Both attended a DFL House Caucus sponsored event at the Rochester Library.
Perhaps their presence signals that the cash-starved Republican Party of Minnesota can't spring for trackers. Or gas money for interns.
Maybe they misunderstood what Minority Leader Paul Thissen meant when he said the event was a "last call."
Early this week, MinnPost's Joe Kimball reported in DFL legislators plan statewide events to kick-start session (and blast Republicans):
With the Legislature on a 10-day holiday break, DFL legislators plan a series of state-wide events to urge the Republican majority to get more work done in the weeks before adjournment.
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen referred to the seven events Wednesday and Thursday as a "last call to avoid a do-nothing session."
Thissen said in a statement:
"Republican leaders said before session that jobs were the priority, but the Legislature has accomplished next to nothing other than another constitutional amendment that will not create a single job. With the clock ticking, we are getting out across the state to talk with Minnesotans about how we can avoid a do-nothing session. We believe the way to do this is to work together on the issues that matter to Minnesotans — creating jobs, providing middle class tax relief, and fully paying back our kids."
Southeast Minnesota Area Labor Council president Laura Askelin snapped pictures of the pair at the event and posted them to Facebook. In an email granting Bluestem permission to use the photos, she noted:
They didn't say a thing. Just lingered in the back until it started, and then sat down and listened. Draz got up and left half way through and didn't come back.
Perhaps Draz needed time to prepare his remarks for another event coming up in Rochester early next week. Tea Party scribe and part-time Rochester Post Bulletin political staff writer Heather Carlson reports in Tea Party rally retuns [sic] with focus on 2012 elections:
Tea Party activists gathering in Rochester on Monday for their annual tax day rally will be busy looking ahead to the 2012 election.
People showing up for the Rochester Tea Party Patriots' event will be urged to support conservative candidates and some Republican-backed constitutional amendments. It's also likely the $139.5 million city sales tax extension will be targeted. . . .
The rally runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Ramada Inn in Rochester, 1517 16th St. S.W. Scheduled speakers include . . . Mazeppa Republican state Rep. Steve Drazkowski . . .
Drazkowski said he will talk about the right-to-work amendment, which he has sponsored in the House.
It's been three years since the Tea Party movement burst onto the political scene, and Drazkowski said the group has brought attention to the issue of fiscal responsibility.
On April 5, Carlson reported in Prospects unclear for passage of a state bonding bill:
State lawmakers left town Thursday night for a week-long Easter/Passover break without voting on bonding bills, raising questions of whether these public works packages will happen at all this session.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, is among those lawmakers hoping such a bill won’t pass. While the Legislature traditionally passes bonding bills in the second year of the biennium, Drazkowski said there is no need this time around. He points to lawmakers’ approval of nearly $500 million for construction projects last summer as part of a final budget deal with DFL Gov. Mark Dayton to end the government shutdown. He says that should be enough.
Drazkowski's opposition to passing a bonding bill not only puts him at loggerheads with his DFL hosts last night at the library in Rochester, but with Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, who represents Rochester, as well as Preston Republican Rep. Greg Davids, who chairs the House tax committee.
Carlson reported that Quam was undecided about the House bodning bill, so perhaps he learned something from the Democrats last night.
The Rochester Tea Party Patriots' bill of fare on Monday will include state senator Mike Parry, who is rumored to be heading one faction in the splintered Senate Majority Caucus. A reliable source says that Parry's rump caucus joins the Draz in opposing passage of a bonding bill.
Influential in Rochester area Republican politics, the RTPP has ripped Senjem over the bonding bill. Carlson blogged in Roch Tea Party: "Senjem is a huge disappointment":
The Rochester Tea Party Patriots are none too happy with the bonding bill that Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem has crafted. In a weekly email newsletter, the group blasts the Republican leader for proposing a $496 million public works construction bill. Here's the entry. It should be noted that the group got their math wrong. It is nearly a half a billion dollar bill — not trillion.
"Have you read the latest this week about the $496,000,000 bonding bill in the P-B? *That's right, nearly A HALF TRILLION DOLLARS.* . . .
With math like that, it's no wonder they're so flustered. Bluestem recommends that they register for one of the many fabulous remedial math courses offered at the local community college.
Photos: The Draz and Quam arrive (above); Draz demonstrates that he does so have listening skills. Photos by Laura Askelin. Used with permission.