Early this Sunday morning, the Minnesota House passed the infamous Omnibus Prime bill, nearly 1000 pages of the good, the bad and the fugly, released a couple of hours before members were asked to vote on it. Typical of the tweets responding to this situation:
The challenge from the Tea Party in the early Obama administration was "read the bill," but now that Republicans have power, that populous call seems to have gone by the wayside. Representative Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, rose to address the seeming lack of accountability to the public during the session, pointing out that change is coming.
Dave Pinto, DFL-St. Paul, caught the moment in a tweet:
Fellow Ramsey County DFLer John Lesch responded to another quip from Hansen:
(Aside: Bluestem's editor uses an alternative version: "Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence;" of course, it's the thought that counts. After all we've covered Jeff "Goose Poop" Backer long enough to know this).
Here's the clip*:
Update: Here's the transcription (any mistakes are Bluestem Prairie's):
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. . . .As we've received this large bill, I've been going through the pages and it's quite a task.
And as I 've been going through these pages I was remembering -- and I guess I'm old enough to remember now when we had a DFL majority in the house and we ended ahead of time. Finished our work and adjourned before the end.
But for the last four years under Republican control we have had a train wreck at the end of every session-- 15, 16, 17, and now 18-- but this one takes the cake.
This isn't all of it.
Now, I get asked why does this happen? Why does this happen? Why do you wait until the end and I say we don't have to wait until the end. It's a choice.
Now, I generally go by a belief that never attribute to conspiracy what can be explained by incompetence, but this isn't incompetence this is a choice to put stuff in here.
The Majority Leader [Joyce Peppin] ,,,just essentially was challenging us as if this is a campaign; not governing-- challenging the minority about pieces that are in here which we acknowledged are good that we'd like to vote for because they're good and they'd pass--they'd probably pass unanimously.
She was addressing the members...in the minority. Why don't we address Minnesotans? I hope everybody gets a copy of this [omnibus bill] and can take it on the road. Take it home. Bring it to our constituents. Those of us who aren't staying bring it home as a memento.
Bring it to your constituents and see how proud they are of it. I bet you're going to find out they're not very proud of this. Minnesotans aren't looking for this. They're looking for items that are in here that we could pass but by putting the good stuff in with the junk into this at the end.
Oh and we knew this was going to happen didn't we at the end. We came in on February 20th we could have started taking some of these things. We did one emergency thing for MNLARS.
I remember when we used to do it several things. When we used to bring bills ahead of time throughout this session--bipartisan bills--instead of waiting til the end.
This is a choice.
It's a choice of this management of this house for the last four years. Speaker Daudt's majority always waits till the end, and it always results in a mess. And the party of personal responsibility blames the governor oh it's the governor's fault. It's the governor's fault.
I don't know how many task forces are in here. I don't know how many working groups. Representative Baker, you referenced the special interests. They've written into this bill. Some are very happy because in here we give that responsibility to them rather than doing the job that people elect us to do. So we should vote against this.
I was going to speak on the concurrence but these votes don't seem to change during the debate. Don't see a lot of debate. We used to see a lot of debate we used to see actual discussion. It's my understanding when this was discussed in the [conference] committee last night, people just came in and voted.
So where was the real discussion? Where were the real decisions made? Who made them? Why?
Maybe it's just a function of power that when people have power for awhile, they assume that's gonna last forever and they become arrogant and that arrogance leads to mistakes leads to errors. . .
I'll address our side of the aisle that if we get power again we cannot be doing this stuff. We cannot be doing this stuff! We have to do it differently.
I think Minnesotans are watching and I think change is coming.
Finally a tweet that sums it up:
.@reprickhansen Peppin was addressing minority members as if this was a campaign. Why don't we address Minnesotans? Putting good stuff in with junk doesn't provide Minnesotans with what they need. Why wait to the end? Party of personal responsibility blames gov #mnleg #mnhouse
— Sally Jo Sorensen (@sallyjos) May 20, 2018
*We've swapped out the MNHouse Info clip with start and stop commands for this more immediately viewed clip from the DFL House Caucus's channel.
Photo: A train wreck, the metaphor Hansen chose to describe four years of Minnesota House sessions under Speaker Daudt's leadership. Blaming the governor is the MNGOP deflection tactic.
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