Dayton claims the GOP has not yet proposed a balanced budget. He says the House and Senate spending bills passed earlier this month are still short by more than $1 billion. The DFL governor told reporters today (Tuesday) that he wants Republicans to finalize their budget bills by next Friday, which would leave another two weeks of the session to negotiate a final agreement.
"They should have to do what I did, which was have a budget that adds up to the $34 billion they've set," Dayton said. "They don't want to raise revenues, so be it. But then tell us, tell the people of Minnesota exactly where they're going to make all the cuts necessary to achieve that target."
Republican leaders insist that their numbers are sound. They also want to use the conference committees to negotiate with Dayton on a bill by bill basis.
Dayton's news conference also touched on other issues including gambling, Vikings stadium, voter identification and same-sex marriage. Here's the audio: Listen
Dayton's timeline came up today during a news conference on an unrelated bill to ban same-sex marriages. Assistant Senate Majority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said the Legislature has an independent opinion of the budget process. Hann said negotiations with the governor can proceed now while spending bills are still in conference committee.
"We don't frankly see there's a lot of merit in passing bills, having them vetoed, going through the sort of traditional song and dance we've seen in the past number of years, Hann said. "It's I think a distraction from the work that has to be done, which is to find agreement."
Posted at 2:17 PM on April 26, 2011
by Brett Neely
Filed under: U.S. Senate
Former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman has joined the Washington law firm Hogan Lovells as a senior government advisor.
That means he's likely to be involved with lobbying, and even if he doesn't formally register as a lobbyist, Coleman will certainly be advising the firm's lobbyists.
Coleman narrowly lost his Senate seat to DFL Sen. Al Franken after a lengthy recount in 2009. He also served as mayor of St. Paul.
More recently, Coleman's been the chairman and CEO of the American Action Network, one of the outside groups that pumped over $26 million worth of ads into last year's midterm elections.
According to an AAN spokesman, Coleman will step down from his role as CEO but will remain the group's chairman.
Hogan Lovells' clients include Nissan, Daimler, General Electric and Xcel Energy. Interestingly, the firm's political action committee leaned heavily Democratic in the last election, giving $121,000 to Democratic candidates and $78,000 to Republicans, according to Opensecrets.org.
Minnesota's newly elected Republican National committeewoman may have already stepped off the party platform. Patricia Anderson, formerly the State Auditor and now a lobbyist, has added Canterbury Park and its racino efforts to her lobbying portfolio.
That's in spite of a party position against gambling in Minnesota. Here's the relevant section of the 2010 party platform.
We seek to eliminate all state-sponsored gambling and oppose any expansion of gambling in Minnesota. In regards to casinos already in place, current gambling laws should be changed so that Minnesota is allowed to tax profits and revenue of tribal casino gambling in the state.
Anderson registered with Canterbury via email over the weekend. She isn't officially listed on the state Campaign Finance Board website, but the board processed her filing this morning, according to staffer Patricia Waller, and Anderson confirmed she'd signed on with Canterbury.
Anderson isn't making any apologies. She points to a 2003 racino bill passed by House Republicans that gave the state auditor authority to look through casino books around the state -- a measure she says she supported. She also pointed out that more than a dozen current Republican members of the legislature (as well as now-Congressman Erik Paulsen) voted for that bill eight years ago.
Nobody should be surprised that she's a racino proponent, Anderson says. She'd been one long before she went on the party's ballot.
"I look at it from a pure free market position and a competition position," Anderson said in an interview. "We have given an unregulated, untaxed monopoly to the Indian tribes, and not one dime in Minnesota goes back to the taxpayers, and I think that's just wrong for many, many reasons, and we should be getting on board and supporting some of these other proposals."
Anderson also says she doesn't think a national committee member, or any Republican, is duty bound to support every single plank of the GOP platform.
"I think you have an obligation to generally support the party platform. Generally., Anderson said. "There are areas where Republicans themselves disagree, and I think if you asked any Republican if they support the platform 100 percent, you will not find anyone, or very few that could actually say that. So there are going to be differences, certainly if you look at the Republican activists themselves, and the delegates, and the elected Republicans, I would say at least half of them don't agree with that particular plank in the platform... You are there as a representative of the Republican Party, but you also have your own viewpoints, just like any elected official."
Party officials, though, aren't quite so sanguine about the matter.
Deputy chair Michael Brodkorb said he thought the party faithful that elected her at the state central committee meeting earlier this month would be unpleasantly surprised by her new duties. He thinks she probably would have best brought this up during her campaign for the RNC.
"She is not starting off her time as national committeewoman in a very strong way," Brodkorb said. "There is an expectation that a national committeewoman can work with people and effectively communicate, and I don't think she's done a good job in this situation. I think she's got some work to do with relationships and internal discussions on these things. But ulimately, it's a conflict."
He stopped short of saying the party would take formal action against Anderson, although he did point out that she's only serving out the last year of Evie Axdahl's term, and will be back before the party sooner, rather than later. But he suggested the situation ought to resolve itself before it came to that.
"Look, I'm not saying by any stretch of imagination that she shouldn't be able to go out and work," Brodkorb said, "but the reality is that she has taken a position and handled this in such a way that I think she's ultimately going to have to make a choice. I don't believe that she can do both."(6 Comments)