Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bah Humbug...let the whining begin

It has been announced that the House DFL majority leader, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, appointed 4 GOPers to committee leadership positions throughout the House.

MinorityLeader Seifert, perhaps influenced by sour grapes from yet another drunken sailor, stated, "There's so many committees, maybe they ran out of DFLers,"

The burgeoning 38 committees, subcommittees and finance divisions, 11 more than in the old GOP-led House, may signal similar growth of government, said Seifert, R-Marshall.

He also noted that the Claims Committee, hardly a plum assignment, spends much of its time rejecting damage claims against the state. "Maybe that's why they put a Republican there," he said. "DFLers can't say no to anybody."

Seifert also complained about seats on the coveted Finance Committee.

One exception, Seifert said, is the makeup of the powerful Finance Committee, where the GOP will have 32.5 percent of the votes, compared with its 35.8 percent strength overall.

DFLers complained two years ago when then-House Speaker Steve Sviggum installed 58 percent Republican dominance on the Ways and Means Committee, even though GOP representatives made up less than 51 percent of the House.

Mark Olson also made the story, as he awaits a court date on domestic violence charges.

"It is an unusual development, especially with the GOP reduced to a weak minority of 48 -- just over one-third of the 134-member House -- by election losses and the expulsion from the caucus of Rep. Mark Olson of Big Lake, who is facing a domestic-abuse charge."

Former House Speaker Steve Sviggum showed played both sides of the aisle commending DFL leaders and then taking a bitter shot at the end.

"It wasn't done too often in the past," said Sviggum, a legislator since 1979. He called Kelliher's appointments "a very good gesture, considering the large majority they have."

Sviggum said the proof of the majority's bipartisan spirit will come at the end of the session, not the beginning.

"It really doesn't mean anything until you see the bills and the agenda as they come forward," said Sviggum, who will be the lead Republican on the Finance Committee. "We'll see how much they include us in the decisionmaking."

It will be fun to follow the quips of Seifert and Tom Emmer as the session begins in about 2 weeks!

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