(Update: On Monday, the same day that I posted the text below, the Minnesota House did produce a bonding bill plan. Which doesn’t mean that Speaker Daudt and his allies won’t wait until the last minute, again, to try to shove it through on an our-plan-or-no-plan-at-all basis.
(“Grossly inadequate” would be one way to describe the House proposal. “Shortsighted” and “small-minded” work, too. As does plain old “cheap.” Here are links to proposals from the:
To me at least, the ending of the 2016 legislative session in Minnesota was quite probably not just some display of ineptitude. I think it was House Speaker Kurt Daudt’s (R-Crown) intent all along to ram through the Republican bonding bill at the last minute, giving Democratic legislators and Gov. Dayton no choice but to go along or get no bill at all. The whole plan may well have originated with Daudt’s handlers at the American Legislative Exchange Council. And, because 2016 turned out to be such a bizarre and horrifying political year, the fact that said plan didn’t entirely work produced no backlash vs. the MN GOP.
And from what I’m seeing so far, the intent may well be to try the same thing again, only get it “right” this time.
As the session reaches the spring recess — leaving about a month left when lawmakers return — the bonding bill is one of the biggest question marks.
Last year, a bonding plan emerged in the last hours of the last day of the session. It failed to reach the governor’s desk after a volley between the House and Senate caused lawmakers to run out of time.
That article is from early April. But as of this writing the House still hasn’t produced a detailed bill.
Yet there are growing indications that Daudt is not the Minnesota Party of Trump’s undisputed golden boy that I and others have believed him to be. Rep. Matt Dean (R-Dellwood) announced a run for governor.
Dean, 51, has a soft-spoken demeanor but is widely viewed as a leader of the conservative wing of the House Republican caucus. Two years ago, he sought the post of House speaker but was defeated by Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, who’s mulling his own bid for governor.
Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman is the only other Republican to declare so far. In addition to Daudt, other Republicans considering the race include Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, GOP Party Chairman Keith Downey, 2014 Republican nominee Jeff Johnson and a handful of other state legislators, including Sen. David Osmek of Mound and Sen. Michelle Benson of Ham Lake.
If Daudt and his fans can’t even impress/intimidate Matt Dean enough to convince him that joining the race would just be a waste of time and effort, things are a lot iffier for him than I have realized up to now.