Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Well Surprise Surprise Surprise!

Governor Gimmick hoist on his own petard! The courts have been rough on the governor this week. First, Susie Ek, Republican House candidate, is thrown off the ballot for a special election in Saint Cloud because, well, she doesn’t live in St. Cloud. So now, apparently Susie’s mommy, who has the same address that Susie tried to use, is going to run, but she won’t be on the ballot. But now for the real fun.

Remember the No New Taxes Ever, I Really Mean It, Cross My Heart, and Hope to Die Pledge that Timmy signed for the Minnesota Taxpayers League? Apparently, Timmy was so worried that he would burn in hell, or maybe on Davy Strom’s front yard, if he didn’t observe the letter of the pledge, that he concocted the 75 cent per pack health impact user fee for cigarettes. The plan was to use the estimated $400 million dollars raised by the “fee” this biennium to plug a hole in the budget and send the legislature for the exits.

Never mind that the “fee” just went into the general fund of the state, not some special fund to deal with the health costs of smoking.

Timmy thought he covered this tracks pretty well. The “fee” legislation was put in, as Spot recalls, a human services bill, not the tax bill. And in news conferences after the session ended, Timmy said he called it a “fee,” and he was sticking to that. Now he’s really stuck with it.

Yesterday, a Ramsey County district judge threw out the “fee” as violating the terms of the of the 1998 settlement the state made with the tobacco industry. Wow, Timmy that has to smart! It’ll probably leave marks, too!

And of course, one of Timmy’s loyal vassals, Earl of Kenyon, is on the radio this morning, saying how he was surprised by the court decision. The only way he could be surprised would be to think the whole “fee” idea was such a transparent and laughable ruse in the first place that no actual grown ups would take it seriously.

Tags: loses on the , mystified

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