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Out with a whimper

Posted at 6:37 AM on May 21, 2007 by Bob Collins (9 Comments)

Pat Condon of the Associated Press, I think, is one of the best writers in the Minnesota news crowd. His lead this morning:

In recent legislative sessions, there's always a moment when the governor and legislative leaders triumphantly step out from behind closed doors and announce: The deal is done. There's not likely to be that moment this year.

Indeed as the final hours of the session tick away, we're inundated, instead, with metaphors. If they're not coming from metaphor king Marty Seifert, than Larry Pogemiller takes a whack at them, as in this morning's story from Tim Pugmire.

"I would say at the sock hop, the couple is dancing, but they're not quite touching yet," he said.

A sock hop, senator? This is the Minnesota Legislature equivalent of George Bush I going to the grocery store and not knowing how the checkout scanner works. I'm pretty sure there haven't been sock hops since Sen. Pogemiller was about 7.

Anyway, I'm muddling through the Sunday scene adding points here and there. It's a little difficult since the Senate apparently let the person who puts together the Senate Journal have the weekend off. (Senate secretary Patrick Flavin says nobody got the weekend off. Acknowledged. It wasn't meant literally. I know everyone up there is working ridiculous hours. My point was that I cobbled the Senate action together on Sunday and early this morning based on the House Journal and the messages from the Senate.) Since the House Journal involves messages from the Senate, I'm pretty sure that it -- along with the Senate Briefly e-mail newsletter -- is up to date.

One transaction worth noting: Minnetonka, playing the part of the 1978 Yankees it seems, cut power rep David Bly in favor of Sen. Ron Latz. It's a calculated gamble to try to grab some GOV points. But off the bat, it hasn't worked. Bly's name is on the outdoors amendment which got some OC points yesterday and is heading for a conference committee. There are more points in that combination than in a GOV signature. But, we'll see.

The race, of course, won't be over at midnight tonight since Gov. Pawlenty has 10 days to award more points.


Comments (9)


In my defense, at the time I submitted the transaction (early Fri. morning) Latz had 4 bills moving and appearing viable for the Gov's signature, and Rep. Bly had 3. As of yesterday afternoon, each had 3 on the move. So when did Latz end up on my team? Like I said yesterday, the Senate bills seemed to be moving better, so I'm comfortable still with my decision.

Posted by gml4 | May 21, 2007 8:54 AM


Not sure if you were factoring Latz' senate companion to HF2293, but I see the Rules Committee substituted the House file for the Senate file and tabled it.

Also, HF464 just came out of conference committee. That also had Bly's name on it.

Posted by Bob Collins | May 21, 2007 10:56 AM


At least in the House, the Calendar of the Day is now pretty much a moot point. As observers of the House Sessions have witnessed, the Republican Minority drags on debate with every Bill complete with a host of amendments. Their strategy has become pretty obvious and that is to force a special session by slowing up the legislative process in attempt to embarrass the new House DFL Leadership.

As a result it appears that the House DFL Leadership is going to withhold discussion of the vast majority of the bills now on the Calendar of the Day until next years session to keep debate focused on the major spending bills. This means that the bills that the Beavers, Sine Die and Minnetonka were counting on for points will be stuck in limbo until 2008. Yet it will probably still come down to the wire as to which team comes out on top. Wouldn't be surprised to see the winner not decided until sometime next week.

Posted by mike simpkins | May 21, 2007 12:30 PM


Here's a list of legislators from those teams, and the number of bills they have at the governor's desk.

Bemidji Beavers
Lillie 1
Moe 1
Simon 1

Sine Die Sadists
Abeler 1
Higgins 1
Saxhaug 2

Minnetonka Redress
Gimse 1
Latz 3
Olseen 2
Ortman 3
Rest 4
Sparks 1

BTW - Bly has zero bills at the Governor's desk presently

Posted by gml4 | May 21, 2007 2:03 PM


You bring up an interesting strategy, George, and certainly one that has worked for you. You're swinging for the fences. I'm not convinced at this stage that depending on the gov to sign bills is where the points are. Maybe. I don't know.

There's still some conference committees at work and if you can grab some stuff heading over to the "other chamber" AND get a conference committee out of it, that's 55 points. Throw in a gov's bill, and it's 105.

Posted by Bob Collins | May 21, 2007 2:15 PM


The way Mike was talking about the House earlier, it seems there will be few bills moving on to the governor's desk today. I feel good about my chances... though I would never claim to be Bob Lemon! (I have to confess, not being a baseball fan, I had to look up the '78 Yankees)

Posted by gml4 | May 21, 2007 2:30 PM


The '78 Yankees trailed their hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox, by about 10 games with a month to go in the season. They ended up catching them, tying them, and forcing a one-game playoff, which they one thanks toa wind-blown pop up homerun by Bucky (*&#*& Dent (that's how he's referred to to this day in Boston).

It was one of the great comebacks...or greatest chokes (depending on your perspective) in baseball history.

Posted by Bob Collins | May 21, 2007 2:33 PM


If Representative Bucky Dent is available on the waiver wire, the Beavers would like to pick him up today. Or how about a free suggestion for George to pick up Representative Bill Buckner for defensive purposes.

Posted by mike simpkins | May 21, 2007 3:15 PM


Gov signed the Car Buyer's Bill of Rights today. along with 21 other bills. Sen. Latz's name is on that puppy. Looks like the gamble may pay off.

Posted by Bob Collins | May 21, 2007 6:04 PM