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Durenberger: Dayton may lack ‘necessary’ negotiating skills


Durenberger: Dayton may lack ‘necessary’ negotiating skills

Calling him a “Target scion,” Bloomberg’s Mark Niquette offers national readers a mini-profile of our governor: “Dayton seeks higher taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans to preserve services in the Midwest state that’s the home of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH), the biggest U.S. health insurer by revenue; Best Buy Co., the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer; and Target Corp., the second-largest U.S. discount retailer with roots in the company founded by the governor’s family. Dayton’s opponents say families can’t afford higher taxes, and they question whether the governor, who won office in a three-way race with 43.6 percent of the vote, can afford to hold to his principles, said David Durenberger, a former Republican U.S. senator from Minnesota. ‘The governor, in the end, has to be responsible,’ Durenberger, who defeated Dayton in a 1982 Senate race, said in a telephone interview from his home in San Rafael, California. ‘I’m not sure that Mark Dayton has the skills — the communication skills, the leadership skills, the persuasive skills — that are necessary to prove that the Republicans are wrong’.” Ouch.

Dayton is touring the state, making his case to whoever will listen, Mark Sommerhauser of the St. Cloud Times covers him at Apollo High School: “The event began as a roundtable discussion between Dayton and St. Cloud school district officials at Apollo High School. District leaders asked for the state to provide more special education funding or remove mandates for special education spending. The event later morphed into a town-hall meeting, with the crowd composed mostly of school district and other public employees — clearly sympathetic to Dayton. One speaker, Anthony Akubue, chastised legislators who attended the event for taking salaries during the shutdown. Where is your conscience? Akubue asked the lawmakers.”

In Iowa, T-Paw continues to aggressively market his “budget-balancing” skills. In an Op-Ed for the Des Moines Register, he writes: “[A]s governor of Minnesota … I balanced every budget without tax increases and left the state with an estimated $663 million surplus for the budget period that ended last month. It wasn’t easy: We made tough choices to prioritize programs and cut spending. We passed market-based health care reforms, pay-for-performance for teachers, public employee pension reforms and more to get the state’s finances under control. … at every level, governments’ are facing big deficits as the weak economy diminishes tax revenues at the very same time that the bill is coming due on decades of irresponsible spending increases, entitlement promises and pension promises. As I proved in Minnesota, these problems can be solved without tax increases.” For the record, guest commentaries are not fact-checked.

Lindsey Boerma of The National Journal notes the piece and says: “Experts familiar with the state’s politics have said the attention Pawlenty has received as a result — including criticisms from Carlson, a Republican, and Mondale, a Democrat — will mobilize the GOP to get behind him, breathing much-needed life into his flagging presidential campaign. But Pawlenty’s obvious priority in penning the op-ed is clearing his name from the attacks. After offering a detailed defense of his record as having ‘balanced every budget without tax increases and left the state with an estimated $663 million surplus,’ he turns the tables in a carefully worded justification of the government shutdown as a model for fiscal discipline.” I’d really like to talk to those “experts.”

Dredging and grocery delivery for senior citizens are now “essential.” Richard Chin of the PiPress writes: “Chief District Judge Kathleen Gearin approved the St. Paul Port Authority’s request to continue dredging at one of its shipping terminals to prevent barges from hitting the river bottom. The work had been halted because state Department of Natural Resources workers aren’t on the job to oversee the operation. In her order approving the resumption of the dredging, Gearin compared the work to ‘emergency highway repair,’ which she previously authorized as a critical part of government that needs to continue during the shutdown. She also ruled that funding of Store to Door, a program that delivers food to the homebound elderly in the Twin Cities, should continue.”

While serious people are betting on gambling to be a part of The Shutdown’s eventual resolution, Wisconsin is sucking up our lottery action. Boyd Huppert of KARE reports: “The cash register is humming at the gas station Mac Qasem manages in Houlton, Wis. and he has squabbling Democrats and Republicans from Minnesota to thank for it. ‘You know how much people, they just want to buy lottery,’ he smiles. Since the Minnesota state shutdown began, lottery sales at Qasem’s store are five times normal. ‘You just cross the bridge, couple of blocks and you’re here,’ he points out. ‘The Minnesota state lottery is shut down, so they come here looking for luck.’ Andrew Bohage, spokesperson for the Wisconsin Lottery, says Qasem’s 400 percent sales hike does not appear to be uncommon. ‘We’ve been hearing some pretty eye popping statistics like that. And really we’re hearing them all across the board.’ “

Oh, good lord, even Nebraska is mocking us. An editorial in the Lincoln Journal-Star says: “Those confident that the politicians in Washington will come to their senses in time to avoid a shutdown of the federal government ought to take a look at what’s going on in Minnesota. The government shutdown in Minnesota is entering its second week with no sign that it will end soon. No talks have been set. There is no sign that either side is willing to budge. The dynamics in Minnesota have similarities with those in Washington. … The spectacle of such dysfunction may seem unthinkable. But if events in Minnesota are an indication, a federal shutdown may be more likely than many Americans suspect.”

David Phillips of the Bluff County Newspaper Group writes about Sen. Amy Klobuchar and the latest on those ethanol subsidies targeted for extinction: “The agreement would end the 45-cent per gallon ethanol tax credit to refiners on July 31 instead of the original date of Dec. 31, a savings of roughly $2 billion. But instead of using all the funds for deficit reduction as was originally proposed, the Senate bill dedicates $1.3 billion to help with the deficit and uses the remaining $668 million in savings to help support renewable energy efforts such as blender pumps that distribute ethanol, storage tanks for ethanol, credits for small producers of ethanol and incentives to produce ethanol from sources other than corn. Recently, the Senate was all set to immediately terminate the volumetric ethanol excise tax credit, the 45-cent per gallon subsidy paid to refiners, with all the savings going to debt reduction. Rather than a partisan split, the lines were drawn along geographic areas with Midwestern politicians strongly opposed to the measure, which would have caused an abrupt shock to the ethanol industry. In Minnesota, the credit helped support a $3 billion industry that is tied to 8,400 jobs. The state has 21 ethanol plants, including one in Preston.”

Did you catch Our Favorite Congresswoman on Larry Kudlow’s CNBC show? Good stuff.

KUDLOW: “I want to ask you about a very odd attack your friend Governor Tim Pawlenty … says, ‘Her record of accomplishment in Congress is nonexistent. It’s nonexistent.’ That’s from Governor Tim Pawlenty from your home state. I want to get your reaction, please.
BACHMANN: “Well, when I went into Washington, DC, I took the oath of office the same time that Nancy Pelosi took the gavel. Nancy Pelosi was not exactly interested, Larry, in my pro-growth policies of cutting spending and cutting taxes. But what I did is I stood up to her, I stood up to Barack Obama, and I worked tirelessly against the stimulus spending, against their no-growth in American energy policy. And I — my voice brought literally tens of thousands of Americans to Washington, DC, to do everything that we could to just beat Obamacare. People know that I mean what I say and I say what I mean, and I have actively fought at every level on these policies. When I was in Minnesota serving in the state Senate and in Washington, DC, I did everything I could to defeat cap and trade. I didn’t work to implement cap and trade. I always worked very hard against the unconstitutional individual mandate in health care. I didn’t praise it. So there’s a very different record, and I think people appreciate my fight.”  I really have to spend some time and dig up those speeches she gave in Minnesota against “cap and trade.”

You want a clean beach to work on your Shutdown tanning? Head to Duluth. The Toronto Star says: “Delaware, New Hampshire and Minnesota have some of the cleanest beaches in the U.S., while a number of beaches in California and the Great Lakes have some of the worst in terms of water quality, according to a new report. Over 170 beaches in 22 states were surveyed in The Natural Resource Defense Council’s annual Testing the Waters report, published in late June. … Out of all the beaches surveyed, the report’s “super stars” include Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches in Delaware, Park Point Lafayette Community Club Beach in Minnesota, and Hampton Beach State Park in New Hampshire.” Wave if you see a guy in a MinnPost mono-kini.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by William Pappas on 07/12/2011 - 06:17 pm.

    That’s an interesting comment from Durenberger, coming from California. While Dayton does not have Obama like oratorial skills he has been very honest with republicans. Durenbergers miscalculation is that these new Norquistian republicans will reason with logic. They are idealogues and their intransigence cannot be attributed to Dayton but their rigid ideological origin codified by the Norquist pledge. When Minnesota’s elected republicans don’t believe in any kind of government, will not advance anything close to a coherent policy or legislation, gauge all efforts by the success or failure to either not raise or cut taxes then the blame cannot be assigned to Dayton’s ability to persuade them. The only thing that would get these republicans to move ( and I really doubt it) is severe political pressure resulting from some kind of extreme embarrasement. That has nothing to do with Dayton.

  2. Submitted by will lynott on 07/12/2011 - 08:16 pm.

    Hm. Well, no offense to Mr “Neither Madmen nor Messiahs” Durrenberger, but it appears our Governor is doing just fine fending off his opposite numbers, thank you very much. BTW, how does he think Mr “I have no real job so I have to keep getting my state paycheck” Zellers is doing?

  3. Submitted by Paul Landskroener on 07/12/2011 - 11:12 pm.

    Durenberger’s comments are odd indeed. Yes, I know that Gov Dayton is not easy to listen to sometimes, until you do, and then you realize that he speaks plainly and directly with virtually no mush-mouthedness. Refreshing, to me at least.

    And I was not a Mark Dayton fan — he didn’t make my top three of preferred DFL candidates — but I have been so favorably surprised and impressed at how well he has communicated since being elected, beginning with his statesmanlike comments concerning the recount. I think he has made the best arguments — clear, consistent, evidence-based, unapologetic — for the liberal position that anyone has made in recent years, including President Obama.

    (By the way, Durenberger has risen in my estimation, too, since his retirement, but I’m puzzled and disappointed at this odd comment of his.)

  4. Submitted by Anita Newhouse on 07/13/2011 - 01:19 am.

    Durrenberger’s comments are very telling of mass frustration and desperation at not being able to work this shutdown situation by any orthodox means. When our state’s statesmen resort to such words it truly shows how perverse and “off the reservation” the modern MN GOP has become.

    Gov. Dayton has been flexible in the face of the Republican legislator’s rigidity; his policy negotiations have remained creative, thoughtful and fluid in reponse to “No”. Every tantruming toddler eventually falls asleep and the MN GOP will wear itself down, exhausted by it’s own lack of negotiating skills and vocabulary. Gov. Dayton is simply not riding the “tantrum rollercoaster” with the GOP, choosing instead to be present and ready to move forward when those that can come to their senses. He’s recognized (and said openly) that reality-based thinking and honesty must be the context to strike a deal in the best interest of the state. A majority of Minnesotans have indicated that the Republican’s rhetoric is neither. So we all wait………..

  5. Submitted by Roy Everson on 07/13/2011 - 03:11 am.

    Public beaches are just socialism for users of air-filled floatation devices.

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