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On MNsure - Dayton Is Asking The Right Questions

Category: Mark Dayton
Posted: 01/24/14 04:29

by Dave Mindeman

Governor Dayton is not ducking the MNsure reports...and that is a good thing. He promises fixes...

"Those are the decisions that the new management is going to be making, and obviously the Legislature will be involved and the board and I'll have my say in it too," Dayton told reporters. "But we're going to fix it. We're going to improve it. I'm determined we're going to give Minnesota what it deserves."

That's the right approach. Let's forget who or what is to blame and get down to the business of fixing this thing. And this is not going to be easy - it is a mess. But Dayton is right...Minnesota deserves a system that works and gets affordable health care to the people who need it.

And the Governor is asking the right questions....

"Finger pointing about the past, others can engage in that," Dayton said. "My focus is, what do we need to do now? How can we improve the system? How can we eventually fix it? What's it going to cost and how do we go about doing that? Others can make all the informed and uninformed judgments that they're going to make and that's the way the process goes."

Absolutely.

The Republican response will be the usual. They will criticize and, as usual, offer no help and no solutions. In fact, they will sit on their hands and hope for more failure.

If they want us to go back to the way things were, then please own that. Let's go back to denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions. Let's kick kids off coverage instead of keeping them on to age 26. Let's not cover cancer screenings. Let's put caps on lifetime coverage again.

Yeah, let's go back, GOP - and you can own that.

It's going to be hard to fix this with a GOP albatross around our necks, but Dayton is going to try.....and at the moment, that is all we can ask.
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Dayton's Statement of His Vision

Category: Mark Dayton
Posted: 02/07/13 16:16

by Dave Mindeman

In Gov. Mark Dayton's State of the State address last night, the reporters said they were surprised. Surprised by the outline of progressive views. Surprised by the forceful promotion of gay marriage rights. Surprised by the Governor's broad based siding with environmental protection.

Although Gov. Dayton is often more practically described as "pragmatic", he is still, deep in his soul, a Wellstone progressive. It seemed like last night's speech gave us his personal reminder of where he stands, deep down inside.

It was reassuring to hear. It was great to see the press "surprised". Too often all we have been getting for sound bites are the dour Republican ideas of the slashing and burning of government.

This governor believes in good government. In investing as a means of economic growth. Of a real, honest to goodness future vision.

Now that this moment has passed, we will all get back to the not so glamorous, sausage factory methodology of grinding out legislation.

Governor Dayton's vision may get somewhat clouded in the grime of the legislative process. And that's OK. Governor Dayton has been in the trenches long enough to know the goal is more like a zigzag line than a straight one.

But at least for one night, vision won out. The ideas of what is possible were stressed and highlighted and glorified.

We all need to hear that once in awhile.
comments (1) permalink

Dayton: Crazy Like A Fox

Category: Mark Dayton
Posted: 07/14/11 20:09

by Dave Mindeman

I am not going to say that this budget deal for Minnesota is in any way a good one, but there are some points to ponder.

First of all, never underestimate the political instincts of Mark Dayton. He may get criticized for agreeing to this GOP proposal, but the politics of it have long term positives for Democrats.

1) GOP can't brag about "no taxes". Although this deal has no tax increases, it firmly places the GOP as proposers of debt. This will be a simple message for DFL candidates to hammer home next year. The Republican Party said no to revenue and yes to debt. Even the Tea Party faithful will end up grumbling about that one.

2) Dayton clearly comes out of this as the compromiser. You can take this to the bank with independents. Dayton has made the GOP own this budget. They rejected all of Dayton's revenue proposals and instead put in "phantom" debt money. A complicated message of who is to blame looks a lot easier now.

3) Dayton avoided the draconian cuts. Although the IOU to schools is not a good end result and the tobacco bonds borrows from the future, it still puts additional money into this budget. The Republicans will try to argue that away, but these numbers will be difficult to explain. Schools will have to scramble for another biennium, but the politics of this may allow Democrats to actually fix this in two years.

4) Democrats finally have a straight forward issue to run on. The idea will be simple. The GOP chose debt over revenue. Protecting millionaires vs protecting education. They borrowed their way to the solution and that will be a negative in so many ways...especially among independent voters who have been convinced that deficit spending is wrong.

5) It ends the shutdown. To the Governor, the concern about the pain for state employees and so many others, was paramount. If he held out on principle, the shutdown would have gone on for a long time. The people hurt the most were Democratic constituents. Putting the GOP into a political corner while ending this shutdown, was worth the near term cost to Dayton.

I have the feeling that Dayton is looking a little farther ahead, politically, than the Republicans are. He saw the short term problem and opted to solve it now while waiting for a long term win. If the DFL can win back the legislature in 2012, then all of this can be fixed. The revenue can be there -- it is just delayed for a little while.

Now it is the Democratic candidates who must make this work. The opportunity seed has been planted. The follow through is now in the hands of the minority leadership.

The Republicans have tried hard to paint Mark Dayton as "crazy" in their rhetoric.....yeah, he's crazy all right - crazy like a fox.
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