GOP Calls Themselves Mainstream; Dayton Says Extreme

By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — For the second day in a row, Gov. Mark Dayton is ramping up his anti-Republican rhetoric, blaming a small group of conservative freshmen lawmakers for the budget stalemate.

But the new GOP lawmakers say they’re MAINstream, not EXtreme.

One of those GOP lawmakers is Dave Thompson, a first-term state senator from Lakeville.

On his Capitol office door, he’s posted a sign that reads “Not a Penny More.”

“It means no budget spending more than $34 billion. I thought I’d stick it on my door,” said Thompson.

He is among a rambunctious crew of freshmen Republican legislators pulling Minnesota’s budget hard to the right.

The kind Dayton called “radicals” preventing their own GOP leaders from compromising on the budget.

“They’re encumbered by a more radical, extreme right wing caucus within their caucus on both the House and the Senate side,” said the DFL governor.

But they are hardly fearsome freshmen intent on bringing down the government.

They are carpenters, real estate agents and a mother of a newborn baby girl. They also don’t appreciate the governor’s comments.

“The governor has attacked elected leaders and when he does that, he attacks all of us,” said Sen. Ted Lillie, R-Lake Elmo. “Because we are not different than anybody else. We’re average Minnesotans.”

Republicans invited Dayton to their caucus last week and described him as cordial and respectful in their private meeting — but not so in his public comments.

The first-termers see themselves as a fresh set of eyes on a deeply troubled state budget.

“I kind of feel like we’re auditors that just arrived at the doorsteps of Denny Hecker, Tom Petters and Bernie Madoff,” said Sen. John Howe, R-Red Wing. “We just can’t believe what’s going on.”

Dayton, who leaves Thursday on a statewide media blitz to promote his tax hike budget plan, said this GOP breed doesn’t know much about government and doesn’t care to learn.

“The government, despite some opinions to the contrary, makes an essential difference in so many people’s lives for the better,” said Dayton.

More from Pat Kessler
  • King

    I call the republicans, only thinking of themselfs !

  • Jennifer

    I’m happier to live here, with vetoes, and not in Wisconsin.

    • Greg

      right on Jenny!!

  • Paul

    tom growup you and the rebublicans need to growup and be more respectful of ALL people ! the rebublicans have refused to nagotiate with Govenor Dayton . as for your comment on being a drunk maybe you should sober up and go to your AA meeting !

  • Sarah In Outstate MN

    I think BOTH sides are unwilling to compromise and are acting like stubborn, spoiled children. I can’t stand either party at this point.

    • What sup?

      Dayton has already moved towards the Right. The right refuses to move to the Left. Dayton compromised and is standing strong. Republicans are on a power trip

  • James

    If you think that amending the Constitution to fence citizens out is mainstream, then perhaps you are, in your own mind. If you think it’s ok to permanently censor debate in the free marketplace of ideas, then perhaps you are, in your own mind. I don’t truly care about either party, but the character of the person in office, none of which has anything to do with social construction, but business aptitude, and critical thinking.

  • hahahahahah

    Does anyone know what Dayton was teated for when he sought help for his mental illness?

    • dave

      Yes, for a little while he thought he was a republican. Poor man was as goofed up in the head as the rest of the repubs.

    • Tom Hasbrouck

      I think depression from dealing with idiots like you.

    • Ron

      Where were you treated?

  • Mark

    “We just can’t believe what’s going on”. Yeah, me too. The renters credit is being attack as a government handout though the more generous homeowners credit is sacrimount and safe, Minneapolis St Paul and Duluth (but not Rochester) are getting LGA yanked out despite bearing the financial burden of providing regional and statewide amenities and services that the suburban , Metro Transit funding being cut to the bones to shift resources to mantaining an overextensive exurban-serving highway network, a shift in school funding away from the kids with the most disadvantagd backgrounds and families to save wealthy white flight families a few immediate bucks, a disinvestment in our university systems and economic future, and a billion dollar bridge to wisconsin being heralded as a necessity while a train through st paul is being called a boondoggle despite the fact the the train will serve thousands more people each day (who pay a fee) than the bridge to Wisconsin will serve (for free). All at the same time, standing a line on income taxes for the few weatlhiest people in this state that have the only increase in income as an income group over the last decade and who are gaining the most from the investment in infrastructure and education of the MInnesota of the past.. And, lets not forget the vitrol attacks on the people and families in this state that are gay, the distorted lies of voting fraud being spewed so that they can pass a law to disenfranchise voters, and abortion bills to castrasize the dignity and privacy of women. Yeah, I can’t beileve whats going on.

    • Jennifer

      Go Mark!

    • ERIC


    • liberals offer no solutions

      So what’s your point?

      • Christian and Free

        So sorry, we’ll try to speak slower and use smaller words.

        • Ka Brone

          I’d also recomment fewer syllables as well. Those darn multi-syllabic words!

    • liberals offer no solutions

      Do you people do realize that the republicans offered a budget which increased spending by 2 billion dollars?? The renters credit is intact. LGA is a waste. Metro transit funds are increasing, Education spending is dramatically increasing! A billion dollar bridge? Your numbers are inaccurate. The marriage amendment will be voted on by all of us. No-one is attacking gays. Voters should be qualified as legitimate. And our abortion laws remain intact. Other than LGA and the marriage amendment, your post is garbage. For the record, I’m not a fan of the marriage amendment. How do you want to fund LGA?

      • Jennifer

        Did you know that there are more areas of the budget than local government aid? I’m happy to hear that you are keeping abreast of the issues. The biggest concern that I have is that by not taking care of the most vulnerable, we are going to find ourselves in deeper problems in the future. We will create damage and then blame them for the ills we cause. There are low cost programs that are evidence based that keep people safe, out of hospitals and jails, children safe and healthy, etc. The long term impact on our economy is dramatic, and there are hard numbers that support this reality. Health and human services, public health, all these programs keep Minnesota strong.

        • liberals can be reasonable

          I agree. I hope we continue to properly fund these programs.

          • Jennifer

            Thank you.

      • Good Ol Boy

        “The marriage amendment will be voted on by all of us. No-one is attacking gays.”

        By having us all vote on what gays can or can’t do, you ARE attacking gays. I find it odd you don’t see that.

      • WHAT?????

        liberals offer no solutions
        So where are the solutions you offer? Kind of an irony to have that name and then not offer any. All you did was point out problems. No wonder why people would not take you seriously.

  • j fee

    Where are the extra millions in revenue going? Straight to gov’t emplyees, whose union feeds Daytons pocket! I don’t make enough money to be a Republican, but I can see the crazy spending cycle.

    • James

      Eisenhower, a Republican, is who brought unions into government initially. Both parties stand to gain.

      • Jerry

        Actually that was Truman, post-war

    • Good Ol Boy

      “Straight to gov’t emplyees, whose union feeds Daytons pocket!”


      In what way? Please be specific. I want the paper trail exposed if you have it.

    • Orville

      @jfee Dayton paid for his own campaign, get over the union and at least try to know what you are talking about

      • Jerry

        Think they were speaking of his pocket (and in spending) not for his election campaign, though lots of union dollars go to elect libs, including mine and I had no say about it.

        • Orville

          Get involved in your union, you have all the say in the world.. Jfee said unions puts money in Dayton’s pocket. not the democrats pocket. In terms of political machinery Dayton has never been the party’s convention choice, he has always won through election. I have yet to see where Republican policies would attract anyone interested in the plight of the worker.

  • Dan

    George Soros must be monitoring these comments or CBS doesn’t allow dissent

  • joe

    My heart goes out to the state worker who will be layed off, many of whom will loose their health care and their pay, because these freshman republicans refuse to even consider compromising. You are both elected by the people, the reality of a budget is that it’s about choices and you can’t have everything the way you want it. COMPROMISE ALREADY….the shutdown will cost us all money and a put a serious hurt on a lot of families simply because these newbies refuse to do their job.

    • liberals offer no solutions

      A 2 billion dollar INCREASE in the state budget is a generous compromise! The governor is the problem here. How much more do you want to spend?????

      • Jennifer

        Show me where the 2 billion increase is going according to what the republicans offer. Where are they wanting to cut? Numbers mean nothing, throwing things around. Give me facts.

  • Richard Ratcliff

    Florida has no state income tax. That’s why I’m here. That’s why there are tens of thousands of MN snowbirds claiming residency here. It makes sense. We save millions and pass the extra burden onto you. Not fair? Not right? Maybe, but Minnesota taxation and wild spending is out of control. Totally out of control. I’ll be back for the Summer but I won’t pay the State of MN another dime. I don’t give a rip if they cut services in Minnesota or raise the taxes even higher. I found my own bipartisan solution to the MN budget.

    • Jennifer

      So sweet, and you will buy your gas here, purchase your groceries here, visit our hardware stores, and spend your lovely retirement dollars in our state that creates jobs and keeps our economy going. I appreciate that you notify us that you could help more, it’s all good.

    • Safeguard

      Easy Dan, you’ll blow a fuse. You want to make retirement again. He can have his snakes, hurricanes, humidity, gators and other creepy, crawly things that live there with him.

      • Deb

        Not to mention, it costs more to live there just by housing, food, it is a tourist trap, and has a mixed up group of people!!! Been there several times, nice place to visit, but the minium wage employees are the majority, and most places I stayed in were robbed. Minium wage doesn’t allow for much of a life, and it shows!

    • old nurse

      @ Richard Rat Stay there in Florida all year. When you get sick I hope you have enough money to pay for your own nursing care. Lead your selfish lifestyle away from others.

      • Good Ol Boy

        Selfish lifestyle?

        How is he being selfish? Why can’t he do whatever he pleases?

  • shirley

    these youg inexperienced radical republican’s evidently are only going for 1 term! They’re to extreme and anxious for us middle class out here. And I’m tired of you radical’s saying it’s what the “THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT” Well excuse me but your talking to a majority of us out here who are quite well educated and don’t need you radical’s to put words in our mouth. Get out of your selves. Governor Dayton’s doing a decent job ,when you think about these radical’s who only know how to dig their heels in and protect the wealthy.

    • Mike D

      if you were quite educated you would know the proper your to use…

      • me

        Don’t critique when your own post isn’t grammatically correct.

  • pat

    These are the same guys who wanted to sell off the black walnut trees in our state park?

    No, not extreme, not at all.

    Just normal Minnesotans, looking to help their buddies make a dime.

    And heck, if a kid wants to go to college, why shouldn’t he or she graduate fifty to a hundred thousand in debt?

    Any good citizen should applaud the Republican effort to make these college kids responsible for their own way in the world. Besidew, wehn they graduate neck deep in debt it will be esyier for business to hire them cheap. Heck, they won’t have time to waste looking for better with all those debts on the books.

    This is the kind of new thinking that will make our state great!!great!!!! great!!!

    • Jack

      where do you think money comes from you elf. You earn it, nobody should have to give you anything. What the hell is wrong with people lately. Get off your rear end and earn it.

      • Jennifer

        $1.6 billion in Human Services Cuts pass the legislature.
        We can do something about it A disabled mother with two children relying on MFIP has an income of about $13,000 a year – about what just one CEO, who made $25.2 million last year, earns in little over an hour. What do they have to do with each other? Instead of throwing insults at people, please educate yourself and understand that the economics behind all of this is unsustainable. Get off your rear end and look at what you have been blind to. Go ahead, try and blame the poor for their own problems. Get off your rear end and look at the research, the hard facts. Understand how this whole social process works. We are all interconnected. Do you remember people warning about the greed of the housing bubble? About how it would affect us all? There are people who are warning you now. I’m simply asking that you take your fingers out of your ears and use your critical thinking skills. The powerful are afraid that we all will. There are more of us than there are of them. They use their money to influence government to the point of disaster. They become to big to fail. They can do whatever they want. What the hell is wrong with you people lately, be very aware of what is in our future.

        • Jack

          The comment was in response to pat and money for college. Lets read a bit before we go off, the indented comments are in response to the above comment.

          • old nurse

            Sorry she ripped on you Jack, but she did make a good point, as you did. It is sad that these people don’t realize where the possible job growth for Minnesota is in an educated work force.

          • Jennifer

            You have my apologies Jack, totally misread where you were going with that.

  • PJ

    The new anti-Republican rhetoric: label anything and everyone as extreme. Yet they Republicans are at least facing reality. The reality of this budget is hardship. For those who depend upon government jobs, aid, or entitlements the future in this economy is very bleak. The ripple has finally reached us. I will probably lose my job. Compromise on what to cut would be good, but the real choice is taxation or harsh cuts. Very few Minnesotans, Democrat or Republican, seem willing to accept taxation. Dayton stays lock step with his own party by painting Republicans as extreme and proposing to tax the “rich.” He has to buck stark budget reality for the sake of his own political considerations. The Republicans are honoring their pledge to cut government spending. The result is a political stalemate for the sake of their respective fan base. It is all for show, for in the end without a substantial increase in taxes for EVERYONE, the cuts will come. They will be harsh and deep. The party is over. The so called recovery is slow and uneven. There are dark times ahead and although democratic politics are always messy I wish these politicians would treat it like the crisis that it is and compromise. I am exasperated and losing patience with politics as usual on both sides of the aisle.

    • Jennifer

      The poor and middle class have taken all the cuts they can take. There is no more meat to carve off there. The powerful and wealthy would like you to believe that there is more, maybe suck at the marrow.

      • Bob

        Jennifer, what exactly has been cut? The budget was $31B for the last 2 years and now they have proposed $34B

        • Deb

          This isn’t about the dollar amount, and if you think it is welllllll your crazy!! This is about Republicans flexing their muscles! They don’t want to raise taxes on the rich, but they hide that by saying NO RAISING TAXES! That’s just BS…. Nothing should be cut without raising their taxes and dropping their benefits of health insurance and other such benefits that the normal middle class doesn’t get!! If they get it, so should we! Health care, education and necessary to survive items first, then the things that can get along for a year or so on the smaller budget, parks and the football staduim! Also some road work could wait. They need to dig deeper for some common sense! Republicans still doing their song and dance trying to make everyone think they care, even the new comers…. “representing the Minnesota people” ya right! hahhahhahaahha

          • Jennifer

            Bob, have you seen what they are proposing for cuts to health and human services? To child protection? Do you realize what they are asking the working class poor to pay for health insurance when it was the republicans who broke it in the first place? They were paying for their insurance, and it had a surplus. They were PAYING for their insurance, and the republicans broke their system instead of expecting the upper incomes to pay their fair share, or cut corporate welfare, or tell a millionaire that needed to pay property taxes on their business just like every small business in Minnesota. Thanks again for asking.

    • Dianne Johnson

      Gesh, my friend who makes 750k a year still has a 2M home, 3 Mercedes, a lake home valued at more than my house, 2 boats, and a ridiculous number of toys. I haven’t heard him say this economy is effecting him poorly at all. I don’t see the same on the other side! They are trying to figure out how to pay for gas and groceries. That’s reality, my friend.

      • Jennifer

        Well said.

  • Just in time, but hurry

    The best part of this time of year is the fact that it is nearly time for fresh fruit. Let’s get Crazie Markie a a case of impeaches. Who voted for this idiot, anyone who was registered?

  • dave

    I can’t understand why average americans think that the richest among us should pay the least to keep our government going. Look at Texas, run by repubs for the last decade and their education, heath care and other standards are among the lowest in the country and getting worse.

    • Dale Gribble

      Democrat lies! People in Texas can reed an rite! We live much better then Taxesotans and our team has won how many Superbowls?

      • me

        Oh Dale, honey, you’re so out of it, you can’t even tell you have an Arnold Schwarzenegger kid..

      • Greg

        I can tell you can Read and Write. Oh wait a minute… NOT!!!!

      • liberals offer no solutions

        Nice try poser! Obviously a liberal who forgot to use spellcheck!

  • Nita

    Thank you Gov Mark Dayton, it is nice to see someone has the courage to stand up to the school yard bullies. Be strong, you are in the right here!

    • Jennifer

      I agree Nita!

    • liberals offer no solutions

      How so??? The republicans offered a budget which increased spending by 2 billion dollars without raising taxes. Why is that a problem???

      • Jennifer

        You make the same comment over and over and over. Give real facts. Answer the questions asked. We get that you don’t see a problem, often.

        • liberals have good intentions

          Jennifer. Dayton has not offered one detail as to how he would spend the additional revenue he is requesting. When asked point blank, he responded ‘I don’t know’. Doesn’t that trouble you? For all you know, he could throw it all away on a stadium for the vikings. You really need to hold your party to the same standards you hold the republicans. You, and your party, are thin on facts, and certainly haven’t addressed the legitimate issues you have raised. So what solutions do you propose? I would like specifics.

          • Big D

            The Cost $ of everything is going up and so should the buget! The rich should pay ther fare share! the middel class and poor cant have any more cuts. they are to the floor with money. the stadiums should be payed for by the players and the nfl, nhl, nba, mbl. the state should have nothen to do with them. every one should cut there cable, phone and internet and not go out to eat and boy cott the big stores and show the rich what happend with just the rich shopping. the prices of everything would go up. taxes for every one should go up 5%.! we should close all of the public librarys. make only one license center per 6 towns. and sell and close all state and city parks. the gop should be cutt in pay.

          • Jennifer

            I have actually looked at the proposed budget from the Governor, the Senate and the House. I have never spoken to the man, so I haven’t asked him. But what what published was very specific about where the proposed spending allocations are and where the proposed cuts are. I hold all politicians to the same standards and happen to not trust any of them.

            • Jennifer

              From what I’ve read and researched myself, I agree most with the Governor’s proposal. Excuse the ‘what’ instead of ‘was’. Typo.

  • Greg

    I hope Dayton does not budge one more inch. These republicans think they know it all. Right wing social engineering applies in spades! Maybe it’s time for some recall elections. Before it is too late!!! I don’t work for the state, think education is adequately funded, but I don’t expect to get MY way on every issue. Grow up you republican morons.

  • Jennifer

    Have you ever heard of the saying “Penny wise and Pound foolish”? It means, investing in the youth, investing in a healthy educated society, investing in our state is important. When you don’t, there are MUCH BIGGER BILLS AND DEVASTATION coming in your future, and you will pay out the nose. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.

    • liberals offer no solutions

      A 2 billion dollar budget increase is generous. Look at the recent results of generous social programs in north mpls. A lot of pennies foolishly spent.

      • Jennifer

        Show me your evidence and I’ll show you mine! What is generous? Which programs? What are the results you are concerned about?

        • liberals offer no solutions

          A 2 billion dollar budget increase is generous. North Minneapolis: Many poor families trapped by our welfare system. The current system doesn’t seem to work. It provides basic necessities but no way to improve folks situation. We need to rethink these programs. I’ll bet the people trapped in the system could give us some good ideas on how we could make it better. People in North Minneapolis have had to put up with crime and poverty for to long!

          • Jennifer

            Actually, I agree with the welfare concern. There were many cuts made in the decades past that made it possible for many to attend trade school or college. Funny thing how many of those welfare recipients turned into responsible tax paying citizens. The ‘reforms’ did nothing more than tighten the noose around them. However, there are social and community programs that are attempting to do their best despite these issues. I do commend them, they seem to put their dollars to good use, but there is still so much more to be done.

            • Jerry

              The reforms you’re knocking, Jennifer, were partially to stop our state from being such a big draw for welfare recipients flowing in from other less liberal states. They obviously need to be tougher. Limiting the times people can be on unemployment insurance without seeking education or jobs was not a bad thing, and there were safeties written in those policies for those who because of health or mental health issues could not work. The idea was to stop the cycle and help people find jobs and education. To stop it filtering down to their children and grandchildren. It takes time, but it’s also been weakened by many compromises since. Our high taxes are also unfortunately driving those job-providers out of our state. We don’t need to keep increasing spending at this time – everybody needs to tighten their belts and get a grip on the spending. Those who are unable to tighten any more (give up their cable, internet, Blackberries, 3 cars, toys and games, etc., etc. until they’re actually earning enough to provide those things) will be provided for. This is Minnesota and we do take care of our own. Some are more deserving than others obviously. Get out and volunteer – it’s “feel good” and it genuinely helps.
              Mr. Dayton’s “mandate” is just an excuse to play politics – it is time to let go of the big dreams he has for his administration (stadiums for instance) and sign that budget. Dreams are admirable, but not always practical. We out here, in the majority by the way, have been concerned for a long time and that’s why we elected all those conservatives and gave them a mandate to reign in the tax and spend, get things under control. Tom Emmer would have been elected also, if his problem with drink hadn’t gotten such a big play and Mark Dayton’s didn’t. Lies or “mistruths” were overlooked (where did he teach?? Oh, that’s right, he was a trainee in New York. Did he have any DUIs out there? Or has he always had a driver so no concerns for the rich boy? Just asking . . .) I think he’s still a nice kid, with big dreams, but he’s the one who needs to “grow up”.
              Get a grip, all you libs, take a deep breath, let it out and pull hard, tighten those belts like the rest of us have been doing!

              • Walker

                Nothing in the Republican budget addresses the welfare portion. Please look at it a little closer.
                It it was just the drinking issue for Emmer then why was it a clean sweep for the statewide offices for the Democrats with the governors race being the closest? You need to look at your “mistruths” a little closer and admit overall in this state more people preferred the Democrats.

  • Greg

    and raise our property taxes, or let dangerous people roam the streets…right on!! maybe we can learn some wisdon from Pakistan, or Iran, where the religious right controls everything.

  • Safeguard

    I think Newt Gingrich hit the nail right on the head. The Republican’ts have an agenda and they are not willing to compromise their social engineering. I am sick of the high property taxes and on a fixed income they are killing me, Thanks Pawlenty for your great work in raising them even further!!!

  • King

    I just like to see the rich pay taxes at the % I do, don,t you ? why give them
    a brake.

  • Deb

    I was told my comment was already said, but it is no where to be found!!!!???? Wake up whom ever runs this page!

  • ron

    Republicans suck and they always will, let them dig themselves a hole!

  • Jerry

    If the GOP is mainstream in Minnesota – then I am moving!! Hold tight Gov. and stand for the real Minnesota values that have made this state one of the best! Don’t let the GOP make us another Mississippi

    • me

      But then we can change our state name to Misterippii!

    • Nigel

      The Republicans would think they are mainstream because they and their hundred or so friends all think the same way. If they don’t get out of their tight little circle they would not have an idea on how others think.

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