Budget Impasse, Shutdown Enters 2nd Week

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — There are no new talks scheduled as Minnesota’s government shutdown enters its second week.

Political gridlock over how to deal with a $5 billion state budget deficit has idled 22,000 state employees, closed 66 parks, halted 100 road projects and inconvenienced Minnesota’s taxpayers.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says Minnesota’s government shutdown is now the longest of any state in nearly a decade. Four states besides Minnesota have had partial shutdowns since it kept keeping records in 2002, lasting from a few hours to 9 days.

Minnesota had a partial shutdown in 2005. A deal was reached in the early hours of the ninth day and state employees started returning to work that day.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Looking for Leaders

    Republicans keep your oath to the state of MN and break your pledge to Grover Norquist.

    It’s time to serve the people that elected you

    • soclibfiscconserv

      If Dayton had lost there would not be a shutdown and the budget would be balanced. Blaming Republicans is just showing a partisan bias. Even with Dayton in office the shutdown didn’t have to be this massive but HE chose to make it worse for political points. It’s just as easy to point fingers at the Dems so pipe down with the partisan shots.

      • SickOfIt

        This is a problem caused by BOTH the democratic Governor and the republican legislature. This is a democracy and both sides need to agree on a budget. To point to either side alone is partisan in itself. Dayton refuses to make cuts and the legislature refuses to budge on their position of no tax increases. We should start voting every one of them out next election because they have failed to fulfill their respective responsibilities:

        • waste

          Here is the flaw with your comment, the republicans are representing you. Unless you are one of the unlucky 7700 who will have their taxes increased.
          The governor has chosen to instigate class warfare, not against the wealthy who are hoarding their money, but against the high earners.
          Look at this without the distortion and propaganda you have been digesting and you will see the right thing to do is to tax everyone or no one.
          Why vote out the republicans when they are protecting you from being taxed more?
          Why vote out a group of people who proposed a common sense initiative of “Spend what you plan to take in”?

          This is not a partisan discussion.
          Do you want to raise taxes? Then do it on everyone. Contact the GOP and tell them to add a tax to every Minnesotan.
          Do you want to keep taxes the same and spend within our means? Then contact Dayton and tell him to do so.

          What is the right thing to do for every Minnesotan?
          What is the right thing to do so we hand off a better state to our children?

    • Tom

      @ Looking for Leaders

      Grover Nordquist is not the only person that they have signed that pledge with. They signed the same pledge when T-Paw was in office and T-Paw and GOP lined up to sign the same pledge for David Strom of the tax payers league. They want the job they just don’t want too make the tough and sometimes unpopular decisions because those type of decisions don’t get you that pat on the back in the end. Those who feel the need to sign pledges like this have no business running for office.

    • ME

      The idea that Charles and David Koch are liberal bêtes noires is not new. Over the past year, the elderly brothers, head of the vast Koch Industries business empire, have occupied top spot in the demonology of the left.

      Across a range of activities – from the birth of the Tea Party to undermining unions in Wisconsin, to opposing efforts to curb global warming – they have been believed by many Democrats to be forever lurking behind the headlines. Now, a brilliant piece of investigative reporting by the Washington-based watchdog Centre for Public Integrity has detailed the Kochs’ vast political and lobbying operations. It makes sobering and deeply disturbing reading. After all, it is one thing to believe that out there somewhere the devil exists, but reading the CPI report feels a little like being given his phone number.

      The sums of money spent in furthering Koch (pronounced like the drink coke, no matter how tempting it is to rhyme it with rock) interests and power are staggering. But what is most disturbing is how rapidly they are growing. In 2004, the CPI found, the Kochs spent a “mere” $857,000 on lobbying. In 2008, that had grown to $20m dollars. Over the next two years, they then spent a further $20.5m.

      The causes are varied but self-centred around the vital interests of Koch Industries such as oil, energy, chemicals and financial products. Employing no less than 30 lobbyists in Washington, Koch Industries has lobbied to change more than 100 pieces of federal legislation. They included trying to loosen regulations on potentially poisonous substances like dioxins, benzene and asbestos. They have pushed back against restrictions on carbon emissions and funded thinktanks and groups that promote efforts to discredit climate change science. They tried to soften attempts at financial reform where the Kochs operate in the derivatives market. Wherever a law touched on a Koch corporate interests, there were the company’s lobbyists trying to gut, deaden or defeat any attempt at regulation.

      The Kochs defenders argue that none of this should be surprising. The Kochs are fiercely political libertarians and thus believe much of government is wrong and that companies should be freed from the shackles of regulation. They openly fund libertarian organisations and, surely, have every right to promote their political ideology in any (legal) way they can. Just as every other American does.

      That is true. Or at least it would be if the Kochs’ activities were consistent with their proclaimed ideology. But the genius of the CPI’s work is exposing that it is not. The Kochs (who, remember, oppose government intervention as anti-capitalist) should have nothing to do with the heavily subsidised ethanol industry. Yet, in fact, the Kochs are responsible for buying and marketing about one tenth of all ethanol produced in the US, effectively cashing in on government largesse. Likewise, the Kochs have vociferously opposed a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions in the US. Yet, in Europe, the Kochs make millions from trading in emissions credits.

      When fighting government regulation helps them maximise profits – even by putting the rest of us at risk from cancer-causing chemicals – they are all about libertarianism. Yet when government rules or subsidies provide an opportunity to make some money, that free-market ideology is quietly shelved.

      No wonder Koch lobbyists also fought for the recent tax breaks for the rich. For the Kochs (tied at 18th place in Forbes’ latest rich list) are worth $22bn apiece. The brothers must have been laughing all the way to the bank when those tax breaks got passed. Reading the CPI report, it becomes clear that the Kochs are not really ideological at all: what really motivates them is simply cold, hard cash.

      So when it comes to worrying about the Kochs’ influence on the political system in the US, conservatives should really be joining liberals in getting ner

      • ME

        The Koch brothers: all the influence money can buyNot just liberals but conservatives should be deeply worried by a revelatory investigation of the libertarian billionaires’ lobbying
        We all need to think before we vote !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Citizen

        @Me. Don’t forget that the Koch brothers speculation in the oil market has driven up the price for a barrel of oil by at least $30 or more PER BARREL. We’d probably have $2/gallon gas if it weren’t for them.

        • dan


          The World Oil market is a bit more involved than you make it appear and I would certainly enjoy the facts you have to substanciate the your claim of oil being at least $30 more because of the Koch brothers speculation.

          • Citizen

            Go read the Progressive Populist newsletter–plenty of citations for you there. Not enough space here. Market speculation is the new place to make money. Surprised a hard-core delusional GOPer like you hasn’t been there, yet.

            • dan


              Nice try to deflect the fact that you have no facts to back up your outragous claims. Another Citizen post not worth reading

              • Recall

                It’s a rather complicated topic with many facets. Speculation is a HUGE problem that our economy has no one real way to control or, better word, manage. It’s good and bad depending on what we’re talking about. And Dan, Citizen is a consistent participant here. I search Citizen’s posts out to read them because they aren’t rhetoric without fact and they aren’t appealing to emotion–most of the time. Sure, Citizen may be on the other side of my spectrum of belief but is right in the facts that are written.

                • Citizen

                  For Dan: To quote from the Progressive Populist website.
                  “With the exception of ExxonMobil, which has explicitly stated that it does not engage in speculation, all the major oil companies (Shell, BP, Occidental, etc) operate like Wall Street investment banks and use their privileged position in the oil market to make speculative bets on the price of oil,” Fang wrote. “And as the unregulated oil market has grown, investment banks like JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley have become more like oil companies, buying tankers, pipelines, oil containers, and other physical assets to give them an edge while betting on oil. The Koch contango strategy, which stockpiles oil when future prices are expected to rise, is not limited to Koch Industries either, Fang noted. Shell for instance is known for buying up cheap oil, storing it in tankers, and betting on future prices as they reserve the oil from the market.”
                  Lee Fang, at progress.org states: “Fang noted, oil production is at record highs and there is adequate global supply of crude. Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Bart Chilton blames rampant oil speculation, which is at its highest level on record, for high gas prices. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law gave the CFTC the ability to limit “excessive speculation” but the commission’s Republican members and one of its Democrats, Michael Dunn, have blocked the new rules. At the same time, congressional Republicans are pushing steep cuts to the commission’s budget.
                  Fang also reported (6/6) that Koch Industries, America’s second-largest private company, controlled by politically connected David and Charles Koch, is a financial player in the derivatives markets, buying and selling speculative products that are increasingly contributing to the skyrocketing price of oil. Energy speculation is at its highest levels ever, and even Goldman Sachs admits that at least $27 of the price of crude oil is a result of reckless speculation rather than market fundamentals of supply and demand. Fang said some experts think speculation has doubled the price of crude oil. “

                • Citizen

                  Thank you, Recall. Dan, like too many other conservatives, does not get that facts are facts and history is history. He likes delusions, instead, because they are easier to understand–I should not complicate his simplistic view of the world of black and white, good and evil. I TRY to simplify my writing so people like Dan with an 8th grade reading level can understand, but too often I fail.

                • dan

                  My point is simply that Citizen claimed that the Koch Brothers speculation in the oil market raised prices by over $30/barrel was a farse. The only fact here is that speculation does drive up and down all commodities. The Koch brothers are not the only speculators in oil as Citizen makes it sound and gas would most certainly not be a $2 gallon without the Koch brothers.
                  If citizen is going to make outlandish claims and somehow tie the oil speculation market to a couple powerful Republican brothers he better be ready to get smoked out of the grass that he hides in.

  • Waste

    I feel bad for the state workers whose lives have been disrupted by this process.
    However, this is a needed process to wake up our officials.
    There is not going to be a recovery. How can we recover from a correction?
    Pawlenty had false income from a housing stimulus. I get that. That doesn’t mean we can keep spending out of control just because the person before you was able to.
    Washington, watch Minnesota, we are once again are leading the nation on what needs to be done.

    Until all sides come together on a balanced budget, keep the state shut down.

    Once a balance budget is passed, then haggle over what areas get a bigger piece of the pie. Hopefully education receives its fair share.

  • Kevin

    This State must take a stand! We must cut the budget and get rid of the old MN Free Zone! We need to end the Welfare State! We need to end the immigration parade and give those jobs to REAL Americans!

    • Bobby

      agree with you 100%, Kevin

      • fred

        HERE HERE!! You have my vote for Governor Kevin once Dayton is recalled.

    • Stan

      I was born and raised here and feel immigration is a good thing – I hope I see more of it. As far as the myth that Minnesota is a welfare state it is sad that there are those who believe waht they heard what they heard from who they heard it from yet it is so far from the truth. MN Free Zone? I guess anything the goverment does for those who need help would fall into that catagory and those who don’t want to look around them and hide from society will say why should they pay taxes for the. I feel sorry for you Kevin in your lack of heart and your need to stir people up with your bias garbage.

      • A Moderate

        I’ve witnessed the welfare abuse firsthand many, many times. WIC for sale for cash. EBT cards for sale for cash. Find a small town bar right after the first of the month (when welfare checks are received) and you’ll see it first hand.

        There’s similar waste with government workers (state employees near Park Rapids sleeping in their trucks at remote pump stations, HCMC employees using closed off areas to sleep, get high and play cards, City of Plymouth union employees assigning work to non-union employees while the union employees go fishing and cash in “sick days”).

        Government waste exists to a much higher level than people are aware. You don’t need to get opinions from someone who heard from a friend who saw a report that claims wonderful effects of the welfare system. Some need it and I’ll pay for it, but it’s abused to an alarming degree.

        Get out of your bubble and see for yourself, Stan.

        • Stan

          I am very aware of how welfare works and don’t work here in Minnesota. I am sorry that you see these things and made such assumptions. Welfare works well here in Minnesota – the very fact that you hear of those who abuse the system shows that there are people on the job making sure it is not abused. I do not live in a bubble.

          • A Moderate

            …except they aren’t assumptions and I didn’t hear of the abuses from someone that monitors the system for abuse. I’ve witnessed them first hand and the reporters of the abuse are friends and family.

            The waste is widespread and takes away from those that need help. Your championing of the callous status quo is gross.

          • 82nd Airborne

            My wife witnessed a morbidly obese black woman adorned in many gold chains and gaudy clothing pushing a shopping cart through the Cub Foods in Cottage Grove several weeks back.

            She spent the entire time talking LOUDLY on her iPhone.

            She filled her cart with quite a few whole Lobsters, big steaks, and pop and junk food and then checked out using an EBT card, (without getting off her phone for a second) and waddled outside and hopped into her new black Cadillac Escalade parked right out front. No, she didn’t even bother getting a parking spot and didn’t have a handicap plate or mirror hanger.

            No, there’s no abuse of the welfare system at all. I see none.

    • Jim

      Kevin, most Minnesotans, such as my ancestors from Germany and Belgium, immigrated to this country and state at one time or another. It’s what has made the U.S. a great country. Speaking out against immigration and referring to yourself as a “REAL American” is pathetic and bigoted and shows that you don’t understand the issues.

      • waste

        I am glad your ancestors immigrated here so we can educate you.
        At one time this country was sparsely populated. Immigrants were needed. Yes, immigration was a good thing.
        In the 80’s, when local people stopped working the factory jobs, we needed sessional immigrant workers to keep factories running. Thank goodness for them or many of our plants would have shut down.
        However, times have changed. There are no longer large swaths of land to farm.
        Unemployment is high and going to get higher.
        Governments are running out of money.
        The reason for immigration has changed. It is a tool that should be used to balance.
        The problem is, when left unchecked and uncontrolled, it becomes a bad thing.

        • Jim

          waste, I don’t disagree that immigration has changed over generations, and the justifications for it now are not the same as they once were. But Minnesota’s current budget problems are NOT caused by immigrants. Putting the blame on a relatively small percentage of the population while our elected “leaders” dither and haggle and refuse to compromise because of their ideology is wrong, wrong, wrong. Let’s address the real problems instead of seeking ideological scapegoats. The answer is higher taxes AND reduced spending. Save the immigration debate for when it’s relevant.

      • Kevin

        Say Jim….come over to my neighborhood…I will show you how “you dont understand” the issues. See my neighborhood is now nearly all Somali……Cirme is soaring higher than the monthly welfare checks sent here. You liberal morons bring all these wonderfuly peaceful immigrants here….you know the Somalis (peaceful) the Hmong (peaceful) and dont forget all the illegal Mexicans running around the Taco Bells…….so stop over and dodge the bullets from your bs diversity…..and sorry Jim…I am a real American…….

        • Jim

          No, Kevin, you’re not a real American, you’re a real idiot. Violent crime is down in Minnesota and around the country, but I realize that facts are like poison to people like you.

          Maybe instead of complaining on the internet about people that scare you because they look different than you, you should be out looking for a better job so you can move out of that neighborhood you find so distasteful.

          • Ogie Oglethorpe

            St. Paul schools used to be the pride of Minnesota Hockey. Now they can’t even put a team out anymore. Why? Did the kids stop liking hockey?


            There are no white kids left to play it. The student body is mostly Hmong.

            St. Paul Johnson and St. Paul Como had to combine just to put a team out. And that’s for all levels. What an embarrassment to the city and to the State of Hockey.

        • Stan

          Can you describe what you look like and where you live?

    • Sean

      MFIP is less than 0.5% of the budget. What next as you are still a billion short.

    • Dave Campbell

      Along with that, we need to end the corporate welfare! Giving big tax breaks to the rich with the idea that it will create jobs is a joke!

      • ME

        Yes it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nancy Aleshire

    Are you aware that this will effect all of us who will be getting property tax refunds next month. No checks will be issued since the Minnesota Dept. of Revenue is shut down.

    • jobu

      I hope you do not depend on that as a source of income. that’s sad if you did. All that is for me is home improvement or CC debt $.

      • jerky jobu

        You are kind a a jerk,, jobu.Maybe Nancy pays her own way. Maybe she doesn’t get free food ,housing, medical, childcare etc.

    • what?

      Whats a “property tax refund”? never heard of it, must be a Minneapolis thing

      • Ogie Oglethorpe

        I pay 7k a year in property taxes. I’ve never even HEARD of a property tax refund.

  • just saying
    • frozenrunner

      You call the GOP website facts? Why not be at least a little honest and call it spin?

      • just saying

        No. It’s the truth. Read into it more. Open your eyes. Some day you may see the light.

        • Jim

          This shutdown was caused by both sides. Partisans like “just saying” are part of the problem.

        • frozenrunner

          Facts so filtered. Would you drive down the road with only a pin hole for an opening in your windshield?
          The site chooses to ignore that overall Minnesota ranks as the 15th best state for business, 8th best for labor pool, 4th for quality of life, and 13 for growth prospects.. That bastion of greatness called South Dakota finished 17. Of the top 16 states, 8 of the top 16 were in the bottom half for business costs. You would have never seen that looking at the negativity of the GOP website.

        • Darby

          Since I am afraid you might be driving looking through a pin hole, what part of town do drivers need to avoid?

  • http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/07/11/mn-now-longest-shutdown-on-record/ MN: Now Longest Shutdown On Record « CBS Minnesota

    […] Read more here. […]

  • Bobby

    Nancy- you will still get your check….just a little late. And I’m sorry to say this, but quit complaining about a refund check…it could be much worse…22k state employees are out of work.

  • Tom

    @ Kevin:

    Look at this way if those jobs were being taken by americans then those people who do cross the border from Mexico would see no incentive to do so if they see there are no jobs for them here. Why do you think roofing companies can do many roofs in a day? Who are you most likely to see cleaning your hotel room? Who are you most likely to see behind a fast food counter? etc? Business like those types because they are cheap labor.

    • Kevin

      Thanks Tim. You are correct illegal labor takes jobs away from real Americans…..and forces salaries in the toilet…..companies who hire illegal workers should be shut down……and by the way I have alot of friends who would love to roof but they can not get hired…..interesting….diversity aint it grand….????

    • dream on

      It would be nice if the cheap labor paid income taxes but they dont…

  • Can you say "Bozos?"

    Political life in MN is a circus.

  • MrB

    Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle again!

  • Drd

    The clowns are the legislators the jokers are the mn citizens who elected them no one to blame but yourself Minnesota

    • just saying

      I think it’s the other way around… mmm… yep. I am sure.

      Those people voting, was a voice saying “wake up morons”.

      • ME

        Morons voted for the GOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • ME

          I am such a Moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • daytons soupline

          I wonder what the Gov had for breakfast? Must be nice to have a $45,000 chef.

          • dream on

            dont worry he is paying the chef out of his own pocket, okay back to picking on the big mean rich people…

            • Guy

              And Canterbury paid that government regulator out of their “own pocket” – and still got shut down. How is that fair? Campers at the parks paid for their campsites & got shut down. How is that fair? Let Dayton eat McDonalds until he comes to his senses or dies from cholesterol…

              • Guy

                I am such a Moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jim

    We should fire every single one of these people and have new elections next week. We hired these legislators and a governor to do a job that they have now proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they are INCAPABLE of doing. Where I work, being incapable of handling the job would get a person fired. Why don’t we hold politicians to the same standards we hold ourselves?

    • ME

      I agree get rid of them all and start over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Captain America

      I agree!

  • kevin

    Tom, no problem with the labor pool your refering to as long as the are legal. And Kevin I don’t know who youare but I agree with you.

  • Realist

    The usual blame game by all sides. Nobody is man or woman enough to jus get it done. Our $$$ still flying out the door to pay you per diems and salaries. I have seen first hand the rhetoric in the chanmbers when I worked for the State one summer long ago.

    Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green…blah-blah-blah. Time to stop measuring each others feet to see who is the most powerful. Another voter who won’t ever be voting again.

    Don’t knock on my door or give me a sticker in a parade or a pamphelet in my mailbox. Useless, worhtless and self-serving…

    I look forward to the day of anarchy and the end of the politcal diarrhea we see today!

    Politicians are worthless! Yes, all of them…What happens when don’t do my job up to expectations and still get paid top dollar for the results? Liars, cheats, criminals. Not honesty in this world today…drop the bomb….ON MINNESOTA PLEASE!

  • Getoverit

    Wow, I didn’t know Minnesota government were looking to make this into a record. Leave it to a bunch of Politicians………and Kevin, touche`.

  • Tony Tone

    Is is possible to recall the governor? I don’t want to deal with his antics for another 3 years. You can tell he doesn’t know what’s going on if you look at what he declared essential. In a house when you a budgeting problem (either you spend to much or people need to get jobs that make more money) Does everyone quit their jobs and keep paying bills? Why not keep the job and quit paying for the neighbors dogs food and donating to charities? I believe slightly more than 50% of the population of MN still aren’t communists and want dayton out.

  • Scott

    Enough! Time to reopen the state.

    • Shutdown is improvement

      Why are you in such a hurry? We have just begun the shut-down and things are going just fine. Less traffic, less people downtown, news talking heads whining and making themselves look like the babies they are.

      Heck, we are even finding out that maybe, just maybe the state has way too many “workers” and we can trim some fat.

      This is amusing, lets keep it going a while shall we

  • Alfred

    The Republicans passed a balanced budget that raised spending 2 billion dollars.

    The drug-addled Dayton refused to sign it.

    I say let the state remain shutdown until the next election cycle. We will see then what the voters say. The local liberal media will try to spin it, but they will fail.

    • SB

      There is a slight problem with your logic on this one, Alfred. Reps get elected every two years. Gov is every four. So who would get voted out of office first under that scenario? The Reps that couldn’t make a deal? Or the Gov that couldn’t make a deal? GOP strategists have already acknowledged that this will hurt them (GOP) more in the next election cycle. The political power pendulum will just keep swinging back and forth between the Dems and GOP until a legit thrid party can challenge.

      Either way, all of my elected officials will have a hard time convincing me they performed the job I paid them to do, regardless of their party, before the next two election cycles.

  • Tball

    everyone is so worked up, maybe next time more people will show up and vote.

  • BJS

    These people should be put in a room together 24/7 and not allowed to leave until they come to an agreement. This is just incredible and ridiculous. Having a meeting here and there whenever they decide is ludicrous! It will never end at this rate.

  • Common MAn

    We should try to set the new record! Keep it shut down for a YEAR! I hope we can do that!



    • Taxed enough

      Gosh I am glad Kevin that you posted this. It was driving me nuts trying to remember Ole Georgie boys name. Now that is one scary man and he was the driving force behind the election of our “great” leader who has gotten the economy on the right track again. NOT

  • Taxed enough

    For all you people who think the elections are going to be any different than the last time around, think again. The GOP is doing exactly what we voted them in to do. They are doing the will of their constiuents who voted for them, don’t fool yourselves libs it isn’t going to change. Hang tough GOP we are with you.

    • Jim

      “The GOP is doing exactly what we voted them in to do.”

      Republicans wanted the government to shut down? I don’t remember that message in campaign ads…

  • kevin

    Jim, I do remember who said he would not let the gov. shut down happen. Repeat after me his name. Gov. Mark Dayton.

    • Jim

      Kevin, got a link showing Gov. Dayton saying that?

  • kevin

    He stateed that during one of the debates between him, Tom Horner and Tom Emmer. If you wre watching you would have heard, everyone else heard it.

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