Crunch time is upon us, and these three items are being presented here as a way of sort of summarizing where things are at.
The MN GOP House Republicans make a couple of false arguments. First, they insinuate that they are protecting rural Minnesota’s roads and bridges. They have falsely stated that somehow light rail takes money away from those needed road and bridge repairs. Federal funds for light rail can go nowhere else – it is how the funding operates. Secondly, they make this fantasy argument that by rejecting light rail funding, that somehow they are giving some kind of windfall to the taxpayers of Minnesota. Not true. In fact, they are not saving taxpayer dollars here or anywhere. That money is appropriated for that purpose. It doesn’t go back into the US treasury. It doesn’t get rebated back to the state. It will simply go to another project in some other state. And Minnesota’s portion of the tax payments go with it.
Rural Minnesota absolutely needs road and bridge repairs. But it is an issue that is separate from metro transit. It must be funded via the gas tax money or the general fund or some other statutory method. But the MN GOP is disingenuous to be making rail transit an us vs them false equivalency. It is an “alternative fact”, and the GOP needs to be honest about what they are saying.
This next one is titled “The 7 plagues of the Republican budget.”
Despite a $1.6 billion surplus, Republicans are still slashing budgets all over the place to pay for tax cuts: $900 million, if Senate Republicans get their way, or the titanic $1.35 billion pushed by House Republicans.
The Minnesota they envision has little in common with the one we live in now. In this time of Passover, their proposals are beginning to sound a bit like the biblical chapter Exodus. If you recall, before the Israelites made it to freedom, things got a little hairy.
“Minnesota Republicans accuse female legislator of racism because she criticized white men.”
On April 4, America’s first Somali legislator — Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) — made a speech on the House floor about the connection between today’s Black Lives Matter activists and civil rights icons like Martin Luther King Jr. She was speaking out in opposition to a Republican bill that would increase penalties for protesters if they block highways — a tactic that has been used in Minnesota in response to the deaths of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile at the hands of cops.
But many Republicans weren’t around to hear what Omar and other Minnesota legislators of color like Rep. Susan Allen (D) had to say. Instead of being on the floor, they were relaxing in a separate room.
House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman (D) wasn’t happy about it. So she made a “call of the House” to get members back to the floor…
Hortman, a 12-year veteran of the legislature, said the retiring room card games are a new development. She attributed them to the culture fostered by House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) since he took over the Speaker’s gavel following the 2014 election. Last year, the House Republican majority had mute buttons installed, allowing Daudt to cut legislators’ microphones whenever he wants.
“Under Speaker Daudt, tolerance for dissent is at an all-time low,” Hortman said. “Going back and playing cards takes intolerance to dissent to its logical conclusion, which is if you don’t agree with them, you don’t have to listen.”
The male legislators in question are more than happy to dish it out, but can’t take it. What a bunch of whimpering, sorry-a** big babies. And what with having followed the MN legislature for many years now, pretty much exactly what I’ve come to expect from most of its Republicans.