Political Pandering 101

When Mark Dayton worked in Washington, he was pretty much worthless. Even he gave himself a failing grade. Minnesotans agreed, which is why Republicans were salivating at the thought of running against him in 2006. One thing he was good at, though, was pandering, especially when it came to the Democrats’ “groups.” This week, there was a sighting of Gov. Dayton the pander bear at FarmFest, the annual event where politicians do their best to pledge their undying loyalty to the family farm.

This time, Dayton the Pander Bear was in plain sight:


In a sudden reversal, Gov. Mark Dayton says he’s open to expanding the scope of a possible special session to include the repeal of a new sales tax on farm equipment repair. Dayton shared his revised position Thursday at Farmfest, according to media reports. An aide later confirmed the shift.

Liberal pundits will characterize Gov. Dayton’s stunning flip-flop as Gov. Dayton being flexible. That’s BS and they know it. It’s proof positive that Gov. Dayton won’t hesitate in raising taxes without first thinking things through whether the tax increase is counterproductive.

In his mulligan budget, Gov. Dayton proposed requiring kids mowing lawns or shoveling snow to collect sales tax from their clients, then remitting those pennies to the Minnesota Department of Revenue. As with other Democrats, Gov. Dayton prefers a raise taxes first attitude.

Personally, I’d characterize Gov. Dayton as a flip-flopper and an economic illiterate. The reality is that people repeatedly told him the business and service sales taxes were terrible ideas during the regular session. Ditto with the warehouse tax. Gov. Dayton’s appetite for raising taxes was stronger than his common sense or his desire to grow Minnesota’s economy.

In addition to him being a flip-flopper, Gov. Dayton is a political grandstander:

His willingness to look beyond a storm disaster relief measure is a stark turn from two days earlier when he said other measures could wait until next year. On Tuesday, Dayton criticized efforts to put other topics in play as “grandstanding.”

Gov. Dayton and the legislature screwed things up mightily this past session. They raised taxes by an extraordinary amount. They increased spending on their special interest allies exponentially. Last but not least, they repealed accountability requirements for teachers.

Gov. Dayton’s already chased one major company from Minnesota. Why do people think he knows anything about growing Minnesota’s economy? When it comes to budgets, he’s proposed more budgets in 3 years in office than Pawlenty did in 8. (Not literally, though they are tied with 4.) In 2011 and 2013, Gov. Dayton proposed massive tax increases in his initial budget, only to retreat and propose mulligan budgets a month later.

Gov. Dayton insists that he didn’t know this sales tax provision was in the Tax Bill, which isn’t believable. It wasn’t long ago that I wrote this post about the Minnesota Department of Revenue creating pdf files listing what things were now included in the sales tax. Gov. Dayton is either lying or he isn’t too bright. If the Department of Revenue knows the content of the Tax Bill, Gov. Dayton should, too.

Gov. Dayton apparently trusts in a tax and pander first, think later approach. Meanwhile, hardworking Minnesotans get hurt because of Gov. Dayton’s inattentiveness.

Comments welcome at Let Freedom Ring.