I read an editorial in the Mpls paper, “Dayton’s first-year marks are high“, and felt compelled to respond. I was limited to 250 words but could have written more. I don’t know if it will be published. The following is what I submitted.
To the Editor:
As a first term legislator, I view Governor Dayton’s first year performance differently than your recent editorial (1/1/2012).
In 2011, the state’s biggest challenge was a $5 billion gap between proposed spending and anticipated revenue. You were right: Gov. Dayton’s tax increase proposal was “simplistic and anticompetitive.” Minnesotans and the legislature thought so too. He had carried only 28 of 87 counties in the election and his proposal received one vote in the Senate and none in the House.
In February, Gov. Dayton declared we should pledge not to have a government shutdown. However, he did shut state government down, hoping to pressure the Legislature into voting for a tax increase. After 20 days, realizing his tax increase wasn’t going to occur, he agreed to a one time budget increase without raising taxes. The shut down had been unnecessary. The final agreement could have been achieved without it.
You also correctly criticized the Governor for his ill advised child care unionization power play. Also ill advised was his plan to hold a a two day pre-Thanksgiving Legislative special session to resolve the Viking stadium issue. A steady and focused leader would have put a Viking stadium plan together that had the votes of the Legislature and then called a special session.
Governor Dayton blocked many of the reforms in education and business that were passed by the Legislature. He vetoed 23 bills, twice as many as the previous governor vetoed in four years. His leadership style has been reactionary in nature, not “steady and focused.” I hope this changes in 2012.
Roger Crawford District 8B