DFL begins throwing government shutdown back at GOP

It would seem to be fair game … . Tim Pugmire at MPR reports that DFL candidates are going to throw last year’s shutdown back at the GOP this fall. “Even though state officials have determined that the net financial cost of the 20-day shutdown was minimal, there still could be a political price to pay on Election Day, when all 201 legislative seats are up for grabs. The shutdown clearly emerged as a campaign issue earlier this month at the DFL state convention in Rochester. Standing on a stage full of Democratic legislative candidates, House Minority Leader Paul Thissen of Minneapolis tried to show how his party’s priorities contrast with the GOP. ‘Republicans have made it very clear what their priority is, and that is protecting the wealthiest Minnesotans and big corporate special interests,’ Thissen said. ‘They actually took this state to shutdown to defend that priority.’ … Senate GOP Majority Leader Dave Senjem of Rochester said he hasn’t run into anyone who’s still thinking about last summer. ‘It’s not talked about,’ Senjem said. ‘I think people have generally moved on. It’s certainly possible that the DFL will bring it up, certainly in debates and forums and things like that. But it just seems to be old news.’”

Dave Chanen of the Strib reminds readers of the old maxim about the guy who has himself for a lawyer … . “Public defender Bryan Leary had never considered how strongly he should stand in the way of a client making what Leary deemed a bad decision. Enter Curtis Hillstrom, charged with sexually molesting two young sisters. On the day his trial was to start, Hillstrom rejected a prosecution offer of 15 years in prison, less than half the recommended sentence. Then he said he wanted to plead guilty and take whatever penalty the judge imposed. Leary refused to go along. So Hillstrom became his own attorney, and Anoka County District Judge Barry Sullivan gave him the 30-year maximum — as he had said he would.”

Also in the Strib, Eric Roper serves up a mini-profile of Minneapolis councilman Gary Schiff. “ … after losing a bitter battle with Mayor R.T. Rybak over subsidizing a new Vikings stadium, the three-term City Council member says he’ll decide by the end of the year whether he’ll run for the city’s top job in 2013. ‘I’m exploring it,’ said Schiff, 40, who represents a diverse ward surrounding East Lake Street. After 10 years on the council, Schiff’s more brazen style of politics stands out and sometimes creates tension on a body that often settles its differences behind closed doors. In recent years he has emerged as the mayor’s chief antagonist on the council, siding with laid-off firefighters, challenging department heads and ripping stadium supporters for avoiding a vote of the people.”

Mosquitoes … as bad … right now … as they’ll get … or … so …they say. Andy Rathbun of the PiPress writes: “The mosquito population typically peaks around July 4 and then drops as hot, windy and dry weather stresses the insects, said Mike McLean, public information officer for the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District. ‘For the next couple weeks, it’s the peak time of the season in terms of annoyance,’ said McLean. T’hey’re about as annoying right now as they’ll get.’ Heavy spring rains have produced more mosquitoes than in the past couple of years, when conditions were dry. But, this summer’s population is only at or slightly above normal, McLean said.” For a limited time I’ll be selling 100 percetn DEET out of the trunk of a ‘78 Galaxie in the parking lot of an abandoned K-Mart … .

Who could be proud of cheap beer? Kevin Allenspach at the St. Cloud Times writes: “For seven years, Mike Feldhege has been a regional sales manager for Cold Spring Brewing Co. He’s never been more optimistic that good times are ahead, and that’s likely because a new $12 million brewhouse opened by the company could put some bad memories to rest. ‘It was frustrating about five years back because you’d take your friends out to a bar and no one would be drinking our beer,’ Feldhege said of previous Cold Spring offerings, including Gluek — which was dropped about two years ago. ‘We made a lot of cheap beer. I’ve got nothing against that, but I’m not proud of it.’ When Third Street Brewhouse comes online in just more than a week, Feldhege and many of the 200-plus employees should get a boost in self-esteem.”

In a Strib commentary, Jill Burcum slaps back at “The White House heckler.” “Alternative media sometimes get short shrift because they’re newcomers or because they don’t have big readership — at least, not yet. That’s not right. The Fourth Estate benefits from bigger membership, not selective membership. That [Neil] Munro [of Tucker Carlson’s the Daily Caller] was at the White House press conference, albeit on a temporary press pass, is progress. It suggests that even top-level officials are acknowledging new media’s role and making room for its reporters at press conferences and other events. The risk in Munro’s partisan, web-traffic-driving stunt is that it may reinforce lingering but (generally) misplaced skepticism about the professionalism of reporters from lesser-known news outlets. They already fight the battle of  having to explain who they report for. Now they’ve got Munro’s boorish example hanging over them as they push for the same credentials and access as traditional media.”

On the same topic, this guy says, “America’s Clod Culture Has a New Hero.”

Charlie Zelle, chairman of the board of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, writes in a Strib commentary: “Minnesota businesses reflect the values of most Minnesotans. “Quality of Life” isn’t just a trite phrase for those of us who make our homes here. It is a recognition that our state thrives when we have communities that prosper, cultural and recreational opportunities that are world-class, and an environment that celebrates diversity. Business leaders are opposing the marriage amendment because it’s the right thing to do. … Where welcoming workplaces gave Minnesota employers a competitive edge in attracting and retaining talent in the past, the marriage amendment poses a new challenge. Public opinion in Minnesota and nationally, and the leadership of a few states to embrace the acceptance of all families, are unequivocal in pointing the direction in which this issue is headed. Minnesota can hold on to the past or we can be part of the future.”

St. Louis County cops put a lot of time into the arrest in a 12-year-old murder case. Mark Stodghill of the Duluth News Tribune writes: “It took nearly a dozen years, but [Sheriff Ross] Litman and St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin said Monday that they are confident enough evidence has been produced to convict Joseph John Couture of murder for allegedly stabbing Langenbrunner to death on Sept. 3, 2000. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Couture at his Cloquet home on Friday afternoon and he was arraigned in State District Court on Monday, charged with intentional second-degree murder and second-degree criminal sexual conduct. … ‘Joe Couture’s arrest on Friday is the culmination of nearly 12 years of investigative work consisting of follow-up of just under 1,000 leads, hundreds of interviews, forensic results and the cooperation of witnesses,’ Litman said. However, none of the authorities was prepared to say what new evidence was developed, or what changed to allow them to bring charges now, and why it took nearly a dozen years for witnesses to come forward.”

Yesterday afternoon I mentioned that Sally Jo Sorensen of Bluestem Prairie had tipped her readers to a new blog from Tony Sutton, former chairman of the state GOP, I promised to read. Here’s a snippet from a recent post: “I also admired Kurt Bills campaign for taking a little bit of a risk. The conventional wisdom crowd in politics abhors risk. The problem with that is risk averse politicians produce risk averse leaders, which in turn produces analysis paralysis and gridlock where nothing gets done (welcome to modern American politics Captain Obvious). We also all know that against Amy Klobuchar a conventional campaign is going to get beat like a drum, therefore I suspect taking unconventional risks is a part of the campaign plan for the Bills team. So in the heart of Minneapolis, surrounded by hundreds of people attending a film festival (not the most conservative of audiences) Kurt Bills put a stake in the ground in a very creative way touting his principles and beliefs – reaching out to people who Republicans would never normally reach out to. So maybe, just maybe, this little film project tells us something about Kurt Bills and the kind of candidate and leader he might be — the kind of leader that embraces new ideas and new approaches, the kind of leader not afraid to reach out to people who might not agree with him, the kind of leader that knows we are all going to have to step out of our comfort zone to solves the problems of this nation.” 

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Tim Walker on 06/19/2012 - 09:42 am.

    GOP wishful thinking?

    Senate GOP Majority Leader Dave Senjem says voters have moved on and don’t think about the state shutdown last year.

    He may be right, because voter memory *can* be very short.

    But he may also be very, very, wrong.

    I guess we’ll find out in November, eh?

  2. Submitted by Sarah Magnuson on 06/19/2012 - 11:10 am.

    GOP Wishful Thinking…

    As a former “republican” voter turned independent, I have a very vivid memory of the state shutdown, and while both sides are culpable, the voters in our household (all four of us) hold the “my way or the highway” Republicans more responsible. My republican house representative will not be getting my vote this fall. Perhaps I am an aberration, but as Tim says, we shall find out in November.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/19/2012 - 05:38 pm.

      Why would an alleged republican

      former or otherwise, care whether or not the government shut down?

      Republicans I know believe that a government that’s shut down is one that can do no harm.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/20/2012 - 08:10 am.

        Just a guess . . . . . .

        But I’m gonna really go out on a limb here and speculate that there’s a very real possibility that the Republicans you prefer to associate with occupy one fairly distant end of the right wing of the grand ol’ party.

        And from what I’ve read, there are more than a few Republicans that are less than thrilled over the way that extremist viewpoint has come to dominate the public discourse when it comes to party politics.

        One can only hope that more reasonable moderates such as Sarah will step up and make their voices heard this fall.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 06/19/2012 - 02:02 pm.

    When it Comes to the Government Shutdown

    I agree with Tim, and say to Mr. Senjem, YOU WISH!

    The fact is that, as much as our Republican friends, themselves, would like to forget about the shutdown, about the Koch/Brodkorb affair, about the Paulitites taking over their state party apparatus and all the Paul delegates they’re sending to the national convention, and about their state party’s massive budget deficit,…

    We, the citizens of Minnesota HAVE NOT forgotten these things, nor will we any time soon (certainly not by November). What keeps all these things firmly in our minds is the fact that they demonstrate the rank hypocrisy and serious incompetence of today’s Republicans,…

    whose idea of compromise (beginning with Tim Pawlenty) is that Democrats must give up everything and Republicans give up NOTHING,…

    who preach about the absolute requirement that we protect the sanctity of “straight” marriage, while in the midst of extramarital affairs which prove that they were lying when they made those promises “before God and [those] witnesses” at the altar of their church of choice,…

    whose support for the party is so shallow that, although they’ll show up to vote for their favorite candidate in the straw poll, they can’t be troubled to actually hang around at their precinct caucuses long enough to prevent a dedicated special interest group from taking them over,…

    and who preach fiscal responsibility for everyone else but run their own party’s state budget millions of dollars into the red and neglect to pay the rent on their own state party’s headquarters for months and months at a time.

    From watching the example set by the Republican Party in Minnesota, the vast majority of Minnesotans have come to realize that you can’t trust these people any farther than you can see them. Their brand of politics is equivalent to the car financing games depicted in the movie “Fargo” (and experienced by way too many of us, personally, at one time or another, especially in the way the SAME style of financing invaded the home mortgage finance business in the days of Bushco).

    Electing Republicans because they pretend to agree with us on certain key issues is like walking into a shady car dealership, telling the sales person you’ve fallen in love with a particular car, making it clear that you’re willing to give just about anything to get it, then letting the dealership provide the financing. You’re about 99% certain to get ripped off, spending WAY more than you’d need to and getting far LESS than you’d been led to believe. The only people getting anything out of the deal are the people who are already rich, and they’re getting far more than they have any right to receive.

  4. Submitted by Tom Clark on 06/19/2012 - 02:45 pm.

    I think the shutdown will be more of a sideshow

    in the fall elections, given the Presidential race and the fact that most vital state functions were continued anyway. I think Gov. Dayton did a good job portraying the MN GOP as being stubborn and unreasonable and that the shutdown will be a helpful issue for the DFL, just not a vital one.

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