Witness "marriage" in the recent constitutional amendment on the ballot.
Voters didn't so much buy that, rejecting two Republican-sponsored amendment and enough of those principled denotative types that the DFL now controls both houses of the Minnesota legislature--lost to the left in 2010--as well as the Governor's office, which Mark Dayton captured that year.
One of the hazards of this new fortune? Sophomore state representative Kurt Daudt (R-Crown), an assistant minority leader in his freshman term, is now Minority Leader.
Daudtful of "compromise"
Daudt recently told Forum Communications political reporter Kurt Daudt that he knows his place--and given the size of their majority, House Democrats won't have much use for his caucus until bonding time, when approval requires more votes than the number of Democrats in the lower chamber.
And "compromise"? In Minnesota Political Notebook: GOP leader in Minn. House understands his place, Daudt tells Davis he doesn't use that word much, since he's never seen a person compromise in St. Paul:
After that 2010 election, some Minnesota Republican lawmakers thought “compromise” was a dirty word, citing voters’ support of their economic policies as a reason not to compromise with liberal Gov. Mark Dayton on tax and spending policies.
The incoming GOP House leader avoids the word “compromise” for a different reason.
“I don’t like to use the word ‘compromise’ because I think it is misused,” Daudt said. “I like to use words like willing to work together, and I am someone who is willing to take what I can get.”
Daudt added: “I have yet to see someone compromise here in St. Paul.”
2011: Daudt "learned what compromise is"
Daudt seems to have compromised his definition of the word since a July 15, 2011 interview with Tom Crann on Minnesota Public Radio. MPR interview Daudt and veteran DFL state senator Sandy Pappas throughout the 2011 session.
In Q & A: Budget deal lawmakers Kurt Daudt and Sandra Pappas, we hear this exchange (transcription by Bluestem):
Crann: On the start of the third week of Minnesota's government shutdown, it looks like there's an end in sight. Legislators are working with Governor Dayton's administration to hammer out details of the budget outline agreement announced yesterday.
They're working with a ten o'clock deadline tonight to hammer those details out. Republican leaders say it could take days to finish writing those bills but once they're done, the Governor is expected to call a special session to get them passed.
Throughout the regular session, we've been checking in with a couple of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. We're checking back in with them now that there is a budget deal announced, on the table and now that the shutdown could end. First, freshman Republican state representative Kurt Daudt joins me in the studio. He's an Assistant Majority Leader from Isanti [County]. Good to have you to here. . . .
Crann: So, a lot of disappointment. It seems like yesterday's announcment of this--it was not a joyous toned event, so I'm wondering first what do you both think of the deal? And I'll start with Representative Daudt.
Daudt: Well, you know, this is obviously all new for me as a freshman, and I've learned what compromise is. It's not certainly the deal that I would have, if I could have dictated this from the beginning, it's not the deal I would have chosen.
ButI think the one thing we can all agree upon now is everybody wants to end the shutdown as soon as possible, so if this is the deal that gets us there, it certainly the direction we have to move.
Crann: Senator Pappas?
Pappas: I'm sorry, I don't know what the representative is talking about in terms of compromise because it seems to me the Republican leaders just kept saying the same thing over and over and calling it a compromise. That's not a compromise. Compromise is when you make an offer, when you respond to the other side's offers, and I felt like Governor Dayton kept trying to get an offer and in the end was just negotiating with himself.
Crann: But in the end, how do you feel about the deal?
Pappas: I think it's a terrible deal. I think it's terrible for the future of Minnesota. It's a terrible idea to borrow against the future, both from the schools and from the tobacco endowment. I don't think there's any--as we talk about long-term reform, I don't think there's any in it. I think a lot of people are going to be hurt.
We had short-term pain with the shutdown and now we're going to have longterm pain as people get laid-off permanently from their jobs.
Crann: Representative Daudt, what do you make of that charge that the Governor here and the Democrats compromised more than Republicans. Where was the compromise for Republicans?
Daudt: Well, Tom, as I've learned as I gotten down here, there's two sides to every story, and we see that much differently. Obviously, the compromise for us, we don't like the education shift, it's not something that is responsible, the Governor proposed a 50-50 shift, we thought that was very irresponsible. The compromise was, currently we're at 70-30, he proposed 50-50, we met him in the middle at a compromise of 60-40 and you know, I received hundreds of emails asking me to compromise and when we do it . . .
Here's the audio, where Daudt uses the word "compromise":
Daudt introduced the word, and defended its use.
I have participated directly in compromise and negotiations that have helped move us extremely close to agreement on our budget, and I remain willing to get together and continue the process toward a budget agreement. However, Governor Dayton has not given his commissioners permission to resume negotiations, and I am not sure when we will have the next opportunity. There needs to be a greater sense of urgency to get this done!
I encourage you to read the St. Paul Pioneer Press editorial from Saturday. It contains important facts about our compromise and proposal: http://www.twincities.com/opinion/ci_18442599. It is hard to argue we have not met the Governor half way — at a time when Minnesota’s financial and economic condition makes that extremely difficult. . . .
Bluestem suspects that a communications staffer or consultant has recommended that Daudt avoid the word "compromise" and instead blither on about "working together with" the Democratic majorities.
Having learned the meaning and value of compromise in his first term, he does seem to have stricken the word as his second begins.
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Photo: Kurt Daudt via Peter Bartz-Gallagher at PIM.