As we return to another thrilling episode of Emo Senator, Southern Minnesota's most watched telenovela, fans are captivated as they watch our hero Mike Parry and his archrival Allen Quist quarrel over who is the most loyal to the ideals of Grover Norquist.
Meanwhile, the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, Congressman Tim Walz's bill to aid veterans' employment as they transition from active duty into the civilian workforce, has passed in the House and Senate.
MFP Fischenich writes a tax spat plot synopsis
Veteran Mankato Free Press political reporter Mark Fischenich writes in Quist, Parry engage in tax spat:
While Republicans nationally devoted Wednesday to criticizing the Democratic Affordable Care Act, characterizing the health care overhaul as a tax increase, the two Republicans running for Congress in south-central Minnesota were hammering each other as tax hikers. . . .
Fischenich calls the blow-by-blow action that started Monday; go follow the diva rasslin' drama there. He also recalls a bit of Norquist suitor fickleness on Parry's part (emphasis added):
But Parry, too, has changed his position on taxes — and on the wisdom of no-new-tax pledges — although it might have been one of the quickest flip-flops in political history.
It happened on Nov. 4 in Mankato when the Waseca restaurant owner was taking audience questions during his campaign kick-off tour. Asked if he supported Norquist’s no-new-taxes pledge, Parry responded: “I think that’s irresponsible.”
After the questions ended and the crowd left, Parry changed his answer, Fischenich reports:
Virtually every Republican candidate for federal office now takes Norquist’s no-new-taxes pledge, and Parry changed his answer a few minutes after the Q & A ended.
“Well, let me clarify that,” he told The Free Press after the crowd had departed. “I am going to take the pledge. ... I was overanalyzing. I was thinking, ‘OK, as a business guy, blah, blah, blah, how did I handle spending money?’
March 2011: Parry tells Owatonna crowd he'd tax services
Bluestem recalls another instance of Parry telling a crowd that he would support new taxes. In Mike Parry tells public employees they'll get bigger pensions, suggests new tax on services, we posted about a town hall in Owatonna where Parry met with frustrated public employees.
With the redesign of the Owatonna People's Press, GOP bills leave Parry in hot seat, the original OPP article seems to have disappeared from the database, though the link remains as a google ghost and excerpts in Bluestem.
According to the excerpt, Parry said (emphasis added):
In response, Parry promised that he and other Republicans planned to deep six certain tax exemptions as well, to “spread out the pain,” in spite of criticism he would likely face.
“If we do that, the other side is going to say, you’re raising taxes, and they want to beat us up for that,” Parry said. “There are some unbelievable tax exemptions here that we should all be paying. I was just looking at one today and I’ll be highly criticized but I think we should do it — tax on services.”
The Quist campaign has yet to bring that up--Heather Carlson writes that he spent his time at last night's Town Hall attacking Walz--but the Emo campaign isn't wasting anytime inoculating itself.
Parry faults Quist for agreeing to extend a sales tax in 1982
Today, the campaign emailed an attack on Quist for a sales tax position in a 1982 Mankato Free Press voters' guide:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 12, 2012
Ben Golnik, 651-402-9445
Allen Quist Backed Sales Tax Hike
Revelation comes on heels of news about Quist's support for gas tax increase
Ben Golnik, Advisor for Parry for Congress: "Allen Quist likes to talk like a fiscal conservative but supported extending a temporary sales tax increase when he ran for the legislature. Coupled with his vote for a gas tax increase, it is clear Quist is out of step with hard working Minnesotans. All the slick TV ads in the world can't obscure the fact that Quist is out of touch with taxpayers."
Source: The Free Press, Mankato, page 13A (Voters'Guide), October 21, 1982
Perhaps Mike Parry, the Belle of Waseca County, and Allen Quist can arm wrestle to see which is worse, extending a temporary sales tax increase or extending the sales tax to areas not already taxed.
Walz interrupts this feud with a moment of bipartisan action
Meanwhile, the Snidely Whiplash of our telenovela, Congressman Tim Walz, has been busy off stage. Minnesota Public Radio reports in Vets legislation pushed by Walz passes House and Senate:
As the election has drawn nearer and nearer, there have been more show votes and less lawmaking on Capitol Hill. But one measure that is headed to President Obama's desk this week pushed by DFL U.S. Rep. Tim Walz attempts to ease the transition from military to civilian life.. . .
The legislation ensures that vets don't have to acquire costly state-mandated professional certifications for jobs they already learned how to do while serving in the military. Walz mentioned emergency medical technicians and many technical fields as areas affected by the legislation.
"We spend $140 billion a year training soldiers," said Walz. "Let's capitalize on that investment by making sure we don't send them back to school on the GI Bill and spend more money when they're already qualified for those jobs."
A companion bill introduced by Walz and Republican Steve Stivers of Ohio that would affect certifications for nurses, nursing assistants, EMTs and commercial drivers received approval from the House Veterans Affairs Committee Wednesday.
Tune in for our next thrilling episode.
Photoshopped image: Mike Parry, the Emo Senator, by Tild.
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