Politics in Minnesota finds some in GOP most unhappy with Legislature

Shutdown-induced frustration with the Minnesota Legislature isn’t confined to DFLers who felt the GOP majority in the House and Senate steamrolled over Gov. Mark Dayton to get their way and forced a cock-eyed borrow-and-shift solution to the budget debacle.

Some in the GOP may be even more angry, says Politics in Minnesota.

Sure, DFLers aren’t happy at the conservative turn the state has taken, says the story:

But in the wake of the 2011 legislative session, the loudest cries of protest are coming from the Republican Party activist base, which is angry about the performance of their elected brethren who were installed in the majorities last January.

Perhaps no conservative voice is more strident than radio talk show host Sue Jeffers. She directs her ire particularly toward the Minnesota House, where she believes there are already several primary challenges in the offing.

“I don’t think anybody is ready to go public yet,” Jeffers said. “But let me tell you, the last count I saw was 12 [brewing endorsement challenges]. All of them but one are in the House. The House is where people want to see an enormous change.”

Some of those GOP legislators facing the ire of the activists:

  • Rep. Jim Abeler of Anoka, chair of the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee, who, they thiink, didn’t make enough cuts in the HHS bill.
  • Rep. Pat Garofalo of Farmington, chair of the House Education Finance Committee, who, they say, expanded the state’s education bureaucracy.
  • Rep. Steve Gottwalt of St. Cloud, chair of the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee, who proposed a health care exchange system for Minnesota.

It remains to be seen how influential the conservative wing of the party will be in the future.

This conservative wing seems to have firm control of the Republican endorsement process in the state, the story says, so they will have some say in setting the stage for next year’s legislative elections.

And there might be yet another issue to tick off the far right: the Vikings stadium, the story says:

An unresolved issue that stokes the passions of conservatives is public funding for a Minnesota Vikings football stadium. That could energize the same voters who vented their frustrations at the size of government in the last election, [Pine County Republicans chair Rudy] Takala said.

 “If [the stadium] happens, I think it will be death for Republicans in close races in 2012 because that will turn off the Republican base so much they will have a hard time recovering it in time for the election,” he said.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/09/2011 - 06:17 pm.

    These “upset” Republicans must not have read the Gottwalt(and David Hann in the Senate)plan. It would have replaced MinnCare with a voucher system that meant low-wage workers would have to pay a minimum of $3,000 out of pocket before their insurance would cover any expense in full.

    Families would have to buy a separate policy for each member and meet the $3,000 (or $6,000 or $9,000 or $12,000) out-of-pocket for each one. Prenatal care was 100% covered, but there was no coverage for in-hospital delivery costs. People could reduce their monthly premiums by $5 by forgoing coverage for mental illness or addiction treatment.

    The state would pay 80% of the cost of premiums under the “Healthy Minnesota Contribution Plan.” Do the “upsets” think this pittance too much to spend?

    Dayton was able to save MinnCare patients from this plan, but not the 7,000 – 8,000 single adults without children, many of whom are mentally ill and/or homeless. Where are they to come up with $3,000 or more??

    Right-wing government truly does hurt people.

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