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The Tea Party is not happy with Minnesota House Republicans

Minnesota Tea Party Alliance

“Give it back,” exhorted the state Republican Party during the legislative debate about how to deal with the state’s $2 billion surplus.

But legislators didn’t give it back. They used about $1 billion of the surplus to increase the state budget by 5 percent.

Now House Republicans are taking a flogging from the right, even as they try to claim the high ground.  

“My heart is heavy with grief from the actions taken by the MN House Majority and some of the MN GOP Senators,” wrote Minnesota Tea Party Alliance president Jack Rogers on his Facebook page.

“Unfortunately, every house rep let us down in the final 48 hours,” commented Jake Duesenberg, the Tea Party’s executive director. “No tax cuts at all. Huge spending increases in public education and socialized health care.”

Not that the left is happy with GOP legislators, either. “House Republicans failed to finish the job,” DFL Minority Leader Paul Thissen said Wednesday. “They refused to compromise with Gov. Dayton. They wanted to keep this money so they can give corporate tax cuts.”

Said DFL Party Chair Ken Martin: “Republicans refused to compromise and are more interested in providing tax giveaways to corporations than investing in education.”

But Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt not only defended the Republican position, he extolled bipartisanship and the state spending it fueled. “We are proud of the bills we put forth,” he said a new conference preceding Thissen’s.  “A record amount of new money was put into early education initiatives.”

He also noted reforms and the increased funding for nursing homes, a priority of Republicans for rural Minnesota, though he only touched on tax issues, with a comment that, “Republicans successfully fought against a nearly $1 billion annual increase in the state’s gas taxes.”

Keith Downey, chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, offered sympathy and muted cheering for the House Republican position. “From a conservative perspective, it’s a very mixed result,” Downey said.  “It’s much more spending and no return to the taxpayers but that’s divided government. And I think Kurt was listening to the voters who said they didn’t want gridlock.”

Similar comments came from Norm Coleman and the Minnesota Action Network. “The conclusion of this year’s legislative session shows the benefits of balanced leadership at the Capitol,” Coleman said. 

Daudt and his colleagues, who are aiming to claim the middle ground as their field of victory, are betting now that balance is the strongest argument they can make as they look ahead to the 2016 elections.

Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 05/21/2015 - 11:11 am.

    Republican politicians have to remember

    that they’re elected, for the most part, because they’re not democrats. This state already has a liberal party if people are so inclined. We don’t need another one.

    The GOP is supposed to be the conservative party.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 05/21/2015 - 03:02 pm.

      Boo Hoo…

      So a bunch of people that don’t want to pay for anything and would complain that the early bird special at Denny’s doesn’t give them enough food, is having a sad that they don’t get their fifty bucks a year back. It’s like Lord of the Flies with these people. By the time they get through weeding out all of the quislings that aren’t “conservative” enough, there will be only enough of them for a party of four.

  2. Submitted by melissa thompson on 05/21/2015 - 11:54 am.

    I find it curious that it isn’t poverty, or the scourge of drugs or the news that sex trafficking of innocent children is on the rise but rather the fact that taxes won’t be given back that brings about grief and a heavy heart to the Republic/Tea Party. I think that position highlights the stark difference between the parties and their priorities. It certainly explains the current retention issues facing the GOP/Tea Party. One party caters to the wealthy and rails against the government and promotes the Ayn Rand theory of individualism which is counter the intentions of the founders and in conflict with our founding principles. While the other attempts to lift up the poor, focuses on children and education, stands with workers and strives to improve the lives of “the many” over a “the few” recognizing that this is to the benefit of all …even if the few don’t believe it.

    • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 05/21/2015 - 12:58 pm.

      The Republican war hawks like war

      They just didn’t intend for it to be war in their own party. Bit by bit the Republicans are coming apart at their seams. The old white guys numbers keep getting smaller and smaller. The tea party nonsense is no longer a fad when people see the disastrous results that are brought about. The GOP can’t even pay their own party bills much less run a state or a country. They spent the first part of the legislative session working their dead end pet social engineering projects. They bait and switched greater Minnesota who thought they were going to get better internet access, but won’t. There isn’t a transportation bill to even maintain our crumbling roads. There isn’t a bonding bill for the states other needs because the Republicans don’t like to pay for anything. The legislative session was the Republicans showing they can lead by kicking the can down the road Pawlenty style.

      • Submitted by Pat Brady on 05/30/2015 - 08:22 am.

        The GOP extremists under the old banner of Tea Party from 2010 still do not understood that Minnesotans where ever we live in this state want a government that works for the common good. With a surplus in revenue they still want to shut down the state government with their poison pills embedded in the vetoed education bill.
        The 2016 election will again send them packing until the GOP come to their senses.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 05/21/2015 - 08:16 pm.

      Curiouser & Curiouser

      Not only are they adherents of Ayn Rand, they are also by and large self-professed Christians.

      How one head can contain those two philosophies at the same time is very curious indeed.

      • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 05/21/2015 - 10:23 pm.

        Good point

        Impossible actually. Most likely, they have never read the books of Ayn Rand and don’t have a clue about her opinions. Plus she is of Russian heritage, wow.

  3. Submitted by Bill Willy on 05/21/2015 - 01:38 pm.

    Tough to lay claim to the Middle of Nowhere

    Although it goes without saying Keith Downey, Norm Coleman and any other of the newly minted “middle grounders” of the (New new?) Minnesota Republican Party would strongly disagree, it wouldn’t surprise me if more than a few of the Tea Party folks in question might find themselves on a completely different patch of common ground with non other than Democrat Tina Liebling:

    “Rep. Tina Liebling, of Rochester, says Daudt’s actions were ‘an abuse of power.’ She called for his resignation after Daudt held a media blitz at the Rochester Public Library on Wednesday morning.”

    “‘I’ve seen a lot of chaotic endings, but I’ve never seen anything of the caliber of what we saw this time,’ Liebling said. ‘And it’s for that reason. It’s because this speaker has shown an utter disdain for democracy.'”

    Balanced leadership indeed.

  4. Submitted by Steve Hoffman on 05/21/2015 - 01:58 pm.


    The words “conservative” and “conservation” have finalized their divorce. None of what passes for “conservatism” these days has any relation to the original meaning of the term. Regressive social policies that demonize the poor while sucking up to, and financing, the very rich, are in no way “conservative” policies. How about trying for a nation/state with good roads and bridges, good health care, and a reasonably well-educated population that can afford to buy locally-manufactured goods?

  5. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 05/21/2015 - 02:14 pm.


    To a degree, I have to go along with Mr. Tester on this one.

    Sadly, I think he’s correct that many people vote for right-wing candidates not because those candidates have great, original ideas, or creative ways to approach civic issues and problems, but mostly because they are, as Mr. Tester said, “…not democrats.” Not a great way to run a society, but, as I’ve heard said elsewhere, “reality bites.”

    I also think he’s correct that the GOP is supposed to be the conservative party. In most circles, of course, it IS the conservative party. It’s only among those on the fringe who rail against a government actually governing (which involves spending money, which must somehow be both raised and allocated).

  6. Submitted by Sally Sorensen on 05/22/2015 - 01:25 pm.

    Misleading headline

    This would be much more accurate were MinnPost and Ms. Brucato quit playing the game that the “Minnesota Tea Party Alliance” represents the Tea Party movement in Minnesota. Are the two gentleman that she cites article after article the only folks in her address book?

    How hard is it to pick up the phone and contact Representative Cindy Pugh (R-Chanhassen) who was one of the founders of the Tea Party Patriots (and continues to be active in the SW Metro Tea Party)? Is she unhappy with herself?

    Perhaps the Rochester Tea Party Patriots might have had something to say about Steve Drazkowski, Duane Quam and the three other legislators who appeared on their panel last night.

    On the Tea Party Alliance’s website, the group lists four chapters–all of which are in the metro–while many other independent groups operate around the state, often with the suffix “Tea Party Patriot.”

    Increasingly, I read this meme: “Tea Party upset with _____,” always used to signal some sort moderation on the part of Minnesota Republicans (before this, Tom Emmer), and it’s always just these two guys being cited. One might even wonder if that’s the purpose of the Tea Party Alliance in and of itself.

    It’s fairly bedridden journalism, whoever does it, and I’d recommend that reporters and columnists work a bit harder at this one, however comforting progressives find the narrative to be. Do your jobs.

    • Submitted by Bill Willy on 05/27/2015 - 11:54 pm.

      What do YOU have to say about Steve Drazkowski, please?

      “Perhaps the Rochester Tea Party Patriots might have had something to say about Steve Drazkowski, Duane Quam and the three other legislators who appeared on their panel last night.”

      Nothing against anyone in Rochester (lots of “Old School” farmers, decent-as-can-be everyday people and honest doctors down that way) but forget them for now. Why is it you bring up the topic of Steve Drazkowski and, more importantly, what do you, yourself, think about Steve’s take on things?

      By that I mean I’m asking you the question of do you think the kinds of things he advocates would be good for Minnesota if he could wave the magic wand and see them implemented?

      And if so, which things and why, please.

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