Governor Dayton and titular Senate Majority Amy Koch agree that some committees will need "adult supervision," but Emo Senator Mike Parry told the Mankato Free Press that he has "no obiligation to [Koch's] leadership."
In a interview on Almanac last night, Governor Dayton said that some committees might need "adult supervision" to get their work done. Late last night, the Star Tribune included the remark in its wrap-up coverage of the day, but didn't note that later in the show, titular Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch had agreed with Dayton's assessment:
Our committees are working, and as the governor said, perhaps some of them need a little more adult supervision-- is that what he used?-- and that's very likely to finish our work.
Koch's answer came in response to a question that specifically referenced the Emo Senator from Waseca.
Parry is having none of it, and running buddy Al Dekruif (R-Elysian) is getting his back. In Warning: Budget deal no shoo-in, Mankato Free Press political reporter Mark Fischenich reports:
One of the distinctions [Rep. Tony] Cornish sees between the House and the Senate is that Zellers got a commitment in advance from rank-and-file House Republicans to back him up if he reached agreement with the governor.
“I think the difference is we gave our leadership the OK and the trust to cut the deal,” Cornish said. “I don’t think in the Senate they have that trust level.”
DeKruif and Parry were asked if they felt any obligation, after electing Koch as their majority leader, to support the deal she negotiated even if they don’t agree with it.
“I don’t think there’s been any agreement reached, first of all,” DeKruif said. “Second, when the governor said he’s agreed to an offer that we made (in late June). ... Well, part of that offer had some policy attached.”
Parry said his only responsibility is to vote in the way that he feels best represents the interests of his constituents.
“I have no obligation to this leadership,” he said.
Parry flounced out of a budget committee meeting yesterday afternoon, but flashes of his pique had appeared on the horizon a day earlier in a district newspaper.
On Thursday, following Republican Senate Majority Caucus conference calls, Parry told the Owatonna People's Press that he wasn't pleased about the deal. In Governor, Republicans reach common ground, Ashley Peterson reports:
Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, said he spent Thursday afternoon in conference calls with other Republican leaders to discuss the governor’s supposed agreement and added that is he not happy with Dayton’s response.
“The governor says he agrees with our June 30 proposal. However, for him to accept that, he has put in three different options or things he needs in order to accept our offer. He hasn’t accepted our offer — he’s just saying if we agree to three items he wants in there, then he will consider,” Parry said. . . .
Yesterday, that pique opened in a deluge that threatens the agreement to end the shutdown, without the adult supervision Parry rejects.
Today's Mankato Free Press article suggests the reason that Parry is able to act out like a temperamental Southern Minnesota belle: because he can. Titular Senate Majority Leader Koch's apparent inability to sell the compromise to her caucus creates enormous leverage for Parry. Fischenich writes:
Senate Republican leaders, who hold a 37-29 majority, can’t afford many defectors if they want to get the budget passed. If no Democrats support the deal, something Parry said the Senate GOP has been told is likely, the defection of four Republicans would block passage.
After talking to Senate colleagues on Friday, DeKruif wouldn’t put odds on getting a budget passed and putting and end to the shutdown — something Dayton, Zellers and Koch predicted would happen Monday or Tuesday.
“I’m not sure,” DeKruif said. “I’d just suggest: Stay tuned.”
Who brought Flouncett O-Parry to the cotillion?: Bluestem's assessment
Mike Parry, belle of the ball, is a creature spawned by Koch's ceding power to Senate Majority Leader Mike Brodkorb, as well as by the passionate embraces extended by some of the press corps. Brodkorb has nurtured Parry's inner child, and the legislative process is not better for the Emo Senator's public self-actualization.
Despite a history of disruptive behavior going back to his days on the Waseca City Council, Parry was plucked by Brodkorb to be a committee head, then given a weekly radio show that raised his profile among the capital press corps. Now Parry defies the titular leader.
The situation reminds Bluestem of the relationship that evolved between Senate Minority Leader Dick Day and then Senator Michele Bachmann. Although given a leadership role in 2004 (Assistant Minority Leader in charge of policy), Bachmann pushed her own agenda in order to hate the gay, thereby raising her own profile while paving a career path to the national spotlight. Day dumped Bachmann from the leadership post around the time of the 2005 shutdown. Parry now uses the limelight in a similar way, with rumors of a congressional bid against Walz in the First. Perhaps he wants to mow the lawn on Summit Avenue.
Seen in this light, the Republican majority that swept Koch to power is both her blessing and her curse. For while on paper Koch has the ability to set the agenda that Day never enjoyed, unlike Day, she must contend with not one Bachmann, but multiple manifestations of that political personality, none of whom is as attractive or charismatic (in either secular or sacred connotations) as the Gentlewoman from Minnesota's Sixth. And while Day is said to have given Brodkorb his first job in the Senate, in her own inexperience, Koch gave Brodkorb the Senate.
That Mike Parry replaced Day in Senate District 26? Ripples of "Après moi, le déluge."
Image: The Emo Senator as a cross-dressing artist--Flouncett O'Parra, the belle of Southern Minnesota. Via Tild's Emo Senator Mike Parry, AKA Flouncett O’Parra.