Esme’s Blog: Minnesota Enters the Record Books

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — At midnight Sunday July 10 Minnesota will enter the record books, breaking the record for the longest state shutdown in the nation’s history.

Whose record are we breaking?

Our own. We set the record back in 2005. Only seven states have shut down since 2002, and Minnesota has the two longest shutdowns.

What is most disturbing about the current shutdown is that there is no sign of movement. Every push towards compromise has collapsed.

This week, Gov. Mark Dayton offered up a $1 cigarette tax, which was the very thing that helped broker a deal in 2005. The governor at that time, Tim Pawlenty, chose to call it a “cigarette fee”. But a fee or tax by any name got state employees working again, got roads repaired and got child care benefits flowing.

Something has to give. Or we could just let the clock continue to tick, with every second setting a new record in leading the nation in inefficiency.

More from Esme Murphy
  • Alfred

    We’re Number One!
    We’re Number One!
    We’re Number One!

  • Jason Kieffer


  • fkafka

    “Something has to give. Or we could just let the clock continue to tick, with every second setting a new record in leading the nation in inefficiency.”

    Come on Estme, this is not reporting – it;s pure opinion. I do value accurate reporting, so I nixed my Strib/WCCO and go straight to BBC,

    • hah

      The title says “Esme’s Blog: Minnesota Enters the Record Books” meaning that it’s an opinion piece.

      • littletingod

        So you’re saying that entering the state shutdown record book is just Esme’s opinion? You’re saying that entering (now) the 10 day of state shutdown (more-or-less) is nothing more than on opinion? Obviously you’re a GOP supporter (kind of like a used athletic supporter) and GAS about how many folks are out of and will be losing their jobs because of this “opinion” and GAS about how much money we’re now hemorrhaging by being shutdown. Gotta love your type.

        • hah

          Noooo, haha. I was just stating a fact. DFL supporter here.

  • We Did It To Ourselves

    This is what the people of MN get for electing individuals from two different parties with two very different ideologies and expecting them to work together and being surprised when both parties act like spoiled children who aren’t getting their way

    • dave

      We the people of MN elected individuals to represent us, not their political parties. They need to grow up, sit down and compromise. They need to think of “we the people” and not what their parties want. We don’t want what the parties want, we want what’s best for all. It’s about time that they all grow up and sit down and compromise until a deal is reached. Then we the people can work on kicking their buts out of office for not doing the jobs that we elected them to do!

    • Brian

      I totally agree. MN voters are the biggest morons on the face of the planet. For eight years we gave the house and senate to the DFL and elected a GOP governor. Now we’ve got a GOP house and senate and a DFL governor. Who’s up for 4 more years of staring contests and no progress??

  • KLS

    It’s in the republicans court now. Compromise damn it. We are paying the lowest taxes in 60 years but even that is too much for us selfish americans. Our country is on the way down and out and it’s our own damn fault.

    • Jack

      Just… wow. And so wrong.

    • ME

      We need a flat tax everyone should pay 11% across the board!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jack

    Are these jokers being paid during this orchestrated shut down? Hello Hell! It’s America! How do you like our hand basket?

    • Dee

      It may be the lowest in 60 years, but Minnesota is still one of the highest taxed states in the nation.

      • ME

        IF YOU DONT LIKE TAXES MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Really?

          That’s like saying if you don’t like murder move!! IDIOT!!!

  • Ruth

    The Republicans used up precious time that could have been spent working on the budget. But the time was spent in getting gay mariage on the ballot so MN can write descrimination into our constitution. Then more time was spent on a government issued ID card for voting. The Governor has made concessions but the party of NO will not. Had there been more time I am sure the right to bargain would have been on their chopping block too. May God help us all.

    • Alfred

      The Republicans passed a balanced budget that increased spending two billion dollars.

      Dayton said no.

      This is ALL on Dayton.

      • ME

        @Alfred That was not balanced budget!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stacy

    All of you people are a bunch of boobs! There is only one person that is keeping this state shutdown and that is Dayton. The house and senate are the voice of the people. You can say what you want but Dayton did not get the majority of the vote he only got 40% between three selections. If their had been only two he would have lost and we would not be in this situation. So think about it 1 gov vs 100+ do the math. Who is keeping the state shutdown?

    • Going down

      @Stacy your logic is flawed, Emmer was too extreme for most of us Independents to vote for, if given only the two choices, moderates & Independents would have went more (not 100%) with Dayton.

      however flawed he is

    • ASWN

      Boob-girl, learn some civics! Before you spout nonsense about electoral margins, go back to high school and learn how the electoral proces is but part of a much larger civic structure. I personally think that so many people are anti-government because they neglected to grasp the civics rlessons provided throughout their school careers.

      Once the election is over, move on: there are 3 branched of government with each having a specified responsibitity. On the day the legislature opens, the election results have no bearing except to poor losers!! To say that Gov. Dayton is not legitimate would be to say the same of Tim Pawlenty’s administrations because he was elected by similar margins. The ratio of legislators to executives has NO bearing what so ever to our civic process, you BOOB.

  • StraycatStrut

    High Taxes and incompetent leaders and rookie Govenror….. what can I say. We got a balanced budget deal with a 10% increase in the budget during a recession. Thats progress…. but laying off 22,000 shutting down the state and not calling legislatures back to session before the shutdown for a $1 a pack hike is taking it to extremes. The problem is not collecting taxes, its spending and idealogy in a power struggle plain and simple. Our high amd mighty LEADER (Dayton) needs to get’r done in a timely fashion instead of holding everyone hostage for his signiture.

  • Jon Lindquist

    Too bad this is what the republicans and governor had secretly wanted to happen back in march so they could eliminate jobs under the guise of a shutdown. now all they have to do is wait out the state employees on giving in and finding new jobs.

    I mean, that HAS to be the reason they won’t talk, right? There is no way it is because they are incompetent politicians that should be immediately ejected from office.

  • Stacy


    Why don’t you go cuddle-up with Dayton! I wish I could get my personal opinion out on a new source. If your going to work for the news try being a little balanced in your comments or shut-up!

    • Citizen

      @Stacy. More of your incoherent rantings. Here’s a solution for you. START YOUR OWN BLOG! Then you can get your personal opinion out there, put a counter on the page, and you will then know how many hits you will get and how often you get them. You will find out how many people agree with you or read your opinions. But, please, please, quit whining and doing nothing. START YOUR OWN BLOG! See what happens…..

    • Really?

      How right you are!! WCCO is a liberal talking box for insanity. It’s hard to listen to stupid people.

  • Stacy

    The Dayton Plan:

    If you want let me tax one group of people then let me tax another group of people.

    The right Plan:

    Do away with the income tax and have a general sales tax on everything. That way if you buy you pay rich or poor or anything in-between.That way if you need to raise the tax it effects everyone. It’s party neutral.

    • Going down

      @Stacy the rich would just go to WI to avoid paying their share of sales tax, so then they pay even less.

      • Citizen

        @Going down. When the rich head to Wisconsin (don’t let the screen door slam you on your way across the Mississippi), they can take Stacy with them. If they are all so miserable in beautiful Minnesota, they need to leave. Otherwise, they should be making POSITIVE suggestions. Stacy obviously doesn’t understand that the poor and middle class will STILL PAY the bulk of taxes in Minnesota because they spend most of their money. According to several leading national economists the problem right now is a money liquidity problem.. Go research that, Stacy, and try to educate yourself on how tax policy ACTUALLY works.

  • Captain America

    Minnesotan’s we need to rise up and protect our freedoms and rights given to us by God. The progressives over the past century have slowly eroded our freedoms. Deficit spend and then cry bloody murder when we the people demand fiscal conservatism, claiming that we will hurt the poor and grandma will be eating dog food. Come 2012 use your vote to oust Dayton and his liberal gang. The budget was increased from 30B to 34B and the liberals do not know how to live on a budget. Tax reform is needed and business friendly policies need to be implemented or we will become the next Greece and CA. We in the top 8 in unfavorable tax rating and one of the worst for being business friendly. Create jobs and our deficit will disappear.

    • bmwmred

      I agree with you whole heartedly. Is anyone listening???

    • Going down

      Which god is that יהוה, Allah, Waheguru, Krishna, Ahura Mazda, Xenu, Zeus, etc?

      • Ian

        @Going down – How delightfully original of you. Do you know ANYTHING about the founding of America? There are historical quotes from many of the founding fathers that the constitution and the bill of rights were created to govern a Christian nation and that America will fail without God. Which God? There is only One. The one you know exists and that you willfully deny. If that weren’t true, you wouldn’t be so snide about it.

        • Going down

          Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
          -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

        • Going down

          @Ian please don’t rewrite history, it’s already been written once

  • Going down

    I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789

    • Going down

      History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
      -Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

    • Ian

      “My views are the result of a lifetime of inquiry and reflection, and very different from the anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1803

      • Going down

        now actually read the whole letter

        google “To Dr. Benjamin Rush, with a Syllabus Washington, Apr. 21, 1803”

    • Ian

      “It is rightly impossible to govern the world with God and the Bible.” — George Washington.

      • Going down

        Did you actually read this before posting it?

        “it is rightly “impossible” to govern”

        strike two

      • @ Ian

        EXTRA!! EXTRA!! God is dead. The “commandments” have been replaced by citizen law and the “bible” replaced with the constitution. You’re on the wrong blog tea bagger.

    • Ian

      “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other,” — John Adams.

      • Going down

        Does that state “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and Christian people”, nope! The reason why it doesn’t is the same reason there is a “No Religious Test Clause” in the Constitution.

        The great thing about separation of church and state, is that it allows all of us to practice whatever religion makes us happy. So if Christianity works for you, great, go in peace.

        Those that push their religion on others should be very careful, as Islam will quickly become the dominant religion as it is already world wide. Imagine the sad day you are forced to stone your child because the majority tells you to.

    • Ian

      “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians.” — Patrick Henry.

      • Going down

        Google it
        “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians.”
        use the first link

        strike three

        now go in peace and worship as you wish, but don’t try to force others to follow you as we all deserve “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”

    • Ian

      “Almost all the civil liberty now enjoyed in the world owes it origin to the principles of Christian religion. The religion which has introduced the civil liberty is the religion of Christ and his apostles. This is genuine Christianity and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.” — Noah Webster, who was key in the framing of our constitution.

  • Parker

    What is so freaking difficult about cutting the budget? Here’s some help for you, Dumb Dayton:

    1) People who have been on Welfare for longer than a year should be taken off. Especially all the habitual abusers who are on there generation after generation. The ones who go to the grocery store with three or four different EBT cards because they’re abusing the system. These are the same lazy folks who have more children in order to STAY on food stamps. I work in a grocery store. I see how much they get. They get more in free groceries and cash each month than MOST OF US make by WORKING in a month!

    2) You have a news report about how Somalis will be showing support for their new prime minister. Good. Things are improving for them. SEND THEM HOME! STOP advertising for refugees to come here so we can support them for years on end! Enough political correctness! Take care of OUR OWN CITIZENS FIRST!

    3) Stop all public funding for organizations that don’t serve the greater good of the public, like Planned Parenthood. If someone wants an abortion, they can pay for it themselves. Stop making tax payers pay for it. These organizations are not governmental. If they want to exist, make them pay their own way like everyone else.

    4) STOP slashing the budget on matters that DO involve Minnesotans, like public transportation, libraries and necessary road construction. STOP playing politics with how much money must be spent by a certain time or the next round of budgets (for things like road construction) for that project will be cut. That creates more UNNECESSARY spending.

    5) Stop funding ridiculous “science” and other experiments likes studying the flow of ketchup or shrimps on treadmills. Granted those are national studies and the Feds (I mean WE) pay for them, but the state funds it’s share of ridiculous “studies” too.

    6) STOP catering to special interest groups and the pressures they put on you.

    7) Get tough on those who don’t pay their taxes. That includes companies and the rich. Everyone should pay taxes in accordance to how much they make. Close the loopholes on tax laws!

    8) STOP raising taxes to fund sports stadiums and needs. The owners and the players make more than enough money to pay for them themselves. So do universities. I’d like a new computer, how about raising taxes so the entire state can buy me one? See how ridiculous and unfair that is?

    This list goes on and on. It’s common sense. USE SOME and GET BACK TO WORK!

    • Tony Rozycki

      Parker it probably doesn’t help to call the Governor “dumb” especially when he wants to eliminate part of the tax cuts on the top 7,700 earning millionaires, but you make some excellent points after that!

  • Citizen

    Hang tough, Governor Dayton. We elected you to not give in to the blackmail of the party of Tony Sutton and Grover Norquist. The GOP has been making the Democrats the villains for Minnesota and America long enough when the GOP has in fact been the party in control for a long, long time. The economic policies that America and Minnesota are grappling with can be laid at the GOP doorstep, and the issues started with Reagan. It is a testament to the lies told often enough by the GOP that the voters have started to believe them. Hang tough, Governor Dayton, you are doing just fine!

    • Parker

      What you call “just fine” is warped and deluded.

    • You guys are hip

      Last month the cool words were “Koch Brothers” This month looks like Grover Norquist is the new lib buzzword.

      • Going down

        @You guys are hip what’s your point? both are major voices in the republican party that help form the position and talking points for all republicans.

        and fund those talking points

        • Really?

          More rambling from an idiot!

          • Going down

            @Really? I would have never guessed you word turn to insulting people

            show me I’m wrong instead of just being part of the problem

            • Really?

              YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!!! Go down to hell where you spenders belong!!!

              • Going down

                @Really? so much hate, are you a paid republican poster put here to see if you can get us all worked up

                • Citizen

                  @Going down. Really? did not understand the words that were more than one syllable in our posts.

                • Really?

                  If you want higher taxes because you’re too stupid to figure anything else out, then you really do need help. Didn’t Dayton close his senate office because he was scared? If you want to go ahead and pay more taxes, you can do just that. The state will take your money, no questions asked? Now it’s time to see if you big mouth name callers will put your money where your mouth is? C’mon I dare you!!!!!

  • Really?

    Funny old Betty didn’t mention our 3rd war? But honesty isn’t your strong suit!! Truth is Dayton shut down his senate office and now he shut down our state with his rich boy get my way or else attitude. He doesn’t care. He’s got all the money he needs. He’s the millionaire. If he wants to tax the rich, why doesn’t he just pay the tab and he’ll be beloved by everyone instead of a drugged up hypocrite!!!

    • Hypocrite Dayton

      Wonder what the $45,000 chef made for breakfast this morning?

      • Bonnie Gurney

        If you would read all the information on the wages of the chef, Dayton is paying his chef out of his own pocket … not using state funding for it.

        • @ Bonnie

          The point is Bonnie…that he’s paying his chef while he laid off a ton of Minnesotan’s. I’m sure those MN workers, now reduced to 50% wage, wish they could continue to eat…much less fund a chef. Dah!

    • Citizen

      @Really? The reasons that Governor Dayton shut down the state have been stated ad nauseum by posters. To Dayton’s credit he refused to sign a BOGUS budget bill the first time–it would have been irresponsible of him TO SIGN that first bill. Then later when the GOP tried to blackmail him with tacking on social engineering projects to the financial negotiations, he walked away from the table–again, he was bound ethically to do so since he had already vetoed those social engineering bills. Governor Dayton is proving to be a man of principle, and he is sticking by his pledge (which got him elected) to increase taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans. Our “3rd War” is all about the ethical obligations we have as a country when we signed the NATO treaty–we legally and ethically need to support our allies. Of course, I realize that ethics, legalities, and loyalty to friends seems to be incomprehensible to Rethuglicans who worship one God, money, indivisible, with justice for the top 1% of Americans. The GOP is for the 1%, by the 1%, and of the 1%. Follow the money… will understand all. But, please, do not let facts get in the way of your delusions.

      • Really?

        He also shut down his senate office! What meds do you suppose he’s on to get that scared look he always has. Too bad he’s NEVER been poor so he has no grasp of what he’s done!! You need to pick better heroes? YOU’RE SICK! We’re you one of the 10 voters who embarrassed our state by voting for Dukakis?

      • Sunshine

        I agree with “Citizen” 100%. Governor Dayton is proving to be a man of principle.

        • Really?

          Yeah, principally Seroquel, Risperdal and Haldol!!!

  • Greg Ludvigsen

    While I believe that the Legislators and Governor should have and should be able to reach an agreement on the budget, the shutdown is totally the choice of the Governor. Before July 1 the Legislators offered to pass a lights on budget. The Legislators have continued to offer to pass a lights on budget. The Governor refuses to call a special session to allow a lights on budget to pass. All of the lay offs and all the inconvenience being experienced in the State is due to the Governor. If he calls a special session all of the State employees could be back to work quickly, and if he had called it before July 1 no one would be off work.

    Greg from St. Paul

    • Going down

      @Greg Ludvigsen so you are in favor of the new ban on stem cell research, abortions and requiring voter ID that were included in the light on bill?

      Not I, hang tough Governor Dayton.

      • Greg Ludvigsen

        The lights on budget will have nothing to do with the social issues. It just gets the State back to work while the Governor and Legislators negoitate

        • Going down

          @Greg Ludvigsen but that’s just it, it really shouldn’t be included

          But the republicans put all of them in the light on bill

          • Greg Ludvigsen

            The last I heard , the social issues are not part of the ights on bill, though the social issues were part of the overall budget negotiations. The last report I saw, was that the Legislators had even removed the social issues from their proposals on the overall budget bill. If the Governor wants to put the State employees back to work, it is simple, just call a special session and let the Legislators pass a lights on bill. The the State employees have their pay chaecks and the public is not inconenienced while the Legislators and Governor negotiate. If the Governor calls the special session there does not have to be a shut down.

            • Citizen

              You heard wrong, Greg. The social engineering was indeed part of the “lights on” bill, and Governor Dayton RIGHTLY rejected calling a special session; he had already vetoed those social engineering bills. He could not ethically then allow them to be part of the “lights on” deal. I know that ethics seems to be foreign to GOP apologizers, but they do exist!

              • Greg Ludvigsen

                The proposals I have seen simply provide for funding to continue at the existing levels. From what I have seen The Legislators have removed the social issues from even their overall budget proposals. The fact remains that the Governor can get the State employees back to work, quickly and easily by calling a soecial session.

  • Timothy

    Also, Sen Michel is lying when he says the Republican offer increases spending by 6%. The last biennium budget was $34 billion in spending (includes school shift, fed stimulus money), the GOP budget offer for this biennium is $34 billion (includes school shift). Simple math will tell you that’s not a 6% increase. The 6% number is the increase in tax revenue collected last biennium with what’s expected to be collected this biennium….however it’s not the “spending” number that the Republicans keep talking about. Dayton’s latest offer increases spending by 3.7%, which is smaller than any of Pawlenty’s biennium budget increases in the 8 years he was governor.

    • Timothy

      Exclamation points and ALL CAPS doesn’t make for a sensible response. The fact is, Minnesota is Number ONE in fortune 500 companies per capita. (look it up on google) That means this has been a great place for businesses, but the Republican’s refusal to compromise hurts our economic climate. If you want less government, move to Mississippi and let me know how they compare to us in education and business development.

      • Really?

        If you want more taxes, move to CA!! Fact is Dayton shut down his senate office running scared and now he’s shut down our state. Poor little rich boy doesn’t care who he hurts to get his way. If that’s the only argument you have Timothy, I bet you bought Clinton’s lies UNDER OATH?

        • Sue

          What an idiot. How long ago was Clinton. and just what did he need to tell us> That he cheated on his wife> Like that was any of our business> Get over it> buy a freaking cigar and get the hell over it…….

          • Really?

            Lying is always wrong and says everything about that person. To commit perjury as a sitting POTUS is just wrong so Sue you get over it. Obviously you don’t know right and wrong! Typical lib!

  • Sandy

    Esme, you need to learn to be transparent, you are not… lean to the left more then the Tower of Pisa….. To the citizens of MN its this simple, you don’t walk into a store and buy a $600.00 purse with $100.00 and ask other store patrons to help you buy it, you STAY within your means !! There is SO much abuse to programs within this state it they cracked down on the social handouts they would HAVE the funds needed to run fiscally effciently. As an example an unmarried couple in Rochester with 2 kids, owns a home and a business, she gets state money for schooling being an unemployed signle Mom, yet she lives with the Dad, they have a fulltime Nanny and maid service while the state pays for her schooling and other bennies….. loop holes loop holes loop holes. If the persons in theis stae on welfare/food stamps etc were required to have drug testing as the public does for most employment then there may be LESS abuse with those social handouts also…… The Dem’s want to just keep handing out with out being fiscally accountable, you don’t run family budgets and finances this poorly why would you run a state this way ????

  • Timothy

    Not sure if my first post actually got posted, but wanted to point out that after watching Esme’s interviews this morning, if you review the budget offers made public by the Republicans in negotiations before the shutdown, you’ll note that it doesn’t say Dayton took all new revenue off the table. He did apparently offer to take “income tax increases” off the table…however Dayton has always said he wants a compromise solution that includes budget cuts AND new revenue. While Dayton has made numerous offers of increasing government cuts, the Republicans have offered $0 in new revenue, which is why we’re in this shutdown.

  • Bonnie Gurney

    Esme, today you had on two of our elected, so-called leaders that are getting paid, both of which said that they needed the paycheck for one reason or another. As a state employee I resent the fact that they are getting paid.

    Living from paycheck to paycheck is what most state employees do, most with out a second job.

    My husband had open heart surgery at the end of May, and is not working, so as of that time , my income was the only income we had to count on … now
    I am not getting paid since they were not able to do their job. I do not have a second job and do not have a savings to fall back on.


  • Going down

    @Esme, you need to learn to be transparent please point out the “left leaning” junk in the blog post?

    Please use some facts to back up this statement

  • Jerry

    Esme your the best! I enjoy your interviews on Sunday they are fair and balanced. Keep up the good work.

    • Tony Rozycki

      I agree that Esme’s interviews are fair & balanced. In fact I would say she is so perfectly balanced that if she were a Norwegian male, the snoose would flow out of both sides of her mouth at the same time!

  • Wally

    Esme…..I was disappointed with your interview of State Sen Michelle on your show today. Usually your a pitbull reporter but today you were not. Michelle spoke about fiscal responsiblity and the next sentence suggested a temp fix to stop the shutdown…..but the republicans can’t vote on the fix because Dayton won’t call them back. How responsible is that when your solution is to offer up a temp fix.

    Queue in Esme for attack.

    The topic of cigarette tax verses health fee was also brought up. Good attempt but Michelle did a song and dance on this one that even Fred Astaire would be proud of…..and Esme simply enjoyed the show.

    Suggestion: I have not seen or heard the media ask and/or get a honest reply from the Republican leaders why they are protecting the 2% of Minnesotans (richest). How can they go back to their constituents in greater Minnesota making $30K a year and tell them this was all to protect the person making over $1M a year. Maybe a roundtable of citizens and representati es should be formed and broadcasted across Minnesota.

    What is missing in Minnesota and American politics is simple: Compromise. Do they no longer teach compromise in political school?

    • Citizen

      @Wally. Truthful reporting on news websites is also missing. You HAVE to read the comments section to get information or search the web or read underground news sources. Sad and pathetic.

      • Really?

        Liberals don’t know truth. Just look at Clinton. Lies under oath and all the “bots” follow him. TOO STUPID! Liberals get a mind of your own. You can’t keep borrowing from each other!!!!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thursday Night Football

Listen Live