"Dayton's days are numbered and his clone, Tina Smith has recently decided she will not run for his job. The field is wide open for the right person to turn this state around. Sorry Kurt - it is not you."
A few months ago, a much younger friend who was just getting interested in politics, asked me the main difference between a true Republican and true Democrat. First, I had to set my young friend straight. There really are no "true" Republicans or Democrats anymore. I did not have the heart, nor the patience, to go into all the fractures which each party has developed. To make it simple, I just said the two parties were conservatives and progressives.
Then I thought to myself, that was the easy piece. How can I explain all the fractures our nation has developed as the two major parties have slid down into two separate valleys? Should I talk about the originalist vs. organic? The party of death as compared to the party which cherishes life? The party of law vs. the party of anarchy? Or the party of government controlled money compared to the party of citizen controlled money. I chose the last one.
It is too bad that discussion did not happen right now. I could use Mark "clueless" Dayton as the poster child for how a pure unadulterated progressive acts. Whereas conservative citizens look at the gargantuan surplus we have accumulated right now and know our state government has overtaxed us (and owes us our money back), progressive leaders and progressive subjects looks at the surplus as theirs. And try to figure out different ways to waste it.
In short, Minnesota will have a $1.65B surplus over the next two years. Let that sink in for just a minute. That is 1.65 with a whole lot of zeroes behind it. And this is due to two things: 1) The Republican lead House has done an "okay" job in watching the budget. However, they could have done better if they governed like true conservatives. 2) Governor Dayton, who wanted more money for early childhood education, more money from gas taxes, more money from bonding - was stopped in this tracks last year due to a budget deadlock.
So if I was talking to my young friend right now, I would tell him to read the paper, watch the news, read blogs, watch podcasts, or whatever - to see how Dayton is acting with this large sum of undeserved cash. Then I would point out how much state government has grown in the past 10 years. For example, the number of people working for the state government has grown over 5% since 2007. That is insane. We should be looking for ways to do more with less like the private sector does. However, in a progressive state like Minnesota, we do less with more.
How we elected Mark Dayton two times in a row will always remain a mystery to me. Two of the finest men I know in politics ran against him - and lost. Men who could have really turned this state around and made it competitive with states like Wisconsin. States which are now eating our lunch and stealing our wealth.
Dayton's days are numbered and his clone, Tina Smith has recently decided she will not run for his job. The field is wide open for the right person to turn this state around. Sorry Kurt - it is not you. Please keep being Speaker and keep holding the lid on.
I know the right person. Soon we all will. And when that person is our Governor, people from Wisconsin will want to move to Minnesota rather than visa versa.