In a signed editorial published by the Crookston Times, editor Mike Christopherson doesn't pull any punches about the meltdown that ended Minnesota's 2016 legislative session--but his best spleen is reserved for House Speaker Kurt Daudt.
Christopherson writes in If you think you’re sick of this act, trying reporting on it year after year:
We knew the calls would be coming into the Times newsroom at any moment, and Tuesday morning they came. Actually, one was a phone call and the other was via email. DFL Minnesota House Minority Leader Paul Thissen was going to be calling newspapers across the state to tell the DFL’s side in the latest debacle that unfolded in the closing days, hours and minutes of the 2016 Minnesota Legislative session. Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt? He was going to be doing the same.
Both legislators wanted to conduct their phone interviews Tuesday afternoon, but a look at the big calendar on the newsroom wall showed a day packed full of things that had to be covered by the newspaper, so picking up the phone to listen to the same, tired blame game and partisan spin-doctoring just wasn’t going to be possible that day.
So the representatives of both Thissen and Daudt were told thanks, but no thanks. They were also told that the Times could probably publish a he said/he said story purportedly based on interviews with both Thissen and Daudt that in reality hadn’t taken place. After all, when the same embarrassing behavior is on display in session after session of our state legislature, this stuff eventually writes itself.
Seriously, running dictionary-thick bills back and forth between buildings in the dark of night as the clock ticks toward midnight...the contents of which are largely a mystery to most of the legislators who are expected to cast a rushed, last-minute vote? A House bonding bill counteroffer, released about an hour before midnight, full of errors? Is there enough shame to go around?
That said, the Republicans are more at fault this time. You just don’t submit your very first bonding bill proposal weeks after Senate DFLers release theirs, and only five days before the session is required to adjourn, with a straight face. These are real projects affecting real communities and real people, and – Hey, Republicans! – they create jobs.
Emphasis added in the text above. We can tell that the copy isn't writing itself when the editor passes judgment on Speaker Daudt:
. . .The ink was barely dry on the news headlines announcing that our legislature had once again put off important legislation until the last second, and, predictably, not been able to approve it, when Daudt called on Gov. Mark Dayton to convene a special session so lawmakers could return to St. Paul and try to pass a transportation funding package and a bonding bill.
That’s like a college kid partying like a rock star all night long and, then, hung over as heck the next morning, calling on his professor to cancel his 8 a.m. class.
Daudt should learn to stop dithering and start legislating. Read the entire editorial at the Crookston Times.
Photo: Speaker Kurt Daudt's hands are dithering hands.
If you appreciate Bluestem Prairie's posts and original analysis, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen P.O. Box 108, Maynard MN 56260) or use the paypal button below:
Email subscribers can contribute via this link to paypal; use email sally.jo.sorensen at gmail.com as recipient.