Tuesday, May 22, 2007

So that's how sausage is made!

I've absorbed a lot of the information coming from last nights climatic close to the Legislative Session down in St Paul.

I can't even find the words to express my utter disappointment in what went down in St Paul last night.

Hats off the the Republicans in the Minnesota House. We witnessed a Minnesota Legislative version of Survivor over the past several months and Marty Seifert, Tom Emmer, and the extreme right of the Minnesota House walked away the winners.

They "Out Played, Out Lived, and Out Lasted" the DFL in the House.

DJ at "I Don't Hate America" live blogged the last several hours of both the House and Senate sessions.

It's a great play by play account of the chaos in the House. This was one of the more disturbing entries.

10:50 p.m. Shit is hitting the fan. Speaker Kelliher said that with 84 ayes on
the motion to call the question that it passed. Several members yelled point of
order (as I believe it needs 2/3rds, but I know nothing about Mason’s Manual),
and she ignored it and ordered the clerk to take the roll. The bill was just
totally shoved down the house’s throat by Sertich and Kelliher. It passed 97-37.
I’m not too happy that democracy was stifled by the party I support. Seifert
moved that the bill be reconsidered and it passed. Wow. More to come.

I saw the photos of Rep Paul Kohls with tape over his mouth. Is this really how the public's business is handled? In such an inept way.

The quote by Otto von Bismarck comes to mind.

"Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made. "

Months of legislative work, after months of campaigning, come down to a few leaders on both sides of the aisle chatting over coffee in the Governor's office.

No wonder I don't really like hot dogs!

5-6 elected leaders knew the parameters of this deals made in secret. The deals made by these leaders morph into 500 page bills that are presented in the final 7 hours of session?

It will be interesting to see how this impacts the 2008 elections. Republicans have done a much better job of spin in the media. At every turn, Democrats have had to justify everything, and the leadership has done a poor job of justifying the Democratic agenda.

Seifert and the GOP House Caucus outplayed the Sertich led DFL Caucus. It's clear that many of the issues that were important to people in Greater Minnesota will still be an issue in 2008.

Transportation funding will need some significant progress.
Access to affordable and quality health care for all Minnesotans.
Property tax reform is needed.
K-12 funding reform, the need to address disparities between Greater Minnesota and the urban areas.

It's clear that House leadership simply wanted to avoid a special session. The commentary by DJ at IDHA about Speaker Kelliher's demeanor as the close of session grew closer leads me to that conclusion.

Check out the AP's version of events at the capitol.
As the time window shrank, Kelliher grew increasingly forceful while the
House descended into confusion. There was virtually no time for debate on the
weighty tax bill, causing a chorus of Republican objections and procedural
motions that culminated when Kelliher was forced to proclaim from her rostrum
that her predecessor, former Republican Speaker Steve Sviggum, was out of order
as he complained about the process.

"That was a personally difficult moment for me, gaveling down a former
speaker," Kelliher said.

Several Republicans were still standing and demanding to be
recognized when Kelliher gaveled the session to a close right as the clock
struck midnight. "Welcome to Russia," Republican Rep. Kurt Zellers shouted a
minute later.

We had an opportunity to show conservatives in Greater Minnesota that the politics of the DFL are the politics of the people of this state.

They failed.

They had an opportunity to stand up to Governor Pawlenty and simply chickened out.

Last week I scolded my State Rep, Dean Urdahl for putting politics before people. I stand behind that tongue lashing and issue one for the Democrats who simply folded under the pressure.

Putting politics before people always results in failure.

1 comment:

Drew Emmer said...

That's a great post Hal!

The sum of the session to me is simply this: The DFL ran on the notion of working together and getting work done for all of Minnesota. Fact is if you don't deliver budget targets, as DFL leaders failed to deliver (at all) then you really are not operating in good faith.

DFL leaders had no intention of doing anything this session besides placating their special interest patrons. And ultimately they even failed them (teacher union, Health care lobby, MTLA, ....)

There was no attempt to work with the minority, ever.

Biggest disappointment? Tony Sertich sweeping under the rug a 129-0 House vote for hearings and an investigation of Attorney General Lori Swanson's hiring and union-busting practices. Simply put: corrupt.

Want to win in '08? Margaret can stay. But Tony and Larry must be dethroned. The DFL would have been much better served with Atkins or Juhnke as Majority Leader. And Pogemiller is as marginalized in the Senate as Mark Olson is in the House (if not moreso)

Take care.