John Marty: “Democrats right now at the Capital –are losing the debate. First of all we’re losing because we say the Governor has got all the cards and he’s going to win. So he’s said no new taxes, no new revenue, no new this, yes we’re going to cut this and cut this and cut this and we’re going to borrow in these weird ways and do everything else. You’re going to do it my way or not at all, and even when we give him what he wants, he sometimes changes his mind and then adds new things to the picture.”
Craig Stellmacher: “We’ ve had two veto overrides–that doesn’t really mark a history of cooperation–does it?”
JM :“So what I’m saying–let’s take it a different approach : The Legislature passed a bill, I didn’t like it last year to balance the budget, the Governor rejected it, he signed the bills and then he vetoed some and unallotted other things.
“He broke the law, the courts–the Supreme Court ruled that he broke the law, and he can’t do that. He broke the law, he failed, he’s got a problem. It’s not a problem we can fix, because whatever we do he is going to veto it because he doesn’t want anything we’re going to do, because if its ours, he learned that politically the more often he says no to us, the more his political standing rises. So he’s going to keep saying no–even if we’re giving him stuff that he wants.”
CS : “The Wall Street Journal, faulted him for the GAMC Compromise.”
JM: “So he gets all the credit for doing the wrong thing. We ought to recognize at the legislature–if we believe people ought to be held accountable–hold him accountable. He broke the law, he had the court rule against him, he’s got a problem. We can’t fix it for him, we can help him, we should offer to help him.
“We should tell him : “Governor, offer your proposal on how to fix the problem.” And he’ll come in with something with no new revenue, probably it’ll look like a list of unallotments he wants us to adopt. We can look at it and say : “Look this one we don’t like it but we can live with it. This one–no we’re not going to accept that. This one, raising taxes on low income people, no we’re not going to accept that one either, because cutting rent credit is–cutting that is an increase in their property taxes. So we’re going to say we’re not going to accept this, this, this, we list the ones we’re not going to accept and the things we have wrong–we fault–there’ some things we can’t accept.
“Pass it back to him. Tell him : “Governor–it’s time to come up with a new proposal. Here’s what we can accept.” And then he comes back with a new proposal, now if he comes back with the same thing, we should–what we would normally do is say we crossed off 20 things–he must be serious. So he won’t accept these things, we rejected so we better accept these 10 that we already rejected, and we pass it back to him. And he comes back with another one, “oh he must be really serious”, so we cross off a few others we had planed to reject.
CS: “It sounds like the “Bush Compromise”
JM: “What if we would make him responsible for his behavior. Do what he’s done to us. He gives us this bill, we cross out these 20 things, tell him to come back with a new proposal, he comes back with the same thing, and we say: “Governor–what part of no–don’t you understand?”
“And to add insult to injury, in order to make his point, this is all theater on his part, he’s trying to score points with the national delegates. How’s he do that? He says : ‘Oh those guys at the capital, all they do is bicker.’ ‘I’m going to go fishing for the fishing opener.’ So he’s going to leave town, you know ‘I’ll bet they’ll still be bickering when I come back.’
“What I think we should do is just say : ‘Look Governor–it’s your problem. You broke the law, it’s your fault, you’ve got a problem, we offered a solution you didn’t like it. You’ve got to fix it. We’re here to help you. We’re going home, when you come in a with a new proposal, call us back. We won’t ajorn for sine die, until Sunday night, so we’ll go home but we’ll be ready to come back Saturday if you want. Soon as you have a proposal, and if you can’t come up, if you’re not going to be serious before the end of the session o.k. then we got to adjourn then because we’re out of time, but we’ll come back for a special session, should only be a one day one, we just got to have you send us something we can agree to.’
“Send it back to him. Who is in control there? I think the Democrats might have a chance to get some of what they want. Instead, what we’re going to get is 1% of what we want, and we’re going to get 95-99% of his stuff? We’re going to get kicked in the teeth. It looked like we gave in to him, because we did. I’m say–why don’t we just stand up to him? “
CS : “If we have done this perhaps for his Presidential Candidacy, we can look now and say he’s polling about 1%, and we’ve done it for that… We’ve sacrificed Minnesota it looks like…”
JM: “We are helping him sacrifice Minnesota for his Presidential ambition. And that’s wrong.”
CS : “You’re sounding like an “Enabler” then…”
JM: “That’s what the legislature has effectively done. If the legislature would say : “No we’re not going to take this anymore, Governor it’s your problem, you broke the law, we offered a solution and you broke the law rather than respond to that. Now it’s your turn to fix it. We’re here to help you, but if you go up north we’re just going to go home because we are just waiting for you. It’s his problem, and we can help him with it, but we’re not going to enable him.”
Craig Stellmacher for TheUptake.org