ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s top leaders holed up in a generic conference room for a second day on Saturday, trying to break through the budget gridlock with an impending government shutdown only six days away. They emerged after almost eight hours with little to say except that they planned to keep talking Sunday.

After months of public disagreements and recriminations, Gov. Mark Dayton and top Republican lawmakers said they are committed to avoiding a shutdown. The Democratic governor said a privacy pact to stay quiet about the content of negotiations is critical to getting a deal done.

“We all see the possibility of working things out to avoid a shutdown and we’re all in favor of keeping that effort going to try to realize that goal,” Dayton said after the talks.

The discussions took place in the State Office Building across the street from the Capitol, with Dayton advisers and key lawmakers responsible for specific pieces of the budget shuttling in and out as negotiations turned from higher education to the environment, then health and welfare programs and finally, taxes. Reporters and photographers loitered outside the room, waiting for details from the meetings on the other side of glass windows sheathed by mini-blinds.

“We have a considerable road trip ahead of us,” said Rep. Jim Abeler, the Republican House leader on health and social service spending, after talks in his area finished.

Along with taxes, health and welfare spending is the most contentious budget area between Dayton and the Republican Legislature.

The Democratic governor and GOP-led Legislature have spent months deadlocked over the level of spending in the next two-year state budget and how to pay for it. Republicans insist on a firm limit of $34 billion, the amount the state would collect without adding new revenue, while Dayton wants to raise almost $2 billion from new income taxes on the highest earners.

Minnesota’s current state budget runs through Thursday. Without a new budget in place starting Friday, most of state government will shut down, barricading state parks, jeopardizing services for the vulnerable, suspending road work and sending home tens of thousands of state employees.

The intensity of negotiations has picked up as the shutdown becomes increasingly likely, while the tone of the comments has taken on a more positive spin since Friday. But the main players haven’t said whether they’re any closer to a deal.

“We remain committed to no shutdown,” said GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. “I’ve always said that a shutdown isn’t necessary. We can get this done.”

The day had its lighter moments. Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers used a lunch break to toss a football on the Capitol lawn with House Majority Leader Matt Dean and Rep. Steve Gottwalt, one of the health and welfare negotiators, and then joined Dayton for the elevator ride back to the fourth floor.

The two most powerful men in state government wore open-collar shirts and khakis as a light rain fell outside.

Dayton and Zellers are sequestered in the conference room with seven other leaders. The Democratic side includes Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and top Dayton finance adviser Jim Schowalter. The Republican team includes Koch, Dean, Deputy Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel and Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, who has control over spending bills as head of the House Ways and Means Committee.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (86)
  1. Mr. Me says:

    Blah, blah, blah…just get the deal done

  2. Kevin says:

    Why is it that in every picture of Dayton….he looks like he is either crying…..or deficating……I dont get it….

    1. Dave Campbell says:

      I guess I would rather have a governor that appears to be compassionate than one who resembles a weasel (T-Paw)!

    2. Daddy Doo says:

      That’s because he is multitasking.

    3. Dale says:

      Because he has to deal with the GOP legislature

    4. Peggy says:

      I have wondered about this since he was elected. He seems to be saying to himself, “Boy, am I in over my head!” or “Ooops, I think I just soiled myself.” My heart goes out to all those who will have to sacrifice because these bull-headed immature people can’t get their act together.

    5. Don says:

      No,he always looks worried, maybe he is a honest politician just like Obama.

  3. Carl says:

    The MnGOP owes almost hundreds of thousands from the last election and is still in debt to a dozen counties. They can not manage their own budget. How can this group of religious fundamentalists be trusted with the state’s purse strings when their primary interest is building a religious state?

    Praise Jebus, God hates competent leadership, Amen.

    1. religious fundamentalist says:

      Carl you need to be in Church,

      1. Carl says:

        To worship a fictional god through the myths of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles? We need less church and more fact driven public policy, thank you. But if the fundamentalists have their way I’ll have no choice, huh?

        Praise Jebus, God hates freewill, Amen.

  4. Mark Lavalla says:

    “Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.”

  5. more spending says:

    Amp up the free stuff to the dirt bags. Let’s increase spending. I don’t care because I won’t have to pay for it. Minnesota is great. I am a dirt bag and it’s now acceptablewhich is even better. Shame no longer exists. It’s like Christmas came early and is here to stay. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Ha ha you suckers who work for a living and especially those who chose difficult to enter, high paying occupations. The joke is on you because I get your money and I didn’t have to do anything to get it. Keep earning more and I’ll keep voting in people who will just keep confiscating your money because again, I will only benefit.

    1. Mike says:

      more spending
      Nice try, but your unimaginative narrative is as ridiculous as Republican legislatures trying to convince voters they have conceded or compromised anything.

  6. Bill Clinton says:

    Mark appears that way because he is a medicated, unstable alcoholic. He has appeared shaky and sweating in his last couple of press conferences. I think his medication dosage may be off. We may be witnessing a relapse of his breakdown while he was Senator “F” from Minnesota.

  7. Dave Campbell says:

    Would we have been better off with Emmer who probably would have had his third DWI by now?

  8. Bill says:

    The Republicans have a balanced budget that increases spending by 2 billion dollars.

    Dayton is an idiot playing politics with people’s lives.

    1. Hail Dayton says:

      Dayton has almost turned into a little dictator. He’s unwillingly able to compromise. When I watch the history channel, he reminds me of someone. It’s either Dayton’s way or no way at all, who could it be…

      1. steve says:

        Other than say they will give up the 200 million in corporate tax breaks what has the gop given up? Dayton has compromised on education and reducing the state workforce to name two things.

    2. Ralph says:

      Balanced. Their budget proposal relied on a revenue increase larger than anyone can count on. It depends on a medicare waiver the federal government has never granted anyone. Therefore the GOP did not send a balanced budget.

      1. Guy says:

        That means that we need to cut MORE – not SPEND more. You’ve got it completely backward.

        1. Ralph says:

          I was only pointing out the deficiency in your gushing over the stupidity of the GOP. In 8 years Pawlenty could not cut spending and reduce waste when he is overseeing the government programs. The brains behind Pawlenty are the same ones behind the legislators. If you tax the rich enough it will make it worth their while to get some smarter people involved in the GOP.

          1. Poor Ralph says:

            Where would Ralph be without the rich? Ralph, should we tax everyone so much, that all of us have the same take home pay?

            Ralph seems to love socialism, where the goverment taxes you to death and makes decisions for you.

            1. Ralph says:

              You are too stupid to even notice sarcasm. That is the problem with the right wingers on this board. The lefties get it. It is entertaining that you would think I am a socialist for pointing out what a miserable failure Pawlenty is and what a miserable failure the GOP legislature. Did I say to tax everyone oh illiterate one? You made that up because your poor little brain couldn’t process the fact that if the money men got rid of the stupid ones in there now and replaced them with ones that could actually solve a problem there would be less taxes. I am really sorry that I have to explain everything to you in small detail. That is how they get stupid people into office is because electorate like you can’t think through things, either.

              1. Poor Ralph says:

                I touched Ralph’s nerve… Good!!

                Ralph, the “Great Recession” was not Pawlenty’s fault, it was caused by folks who could not afford to pay rising interest rates on their ARM’s. In fact, 60 minutes an epidsode on how folks were applying for loans and not even reading over the fine print. 60 minutes and even Frontline came to the same conclusion. There was no mention of TPaw in any of their episodes, no right wing nut jobs, sorry to disappoint you Ralph.

                Just think, taking out a $200,000 loan and not even reading over the fine print, or doing the math.

                The housing markiet collapse, caused a “domino effect” on other industry’s ….

                bad ralphy!!

                1. Ralph says:

                  Touched a nerve? You are delusional. You still are to stupid to figure out sarcasm. Why would such ignorance touch a nerve. You can’t even follow a comment with something that pertains to it. I did not blame Pawlenty or the rest of the minions in the Minnesota GOP for the recession. Again you can’t even make at case. I will say it once again, the GOP in place lack the intelligence to solve the problems of administering an economical government. Refute that rather than bring up a new topic. While you are at it, tell me what the GOP plan is to reduce non health care welfare.

                2. Sharron says:

                  explain in detail medicare waiver granted by the federal government

          2. @ Ralph says:

            increasing taxes for even the wealthy is a bad idea according to government officials. increasing taxes, only decreases spending. Decreasing spending worsen’s an economy.

            8 years, Dayton will be out after 4, look at his senator record. Will Dayton run out of the governor’s office like he did in the us senate?

            1. Ralph says:

              I thought my point was that the current GOP and Pawlenty are not a very creative bunch for solving the problems of government. The idea to raise taxes on the rich was a very tongue in cheek way of saying the only way to get rid of these hacks in the GOP is to give their backers a reason for them to replace them. You just looked only at the words raising taxes. You also have a very short memory. Why Dayton did not run for reelection was that he did not have the money to run again. He detests fund raising. That is why he spends his own money for his campaigns. He cannot spend the trust, only the return he gets from it. He may not have the funds to run again. The people who put large amounts of money towards candidates do so to get access. Why if you worked so hard to get a pile of money would you give it to someone without a return? Hence give the wealthy GOP a reason to get smarter people involved.
              Taxing is spending money. The state takes it in and spends it. It spends it on infrastructure, salaries, social needs and health care. Mostly it increases the service economy. Discretionary money when not taxed is spent on services or durable goods if spent. At the state level it is spent either way. You can argue the federal government can raise the debt limit and at what point it becomes a bad idea, but at the state level it is circulating money. The state is probably not as effective as it could be with the money but clearly neither party has worked to make it so. No headlines in that

              1. Ralph says:

                @ sharon. I think you get it. Big thumbs up for you.

                1. Sharon says:

                  @ Ralph. You never answered my question. You never explained medicare waiver given by the federal government, please explain

                2. Ralph says:

                  @ Sharon. The detail you need to know is that the federal government does not grant waivers to the program. Asking for a waiver when they do not grant them is called stupidity. The detail is this, The federal government and the state each pays towards medicaid. The GOP wants the state to not have to pay their portion and only use federal dollars. Sorry thumbs down for you

          3. Captain America says:

            At the Federal and State levels Revenue is at historic levels yet spending is far outpacing our income. We have a spending problem not a revenue problem. Also the top 1% pay 35% of the taxes which is way more than their fair share while the bottom 40% pay nothing. Every one should pay something (A flat tax would be the fairest system). Every dollar the State or the Feds takes limits our private economy which is where most of the jobs are created. Gov. needs to get out of the way and let freedom and private industry create jobs which will create more revenue for the state. Create an environment conducive to job creation and we will be more competitive and grow like Texas. When we tax excessively corp. and citizens will vote with their feet.

            Dayton sign the balanced budget you have been presented.

            1. Cut the greed says:

              Thank you Captain America, well said! Under Dayton’s leadership, it’s been spend, spend, spend! Dayton’s programs will only succeed, if he keeps them under control. Let’s face it, we all love social programs, but when those social programs get greedy, we have to cut back. Raising taxes, even in the wealthy, only hurts the economy in a recession.

              Twice, he’s been offered a balanced budget, no signature.

              1. Just Cause says:

                People and businesses aren’t spending while the financial markets are shaky, so the economy is in the tank. If you cut government spending you will take more money out of the economy and the economy will tank worse…

              2. Just Cause says:

                wow, I hadn’t read it before this morning but the Republicans in the middle of a contentious budget battle included amendments on limiting abortions, bans on some stem cell research and voter IDs. Did they try to cause the shutdown?

                To me including this in the “lights on bill” is like having a house on fire, and then throwing gasoline on it. But maybe the story was wrong…

  9. Citizen says:

    Lest all you conservatives who have previously mentioned other states where it would be better to live (Texas, no state income tax, plenty of oil revenue etc.). Here is an article from about a lawsuit in Texas to prevent a British Billionaire (with a “B”) from receiving $250 million ($25 million per year over 10 years) in taxpayer funds from being paid out for a formula 1 race. Quoted below:
    “Lawsuit Applies Brakes to $250 Million Tax Giveaway
    David Cay Johnston | Jun. 22, 2011 05:41 PM EDT
    The planned $250 million giveaway over ten years to a British billionaire for an annual Formula One race in Texas is being done through a host of actions that violate state law, a lawsuit filed June 22 in Travis County District Court asserts.
    The lawsuit says its purpose is to “prevent the unlawful plunder of public funds for promoters of a Formula One race at a time when the State of Texas claims it cannot afford to adequately fund essential services, such as its education system.”
    Susan Combs, the elected state comptroller, is the defendant in the case brought by Richard Viktorin, who runs a one-man outfit called Audits in the Public Interest, and two other Austin residents. Austin lawyer Bill Alseshire of Riggs, Aleshire and Ray filed the case Tuesday. “

    1. Loving Colorado says:

      @ Citizen

      When I moved to Colorado, it was so nice to see my income tax decrease by a much as 30%. I was able to deposit a larger portion of my paycheck into my bank account.

      Yes, we have a tax on clothing and food purchased from the grocery stores, however, the FREEDOM to choose what you want to spend your money on is a good feeling.

      By the way, we have balanced budget and we don’t have to worry about a state shutdown.

      1. Troy says:

        little to no mosquito’s (though wife got bit in Memorial park in the Springs, lol) and milder winters are nice too (golfed 3 days after a storm there a couple years ago in January)- all the MN Democrats should move there. (it’s really a nice place) 🙂 please move there!

        1. The Situation says:

          NO, we don’t need any MN LIB NUT JOBS….

          We already have enough. send them to Montana, the folks there would LOVE them, tee hee

      2. Mike says:

        Loving Colorado
        I wish you could convince more of your Republican ilk to move, Minnesota could get back to being the great state it once was.

        1. Loving Colorado says:

          @ mike
          I still love MN, the lakes and walleye are missed.

          It’s nice to have a governor who does not rely on a box of tissues.

    2. Daddy says:

      It would be totally cool to see what a liberal’s life would be like without any public utilities (gas, electric, water service (needs electricity to transport and process clean water), sewer, etc.)

      Then go into a liberal’s house and remove all their possessions. Most of which were made with fossil fuels.

      To listen to them whine and complain, PRICELESS.

      When you see a liberal complain about high gas prices, try England.. Enjoy!!

      1. Vern says:

        @ daddy. Lame. The price of gas in Europe is that high because of taxes. Old article, but you can get the point. Why you would think of something like that is amazing. Do you have so little in your life you have to spend time thinking of that? That from a comment about Colorado?

  10. fkafka says:

    If they’re so close, why doesn’t Dayton just write a personal check to make up the difference like he did to win the Dem election?

  11. len says:

    “Dayton says an agreement to keep the content of the negotiations private is key to reaching a budget deal.”

    Guess they’re going to have to pass the legislation, in order for us to find out what’s in it.

  12. Safe Bet says:

    I wonder what the odds are in Vegas concerning if Dayton will be reelected? Sounds like a safe bet, especially if we go into a government shutdown.

    1. safe bet says:

      NOT reelected

  13. Monica says:

    I wish that if I couldn’t decide what to spend my money on I could just stop paying all my bills and not go to work until I could figure it out….come on….this happens way too often. Someone needs to do some root cause analysis on this

  14. Waiting says:

    The comments here…though they can get a little weird…..are more entertaining and enlightening than the topic article itself. I think it’s just grand that these guys can sequester themselves in secret to discuss taxpayers money. “Let’s not tell anyone what we’re planning to do. Let’s not let the voters in on what we’re about to pull over on them. Shhh…” This is weird. I think all this talk should be on the floor of the capital and televised on TPT for all interested persons to view. Considering the drawn out brawl…why stop now with all this secrecy? I want to see an all night knock down drag out tag team cage match—not an 8 hour Shhhh.

    1. Hold on!! says:

      this will definately go until the last minute, with no sides budging till the midnight hour.

      We can get rid of the countdown, until the last minute, it’s a waste ot time.

      Mark, can I get you a tissue?

  15. Jack Anderson says:

    Hey, here’s an idea for the politicians (although it would likely compound the difficulty in attracting talented people to MN where we already have a BAD, BAD rep. for our tax structure). Tax everyone the same, but instead of then uping the budget and giving the entitlement folks more, simply lower the taxes for all of our good tax paying citizens who are footing the bill for all of our giveaways to the growing crowd who don’t pay any taxes!

    1. Sarah says:



      you’ll get some criticism from the folks who want to punish the successful businessman or buinesswoman, but let them whine. You got my vote

    2. Mike says:

      Jack Anderson
      Minnesota was a traditionally Democratic state and built it’s business climate and industries from those principals. It did not start to lose it’s credibility and have difficult economic realities until Republicans started an all out degradation of morally and unethical guidelines against those institutional realities. You are the reason this state is in trouble and Republicans are the problem not the answer.

    3. Warren says:

      Please explain why in a budget proposal the GOP legislators did nothing the reduce money to the “growing crowd”, but instead went after the aid to the sick, disabled, and cities that voted democrats?

  16. Just Cause says:

    Government budget ≠ family budget, those that make comparisons are just silly.

    People and businesses aren’t spending while the financial markets are shaky, so the economy is in the tank. If you cut government spending you will take more money out of the economy and the economy will tank worse…

    Lowering income tax and having a sales tax on everything is great, unless your major population centers are right on the border of another state that doesn’t do that. And then you lose income tax and sales tax revenues.

    1. Mike says:

      Just Cause
      BS. I don’t see Iowa, Wisconsin or either Dakotas becoming the mecca of economic security for the middle class or a drain on our status as the leader of fortune 500 companies. Minnesota is a traditional Democratic state and one of the top in the country in education and work force. As that changes, you can only blame the Republicans for not taking responsibility for their actions.

      1. Contractor says:

        @ Mike,

        I’m from Minnesota, be careful what you say, I was working in SE Iowa as a contractor. I mentioned to one of the local residents that they have a nice city. They said their city is only getting worse, they have an influx of gang activity from Chicago, IL. The reason for the influx the residents mentioned is because Iowa has “generious social programs” for the needy. Well, folks from Chicago are coming to Iowa to take advantage of those programs and bringing their “GANG KIDS” with them. The crime rate in SE Iowa is on the rise, thanks Chicago!!

        1. Citizen says:

          @Contractor. I don’t think the gang influx into Iowa, Minnesota, or other states is as simple as you state. The opinion of one local resident (no expert, I gather) does not make a rational reason for why this is happening. My guess would be that who in their right mind who isn’t wealthy would want to live in Chicago? Having traveled there for business, I can say it would not be me. Plus, one gang can make it pretty “hot” for another gang, so the one gang looks for better territory. Plus, people always think the rural areas are ripe for picking because the people are “rubes.” Generous social programs? Gang members have plenty of ways to make income without hitting up state social services. LMAO.

          1. Contractor says:

            @ Citizen,

            Laugh all you want, why don’t you ask local law enforcement officials that question, I have.

            Better Territory, rural Iowa??

            1. Citizen says:

              @Contractor. No competition for the gang equals “better territory.”

              1. Citizen says:

                Also, Contractor, people in Iowa still have money and jewelry to steal, nice cars to jack, and there is still a demand for drugs and women. And with no competition from another gang and naive residents (for a while, anyway), you get the picture…

            2. Real world says:

              Contractor, you know what’s going on. My cousins live in Chicago and they are happy to see their criminals move to St. Paul. I worked 30 years passing out welfare checks and food stamps. Welfare mama with all kids moves here first. She gets the section 8 housing and then the baby daddy (usually with a criminal record) comes next.

              1. Citizen says:

                @Real world. Your scenario is one way it’s done, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a guy with a criminal record is a gang member. Usually, the gang members don’t stay with the woman they get pregnant because they interested in being p-mps, not fathers. The guy might just be living off the woman. This whole picture painted by Contractor and law enforcement is not just as simple as wanting welfare–it’s a much more complicated societal problem. But, go ahead and simplify and stereotype it, if it makes you more comfortable.

                1. Real world says:

                  Citizen, I am very comfortable knowing the truth. Your opinion means nothing,

              2. Citizen says:

                @Real World. There are conservative posters here who would say that because you passed out welfare checks and food stamps, you DID NOT WORK. You were a public employee. How do you like that stereotype?

                1. Real world2 says:

                  @ Citizen
                  what no liberal posters, that’s a sterotype in itself.

                2. Real world says:

                  Citizen- I am a Federal employee as you.I am also conservative. The public has a right to that opinion. My boss would waste hours cause if he didn’t use them, they would be taken off next years budget. Look at the disgusting behavior of the teachers in Madison. Raise taxes. Yeah right.

      2. Real world says:

        Oh Mikey. I wish I lived in your world.Our Democratic welfare programs are the drain on our once fine state. Free housing,free food, free medical. Chicago criminals come here and put a strain on our courts and public defenders.

        1. Jeff says:

          Contractor, how come the news media never discusses this issue? Anyone??

      3. Just Cause says:

        @ Mike What post are you reading? I never stated anything like “Wisconsin or either Dakotas becoming the mecca of economic security for the middle class”. If you don’t think people will drive to Wisconsin (from Duluth, Rochester or Twin Cities) to shop on tax free items, look at stats on how far people travel to take advantage of New Jersey Tax Free Days.

    2. Loving Colorado says:

      @ Just Cause,

      I’m originally from Minnesota, when I transferred to our Colorado Office, my state income tax decreased by 30%. I noticed I was depositing more and more money into my savings account. Knowing that Minnesota has a 0% tax on clothing, we travel back to Minnesota at least twice a year to do out shopping for clothing.

      Now it seems MN democrats want to TAX clothing (see attachment),wow, that’s a way to hurt the MN”s lower income levels.

      Bakk Proposes Sales Tax on Clothing

      Submitted by tannercurl on March 5, 2010 – 02:46

      State Capitol – March 4, 2010
      By Tanner Curl

      DFL gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Tom Bakk has proposed to remove the sales tax exemption on clothing starting July 1.

      The Mall of America attracts more visitors than Disneyworld, the Grand Canyon, and Graceland combined. That statistic will come to an end if MN Democrats like Bakk get their way.

      1. Loving Colorado says:


        Wow, a democrat punishing the poor, who would have thought, especially during the “Great Recession”??

        Remember, the folks in the articles above are claiming “Democrats are the smart ones”.

        1. Dale says:

          Living out in Colorado it must be tough for you to keep up with the news here. At least keep your facts straight. It is a republican proposal .

          1. Loving Colorado says:

            It’s not tough at all…

            if you read your own article, Bakk is part of the DFL party. Bakk
            proposed the sales tax on clothing. your mistake…

  17. Waiting says:

    If Minnesota was a “business” (and it is) you need investors (taxpayers and corporations) to make that business maintain. The business needs a good “product” (low taxes, good benefits, attractive spaces, emphasis on education, good jobs…and even those Vikings) to lure and maintain a given population (those taxpayers and those corporations). Overtime, the “business” grows and needs to hire and keep up with the increasing costs of its output–the “product.” What we have here is a “business” with a bizarre board of directors and a bizarre CEO. It seems to me, at the state and federal level, we simply need to sell more stock (raise taxes), unfortunate but true. Or, we need to drastically cut our “product”(services etc), unfortunate but true. I don’t see any competence of our board and CEO of doing both –so to minimize each. I’m just one of those people that thinks the stock price should be the going rate and not more expensive for some and cheaper/free for others—sure, every good business has a good charity purse too. At the federal and state level, I think we’ve seen that when our board of directors is not on the same page as the CEO—you get a real quagmire of a business.

  18. hammeredschitt says:

    If all this is about 2 billion dollars, the state needs to cut 4 billion dollars out of the budget. We need recovery not more inflation.

    1. Just Cause says:

      The current rate of inflation is fine, just google “current inflation rate”. What we need is more stimulus. With individuals and businesses saving instead of spending because there is so little confidence in the economy the government is the only group that can prime the pump and get the economy moving.

      If you cut government spending you will take more money out of the economy and the economy will tank worse… The economy doesn’t care if it’s government or individuals, it has no political affiliation,it just needs money to grow.

      If you think short term growth isn’t good then short term decline over the past 2-3 years is no big deal either.

  19. Don says:

    Who gets raises to offset inflation and free health insurance? Politicians and goverment workers. It is not the people who make the most difference in this state. Yes I’m talking about the labor force. The ones who pay the most taxes.Inflation is so bad that it cost more than dollar to make a dollar.See the signs, i do.

  20. Citizen says:

    @Loving Colorado. Neither Dems nor Rethugs have the cornered the market on stupidity–both are equally to blame, as far as I can tell. It just seems that the Rethugs are religious zealots, and so pro business that they can’t see any other side to anything. As Mark Twain said, “I belong to no organized political party; I’m a Democrat.” You have to hand it to Rethugs they are good at organizing and going after a goal. Democrats sort of mill around trying to find a goal and then pleasing no one. Time for the Populist Party to surge forward! As for living in Colorado. Glad you like it. I like pine trees and water, myself. Minnesota, even with all the “taxes” you seem to hate, is a beautiful state that does not depend on the Colorado River for its water.

    1. Living in Colorado says:

      Yes, most folks living on the eastern plains of Colorado, are living in a desert. The Colorado River is only one of many sources of water that supplies water for Colorado and other states such as Utah, Nevada, and California.

      Now SW politicians are talking about piping water from the Midwest (i.e. Great Lakes and places like ND Devils Lake area. With the old folks moving to Las Vegas for retirement, the demand as surpassed supply,

  21. Quality minded worker says:

    Seems a shame when our quality work force is out of work. Now it seems the only way to take care of our children is to put a gun to our heads so our families can get social security benefits. Because i’m white, male, hetrosexual.

  22. stubby says:

    Good afternoon Citizen. Too tired to discuss issues with you today. But look for me tomorrow

  23. Citizen says:

    Sorry, stub, not interested. Have a nice Sunday. I live each day as it comes. I can’t promise I will be here tomorrow to bandy words with you.

  24. Tom McQueen says:

    For republicans to demand various forms of spending cuts, but demand no new revenue streams such as any tax increases, is not negotiating. If you keep trimming away spending, but without properly funding the pillars of our state and country (i.e. education, infrastructure), we will begin to crumble.

    During the Eisenhower years, we had higher taxes, and the nation boomed. Same as the Clinton years. The past 10 years, republicans (nationally) had no problem throwing money to the military machine Eisenhower warned the nation about. Now there is a democratic President and a democratic governor in this state, the republicans now are only about cutting.

    It seems they want the economy to fail until they get republican leadership, then they’ll want to pass spending bills.

  25. Going down says:

    Tell the republican to get moving, sign the petition

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