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Mini-meetings continuing at Capitol

Here’s the way it’s been going at the state Capitol all day:

At 3 p.m., about 30 demonstrators show up outside the door to Gov. Mark Dayton’s office.

“Tax the rich, feed the poor,” they chant.

Sometimes, they chant, “This is what democracy looks like.”

Many of them are carrying signs urging, “Don’t back down, governor.’’

At about 3:05 p.m., House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch slip through the group of chanters, apparently unnoticed,  and go into the governor’s office.

Only a few minutes later, Michael Brodkorb, the deputy chairman of the Republican party and the Senate Republicans’ communications director, addresses the sweaty media horde, which is camped in the hallway outside Dayton’s office.

“So, legislative leaders have left [the governor’s office],’’ Brodkorb says.

But it’s only been about five minutes, a reporter says.

Brodkorb nods in agreement.

No more meetings have been officially scheduled but, Brodkorb predicts, the leaders and the governor likely will have more meetings.

“But nothing scheduled yet,” he says.

Does these mini-meetings mean that the two sides are actually exchanging ideas?

“I have to be respectful of the cone of silence,” Brodkorb says.

He does go on to say that “the governor and the legislative leaders are working hard.’’

He’s asked more questions.

“Cone of silence,” says Brodkorb.

Could a settlement that would prevent a shutdown still be reached?

“Process wise, I believe so,” says Brodkorb.

Brodkorb leaves.

The demonstrators continue to chant.

“Tax the rich, feed the poor.”

Reporters slump back on folding chairs.

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