The voice of the St. Cloud Republican Party is at it again in his role as attack dog. If there is one thing that Gary Gross does with zeal and vigor, it is try to discredit anything and everything that Senator Tarryl Clark does or says. Unfortunately, that zeal and vigor comes without any actual fact checking.

So, in another episode of "Gross Inaccuracies", we offer another perspective:

It’s patently false to say that Gov. Pawlenty’s statement was the end of negotiating because negotiations took place throughout the weekend. Just because Tarryl didn’t like what she heard during those negotiations doesn’t mean that the negotiations didn’t happen. Rejecting his counter proposals isn’t proof that negotiations ended during Gov. Pawlenty’s press conference.

It’s obvious that the DFL leadership didn’t expect Gov. Pawlenty to be the adult who would do what Minnesota’s Constitution mandates. The DFL leadership didn’t expect Gov. Pawlenty to tell them that he was tired of the stunts that they were playing.

In those negotiations, and in public, Governor Pawlenty proclaimed that he would not accept nor would he even negotiate on tax increases. Instead, he told everyone that he would sign all the bills put forward by the legislature, except for the bill to pay for them (conveniently), and unallot in order to make the budget look like his original proposal. How does one have any meaningful negotiations with a person who refuses to consider certain items and in the end finds a way that he can make the final product look very much like his original proposal? Having met with legislative leaders only 3 times throughout the entire session while being out of the state upwards of 29 times, it appears as though the Governor didn't even start negotiating let alone end negotiating.

"Stunts they were playing"? It boggles my mind how Gross and other Republicans can support the budgeting gimmicks that Pawlenty is willing to play and then call those gimmicks being the "adult". While you may not like the taxes proposed by the DFL, at least they were willing to pay for what they were spending rather than continuing to borrow, shift, and spend.

Tarryl says that unallotment “is meant to be a scalpel” that shouldn’t be used except in the final year of the biennium. The statute doesn’t have language in it that would indicate that. Quite the contrary:

Subd. 4.Reduction.(a) If the commissioner determines that probable receipts for the general fund will be less than anticipated, and that the amount available for the remainder of the biennium will be less than needed, the commissioner shall, with the approval of the governor, and after consulting the Legislative Advisory Commission, reduce the amount in the budget reserve account as needed to balance expenditures with revenue.

I’m pretty certain that there isn’t anything in the unallotment provision that says it’s only supposed to be used at the end of the biennium. I’m pretty certain that the part that says it can be used if “the commissioner determines that probable receipts for the general fund will be less than anticipated.” It further states that the commmissioner can’t use this authority unless he’s received the governor’s approval or until he’s consulted with the Legislative Advisory Commission.

Wait, you say the statute "doesn't have language" but then go on to use a less definitive "I'm pretty certain"? Which is it? Perhaps if you are going to dispute her interpretation you should figure out FOR CERTAIN your interpretation.

Further, I would direct you to the words "anticipated" and "remainder". These two words imply a certain amount of time has passed. A balanced budget has to have been reached before you can then have a budget which is "less than anticipated". Further, a "remainder" of something is certainly not the whole of something thus the further implication that this is something to be done at some point AFTER a balanced budget has been established.

Here’s another bit of Tarryl’s spin that needs debunking:

And make no mistake the Governor’s cuts will cost us jobs across the state, jobs in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and colleges. Police and fire will be reduced and libraries and parks will not be spared. And in the end the cuts alone won’t be enough. This year for the first time Minnesotans will pay more in property taxes than income taxes. That is a direct result of this Governor’s policies and the Governor’s unilateral cuts will only make it worse.

Any city council or mayor that cuts public safety first shouldn’t hold their jobs beyond the next election. In fact, council members or mayors that start by cutting public safety budgets should be forced to resign ASAP because they’ve proven that they can’t make thoughtful decisions.

Well, you didn't so much debunk what she said so much as reframe the statement to your liking and debunk that statement. Tarryl didn't say that these would be the FIRST cuts. Rather, she said that they would be reduced.

Instead of laying people off, perhaps these employees would be willing to accept a plan where they’re furloughed for a short period of time like 1 or 2 weeks. There are probably other ways of keeping these people employed. It’s time that the DFL thinks that a cut of any sort automatically leads to their preconceived notions.

Ahh, the solution! Rather than increase taxes upon the wealthiest amongst us by upwards of $200 per year, let us take and lay middle income people off for 1 to 2 week periods of time. It is interesting that you are willing to sacrifice the income of certain people but god forbid we ask the wealthy to chip in to keep things functioning.