Around MN: running the parade gauntlet

Posted at 8:00 AM on July 5, 2011 by Michael Olson (0 Comments)

Lawmakers around the state got an earful and encouragement as they attended Fourth of July parades.

"They're trying to put the whole load on the lower and middle class," said parade watcher David Hines, 60, a car mechanic from Eagan who criticized Republicans for resisting tax increases proposed by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

But the governor's approach was deemed a dud by others along the route of the city's annual Independence Day parade.

"No new taxes," said Mark Helmueller, 53, a sales executive who called out cheers of encouragement to Republican political leaders from Eagan as they marched past. "Spend less. Make do with what you have."

Whether it was along Yankee Doodle Road or parade routes in Afton and Apple Valley, spectators seemed united about only one thing when it came to the shutdown: frustration. (Pioneer Press)

MPR's Mark Steil followed third-term state Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, along the Blooming Prairie parade route.

"How's everybody? Good to see you," Senjem said to the people watching the parade.

As he moved down the street, there were a few cheers of support. But far more common were the yells of complaint.

"Go to work," shouted Laurie Heydt of Stewartville.


A similar story played out along the route in Saint Peter according to the Mankato Free Press.

A guy sitting along the Vernon Center parade route yells out to Rep. Tony Cornish: "You gonna get this straightened out?"

Cornish calls back, guessing the state shutdown will last "a couple of weeks."

The guy is none too pleased by that.

"A couple weeks? We got a detour down here."

A boost to private businesses?

Closed parks are costing the state around $1 million per week in lost revenue estimates KSTP, but reporter Nick Winkler finds that hotels and other private businesses are seeing a bump and are doing better than normal. The assumption is that more people are opting for hotel rooms and other accommodations in lieu of state-run campgrounds. The report doesn't provide hard numbers but will be an important point to watch and try to quantify as the shutdown continues.

More about the shutdown from news organizations around the state at MPR's MN Today.


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