Minnesotans can't say they didn't know what they were getting when Mike Parry ran in the early 2010 special election that was called after former Senator Dick Day decided to put himself out to pasture, where he could service the Racino Republicans.
Parry received national attention for his pre-election tweets, while dissing Local Government Aid to the Mankato Free Press and calling for a massive across-the-board cut in state government spending.
Now Parry has defaulted to his ALEC legislative factory defaults: hurling taunts drawn from junior high playground discourse at Governor Dayton, while continuing to advocate for pain for the majority of us and protection for the richest Minnesotans.
MPR reports that Parry taunted the governor:
"He's afraid that if he goes along with the budgets that were produced that they're going to work and they're going to work well," Parry told MPR news. "That's what he's afraid of. He's afraid to say 'By golly you did what you said you were going to do.
Scaredy cat, scaredy cat. How mature. Spokester Bob Hume responded:
"We don't believe that denying 140,000 Minnesotans healthcare would 'work well', cutting services to seniors or double digit cuts to higher education would 'work well' or that raising property taxes would 'work well" Hume said in an e-mail. "Those have been the choices of the legislative majorities - and it's not a workable solution for Minnesotans. They've been very clear that they want a balanced solution and a budget compromise, and that's what the Governor continues to focus on."
For while Parry doesn't feel that the upper two percent should be taxed according to their ability to pay, he should be paid according to his needs:
"This is for the session, my job. I have no other job at this point in time," said Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca. "I'm here to do the work of the people, and I believe what has been established is fair." Waseca is one of the lawmakers that took the maximum amount — which added up to $12,040 for the session.
Parry, who chairs the Senate State Government Finance Committee, said lawmakers put in long hours and that the per diem is a part of the salary package for each legislator. He said he would be open to eliminating daily expenses in exchange for higher pay.
"I would suggest that per diem go away, but that we come up with a salary that would match the needs of the person coming up here," he said. "You get it too low [and] people can't afford to come up here unless they have deep pockets or are very wealthy like the governor."
And so there you have it: he has needs, and taxpayers should give more to him because this is his only job. Perhaps all working Minnesotans who have had to take additional jobs to make ends meet should simply drop back to one position, and demand a living wage. Surely, Senator Mike Parry will be right beside them. Perhaps he'd even introduce a bill.
Not holding my breath on it though, after reading a Faribault Daily News article, Fritz, Parry brief city council on state budget separately:
He stuck to his guns Tuesday night, saying the state needs to find a way to live within its means.
“The taxpayers of Minnesota gave the government $33 billion to work with,” he said, noting several other existing revenue streams allowed the total to reach $34.2 billion. “That is a natural increase over the last [budget cycle], and we need to find a way to make that work and stop out of control spending.”
Living within your means and belt tightening are for everyone else but Mike Parry, apparently, under Mike Parry's New Personal Socialist Manifesto. Nice work if you can get it, Mike.
Bleg: If you enjoyed this commentary, please consider throwing some coin in Bluestem Prairie's tip jar during its early June bleg-o-thon. To learn more, read Bluestem Prairie preservation drive: help keep a different prairie voice publishing.