Pity poor, poor Steve Drazkowski. The editor of the Winona Daily News simply won't quit picking on him.
Makes you wonder what The Draz has against anti-bullying legislation.
As Bluestem noted in The shame of southeast Minnesota: Drazkowski tells constituents to starve local public school, Darrell Ehrlick, writing for the editorial board of theWinona Daily News, accused Drazkowski of lying with half truths in a legislative newsletter:
It’s called lying by half-truths.
Some GOP lawmakers have gone on the offensive when it comes to school levies. Not satisfied enough to shortchange public education, State Rep. Steve Drazkowski, whose district includes large portions of Winona County, wants his constituents to vote against any school levies. In fact, in one of his most recent legislative newsletters urged residents to shoot down any local initiative for more funding. He mentioned, among others, Lewiston-Altura and St. Charles districts.
The irony would be rich and comical if it weren’t so sad.
Here a member of the majority party wants to tell other units of government how they should run when his own party couldn’t come up with an adequate solution to the budget.
Drazkowski is half right: The Legislature actually gave a per-pupil funding increase, the first in a long time. That means every student is worth more to a school district than they were last year or the year before.
Yet that ignores what the Legislature did to those same schools. Instead of paying school districts the full amount, the state will now defer a larger percentage of those funds, causing districts to dip into reserves or, if they don’t have any, to borrow against the state’s promise of paying later. It’s called a funding shift and it was the only way the GOP-controlled Legislature, packed with more politicians than statesmen, could pass a budget.
Having been attsacked, Drakowksi lets rip against a foe stronger that the immigrants and poor people he usually targets. In Ehrlick wrong: Look closely at school funding, The Draz whines:
Any regular reader of this newspaper should not have been surprised to see Darrell Ehrlick attempt to shame me yet again in a recent editorial.
We rarely see eye to eye on issues, and I've come to expect a personal attack nearly every time I submit a guest column to the Daily News.
However, I do have a problem when the editor chooses not to print my column (which was sent to all newspapers in the district and was printed by the Winona Post), yet feels the need to give a slanted, one sentence summary of it after I've shipped it out to my email subscribers — knowing full well most of his readers have not seen it.
No, shame on you Mr. Ehrlick.
I don't mind that you bash my views, but to me, it would seem a bit more ethical to print the column and respond to it rather than withholding it from the readers and then giving them your biased 20 word summary, subsequently proceeding to mislead them.
Poor, poor Draz. Evil, evil Ehrlick. Draz also implies that Ehrlick only criticizes Republicans for shifting school funds to pay a general fund deficit gap. A note at the end of the column clarifies that, with mention of "Constitution Has an Education Mandate," an editorial criticizing DFL leadership for funding shifts. Ehrlick is consistent in his scorn for the funding shift as a budget gimmick.
Bluestem found the column posted earlier this summerat the Winona Post that Draz mentions. It's clear from his response to the editorial that Draz doesn't get the notion of summary, nor does he and the Republican caucus seem to possess the reading ability to comprehend the dismantling of the GOP caucus's defense of the budget and shift that Beth Hawkins delivered at MinnPost.
In Accounting trick explains Minnesota schools' so-called 'windfall,' Hawkins takes a close look at what Drazkowski and his colleagues are saying and finds it wanting.
Wielded with enough might, it turns out a spreadsheet makes a pretty good blunt instrument.
Midway between July’s blitzkrieg special session and November’s referenda-heavy election, Minnesota House Republican leaders are revving up the message machine. The state’s public schools, they insist, are getting hefty budget increases and might not truly need the levies.
They’re circulating materials [PDF] that suggest that far from being in a financial crisis, schools will get an average of almost $500 per pupil in new funding in fiscal year 2012. The figures have been making the rounds in political circles for some time, and appear to be the underpinnings of a campaign to defeat the 120-plus operating levy requests appearing on ballots in November.
They’re accurate — but only in the same way it’s true that withholding 40 percent of school funding adds up to a balanced budget.
A new calculation
The GOP leadership arrived at the numbers via a wholly new calculation that depicts public education as the session’s big winner, not by using the traditional method of calculating ups and downs in education revenue. . . .
Read the whole thing. As a commenter notes responding to the article, the Republican New Math violates the consistency principle in accounting:
A bedrock principal of accounting is the consistency principle, that financial reporting needs to use the same accounting method from one accounting period to the next. The self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives are playing fast and loose with the numbers, violating the fundamental rule of accurate and true fiscal conservatism. I suppose there is the possibility that their numbers are pure politics, where Enron accounting is more than adequate.
Jeepers, who would have guessed? Bluestem thinks we'll see a lot more of this sort of bamboozlement from the Republicans as local communities sort through the details of the budgets the majority caucus negotiators delivered for the Governor's signature.
Pat Garofalo served up more last night on Fox 9 in a debate with Ryan Winkler.
Earlier, it was House Tax Czar Greg Davids' statement to local officials that eliminating the homestead credit was not only the best thing since shredded cheese, and Dayton deserved credit for the idea (and by extension, the rising anger over the resulting property tax increases should rest at the governor's feet). Bluestem checked it out in Mr. Accountability: Greg Davids not ready to take hit on homestead credit property tax change and This is not what reform looks like: Faribault paper calls out legislators on end of Homestead Credit.
The GOP logic rivals that offered by little girls caught dragging a purloined petting zoo goat through the streets of Mankato. From the mouths of Drazkowski, Garfalo, Davids and their kindred, it ain't so cute.
Image: Chocolate Drazombie bunny. By Tild.