Friday, September 25, 2009

Pat Anderson’s magical thinking

Pat Anderson You just can’t take the nut out of wingnut. Reports come to Spot that Pat Anderson, in an apparent attempt to get some traction against the prohibitive [chortle] front runner for the GOP nod for governor, Lonely Boy Marty Seifert, says, “Why yes, we can have school vouchers in Minnesota. We can! We can!” She goes on to say that David Hann, another GOP aspirant to Tpaw’s porcelain throne, has been working so hard on vouchers that they just have to be possible.

We’re in “Obama was born in Kenya” or “the Democrats want to kill Grandma” territory here. This is well settled. In response to some hallucinations about school vouchers that Craig Westover, affectionately know as “Captain Fishsticks,” had some time ago, Spot wrote about it. Interestingly, both Pat and Sticks swim these days in the same brackish water tank, the Minnesota Free Market Institute. Anyway, here’s what Spot wrote:

The Legislature’s appetite for school vouchers is waning, as Rep. Buesgens and his buddy Captain Fishsticks found out this spring.

Oh, by the way, boys and girls, did you know that Minnesota used to have a voucher-like scheme for private, including sectarian, schools? Well, it did until the Legislature got spanked by the Minnesota Supreme Court in MCLU v. State (oh, vile MCLU!) in 1974. It was called a tax credit system, where private school tuition up to a certain amount could be credited against Minnesota income tax, and if the credit was bigger than the tax owed, the state would send you the difference. Vouchers without the actual coupon.

The Court said, in a unanimous opinion, what? Are you nuts? (That’s Spot’s paraphrase, anyway.) It’s a violation of the separation of church and state. The Court ruled on US constitutional grounds, but noted that Minnesota also had this constitutional provision:

Article XIII, Section 2. Prohibition as to aiding sectarian school In no case shall any public money or property be appropriated or used for the support of schools wherein the distinctive doctrines, creeds or tenets of any particular Christian or other religious sect are promulgated or taught.

Spot has written many times that vouchers will remain merely a gleam in Captain Fishsticks’ eyes. [And apparently Pat Anderson’s, too!]

Update: cite for MCLU v. State: 302 Minn. 216, 224 N.W.2d 344 (1974)

Spot says to his Republican readers: beware anybody who peddles the snake oil of school vouchers in Minnesota. They’re charlatans. School vouchers are not even remotely possible politically in Minnesota, and they’re unconstitutional on top of it.

Find yourself a nice Birther, or Deather, or even, Tenther; they’re much more realistic.

Minnesota Public Radio photo

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