Gotta love the Post Bulletin's Heather Carlson, who never met a story she couldn't infuse with he said-she said "objectivity."
Take Suburbs vs. Greater Minnesota?, her most recent blog post at the PB's Political Party. In discussing Republican efforts to cut LGA she writes:
This push comes as lawmakers are considering steep cuts in Local Government Aid to cities. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities has been vocal in its opposition to these cuts with their own website, ThankLGA.org. A House Republican proposal initial called for deep cuts in aid to Twin Cities suburbs, but later backed off that proposal. The House Tax Bill would phase out LGA for Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, all cities of the first class, by 2015. It's important to note that Rochester officially became a city of the first class in the wake of the recent 2010 census, but it would be excluded from those cuts. And both Republicans and Democrats do not seem eager to bring up any efforts to include the Med City, a swing district that both the GOP and DFLers are eagerly courting.
Yes, it's "lawmakers" considering deep cuts. However, only one side is proposing them: Republicans,
Second, by lumping Republicans and Democrats into one group that doesn't want to cut Rochester's LGA, Carlson creates a world in which Democrats would agree to cut other cities of the first class, or bring us-versus-them politics of geography to the table, the equal of the Republicans in an attempt to spread influence in the Mayo City come next elections.
But nope, that one belongs entirely to the Republican Party in Minnesota's House of Representatives, as does sparing one's friends in the suburbs and Rochester.
Let's look at the coverage back in March, when news of the Republican plan to hold Rochester's LGA harmless, while hitting the other big cities hit. At MinnPost, Joe Kimball digested a Strib article in Rochester may dodge GOP plans for biggest LGA cut, noting:
There's some nifty wording in the property tax bill proposed by Republicans in the Minnesota House that would make cuts to Local Government Aid. Nifty, that is, if you're from Rochester.
Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib reports that the bill would cut LGA to first-class cities —- the biggest in the state — immediately and eliminate it entirely eventually. But there's a clause that says that part of the bill would affect only first class cities that were classified as such as of 2009.
That means that the cuts would hit St. Paul, Minneapolis and Duluth — which are all DFL strongholds. But Rochester, which traditionally falls into the GOP column, won't become a first-class city until 2010 census figures are finalized.
And from the Stassen-Berger piece, Rochester exempted from LGA elimination:
The Minnesota House property tax bill gives Republican-represented Rochester a pass.
The bill would severely cut state aid payments to "first class cities" immediately and eliminate the payments by 2015. But the wording of the bill means that only Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, all DFL bastions, would feel that level of pain.
Rochester,a swing area that has GOP representation in the Minnesota House and Senate, would be spared. That's because the measure specifies that ""First class city" means a city of the first class as of 2009. "
And so it goes. But on Planet Carlson, both parties are equally involved in this plan, even though on Earth itself, the DFL has aligned itself with maintaining LGA across the state, as have greater Minnesota cities, while not playing one area off against the other. The Republicans, on the other hand, actively sought to punish other large cities, while maintaining Rochester.
Things got a bit out of hand with Rochester's sales tax, with Greg Davids and other Republicans spanking Rochester's Chamber of Commerce, in preference to the local Tea Party. I gather it's not just the PB that coddles teabaggers' tender sensibilities, but regional Republicans who also love the local Tea Party Republicans.
Rochester isn't special to the DFL; fairness to all is.