The court relied on the testimony of four sex offender experts to decide whether he should be committed. Three of them said they did not believe Clements fit the statutory definition of a psychopathic personality. The one who did, Dr. Roger C. Sweet, according to court records, acknowledged at the time he had ‘no specific training in the area of violent sexual offenders’ and ‘no prior experience treating persons with psychopathic personalities.’ The court approved Clements’ commitment in 1988. When Moose Lake’s sex offender treatment center opened in 1996, he was transferred there. Fifteen years later, Clements is still in the first stages of treatment and said unless the Legislature intervenes, he has no hope of ever being released.”

State GOP leaders drove out to Stillwater for a photo op with the lift bridge. The AP writes:“GOP leaders gathered Monday at the Stillwater Lift Bridge, which they say could close in a shutdown. However, shortly before the news conference, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said it hopes to keep the bridge open. Dayton and GOP leaders had more budget talks set for Monday afternoon.”

So much for routine background checks. Paul Walsh of the Strib writes: “A onetime assisted-living center nurse, with narcotics thievery and addiction already on his professional record, again found work in health care and stole powerful pain medication from patients, federal authorities allege. Travis A. Bourbonnais, 35, of St. Paul, was charged last week in federal court in Minneapolis with fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance. Bourbonnais, a licensed practical nurse for more than 12 years, pleaded not guilty in a two-minute hearing Friday.”

Brian Bakst of the AP locally files on Michele Bachmann’s formal campaign announcement in Iowa today. He writes: “Those who have opposed Bachmann say she doesn’t budge on her views, even in tough races.Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg, who lost to her in a 2008 congressional race, said he was frustrated that the more controversial Bachmann came off, the stronger she seemed to get. Her comments often fuel a fundraising machine that netted her $13.5 million for her last election. ‘She can say something that’s just outrageous and just completely wrong and move on and never skip a beat,’ Tinklenberg said. Given the rise of the tea party movement, there may be even less reason for her to slide toward the political middle. Tea party members are seeking purity from the GOP candidates and have reacted skeptically to those largely linked to the party power brokers, particularly Romney. ‘Truthfully, she’s a hell of a lot closer to where the party is right now than where they are,’ [GOP pollster Mike] McKenna said.”

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by will lynott on 06/27/2011 - 06:36 pm.

    Shorter HindRocket: “I’m rich, I live in a starter castle, I don’t have to care how much gas costs, and I’ll always have a lucrative job that I can neglect so I can blog. So….I don’t HAVE to care about a govt shutdown–Ol’ number one will be just fine, thank you very much. Screw everybody it hurts. Who gives a damn about them?”

    Oh, and Sutton is sticking with that lame “Democrat as an adjective” thing, isn’t he? I’d say “Grow up, Tony,” but I’d be wasting my breath.

  2. Submitted by Eric Larson on 06/27/2011 - 07:48 pm.

    Open letter to Minnetonka City Manager Gunyou and the MTKA City Council. Your city has clearly documented that MN/Dot’s stated action is harmful and un-necessary, if not moot. Push back. Order the work to continue and dare Gov. Dayton to dispatch troopers to shut down your safely proceeding work. In economic times like this, more then the legislature must call him on his tyrannical threats.

  3. Submitted by Fluffy Rabinowitz on 06/28/2011 - 06:14 am.

    The current issues of the New Yorker outlines Michelle Bachman’s many historical gaffes. While campaigning in New Hampshire, she misplaced the battle of Concord and Lexington, granting them to the state of New Hampshire. I hope she knows where Russia is!

  4. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 06/28/2011 - 09:05 am.

    Or the legislature could just pass a budget that the Governor would sign, like they did under Tyrannical Tim. Eric, you and your felloe Tea Partiers just make me chuckle.

  5. Submitted by David Greene on 06/28/2011 - 11:37 am.

    Everyone, go read the CRAP article now. It’s hilarious! I’m loving the egg on Tony Sutton’s face. This is on par with Gov. Walker’s bamboozlement, but less morally objectionable.

  6. Submitted by will lynott on 06/28/2011 - 11:54 am.

    #2, the Governor wouldn’t send in the troopers. He wouldn’t have to. Every state vendor and contractor has by now been informed that payments for services rendered will end on June 30 if there is no budget. Mr Gunyou won’t order them to continue because they’d refuse without knowing how they’d be paid.

    BTW, I wouldn’t rely too much on John Gunyou to buck up your side. He’s not exactly the legislature’s friend on this one.

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