Sunday, October 29, 2006

Great Pretender Snookers Sturdevant

Lori, Lori, Lori. You can't take what the Great Pretender, Geoff Michel, says at face value. In an op-ed piece entitled A welcome move to the middle ground from both sides, Lori positively gushes about Michel's swearing off pledges against tax increases. Then why is his name on a list of the Americans for Tax Reform, dated October 3, 2006, as a taker of this pledge:

I, ____________, pledge to the taxpayers of the _____ District of the State of _________ and to all the people of this state, that I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.

In fact, Michel is listed at one of two Taxpayer Pledge Protection caucus chairs in Minnesota! Did he show you his letter of resignation as caucus chair and the demand that his name be removed from the pledge signers? Have Davey Strom and Grover Norquist performed the ritual excommunication yet? Michel says he wants his name off the list. He hasn't been trying very long.

Here's Sturdevant's quote from Michel (a freshman who is laughably described as a "veteran" by Sturdevant):

"I'm not doing any pledges this time," Michel told the editorial board. "It's wrong for interest groups to try to lock you down before you put your hand on the Bible" and are sworn into office.

Was the no-taxes pledge a mistake? "Yeah, maybe," he said. "It was a different kind of politics four years ago."

Let Spot translate that for you, Lori. I signed this pledge four years ago because I thought it would help me get elected. It apparently did. I was pretty faithful to that pledge, including voting against the gas tax increase in 2005. I worked a lot on getting a sweet promotional deal for TCF for a new University of Minnesota stadium, and now the voters in my district are howling about the fact that I paid little attention to transportation including financing for the Crosstown, which a lot of them have to use. Other than saying so, there is absolutely no reason to believe that I have changed in any way.

Michel admits that his change of heart is driven by politics, apparently not policy.

And by the way, Lori, the gas tax vote (and the governor's veto) is the same one that the editorial board mentioned as a reason to cashier the governor, just today in an editorial. Go figure.


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