Saturday, July 02, 2011

St. Katie, the patron saint of prevaricators and dissemblers

Words from the Clumsy Propagandist

Katherine Kersten must have gotten her work in early, because her column for tomorrow's paper is already up on the Strib website. It won't surprise you to know that, according to Katie, the shutdown is all Mark Dayton's fault, in fact, it is part of a sinister plot:

In recent weeks, DFL minority leaders Paul Thissen and Tom Bakk have been glued to Dayton's side throughout budget negotiations. Why? If Dayton -- with the help of DFL legislators -- could parlay a shutdown into a DFL legislative takeover in 2012, the political payoff for the party would be huge.

Dayton won't face reelection until 2014, and the public's memory of the current fiscal train wreck will be long gone by then.

Well, just like Amy and Junior, who have been glued to Michael Brodkorb's side! At least all the DFLers are elected officials.

While there's no profit in analyzing the entire dog's breakfast, there are a few detours from reality I do want to mention. Here's the first one:

In 2010, he squeaked into office by a mere 9,000 votes, in a political climate that swept fiscally conservative Republicans into power across the nation and in the Minnesota Legislature.

Katie engages in pure revisionism here. Each and every candidate for state-wide office (the governor and the constitutional offices: Secretary of State, etc.) was won by a DFLer. Spread across the state, the House turned over by a margin much smaller than Dayton's margin over Emmer. (I had a link for that; I'll find it back.)

And just as seven of eight dentists chew Dentyne gum, Katie says this:

On June 20, a KSTP/USA Survey poll found that 87 percent want state spending to decrease or to stay the same, and only 8 percent want it to increase. Of the 60 percent who want it decreased, two-thirds say cuts to services are "acceptable."

But the newspaper that tolerates Katie's scribbling found this in its own poll:

Sixty-three percent of respondents said they favor a blend of higher taxes and service reductions to tackle the state's $5 billion projected deficit. Just 27 percent said they want state leaders to balance the budget solely through cuts.

Katie says that the Republicans proposed a six percent budget increase for the biennium. Not true according to Politifact.

And there's this one, so transparent it doesn't even need a link for refutation:

The Legislature sent its bills to Dayton six weeks before the session ended, but he frittered away the time for negotiation. He vetoed all nine bills at the end of the session, so legislators had no chance to rework them to address his concerns.

If the governor had gotten budget bills six weeks before the end of the session, and neglected to veto them until the session ended, they would be law today. What happened, in fact, was that the poorly-led legislature dumped budget bills on the Governor's desk in the closing days - or minutes - of the session.

Finally, Katie complains that Governor Dayton didn't sign at least some of the bills, the less controversial ones. But Mark Dayton is cannier than that. In a negotiation, you don't give your opponents the things they want and then try to negotiate for what you want. That's a recipe for losing your shirt.

UPDATE: Here's a better link on the 6% claim.

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