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King "Landslide" Banaian and First Principles Voting

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 01/28/11 15:25

by Dave Mindeman

Rep. King "Landslide" Banaian gave me a bit of a surprise the other day. I saw his vote on the House authorized $1 billion cut legislative package and surprisingly, the conservative, former SCSU Scholars blogger, voted NO....voting with the Democrats.

Banaian works at St. Cloud State as an economics professor and represents St. Cloud and the surrounding area. The kicker here is that he won his legislative race by a 10 vote margin. Which means that, unlike Senator Newman and his selective constituent recognition, Mr. Banaian is probably wise to consider all comers.

Except I had assumed that Banaian was one of those true believer, first principle guys. He generally talks of government spending with utter disdain and one would think that this particular bill would certainly meet those first principle ideals.

After all, it hits that unnecessary Local Government Aid and outrageously out of control Higher Ed spending... as well as all of the Commission offices in the executive branch. Would have assumed that to be a no-brainer for Banaian.

Yet, that pesky RED button went up. Explanation?

Well, Doug Grow at Minnpost, looked into this and found this quote:

The Republican proposal calls for the continuation of cuts made to state colleges by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the Legislature to bring the budget in balance last year. Those amount to $184 million for public colleges, including Banaian?s employer, St. Cloud State.

?We?ve taken a couple of pretty serious hits already,? Banaian told an Associated Press reporter in explaining his opposition to the bill. ?To do this on extending an agreement by a previous Legislature and a previous governor didn?t seem like the right vote for St. Cloud at this time.?


So those particular cuts were OK last year, but (ahem) not so good this year? Would that be 10 votes worth of caution, Rep. Banaian?

All that red meat rhetoric with "first principle" shouts of storming the castle seem to fade when looking toward a new election cycle.

Oh, I am sure that Rep. Banaian would have hit the right button if his leadership had really needed it. But, hey, first principles don't apply to every vote, do they?
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