The 2015 legislative session blew up Thursday as Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Majority Leader Tom Bakk had a brutal and very public falling out, again over the Dayton cabinet pay raises, which means the session of a $40 billion budget is imploding over $800,000. Pat Condon has the Strib story.
Dayton said he’ll no longer meet with Bakk without others present because he doesn’t trust Bakk’s word. Bakk didn’t publicly respond to the charge except for releasing a statement saying Dayton has it wrong. Speaker Kurt Daudt and the Republicans smartly stayed out of the way, but they’ll hit the pay raise issue again. And again.
The AP’s Brian Bakst contributed the tabloid headline via Twitter, “Stabbed in the Bakk.”
Dayton is in private meetings all day; at 11:40 he will provide remarks at the United Negro College Fund Leaders Luncheon on Education. (Medtronic, 710 Medtronic Parkway, Fridley.)
Lt. Gov. Tina Smith continues the Klobuchar tour with a bunch of events in International Falls: 9 a.m. snowmobilers association event; 10:30 tourism event; 12:20 at Boise Paper to talk outstate economic development; 1:15 visit to Swanky Sweet Pea Soaps (great name.)
The Legislature is off today.
The GOP-controlled House passed permanent rules Thursday, which led to some interesting fireworks. The DFL minority offered an amendment capping spending, in a bit of reverse psychology.
Rep. Ryan Winkler: “Every single one of you repeated over and over again that this body spent too much money. Well now’s your chance.”
Majority Leader Joyce Peppin responded with....Dayton cabinet pay raises.
The amendment was moved to the Rules Committee where it will die, and the DFL accused the GOP of taking the spending cap out of the hands of the members and hiding behind leadership.
Rep. Greg Davids, who is not the sveltest legislator, replied with some nice self-deprecating humor: “Hiding behind our leaders? I can’t behind anybody. It’s not gonna work.”
Abby Simons reports on a new effort to crack down on insurance fraud, which is a big thing in Minnesota.
From Wednesday, RSB of the Pioneer Press on the rise in the number of state workers, up 5 percent since 2007. (If my math is correct, population increase during the same period is 4.8 percent.)
Washington and beyond
Rep. Tim Walz’s veteran suicide prevention bill had a White House signing ceremony Thursday.
Allison Sherry reports Klobuchar will lead on the effort to change Cuba policy.
Politico begins its insider survey on who’s going to win Iowa and New Hampshire.
Politico on Sen. Elizabeth Warren, beloved by liberals but also by the big defense industry contractors back home.
Washington Post on the changing Afghan insurgency.
Washington Post on the coming mega drought.
Finally, sad news for journalism, especially here in the Twin Cities. David Carr, a fantastic journalist and bigger-than-life character, died in the New York Times newsroom Thursday night. I always hear that endearing raspy voice when I read his work, and always will.
He’s a great leading man in the documentary Page One. This excerpt from his remarkable memoir, much of which takes place in Minneapolis drug dens, is a great piece of writing. This investigation of the Tribune Company (not us, the one in Chicago) is one of the most brutal takedowns you’ll ever read. Here’s the Strib obit.
Our newsletter is late this morning because I was up late reading the Twitter wake. The man seems to have been mentor to and friends with half the world.
As it happens, I kept coming across pieces on shame and redemption and forgiveness this week that were to be the weekend reads. These were often Carr’s subjects even though his beat was media. He would have loved this magazine story about the return of public shaming via social media. And, David Brooks on forgiveness.