GOP leader Koch says, ‘Stay tuned’ for budget ideas

MORNING EDITION

GOP leader Amy Koch says, ‘Stay tuned’ for budget ideas

The Wall Street Journal’s story on Gov. Dayton’s day includes this, from Amy Merrick and Jack Nicas: “On Tuesday morning, Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch called Mr. Dayton and offered to attend the meeting in St. Cloud with him. The governor turned her down, she said. Mr. Dayton later said he told Ms. Koch he would rather have her and other Republican leaders finish their counterproposal to his last offer. Asked when the Republicans will make a new proposal, Ms. Koch said, ‘Stay tuned.’ “

Apparently Sen. Koch took the time to pen a commentary for the Strib. In it she says: “Our budget also included critical reforms. We knew it was important to redesign government so businesses could grow and thrive and families could have confidence in our economy and community institutions. Our budget included reforms to empower school districts in budget decisions; jobs and business reforms to improve efficiency in permitting, and reforms to transform health care into a patient-centered system. Although we completed our budget before the constitutionally required deadline, Gov. Mark Dayton waited until after we adjourned to veto almost our entire budget. Despite months of hard work by legislators to create a balanced, responsible budget compromise, Dayton succeeded in forcing a government shutdown. Today, he is holding the state budget hostage because he wants to raise taxes and spend more.”

Walter Shapiro of The New Republic looks at our situation and says: “The breakdown seems an almost inevitable consequence of the 2010 elections, which made Dayton the state’s first Democratic governor in two decades but saddled him with a legislature in which Republicans hold comfortable majorities in both chambers. Throw in a $5 billion projected deficit bequeathed by Dayton’s two-term predecessor, Tim Pawlenty, and you have a formula for political disaster. For all of Minnesota’s smile-button reputation, the state’s politics are probably even more polarized that those on Capitol Hill. ‘Eight years ago we had just one Michele Bachmann in the Minnesota senate,’ said veteran liberal Democratic state senator John Marty. ‘Now, we have maybe twenty or forty of them in the legislature.’ ”

A letter from a Red Wing man in the Rochester Post-Bulletin demands we see the bright side of the shutdown. Craig Livingstone says: “Every ‘news report’ has the predictable personal tragedy or offense that is the implied fault of the cold-hearted Republican Senate and House. Get out of the newsroom and report about the majority of Minnesotans who are doing just fine without the ‘helping hand’ of government. Does it not occur to the P-B that many services not delivered through the government may, in fact, be provided more cheaply and efficiently by the private sector? What about all the privately owned campground owners who did a wonderful business since Dayton locked out citizens from their state parks? What about the millions of dollars that were spent at local restaurants (with restrooms) because Dayton locked out citizens from their rest areas? For every problem created by government, there is an opportunity for a better solution in the private sector.” Note to Mr. Livingstone, “Please cut a check and have your personal road crew finish work on I-35 south of Duluth, will you?”

Gop Rep. Tony Cornish, best known this past session for his attempt to expand the so-called Castle Doctrine to allow homeowners to open fire on persons they felt threatened them in some way, is calling for all his legislative compatriots to forgo their paychecks during The Shutdown. Colby Hochmuth of FoxNews reports: “Cornish told FoxNews.com that he began this effort because he had been receiving emails from constituents angry that lawmakers were still receiving paychecks while they were unemployed and struggling. ‘I’m a conservative Republican, but the public has asked us to suffer the same as them, and that’s what I plan to do,’ Cornish, who is in his fifth term, told FoxNew.com. … For some lawmakers who do not have a second job, a forfeiture of their salaries could hit them as hard as it does other state workers. According to Cornish, lawmakers receive $31,000 annually as well as $76 per diem while in session. No individuals or groups have voiced opposition to this measure, but Cornish said he doubts lawmakers would dare to oppose the law in public because of the publicity it would attract. Cornish said despite the lack of opposition, he also hasn’t gotten overwhelming support.”

Erika Fry at the Columbia Journalism Review wonders why T-Paw has been getting so much bad press lately, especially when other GOP campaigns are going nowhere even faster: “[W]hy single out Pawlenty? Much of this relates to expectations — one of the few things the political press can go on before votes are cast. Rick Santorum, who has made more campaign stops in Iowa than Pawlenty, may be more likely the first to drop out, but then, who cares? No one expects much of Santorum. On the other hand, Pawlenty has been considered a contender. People in-the-know (press included!) expect a real run out of Pawlenty — perhaps no one more than Pawlenty himself, who we’re told has been carefully plotting a presidential run for years. This hubris makes a good story. Hubris meeting reality? Also a good story.”

Over at Power Line, John Hinderaker admonishes his guy, T-Paw, for going after Ms. Bachmann: “A year ago, I expected Tim Pawlenty to be a strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination, and never imagined that Michele Bachmann would enter the race. Today, Bachmann is number two on the charts with a bullet, while Pawlenty has yet to see his tireless, seemingly well-directed efforts pay off in the polls. So it is not surprising if he is feeling frustrated. … It is easy to sympathize with Pawlenty’s dilemma. I have supported both candidates’ campaigns financially and consider them both friends, but my own view is that Pawlenty would make a better president. (Either would be a hundred times better than Barack Obama.) Still, he is in a difficult situation, and did not improve it by going on the offense against his fellow Minnesotan. It is a fine line, sometimes, between touting one’s own credentials and denigrating those of a competitor, but Pawlenty crossed it.”

The Blaine guy who went … well, a little off the deep end … with a vendetta against his neighbors, threats against Vice President Joe Biden and on … and on and on, was sentenced to 18 years in prison Tuesday. On Wired magazine’s blog David Kravets writes: “Barry Ardolf, 46, repeatedly hacked into his next-door neighbors’ Wi-Fi network in 2009, and used it to try and frame them for child pornography, sexual harassment, various kinds of professional misconduct and to send threatening e-mail to politicians, including Vice President Joe Biden. His motive was to get back at his new neighbors after they told the police he’d kissed their 4-year-old son on the lips. … Ardolf had no criminal record, but an investigation revealed that he’d also hijacked the Wi-Fi of other neighbors, and terrorized them as well. A father of two, Ardolf had turned down a 2-year plea agreement last year to charges related to the Biden e-mail. After that, the authorities piled on more charges, including identity theft and two kiddie-porn accusations carrying lifetime sex-offender registration requirements. He pleaded guilty to them all last year.”

Now all we need is a football season. Dave Orrick’s PiPress story says: “The Metrodome roof will rise again Wednesday, weather permitting, officials announced today. The ‘test inflation’ is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. and will take up to three hours, according to the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which owns the dome.”

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Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Mark Stromseth on 07/13/2011 - 06:47 am.

    “Our budget also included critical reforms. We knew it was important to redesign government so businesses could grow and thrive and families could have confidence in our economy and community institutions. Our budget included reforms to empower school districts in budget decisions[.]”

    What drug is Amy Koch taking today? If she really believed the radical cuts the Repubs want to enact made business grow, thrive, and families have confidence in the economy, then she’d have some evidence of that, both empirical and through polling data.

    But she knows there is no evidence to support her prose (and the Strib doesn’t require facts in their Commentaries); they’re just Repub talking points they want the public to believe. Note to Kochhead: the public knows all your tricks and lies; it’s time to resign and crawl back into your hole.

    ‘I’m a conservative Republican, but the public has asked us to suffer the same as them, and that’s what I plan to do,’

    So, if Tony Cornish weren’t a “conservative” Repub, he wouldn’t plan to forego his paycheck during the shutdown?

    “For some lawmakers who do not have a second job, a forfeiture of their salaries could hit them as hard as it does other state workers.”

    Well, since the Repubs want to “redesign” government and remove 15% or mor eof them from the payroll, let’s start by removing the professional Repub legislators from the state payroll. It’s not like they can’t go out and just get a $100,000+ per year job the next day, right?

  2. Submitted by Deb Reed on 07/13/2011 - 06:52 am.

    There is NO bright side sorry! The republicans try to play they have a budget, it’s more they are still trying to shove their “our way, or no way” down our throats, in the name of they are fighting for the middle class!! They HAVE NOT tried, they have NOT worked at anything except they want what they promised corporations and others that only want to stay rich!!!! REPUBLICANS THERE’S THE DOOR!!!! CAN YOU SAY RECALLS!!!!

  3. Submitted by Deb Reed on 07/13/2011 - 06:58 am.

    Republicans perhaps you need to ask some middleclass Minnesotans what they need?? If I hear one more time that you have talked to some and no one wants what Dayton is asking, I know you are liars!!! I have talked to clients and neighbors, friends and relatives in Willmar, WE WANT YOU OUT!

  4. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 07/13/2011 - 07:27 am.

    To my surprise, Speaker Koch contradicts one of her earlier statements in the Star-Tribune. In the latest Op-Ed she says:

    “The budget we completed in May spent only the amount of revenue we were projected to bring in, which was a 6 percent increase over the previous biennium.” July 12

    Previously the Strib reported:

    Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch has often said that “we’re spending about the same amount that was spent in the last biennium.” House Speaker Kurt Zellers has echoed those words. June 26

    link: http://bit.ly/lldVGB

    Continued dishonesty about this matter by the GOP, especially the leadership, is simply contributing to further polarization.
    Could we at least be honest about how much money was actually spent by the state in the last biennium?

  5. Submitted by Hudson Leighton on 07/13/2011 - 07:27 am.

    Minnesota does not have recall elections.

  6. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/13/2011 - 08:30 am.

    …Although we completed our budget before the constitutionally required deadline, Gov. Mark Dayton waited until after we adjourned to veto almost our entire budget….

    Fundamental dishonesty!

    Five months passed without a substantive discussion to resolve the fundamental disagreement between legislature and executive that was obvious to all from the beginning. The budget was passed within days of the closing of the session. That meant that the signing or vetoing would have to happen after adjournment.

    Koch and Zeller screwed up and didn’t do what real leaders do–confront the major issues in a timely manner.

  7. Submitted by Deb Reed on 07/13/2011 - 08:31 am.

    then that is just another thing wrong with Minnesota!

  8. Submitted by will lynott on 07/13/2011 - 08:39 am.

    Koch is being what can be most charitably called disingenuous. No, okay, I’ll say it–she’s lying. Her so-called “balanced budget” was a fairy tale held together with spit and baling wire, based on “funny money” and wildly unrealistic assumptions that were based in turn, on fiscal analyses from wingnut privateers rather than the state’s trained and nonpartisan analysts. She’s also apparently forgotten that for a budget to succeed, it must be one the governor is willing to sign. Just ask TP.

    The six percent increase thing is also nonsense, since it ignores the federal stimulus money and the $1.9 billion raid on the education fund, both of which were spent in TP’s last budget.

    I know the strib does not require facts in op-eds, but this is ridiculous.

  9. Submitted by Peter Wagstrom on 07/13/2011 - 08:49 am.

    Hudson,

    We do have recall elections, but it is much harder to do in Minnesota than Wisconsin. The MN Supreme Court first needs to determine if the legislator in question is guilty of malfeasance (using their elected position for personal gain), or nonfeasance (failing to perform their constitutional duty). If the Supreme Court finds that is true, then there can be a recall petition stating what they did wrong, and if 25% of the voters in the last election sign the petition, there will be a recall election.

    Article VIII, section 6 of the Minnesota State Constitution

    http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/cco/rules/mncon/Article8.htm

  10. Submitted by Josh Williams on 07/13/2011 - 09:43 am.

    Just for the record, by my last count there were more DFlers in the Leg. forgoing a paycheck than Repubs. I wonder if Mr. Cornish is aware of that fact.

  11. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 07/13/2011 - 09:53 am.

    Ms. Koch, Mr. Zellers, et al have long since demonstrated that their fealty to Grover Norquist, whose favor is far more important to them than the opinions of or the pain being suffered by anyone in Minnesota.

    Minnesotans may have elected a majority Republican legislature, but most of those legislators have NO INTENTION of representing those who voted for them.

    They ONLY represent Mr. Norquist and ONLY value his favor.

    We will never hear anything but more of the same from Koch and Zellers. They will continue to rearrange the deck chairs on their sinking Titanic of a “protect the rich, destroy the state” budget, proclaiming, in effect, that the ship, nor it’s people are worth saving,…

    While steadfastly refusing to consider that Gov. Pawlenty left a massive hole gashed in the side, a hole which they and their supporters have a continuing responsibility to patch, a hole which can still BE patched,…

    A hole which Gov. Dayton INTENDS to patch.

    But Grover Norquist WILL NOT allow those who have sold their souls to him to compromise.

    Are there NO moderate Republicans who have not sold off their loyalty to this out of state usurper? Are there none who care more about the well being of our state and its citizens who can work out a reasonable compromise with Gov. Dayton?

    If not, the Republican Party’s 100-year run as a useful and acceptable counterbalance to the Democrat’s own favorite tendencies has gone completely out the window and the Republican Party, itself, by its demonstrated stubbornness and stupidity, is now proving that it is no longer worthy of any level of support from the vast majority of the normal, healthy citizens of our state.

    A reality which will be demonstrated in the figurative political bloodbath to come in the fall, 2012 elections.

  12. Submitted by Arthur Swenson on 07/13/2011 - 10:01 am.

    So, who would have standing to sue?

    Can I sue the republican leaders for standing in the way of my representatives doing their constitutional duty?

  13. Submitted by Matthew Levitt on 07/13/2011 - 11:17 am.

    #12. No. You can however work hard to have someone else elected next time.

  14. Submitted by Bill Coleman on 07/13/2011 - 12:35 pm.

    I wonder if any GOP budget proposal will have new revenue that is not borrowed from someplace – more school payments delayed, more tobacco bonds (remember that Pawlenty spent the tobacco trust fund in one of his first “no new taxes” budgets).

    Maybe the MN Business Partnership members could lend the state some money to be repaid from all the new tax revenue that this cut and burn budget will stimulate by private sector job growth. I know that if I was a business leader, my plans for expansion would be supercharged knowing that another 130,000 Minnesotans will lose their subsidized health care plans.

    As a moderate, self-employed, pro-growth Democrat, I would love for the business leadership in this state to develop a plan that will provide a high growth economy while ensuring quality public education and universal health care access.

    I sure do not see any effective major reform from the GOP proposals, here in Minnesota or nationally.

  15. Submitted by Chris Reynolds on 07/13/2011 - 04:17 pm.

    – 3 years worth of economic downturn
    – 2010 election season
    – 20 week legislative session
    – 7 weeks since adjournment without a budget

    All this time, and the best Ms. Koch has to offer is, “stay tuned”!?! This is life, ma’am, not an entertainment program.

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