Minnesota Republicans are planning a State Capitol rally next month in support of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposal for a constitutional amendment.
Pawlenty recently outlined a plan to cap the state general fund budget at the level of revenue actually received during the previous budget period. He wants voters to decide next fall whether to add the budget language to the state constitution. Update: The rally is scheduled on the same day that the Senate Tax Committee has scheduled a hearing on Pawlenty's proposal. Here's the state GOP release about the Dec. 7 rally:
St. Paul- Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton and Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb today announced that the Party will hold a rally on December 7, 2009 in the Capitol Rotunda in support of Governor Pawlenty's Spending Accountability Amendment to cap state spending with the legislative sponsors of the amendment, Representative Paul Kohls and Senator Amy Koch.
"I support the Spending Accountability Amendment because it's just common sense that spending should match income. On December 7, I look forward to joining with fellow Minnesotans at the State Capitol to make our voices heard on this important issue," said Senator Amy Koch.
"To secure Minnesota's future, we need this amendment on the ballot in November 2010. We need to keep government spending under control. We need to keep the Democrats from enacting massive unsustainable spending," said Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton.
"It seems we are always waiting until the last days of the legislative session to agree on how much to spend. It's time we put a stop to that approach. If we know from the start the maximum amount that can be spent, we can focus on actually setting priorities, reforming government and spending taxpayer money more effectively. We need to stop debating how much to grow government and start talking about how we can best create jobs for Minnesotans," said Representative Paul Kohls.
"The time has come for this amendment. I'm sure the special interests and the Democrat big spenders won't like it but it is absolutely the right thing to do for the future of our children," said Republican Party of Minnesota Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb.
Spending Accountability Amendment Rally with Senator Amy Koch, Representative Paul Kohls, Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton and Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb.
December 7, 2009
9:30 - 10:00 AM
Most of the Republicans running to succeed Pawlenty have embraced the proposed constitutional amendment. But a recent Taxpayers League of Minnesota questionnaire found two GOP candidates, Leslie Davis and Phil Herwig, oppose the idea. Herwig offered this blistering critique:
I could not disagree with the Governor more! I suspect he is proposing such measures for purely political reasons. My opinion is this is being done because he wants to be President and he is trying to make himself appear attractive to conservatives. It's a shell game! Gov. Pawlenty will not have to deal with the financial mess he helped create, when the new governor takes office after next year's elections.
To me he is running away from Minnesota. Look at what he has left us with after seven years in office. In the upper midwest states we are the highest in income taxes, property taxes, business taxes, sales tax, and workman's comp rates. In workman's comp, his administrator, the former House Speaker Steve Sviggum, is alleged to preside over a walking, breathing, living mess, with no improvement of the situation in sight.
What we need is to cut spending, cut taxes and a constitutional amendment to require a supermajority vote in the legislature on all tax bills.
These elected officials have got to stop playing games with our money and our lives. They are not sent to St Paul to rule over us. They are sent there to serve us! - Phil Herwig
Education, taxes, health care and the DFL's two-decade absence from the governor's office were among the topics covered during a gubernatorial debate last night in Hopkins.
Eleven DFL candidates (Tom Bakk, Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza, Susan Gaertner, Steve Kelley, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, John Marty, Tom Rukavina, R.T. Rybak, Ole Savior and Paul Thissen) participated in the two-hour event. Organizers used an unusual format where no more than three candidates were on stage at any one time.
Listen to the debate here: Listen
Marty Seifert, a GOP candidate for governor, has created an online shop so his supporters can buy Marty Seifert for governor gear. The website includes products like hats ($20), sweat shirts ($45), and bumper stickers ($3). On his Twitter account, Seifert joked about the online store after he posted it:
"Sorry, I appreciate the comments, but on-line store does not carry Seifert action figures or bkfst cereal."
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will officially kick off his campaign for governor on Sunday, December 6th. His Facebook page said the event will be held at 1pm at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.
Rybak filed paperwork with the Campaign Finance Board earlier this month indicating his interest in a run for governor but the board said he should have filed the paperwork in May. The board said his campaign for mayor conducted a poll at that time that was designed to benefit a gubernatorial run not his reelection for mayor.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's office has confirmed that Bachmann will speak at a National Tea Party event in February. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will also speak at the event. The National Tea Party Convention will be held in Tennessee on February 4,5 and 6th.
The rest of the week looks to be light on political news. But the next few weeks could be brutal for state government.
On Monday, the Jobs Task Force will meet to discuss the state's unemployment picture, the availability of credit in the current markets and the debt service guidelines in Minnesota.
The Economic forecast will be released on Wednesday and no one is expecting the news to be good. Last Tuesday, Governor Pawlenty suggested that it could be a "pretty significant revenue shortfall" which will make the upcoming session more challenging than people expect."
Feast on that.