12:06 PM | Posted in ,
It looks increasingly likely that the budget deficit this year will be solved without the help of Republican Marty Seifert. I posted earlier today comparing the DFL and Republican Caucus press conferences this past week. During those press conferences it was clear that the DFL would be open to any and all ideas to solve the overwhelming budget deficit. To be fair, it appeared as though Senate Minority Leader Senjem was ready and willing to work towards a solution.

Unfortunately, the problem will be House Minority Leader Seifert. On Midmorning with Kerri Miller, Seifert made the following claims in reference to the budget and budget cuts:

"I probably will not be voting for any of these cuts"

So, he is prepared to vote against any budget long before those budgets have even been developed? Miller did ask about this statement, and his response:

"The budget bills come up I will be giving suggestions, ideas and the like on how to balance the budget but I can tell you that the political road is littered with the bodies of house republiacns who made tough decisions on balancing the budget and, both in the house and senate caucus, I would say that in the last 20 years and this is going to sound partisan to people but the Democrats did not have to make the difficult decisions on balancing these budgets, like in '03. We lost 13 people in '04 and lost 19 people in '06 with the rhetoric of all the aweful cuts and fee increases that we put in place. I will be helpful in trying to put suggestions out there but with 87 members of their caucus and 68 needed to pass a bill the voters put those folks in charge and I ... we will help, we will get ideas out there, we will give suggestions and amendments and the like, but we will be the loyal opposition." [Emphasis Mine]

So, let me get this straight, Seifert is going to offer suggestions but then vote NO on the budget anyway because (in his mind) the last time he and other Republicans voted to make cuts they were "punished"? This is perhaps the most juvenile and unhelpful stance I have ever seen any politician take on the issues. With pouty foot stomping rhetoric like this the Republicans deserve to be ignored and left out of the process because it is clear they have no interest in coming to a solution. The anonymous source who directed me to the interview takes a more generous tone:

During these unprecedented times, we need bipartisanship and a sense of cooperation to address our challenges, not obstructionism, politics, and road blocks. I also think any GOP member who campaigned on working with others should be asked if they support their leaders vow to vote no on everything.

That goes for both Republicans AND Democrats! I truly hope the current work together to find a solution and everything is on the table mantra of the Democrats will be followed. Unfortunately, they appear to already be up against Dr. NO and his Republican House Caucus. If the Republicans have already made up their minds to vote NO with their fearless leader, then it becomes very difficult to find a meaningful compromise.

The full interview:
[The above exchange occurs at roughly 48:00 in the broadcast]


2 responses to "Marty Seifert As Dr. NO"

  1. Gary Gross On December 8, 2008 at 9:44 AM

    Considering the fact that state spending has increased by 140% since 1992, please explain why tax increases should be on the table.

    Considering the fact that Minneapolis & St. Paul get huge LGA checks when the program was designed to be "a program that helps cities with lower tax bases provide basic services", why shouldn't we focus on spending first?

    Considering the fact that the DFL has been averse to identifying & eliminating wasteful spending, why should tax increases even be talked about at this early stage?

    Considering the fact that less than 5% of all GOP amendments to the DFL's bills got adopted, why shouldn't the DFL be the ones to prove that they're interested in bipartisanship?

  2. Andy Birkey On January 12, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    Considering the fact that polls show more Minnesotans want a tax increase, particularly a progressive increase as the latest KSTP poll showed, shouldn't the legislature follow the will of the people?

    Considering the fact that for five years Minnesota cut taxes and fees and handed out Jesse checks (1997-2001) and then hasn't increased taxes under 6 years of Pawlenty, shouldn't that be an option during a crisis?

    Considering the fact that Minneapolis and St. Paul are the state's primary economic engines and together contain about 10% of the state's population in addition to the attendant problems of such, shouldn't the state help support them?