Preface: The writer is a true progressive and therefore anti-partisan.
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and Senate Majority Leader Thomas Bakk support a proposed amendment regarding lawmakers’ pay which discriminates against at least 1,000,000 Minnesota voters.
The amendment would inscribe discrimination based on party affiliation into the Minnesota state constitution. From the language of the proposed amendment:
One-half of the members appointed by the governor and one-half of the members appointed by the chief justice must belong to the political party that has the most members in the legislature. One-half of the members appointed by the governor and one-half of the members appointed by the chief justice must belong to the political party that has the second-most members in the legislature.
That means only members of the Minnesota GOP or DFL may sit on the “independent, citizens-only council”. However, partisan affiliation across the country is declining rapidly according to Gallup.
At least 43% or 1.2 million Minnesota voters, who identify as Independents, Greens, Constitution Party, etc. may not sit on this council. This may violate Title VII discrimination law as well.
According to a Pioneer Press article House Minority leader Paul Thissen supports this codified discrimination.
Like a bipartisan majority in the Senate, he supported the amendment in the House three years ago, along with a majority of Democrats.
The Star Tribune reported that Senate Majority Leader Thomas Bakk supports this plan as well.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said raising one’s own pay is somewhat of a conflict of interest. He said the Legislature sets pay ranges for the governor’s commissioners and judges.
Discrimination is wrong. Partisanship is hurting Minnesota voters — see SWLTR failure, MNSure failure and Marijuana Reform failure for details. All can be laid at the feet of partisan bickering and inaction.
Vote NO on this amendment.