Dayton: OK, now I’m ready to talk

posted at 12:20 pm on July 5, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton pronounced himself ready to negotiate over the state budget five days into a shutdown:

innesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday morning that he plans to call GOP legislative leaders to see if they are willing restart negotiations with him later this afternoon and revealed he’s been courting moderate Republicans to end the government shutdown.

On the fifth day of the budget crisis, the Democratic governor said he and Republican legislative leaders are still far apart on lots of specifics. …

“I’m willing to talk about anything, listen to anything, because we have to get this resolved.”

Missing in the article: any mention that Dayton has refused to negotiate with legislators for six weeks.  The Republican-led legislature passed the required nine budget bills in mid-May; Dayton vetoed them last week without ever bothering to negotiate on any of them individually.  Dayton’s vetoes came on the last day of the legislative session, which meant that Republicans had no time at all to redraft the bills for Dayton’s signature anyway.  Now they can’t meet without Dayton calling a special session, which Dayton has refused to do, even though there are no special rules for such a session that give an advantage to either side.

Nevertheless, Republicans leaped at the chance to conduct more talks.  No sooner did the MPR interview take place than the GOP arranged a 2:30 (CT) meeting at the governor’s office with legislative leaders — presumably Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and House Speaker Kurt Zellers.  Republicans in both chambers stayed in the capitol building Thursday night for a sit-in to push Dayton for a special session, which Dayton rejected as a “stunt.”  The GOP has been pleading for good-faith negotiations for weeks, to no avail — at least not until now.

What changed?  State Representative Doug Wardlow suspects that Dayton has belatedly realized that the shutdown damages his base most:

Asked whether he worries that allowing the government to shut down instead of raising taxes could cost him the election, Wardlow said he thinks Republicans will come out better in their showdown with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

“It’s a winner for us because Gov. Dayton’s core constituency — state employees, rank-and-file union members — I don’t think they can afford a shutdown as well as Gov. Dayton can,” he said as he walked the parade route. “And it’s unfortunate that he sacrificed them for what he thinks is politically expedient … We’re very well positioned now.”

The Politico story misrepresents Wardlow’s position as opposed to both tax cuts and spending cuts, which is simply ridiculous.  Wardlow wants spending cuts, but got overruled in the final budget presentation, which increases biennial spending from just under $31 billion to over $34 billion.  Wardlow has asked Politico to correct its article, but it’s a good example of the media mangling of this story as an example of Republican intransigence.  Republicans actually met Dayton halfway on spending increases, expecting Dayton to negotiate in good faith and at least sign those parts of the budget where the two sides largely agreed … and instead, Dayton decided to pull his own political stunt and shut down the government.

Which will get corrected first — the media reporting of the Minnesota standoff, or the shutdown itself?  It’s a race to last place so far.

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LOL – I think the fact that most people gave the GOP support over the weekend may have something to do with it.

Dayton is a jerk period

gophergirl on July 5, 2011 at 12:22 PM

It doesn’t help to look across the state line and see the vilified Scott Walker with all of the Wisconsin state services running smooth on the 4th of July weekend and enjoying a budget surplus to boot.

PackerBronco on July 5, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Politico, pushing memes faster than a locomotive.

faraway on July 5, 2011 at 12:26 PM

I do believe we need to revise the latest edition of Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, in that we need to place Dayton’s picture next to the definition of the word JERK!

pilamaye on July 5, 2011 at 12:26 PM

But what about the Casey Anthony verdict watch?//

Knucklehead on July 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Even the Pioneer Press ran from Dayton in their editorial on Sunday. His position is toast and he knows it. Now it’s just finding something to save face.

nerdbert on July 5, 2011 at 12:32 PM

But what about the Casey Anthony verdict watch?//

Knucklehead on July 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Presently being filed under WHO GIVES A DAMN?

pilamaye on July 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM

It seems Republicans all over America are showing some spine that Democrats did not expect. Dayton was bluffing and the GOP called his bluff.

rockmom on July 5, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Reading about Dayton’s behavior, he sounds just like our present POTUS. Poor, poor MN, and Ed. Imagine having to deal with TWO Obamas. Sheesh. What’s your beer brand, Ed? I want to buy stock in that company.

JimP on July 5, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Wardlow has asked Politico to correct its article, but it’s a good example of the media mangling of this story as an example of Republican intransigence.

LOL. When does the media not do that? In WI, story after story proclaimed that if the GOP would just give a little, all would be well. At the federal level, same thing. Democrat intransigence just never happens, apparently.

changer1701 on July 5, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Maybe dayton did his re-think because those in prisons would have their cable cut off if this wasn’t resolved? Can’t have these people upset now can we?

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20110702/ZNYT02/107023007/-1/news?p=2&tc=pg
L

letget on July 5, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Politico has nothing to correct. Their meme stands.

faraway on July 5, 2011 at 12:42 PM

“I’m willing to talk about anything, listen to anything, because we have to get this resolved.”

Liar.

IrishEyes on July 5, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Reading about Dayton’s behavior, he sounds just like our present POTUS. Poor, poor MN, and Ed. Imagine having to deal with TWO Obamas. Sheesh. What’s your beer brand, Ed? I want to buy stock in that company.

JimP on July 5, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Except in Dayton’s case, Mark Halperin has yet to refer to him as being a d1ck……..except in this case, Dayton more than qualifies.

pilamaye on July 5, 2011 at 12:44 PM

What’s your beer brand, Ed? I want to buy stock in that company.

JimP on July 5, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Arrogant Bastard Ale seems somehow the most appropriate. ;-)

Ed Morrissey on July 5, 2011 at 12:47 PM

The Politico story misrepresents

Ed, I’ll bet typing those words trigger autocomplete on your PC. What conservative position has Politico represented correctly in this century?

massrighty on July 5, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Gov. Dayton’s core constituency — state employees, rank-and-file union members — I don’t think they can afford a shutdown as well as Gov. Dayton can … he sacrificed them for what he thinks is politically expedient

If he really wanted to help the po’ folks here in Minny he’d use his influence to get TARGET to permanently roll back their prices by the same percentage he wants to raise taxes on them damn rich SOB’s…

And move his trust fund back home from SoDak, too.

Bruno Strozek on July 5, 2011 at 12:52 PM

No tax raises; hold the line!!

Khun Joe on July 5, 2011 at 12:52 PM

No tax raises; hold the line!!

Khun Joe on July 5, 2011 at 12:52 PM

this

cmsinaz on July 5, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Might have something to do with the fact the Crazy Man Dayton wanted to piss-off Minnesotans over the July 4th weekend, and boy howdy did he.

But my fellow Minnesotans, at least up here in cabin land, decided to flip off the state government and good for them. Lakeside rec area entryways were blocked so people simply parked on the road and used the grounds anyway.

Bishop on July 5, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Lakeside rec area entryways were blocked so people simply parked on the road and used the grounds anyway.

Bishop on July 5, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Civil disobedience, beer, and outdoor fires…

Yay!

massrighty on July 5, 2011 at 1:21 PM

The DFL will be done after this fiasco, at least at the state level. Theyve lost all credibility.

This is oddly fitting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ

Nelsen on July 5, 2011 at 1:23 PM

But do Gov. Dayton’s constituents realize they will be hardest hit?

Cindy Munford on July 5, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Bishop on July 5, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Good for y’all, it seem fitting, considering the holiday.

Cindy Munford on July 5, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Arrogant Bastard Ale seems somehow the most appropriate. ;-)

Ed Morrissey on July 5, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Where Dayton is concerned, Old Peculier Ale might be the brew to choose.

Mr. D on July 5, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Dayton becomes just another demonrat who proves he is unfit to lead. Obama is offering to cut billions from Medicare to see if the GOP bites. If he gets his taxes plus rob Medicare, he’ll just tell the elderly, the Republicans made me kill you.

volsense on July 5, 2011 at 1:28 PM

“I’m willing to talk about anything, listen to anything, because we have to get this resolved.”

WTF?

You’re the one that caused the shutdown. What a dork. This guy is a governor?

darwin on July 5, 2011 at 1:30 PM

“I’m willing to talk about anything, listen to anything, because we have to get this resolved.”

Translation: My strategy of waiting for the opposition to cave didn’t work. So, I tried peeling off wimpy so-called moderates. No good. So, for my next trick, I’m going to appear conciliatory while blocking progress, so I can blame R’s for the impasse I’ve created.

massrighty on July 5, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Dayton: OK, now I’m ready to talk

Talk about what? Sign the budget and you’re all done.

If the governor wants to talk, meaning start the process over, the Republican’s would be well advised, I think, to actually make cuts this time rather than increasing spending.

FloatingRock on July 5, 2011 at 1:42 PM

When you’re as dumb as Dayton, you’re best laid plans will backfire, just like Wyle E. Coyote’s…

phreshone on July 5, 2011 at 1:46 PM

You reap what you sow. Everyone knew Dayton was crazy but voted for him anyway. They only have themselves to blame for the shutdown.

Common Sense on July 5, 2011 at 1:51 PM

The Republican-led legislature passed the required nine budget bills in mid-May; Dayton vetoed them last week without ever bothering to negotiate on any of them individually. Dayton’s vetoes came on the last day of the legislative session, which meant that Republicans had no time at all to redraft the bills for Dayton’s signature anyway.

Minnesota Republicans should be shouting from the rooftops that if Gov. Dayton really had a beef with their budget and wanted to negotiate, he should have vetoed the bills 6 weeks ago, with plenty of time to negotiate. Put the blame for the government shutdown squarely and publicly on Dayton.

How about a football analogy: running out the clock only works for the team ahead in the score.

Dayton: OMG, it’s overtime and I’m trailing!!!

Steve Z on July 5, 2011 at 1:51 PM

State Representative Doug Wardlow suspects that Dayton has belatedly realized that the shutdown damages his base most:

Yes, that Reuters article making the rounds, bemoaning the fact that Dayton voters can’t buy their lottery tickets or visit their babydaddies in prison.

MNHawk on July 5, 2011 at 1:52 PM

The Republicans are like Charlie Brown and Lucy. Why haven’t they been doing daily press conferences and letters to the editor and editorials packed with pithy sound bites about how the Governor is responsible through his inaction and deliberately walking the state up to the edge of the cliff.

State and federal level Republicans really suck when it comes to gaining the PR high ground in these situations and hammering the Dems publicly.

in_awe on July 5, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Why haven’t they been doing daily press conferences and letters to the editor and editorials packed with pithy sound bites about how the Governor is responsible through his inaction and deliberately walking the state up to the edge of the cliff

.

They have been. You are assuming that the editors will print the letters or the editorials, or that the television stations will show the press conferences in a way that the message gets across. I can only assume you aren’t familiar with Minnesota.

Mr. D on July 5, 2011 at 2:36 PM

The republicans have been having daily press conferences but surely you don’t expect the socialist Minn Media to report those conferences live where they can’t distort or suppress the content of those conferences?

eaglewingz08 on July 5, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Dayton vetoed them last week without ever bothering to negotiate on any of them individually. Dayton’s vetoes came on the last day of the legislative session, which meant that Republicans had no time at all to redraft the bills for Dayton’s signature anyway.

So, what we’re saying here is that the MN GOP just didn’t think ahead – that they actually believed Dayton would automatically just sign on to their bills? Oy.

I don’t know if this will end well for either side, but I can see MN Republicans quite easily being painted as the “unreasonable ones” come the next election cycle.

whatcat on July 5, 2011 at 4:37 PM

You reap what you sow. Everyone knew Dayton was crazy but voted for him anyway. They only have themselves to blame for the shutdown.

Common Sense on July 5, 2011 at 1:51 PM

#1 Dayton is “daffy” not crazy. He’s gotta be thinking this was a winner for him and the DFL. (Daffy Foolish Lib’s Party). He didn’t garner enough votes to even consider he has a mandate for his tax and spend policies and yet he’s shutting down the state expecting strong support? Daffy! #2. Blame Horner for throwing this to Dayton. He jumped from the IR’s and took more Repub votes than Dem’s and cost Emmer the win. Horner’s no longer worthy of dog catcher in my book.

chickasaw42 on July 5, 2011 at 5:20 PM

But what about the Casey Anthony verdict watch?//

Knucklehead on July 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM

This is why the “normal” voters do not know what is going on!!This Jerry Springer mentality will do this country in.

grapeknutz on July 5, 2011 at 5:26 PM

This is what you get when there is a 3rd party involved.

Mirimichi on July 5, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Yeah, Dayton’s an idiot and an ass and all that. But let’s be fair about the politics.

The Republicans could have passed the budgets in March. They control both houses of the legislature, and all they needed was to plug in the February forecast numbers to what they already knew they were going to do.

They waited until almost the last minute, knowing that Dayton would delay to the exact last minute — both sides were playing their political calculus with no regard to the actual effects, or COSTS, of a government shutdown. It is quite possible that the costs of shutting down and restarting government (manpower, litigation, etc.) will be more than the difference between the two sides on the actual budgets.

Political opportunists left, right, and center. The fact that the ones on the right have the correct approach to solving the problem doesn’t change the fact that they were playing politics with their timing on the state budget from the get-go. They could have done it in March, and let Dayton go through his dog-and-pony show in April, and got serious by May. The only reason they didn’t is that their focus group gurus said they’d gain more mileage this way.

Meanwhile, I can’t by a damn Powerball ticket, or go to the bathroom anywhere between Moorhead and Rochester….

notropis on July 5, 2011 at 10:51 PM