At Midnight, July 1, 2011, and the Minnesota GOP reached one of it’s goals – it proved that it could grind the state government to a near halt. Solving the $5 billion budget shortfall began in January. Now, almost six months latter, the contest between the “rich” and the “poor” remains a stalemate. The GOP legislature, voted into the majority in the mid-term 2010 elections that saw GOP tea-party voters flood the polls and DFLers and moderates stay home, told the governor to compromise (= give us everything we want) or “feel the pain.” Now, thousands upon thousands of working and vulnerable Minnesotans are feeling that pain as jobs, paychecks and vital services disappear.
The shutdown was covered by most major newspapers. The Huffington Post had the best headline, shown above. They quoted Governor Dayton, “I really believe I’ve done everything I possibly could and offered everything I could possibly think of,” said Dayton addressing the state of the negotiations from his office on Thursday night. “This is a night of deep sorrow for me because I don’t want to see this shutdown occur.” The NY Times wrote of some effects: “And so, on the eve of a holiday weekend, residents were likely to find the state’s parks, historical sites and the Minnesota Zoo closed, hunting and fishing licenses no longer being issued, and that state’s lottery system and racetracks unavailable. Minnesota’s 84 major rest areas along highways were closed. Thousands of state employees were expected to be sent home without pay, and contractors were to be told to walk away from hundreds of road construction projects already underway.”
What can we do besides lament? We can call, e-mail and write our legislatures – DFL or GOP – every day, and we can attend as many demonstrations as possible.
Same ole Pawlenty… working for his tea-party, but Ken Martin got in the last word. See MPR