Earlier this afternoon, Bluestem posted Hamilton on "Ag Gag" bill: whistleblowers taping animal abuse "just as guilty" of abuse as abuser, but we'd be irresponsible if an editorial and other letters in which Hamilton puts in a cameo appearance went unrecognized.
In an Editorial: The spin begins, the editors get a bit testy:
n Tuesday’s Daily Globe, area state legislators Rod Hamilton and Joe Schomacker did their best to highlight positive attributes of the new two-year Minnesota budget. Hamilton and Schomacker each lamented the government shutdown that preceded the budget deal, but also praised government reforms that resulted.
Also Tuesday, a letter authored by Worthington Mayor (and Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Vice President) Alan Oberloh sharply criticized the budget agreement. “Any high school class from Worthington, Willmar or Wadena would have produced a far better budget for Minnesota property taxpayers and their communities,” Oberloh wrote.
We won’t go quite that far with our assessment of the new budget deal, but that doesn’t mean our electeds did the best they could for us. Not only did the nearly shutdown cost people — and the state — untold dollars, but the fix that ultimately resulted — delay school payments and borrow from the tobacco settlement — simply puts off a significant financial problem until later.
Hamilton and Schomacker want people to believe there were some significant accomplishments in this past session. What’s more significant is what wasn’t accomplished. [emphasis added]
Two letter writers aren't so shy in letting it fly. Later in the week,Rober Emary wrote in Hamilton wrong on budget solution:
Earlier this week (Daily Globe, July 26), Rep. Rod Hamilton gave us his spin on the recent budget compromise that ended the state government shutdown. The letter was short on facts and long on hyperbole and misdirection. I had hoped for better.
Rep. Hamilton touted the “meaningful reform” in the budget bill that will “save Minnesotans billions of dollars in the future.” Well, the facts are the budget relies heavily on borrowing that will cost us billions.
The budget plan forced on the state by the impasse between Gov. Dayton’s balanced approach of long-term cost cuts and targeted tax increases. Hamilton’s short-term planning approach of no taxes, no matter what, will cost Minnesotans billions in the future. Bill Marx, the fiscal analyst for the Minnesota House of Representatives, says GOP borrowing against the future will cost taxpayers between 150 percent and 200 percent of the money borrowed. This means the planned $640 million tobacco bond will cost us $1 to $1.3 billion.
If this is Rep. Hamilton’s idea of reform, it is a reform we could live without.
And it doesn't get any better in Cliff Bowman's LTE, Hamilton not playing straight with budget details:
I was shocked to read Rod Hamilton’s letter in your paper, especially the part where he says that $3 billion was cut from the state budget. He went on to claim credit for trimming the budget to just over $34 billion. I am sure Mr. Hamilton is aware that the budget includes $35.7 billion dollars in spending. In my book, $1.7 billion is quite a bit more that “just a bit over.”
When will Rod Hamilton own up the truth about this budget? It’s flat wrong for Minnesota, and if Rep. Hamilton has any business sense he knows that.
If Rod Hamilton is serious about trimming the state budget with “meaningful reforms,” he would offer to cut the cost of state government by cutting his wages. After all, the public got very little for the money we spent on our legislature.
Uffda. However, Hamilton has won his last two races by taking 60 percent or more of the vote, although in 2006, the margin was much tighter, with Hamilton taking 7713 (51.51 percent) to Richard Peterson's 7249 (48.41 percent). With redistricting up in the air, it's difficult to say with certainity that this will remain entirely a safe Republican seat.
Photo: Rep, Rod Hamilton, now getting chastized by Worthingtonians.