Or allow to marry.
Senator Newman told Glencoe's Mcleod County Enterprise in Being in the minority new to Newman:
With control of the Legislature, “DFLers can literally do what they want,” Newman said. But he warned if Gov. Dayton tries to push a $40 billion budget and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), “I think the people (voters) will set them straight in two years.”
Newman was the senate author of one of two amendments to drive voters to the polls on emotionally-charged social issues. Unfortunately for Newman, the voters turned down his voter restriction amendment as well as an amendment to restrict marriage to opposite gender couples.
Those voters also swept his party from power in both chambers of the legislature. Perhaps Senator Newman could write a manual of voter behavior for the Republican Party of Minnesota and DFLers could insist the that the loyal opposition follow this manual to the letter.
News editors in Senate District 18 took notice of the people's reaction to Newman's amendment. In Republicans lost their way with voter ID, the editorial board of the Litchfield Independent Review writes:
No wonder Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, has been working so hard to silence Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a vocal critic of the defeated voter ID amendment.
As it turned out, the more people learned about the amendment, the more likely they were to vote against it. Newman, the amendment’s author in the state senate, accused Ritchie of spreading falsehoods about the measure and doing so on the taxpayer’s dime. He even filed three different complaints against Ritchie alleging various wrongdoings. A judge dismissed one of those complaints two weeks ago, stating that Ritchie had raised reasonable concerns about the amendment’s potential costs and effects on the voting process.
Only a week before the election, polls indicated the amendment commanded widespread support, but that support deteriorated quickly as opponents hammered on the issue of cost and voter disenfranchisement. Newman and other proponents vehemently derided the opposition, but they provided little information to counter opponents’ claims. . .
. . .Republicans get sidetracked when they attempt to moralize, such as with the marriage amendment, and tell local governments what to do, such as with the voter ID amendment. It’s possible Republicans would still control the Legislature had they not allowed their status as the majority go to their collective heads. Now, the Legislature is controlled entirely by the DFL, and a DFLer is calling the shots as governor.And what do Republicans have to show for themselves as a result of their efforts while in the majority? Two defeated and ill-conceived amendments. On the bright side, perhaps Republicans might find a lesson to be learned. Then again, knowing politicians, they’ll probably learn the wrong one.
Given an expected state deficit and the federal questions, Bakk says he wants to limit debate on items that do not involve the budget.
One issue he is fighting is eliminating a law that bans gay marriage.
“We are getting some calls from some real liberal constituencies on the gay marriage issue and repealing the language in statute,” Bakk said.
Such requests were expected given the fact that it has been 22 years since Democrats controlled both chambers of the Legislature and held the governor’s office. But Bakk said that Democrats have to balance serving their constituencies and adopting the budget.
In a recent interview in MinnPost, House Speaker-designate Paul Thissen: ‘First job is fixing the budget long term,' the Speaker suggested that Newman's approach to naming and damning a dollar figure on the budget might be part of the problem that prevents the legislature from getting its work done:
MP: Can we anticipate a larger budget overall?
PT: I think we need to focus in on priorities, so the thing that everybody first has to remember is that we still continue to face a budget deficit … That’s going to be fairly significant, particularly when you take into account the fact that we do have this obligation we have to pay back to the schools …
Republicans have asked this legitimately as well, but, what often happens is you kind of pick out a number and say, “This is the budget, and we’ve got to fit it within this budget number, right?” What I hope that we do is actually kind of step back from that a little bit and say, “Where are the things that we can make investments in that are going to make us grow our economy over the long term and do better for the people of Minnesota, and where are those places that we can … continue to scale back where they’re not serving their purposes?” . . . .
Bluestem suspects that the DFL caucuses will focus on the budget--especially with an eye to paying the schools back, and closing the looming budget gap that has always been a part of the deal Republicans negotiated with Dayton to end the shutdown--and the sort of tax reform questions that Thissen brings in the MinnPost interview.
What will the DFL majorities do next?
That being said: it's unrealistic for anyone to expect the conversation about marriage that Minnesotans United for All Families started to go away, especially in light of the brilliant organizing and partnership bullding that Richard Carlbom and other leaders put together, although its goal was simply defeat of the amendment.
The coalition didn't argue that current law protected Minnesotans from cute boys marrying each other. Those working to defeat the amendment mostly argued for marriage equality. Perhaps more importantly, they conducted this argument across party lines, across religious lines, across ethnic and racial lines; why anyone would expect the positive argument to vanish into the snow escapes Bluestem's thinking.
As does Newman's claim to knowing the people's minds outside of the deep-red compound that is Senate District 18.
Outfront Minnesota is holding a day-long summit on December 1 to discuss the next steps forward:
The day-long Equal & Justice conference, starting at 9am, will bring together community members, leaders, activists and volunteers to take a deeper look at the issues facing the LGBTQA community currently: marriage, safe schools, and healthcare. You will have the chance to develop skills and get inspired to make plans and work on these issues in your community in 2013.
MN United's Facebook page recommends the summit. According to MN United's About page, Outfront is one of the group's founders:
Outfront MN & Project 515 jointly founded this campaign just hours after this amendment was passed by the Minnesota House of Representatives in May of 2011. Since then, our coalition has grown rapidly to defeat this unnecessary amendment that would limit the freedoms of Minnesotans
Will the coalition's persuasive skills trump Scott Newman's assumptions about the hearts and minds of Minnesota's voters? It wouldn't be the first time.
And with the DFL holding the majority and the governor's office, setting a budget won't be the gridlock we're used to experiencing, however much Newman promised the Glencoe paper that he'll throw temper tantrums:
He said the goal of a minority committee member is to amend the majority bill. When the majority totally ignores the minority, “it will get ugly and noisy.”
Ugly and noisy? How does that differ from Newman's governing style while in the majority?
Photo: Scott Newman is so not happy with Minnesota voters' ability to think about stuff, while House voter id restriction author Mary Kiffmeer lost the War on Voters. Will Republicans like Newman and Kiffmeyer lose The War on Gay?
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