June 8, 2005Close to a deal?
DFLers say they're ready to move. So why don't they just do it? Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson says he'll make an offer to end the special session. But not until Thursday. Remember, that's more than two and a half weeks after the end of the regular session when, of course, these closing offers should have been made. Maybe that's why I'm skeptical. Here's the story from the Pioneer Press:
Senate and House Democratic-Farmer-Labor leaders say they will try to break the budget logjam at the Capitol on Thursday by putting a "significant" new offer on the bargaining table.
While the DFLers now are apparently ready to accept Pawlwenty's cigarette tax, Entenza says an income tax increase is still on the table. That's something Pawlenty has said he won't accept (he even called it "profoundly stupid"). Anyway, House Speaker Steve Sviggum says if there isn't a deal by the end of the week, he may seek a 10- day cooling-off period that would bring things closer to the July 1 shutdown date.
In other words, there's still a big game of Texas hold-em going on at the Capitol.
The Star Tribune has a story looking at internal challenges to state GOP chair Ron Eibensteiner:
Minnesota's Republican Party Chairman Ron Eibensteiner faces a surprisingly strong and heated challenge this weekend in his bid for reelection to an unprecedented fourth term. The fracas appears to reflect frustration by some in the party with Gov. Tim Pawlenty as well as with his longtime ally.
MPR did a couple of stories a few months ago about conservative dissatisfaction with Gov. Pawlenty over the gambling issue. If Eibensteiner doesn't survive this challenge this weekend it's the first sign that the push for casino gambling has seriously split the party.
How reponsible should a politician be held for the actions of his adult children? That's a question Attorney General Mike Hatch may be pondering as his daughters go on trial in Chicago. Here's more from the Strib:
Anne Hatch, 22, and Elizabeth Hatch, 23, were arrested after an early hours scuffle with police outside the Crobar club on Chicago's Near North Side where they had been celebrating Anne Hatch's birthday in March 2004.
They may have another one today.