Dayton spin machine gets to work

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If fair-minded people read this WCCO article, they’ll wonder who’s paying this reporter’s paychecks. The article opens by saying “Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed Wednesday the biggest tax and spending bills of the year. The move leaves the 2018 Legislature with few accomplishments, and a long list of grievances.”

It’s impossible to accomplish much when you’re working with a governor that puts politics ahead of people’s needs. I quoted Sen. Roger Chamberlain in this post because he said “The governor behaved like a toddler – emotional, impulsive, and unreasonable. Vetoing everything and bringing the session to a crashing halt because he couldn’t get exactly what he wanted is just another temper tantrum. It has become a recurring theme with this governor; it is a legacy of chaos and failure.” Amen to that, Sen. Chamberlain. That’s exactly how Gov. Dayton behaved.

If Gov. Dayton behaved like this to give the DFL a political advantage, he failed. By acting like a spoiled brat, he’s now forced DFL legislators and DFL legislative challengers to defend indefensible gubernatorial decisions. Vetoing the tax conformity bill because (here’s his words) “it didn’t punish corporations enough” for bringing their foreign profits home is beyond exceptionally stupid. Punishing them for bringing their foreign profits home incentivizes companies to leave their profits overseas. What type of idiot can’t figure that out?

By vetoing the tax conformity bill, Gov. Dayton is forcing DFL legislators and challengers to explain to these businesses why they’re getting hit with a major tax increase. Good luck selling that decision to a roomful of upset entrepreneurs.

Notice the slant, though. The almost-reflexive slant is that Gov. Dayton’s vetoes are the Republicans’ fault. WCCO doesn’t contemplate the possibility that Gov. Dayton didn’t act in the state’s best interests. It’s like WCCO thinks that it’s only possible that it’s the Republicans’ fault. Here’s a hint to WCCO: it’s perfectly possible that it’s Gov. Dayton’s fault because a) the tax conformity bill was reasonable legislation and b) he vetoed all of the major bills this session.

If Gov. Dayton had negotiated in good faith, which he didn’t at any point during the final weekend, it might be fair to blame Republicans. When the governor won’t negotiate but he will criticize everyone except him, then it’s his fault that nothing got done. That’s if you’re only paying attention to this year. I’m paying attention to each of the 8 painful years of the Dayton administration. In 2011, he promised Speaker Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Koch that they had a budget deal that didn’t include raising taxes. Zellers and Koch returned to their caucuses to brief them on the details of the deal. When they returned to Gov. Dayton’s office, he’d changed his mind. A tax increase was required.

Gov. Dayton’s promises are worthless.

In 2015, Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk spent 5 days negotiating with Gov. Dayton on a final budget. After 5 days, they were about to leave the Governor’s mansion when they decided to hammer out an agreement between themselves. Bipartisanship at its finest. Hooray. We won’t need a special session. Not so fast. Gov. Dayton and Rep. Thissen objected to it. Special session, here we come.

This year, the only thing that needed to get done was tax conformity. The House and Senate worked out a bill without Gov. Dayton’s input, not because they didn’t want his input but because Gov. Dayton was a no-show to negotiations. The bill gets passed with decent bipartisan support. Gov. Dayton vetoes it because he didn’t get his emergency school spending. Fine. There’s time left. The legislature puts together a $225,000,000 school funding package instead of the $137,900,000 that Gov. Dayton asked for. Gov. Dayton vetoes that, too, saying that the school money didn’t include new money.

That’s the equivalent of saying ‘if it isn’t done my way, I’m vetoing it. If people get hurt, that’s their problem.’ That isn’t a leader. That’s a spoiled brat. Thank God his reign of foolishness and incompetence is essentially over. Good riddance. Personally, I won’t miss him. Frankly, I wish he’d never been our governor.