If Gov. Dayton is smart, something that’s still open to debate, he’ll quickly call a special session. Looking at these poll results might not convince Gov. Dayton but they’re scaring the daylights out of DFL legislative candidates.
According to the article, “Out of 354 total respondents, 221, more than 62 percent, did not agree with the governor’s decision to veto the tax bill last Wednesday. Another 133 voters supported Dayton’s veto.” If Gov. Dayton wants DFL candidates explaining why Gov. Dayton vetoed a pretty good bill the rest of the summer, Gov. Dayton doesn’t have to do a thing. If he wants to give the DFL a slim chance of flipping the Minnesota House, though, he’s got to agree to sign the Republicans’ tax conformity bill.
At this point, though, the DFL is already fighting an uphill fight. In 2016, House Republicans won by pretty significant margins. That’s during a cycle that typically favors the DFL. Good luck flipping the House during the midterms, when turnout typically favors Republicans.
Many commenters took issue with what they see as Dayton’s inability to compromise this session, while others thought it was unfair of Republicans to pass major legislation in the last days of session and expect Dayton to accept everything.
It’s impossible for Republicans to “strike a deal” when the governor doesn’t even show up for work. This year, if I was running the GOP campaigns, I’d highlight the DFL’s partisanship on big bills, then I’d highlight how Gov. Dayton wasn’t willing to compromise. This is something I’d definitely highlight:
Two weeks ago, Dayton’s office publicly released a list of 117 issues the governor didn’t want in the budget and tax bills. Republican lawmakers eliminated more than half of those measures, but Dayton told the Legislature he would veto any bill that contained any of those issues.
Republicans eliminated almost 70% of those issues, including all of Gov. Dayton’s most objectionable provisions. Gov. Dayton still vetoed it, saying he’s demanding that all of those provisions eliminated. He’s Minnesota’s governor. He isn’t Minnesota’s emperor.
If Gov. Dayton thought that he’d set the DFL up for a big electoral victory by vetoing these bills, then he’s foolish. This fired up the GOP base. It also pissed off a ton of entrepreneurs who are facing a tax increase and complicated tax forms. Those entrepreneurs aren’t likely to vote DFL. They aren’t likely to sit this election out, either.
That special session better happen fast and the DFL better pray that voters forget how Gov. Dayton and the DFL tried shafting them with higher taxes.