Family legend has it that an ancestor once dressed like an indigenous American and, in the company of some good friends, asserted his sentiments about local representation by pitching some untaxed corporate tea into Boston Harbor.
While the family story is a bit suspect--I think our Houghton was a brother or cousin--whichever relative helped make Sam Adams a household name is probably rolling over in his grave, given a Southeastern Minnesota lawmaker's pandering to the new Tea Parties.
After micromanaging $58.5 million out of a proposed extension of Rochester sales tax, House Tax Committee Chair Greg Davids will bring his objections to allowing the Med City citizens to decide for themselves to the conference committee. Davids seems to be pandering to area Tea Party activists, who object to any taxation, it seems--and their own elected representation in St. Paul.
The Post Bulletin reports in Roch sales tax fight heads to conference committee:
The Rochester Tea Party Patriots launched an urgent call to action in an attempt to get the Senate to adopt the trimmed-down House version of the sales tax plan. But Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, sponsor of the sales tax measure, said he believes the voters of Rochester should have the right to vote on the $160 million proposal crafted by members of the community.
"I am a local control person at heart, and I just felt it wasn't my role to change what many, many people had worked on," he said. "Let the voters decide. That's basic civics. We ought to trust the voters."
Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, said she has been getting tons of emails from residents who support the $160 million sales tax proposal and that Davids should let the residents vote on the issue.
"He doesn't represent Rochester, and I think he should stop telling us what is good for us," Liebling said.
Yes, you've read thart right. A powerful committee chair doesn't want Rochester to vote on the local sales tax proposal forged by local leaders, a one that will be presented to voters for an up or down vote. Instead, he knows better and devised his own plan when the bill was in committee. This is what he'd put forth for the voters to decide.
It's partially a pander to those "Tea Party Patriots" who would rather see the legislature eliminate the tax altogether, however much their local elected officials support the bill. And however much local people would have the chance to vote on the extension. They know better than the entire pool of voters.
No wonder these folk love Michele Bachmann, Queen of the Tea Party. Their understanding of the meaning of "taxation without representation" is straight out of the Bachmann School of Don't Know much about history. But then, Rochester is where Bachmann made stuff up about the Japanese medical system at an Allen Quist town hall--and the tea partiers and local Republicans ate it up.
Photo: Olmsted County Overlord Greg Davids (R-Fillmore County)