Bluestem will be staging a full production of "Tales of Hoffman" tomorrow. For now, readers who've missed the ethically-challenged tweet princess and yarn teller can get a little taste now that she's back from "a little getaway" that seems to have kept her quiet for much of the time since the shutdown ended.
The vacation has recharged her inner reserves of spleen and resentment. In a column published in the Fergus Falls Daily Journal and other papers in her district, Hoffman writes:
I can’t say I am shocked to read that property tax increases and school levies, pushed by local officials, are being blamed on state legislators. This public relations tactic, shifting the blame, is an age-old practice.
However, I am surprised that editorial boards and city officials believe they can still pull the fleece over voters’ eyes on this issue. The problem is simple: there is out-of-control spending at every level of government.
As one of the members of the legislature who shifted school funding and ended the homestead credit, Hoffman should be taken at her word about "shifting the blame."
She's expert at this--always the victim, never accountable--so like Hoffman, BSP isn't shocked to read her words. Unlike the senator, however, we're not surprised that she's taking this approach. Of course it's the editorial boards and city officials who are wrong, just like Barbara Goodwin was wrong. Never mind what that mean, bi-partisan ethics subcommittee ruled unanimously about Kvetchin' Gretchen.
Read the whole thing. Hoffman may be late to the game, but she repeats the standard issue talking points with aplomb and vigor. Elsewhere in the paper, readers discover that the Otter Tail Commissioners question Hoffman on tax shift:
The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners told State Sen. Gretchen Hoffman on Tuesday that local units of government will take the heat this year when, in fact, the state legislature shifted the tax burden to the local level.
“The state budget was balanced on the backs of local taxpayers,” said County Commissioner Doug Huebsch. “We’ve been prudent in our county budget process and have put in place hiring freezes. Nonetheless, we’ll be forced to ask county residents to increase their local tax burden just to meet basic services.”
That’s because, for 2012, the county will not receive about $2.3 million from the state that was previously promised.
“We were blindsided with the loss of the state-paid market value homestead credit,” said County Administrator Larry Krohn.
The elimination of the homestead credit totals about $1.8 million for 2012 and the loss of county program aid for next year amounts to close to $500,000. . . .
. . .County commissioners told Hoffman that they are like many residents statewide who were frustrated by the lack of compromise which led to a state shutdown this past summer.
“There was a lack of leadership on both sides (Democrats and Republicans),” said Commissioner Lee Rogness. “Leadership, sorely missing, isn’t a cost to taxpayers. It’s something that should be expected.”
DLOnline reader LaRon Bayliss writes of another form of vacuous leadership in This voter feels cheated by GOP focus on social issues:
The election of 2010 was a Bait and Switch.
Republican Tea Party candidates ran on creating jobs. After they took office they switched to social issues. Disenfranchisement of the poor and vulnerable, gun rights, union busting, abortion, gay marriage, and defunding education are the issues the Republican Tea Partiers have pushed in the Minnesota State Legislature.
Check the record of the senator some voted into office in the Tenth District. Has she put forth any job creation or economic stimulus ideas or bills? She was the “business experience expert entrepreneur” candidate who ran on her business background, boasting to anyone who would listen about her businesses in North Dakota. Was she promoting the Minnesota business climate? She was not.
Instead, she is a proponent of the Tea Party, which proposed cutting the budget for job creation efforts by more than 50 percent, to cut workforce development, and to cut the Trade Office by more than 30 percent. The result would be a loss of 754 jobs.
Is this what you thought you were getting when you cast your vote for Gretchen Hoffman? Or, by now, do you realize you were handed a Bait and Switch? You know the answer.
Hoffman's legislative record must be someone else's fault. Bluestem credits the American Legislative Exchange Council's corporate bill factory for the agenda Hoffman pushes. The Vergas freshman serves on ALEC's HHS Task Force.
Photo: Senator Gretchen Hoffman.