Archives for Tom Kelly

Is this the Final Shutdown Weekend?

Governor Dayton

Here is a link to Governor Dayton’s offer letter today.

Gary Gross from Let Freedom Ring had some good observations, including details about former Minnesota Free Market policy fellow King Banaian’s reforms, on the negotiations to end the Shutdown: Is Our Long National Embarrassment Really Over? Maybe.

Mitch Berg calls it a Win for the GOP  and Ed Morrisey says Dayton has caved.

Here is the cautious statement from public union AFSCME 5: note that they have phone banks still cranked up (courtesy of union dues paid with taxpayer dollars). They want to be sure they get back-pay as part of the Shutdown deal.

Union members showed up at various town-hall style meetings recently to support Governor Dayton’s demand to increase taxes but so did tea party members and other folks when Dayton toured the state. We’d like to think that these good citizens and all the emails, letters and phone calls you sent Dayton’s way convinced him and his team that it was time to come to the table. He wanted this Shutdown but came to regret it.

We agree that the devil is in the details (like if the GOP agrees to a bonding deal even though this is not a bonding year, where will the money be spent) but the bottom line is that “the Dayton” as he is fondly called by the SW Metro Tea Party, has caved on his demand to tax the rich. This is a political win and it is a big one. We have heard nothing about a stadium bill for the Vikings or the consolidation of the Minneapolis Police and Fire pensions into PERA.

It has taken us many years to reach a $34 billion dollar general fund (and a $62+/- billion dollar operating budget when you add in federal funds and state fees). Last year, Minnesota gave the GOP a decisive legislative majority and filled the state house with talented freshman who promised to bring fiscal discipline and innovation to state government. While we must keep a sense of urgency, fiscal conservatives must be patient, persistent and in office to succeed. The legislature will face elections next year. Dayton will be with us until 2014.

(Mitch Berg offered this advice: Dayton’s down (in a gauzy-focused, politically-sanded-off kind of way); we have to keep kicking.“)

There is much to be done. As you observe the debate here at home and also our nation’s capitol over the weekend, you may want to read Tom Kelly’s excellent article, “Where do we go from here?”

Where Do We Go From Here? By Tom Kelly

Tom Kelly, Chairman of the Minnesota Free Market Institute

Tom Kelly, our chairman, has published a terrific article entitled, “Where Do We Go From Here?” Our friends at the Center of the American Experiment, where Tom is a Senior Fellow, have joined with us in publishing Tom’s astute observations of the political scene both here at home and nationally. Tom has some sage advice for our leaders and readers as we face show downs on the state and national budgets. Take it to the office, take it to the beach! Wherever you are going this weekend, this is a must read for the early summer in Minnesota.


Jonah Lehrer, the author of “How We Decide” wrote today in his WSJ Head Case column about “How Uncertainty Cripples Us”   noting that the federal (and we add state) government is supposed to create certainty so we can plan. Instead, it is the source of great uncertainty.  Hopefully this era points to the kind of change that will bring stability and returned prosperity.

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