Although Republican voters in Minnesota's First Congressional District primary cancelled Emo Senator, Southern Minnesota's most watched telenovela, the Belle of Waseca County gave a rare early morning appearance this morning St. Paul to bitch slap Minnesota Nice.
Reviews are in. Mark Fischenich, chief political critic at the Mankato Free Press, reports in Parry panel rejects state employee contracts in contentious meeting:
Legislative Republicans rejected a state employee contract Wednesday, led by Waseca Sen. Mike Parry, who slammed union leaders as “dinosaurs,” accused Gov. Mark Dayton of “erratic behavior” and cut off questions from a Democratic lawmaker.
Given that Parry lost the primary to Allen Quist, a farmer and retired college professor who believes that dinosaurs and people lived together in Southeast Asia until the 11th century, perhaps the pizza man is broadening his material. Fischenich summarizes Parry's career in community theater and the senate stage:
Events surrounding the meeting of the Legislative Subcommittee on Employee Relations served as a highlight film of Parry’s contentious three-year tenure in the Senate. The former Waseca City Councilman and Godfathers Pizza restaurant owner decided not to seek re-election this year, making an unsuccessful congressional run instead.
The performance itself:
Serving as chairman of the subcommittee, Parry gaveled the meeting to a close as state employees showered him with boos and catcalls. Moments earlier, a Democratic lawmaker shouted at Parry in an attempt to ask questions about the impending vote on the contract negotiated by the Dayton administration for more than 27,000 state workers.
“Mr. Chair, Mr. Chairman, you like to shut down debate in the Senate?” the lawmaker yelled.
“The secretary will take the roll ...,” Parry responded.
Midway through the 67-minute hearing, Democratic Sen. Jim Metzen of South St. Paul, attending the meeting despite recently undergoing eye surgery, predicted the result of the vote in the Republican-dominated panel and asked if the hearing had any purpose.
The Uptake put together some highlights of Parry's swan song:
Fischenish notes the consequences of the impromptu flouncing:
The rejection of the contracts means MAPE and AFSCME employees will continue working under the provisions of a contract negotiated by the administration of former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty — at least until the new Legislature convenes in January. All 201 seats in the state House and Senate are on the ballot on Nov. 6.
At the Star Tribune, veteran political theater critic Jim Ragsdale writes in GOP legislators derail new state union deals that the audience in the senate committee room rejected Parry's performance:
"Shame on you!" union members in the audience chanted as the committee left the Capitol hearing room following the rare rejection vote.
"Today's union leadership are dinosaurs living in the past," said Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, the panel's chairman.
The decision rekindled labor-management strife as a political issue, but is not the final word on the contracts. Since the unions have rejected the renegotiation Parry sought, the contracts are likely to go before the 2013 Legislature, whose makeup will be determined in November, when all 201 seats are on the ballot.
"See you at the polls, guys!" one union activist shouted as the meeting ended.
Critical reception of Emo Senator's encore performance range from Eric Pusey's Parrysaurus lashes out at public employees one last time before it goes extinct to the Post Bulletin's Heather Carlson's Local Republicans reject state employee contract. Carlson included DFL critic Ryan Winkler's scathing review:
Democrats on the committee said this is the latest example of union bashing at the hands of Republicans. State Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, issued the following statement after the vote:
"Today anti-union extremists chose to attack a fair and modest contract for our hard-working employees. Unlike the legislators who constantly attack them, state employes have sacrificed. State employees lost $65 million in wages — nearly 6 percent pay cut — during the Republican government shtudown last year."
Bluestem thinks that neither the union workers nor Winkler were Parry and Drazkowski audience, but a well-known and wealthy but fickle Minnesota stage door Johnny both men's caucuses hope is waiting in the wings, wallet in hand.
Who else could Bluestem mean except producer and moneybags, Bob Cummins? The attacks on workers and union leaders are pure political Viagra for the West Metro 1%er, who closed his checkbook to the Republican Party and the House and Senate caucuses when they failed to get his beloved "Right to Work" Amendment on the stage this fall along with his other protege, the marriage restriction amendment. Bluestem reviewed the episode in Republicans on the run: Cummins withholding cash, country editors scold GOP senate caucus lawsuit bills
Will the off-the-top theatrics thaw Cummins heart and open his checkbook? Tune in for the September 25 42nd Day Pre-general-election report to the campaign financre board by Republican candidates and caucuses alike!
Photoshop: Mike Parry reprised his role as Emo Senator today. Image by Tild.