Posted: 07/29/15 11:49
by Dave Mindeman
I don't mean to belabor the point, but I think this is still going to be a problem going into the next legislative session. And this needs to be addressed.
Sen. Tom Bakk announced some Senate staffer pay raises to the media yesterday and that is a good thing. Everybody in Minnesota government is really underpaid.
But that is not what bothers me about Senator Bakk.
Bakk, in a wide-ranging news conference after the committee meeting, said he had a call scheduled Tuesday with Gov. Mark Dayton to talk about disaster relief in the Brainerd lakes region -- their first conversation since the Legislature finished business June 13.
Again, nothing wrong with the substance of the announcement. The problem lies in the last sentence..."first conversation." Bakk and Dayton have not had any conversation since the session ended. You would think there would still be plenty to talk about. That session ended on a not so positive note.
OK...but to me, this gets worse.
He (Bakk) said he has already talked to Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, about moving quickly next year on bills to address transportation funding and provide tax cuts.
Already talked to Daudt. He talked to Daudt before he talked to Dayton. He never bothered to get the Governor's take, or have a discussion with him, on the next session before he starts discussing things with the Republican Speaker of the House.
Did Bakk not learn anything from 2015? Are we, again, going to have a divided message from the Senate and the Executive Office?
It doesn't seem to occur to Bakk that we have a party leader which should be the focal point of Democratic messaging...namely Gov.Dayton.
The Governor's office, a Democratic office, is not something that a Democratic Majority Leader is allowed to ignore or to consult after the fact.
Dayton made it pretty clear once more that he wants more pre-school funding if there is a discussion of tax cuts in 2016. Bakk has not said anything about supporting that -- and he seems to already have talked to Daudt about the 2016 agenda. Talks that obviously have not been run through Dayton's office.
I'm sorry. We have a serious problem here and it is centered squarely in the Office of the Senate Majority Leader.
This needs to be fixed....sooner rather than later.