Minnesota GOP and the Tim Pawlenty School of Finance

Looks like Minnesota Republican Party leaders are graduates.  Deluth News Tribune (h/t Bluestem Praire)

“We have about 20 counties left to go,” GOP Chairman Tony Sutton said. “We have been chipping away on them.”

Sutton estimated that the party could finish paying its recount bills within four weeks. He said about $20,000 remains to be paid.

“It is about managing all the bills we have,” Sutton said.

The chairman answered questions about the issue Monday following a letter Sen. John Howe, R-Red Wing, sent to Republican legislative colleagues suggesting they contribute to pay the bills, although in an interview he thought just $3,000 to $4,000 remained.

The money owed to the counties comes from the state Republicans' love of recounts, the most recent in the governor's race last fall.  Democrat Mark Dayton was ahead just under 8,000 votes before the recount, 9,000 after.  (Unpaid) Money well spent, huh?

The MN GOP appears to have learned the IOU bill pay method from one of the best: Former Governor himself, Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty left us with a balanced budget that included a variety of IOU's. IOU's on the scale that no other governor in Minnesota has ever done.

First, there is the $1.4 to $1.6 billion that we still owe the school districts from the Pawlenty unallotment. I really enjoyed the banter from candidate Tom Emmer during the campaign in which he said they would hold education harmless. Equally brazen is the rhetoric from House Education chair Pat Garofalo and how proud he is of the House education budget. Neither of them has ever had any intention of finding a way to pay that money back, while schools borrow and pay interest to make up the difference. This IOU has become locked in so heavily that even Governor Dayton sees no path to repayment during the current biennium.

Minnesota GOP and the Tim Pawlenty School of Finance

Looks like Minnesota Republican Party leaders are graduates.  Deluth News Tribune (h/t Bluestem Praire)

“We have about 20 counties left to go,” GOP Chairman Tony Sutton said. “We have been chipping away on them.”

Sutton estimated that the party could finish paying its recount bills within four weeks. He said about $20,000 remains to be paid.

“It is about managing all the bills we have,” Sutton said.

The chairman answered questions about the issue Monday following a letter Sen. John Howe, R-Red Wing, sent to Republican legislative colleagues suggesting they contribute to pay the bills, although in an interview he thought just $3,000 to $4,000 remained.

The money owed to the counties comes from the state Republicans' love of recounts, the most recent in the governor's race last fall.  Democrat Mark Dayton was ahead just under 8,000 votes before the recount, 9,000 after.  (Unpaid) Money well spent, huh?

The MN GOP appears to have learned the IOU bill pay method from one of the best: Former Governor himself, Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty left us with a balanced budget that included a variety of IOU's. IOU's on the scale that no other governor in Minnesota has ever done.

First, there is the $1.4 to $1.6 billion that we still owe the school districts from the Pawlenty unallotment. I really enjoyed the banter from candidate Tom Emmer during the campaign in which he said they would hold education harmless. Equally brazen is the rhetoric from House Education chair Pat Garofalo and how proud he is of the House education budget. Neither of them has ever had any intention of finding a way to pay that money back, while schools borrow and pay interest to make up the difference. This IOU has become locked in so heavily that even Governor Dayton sees no path to repayment during the current biennium.

Minnesota GOP and the Tim Pawlenty School of Finance

Looks like Minnesota Republican Party leaders are graduates.  Deluth News Tribune (h/t Bluestem Praire)

“We have about 20 counties left to go,” GOP Chairman Tony Sutton said. “We have been chipping away on them.”

Sutton estimated that the party could finish paying its recount bills within four weeks. He said about $20,000 remains to be paid.

“It is about managing all the bills we have,” Sutton said.

The chairman answered questions about the issue Monday following a letter Sen. John Howe, R-Red Wing, sent to Republican legislative colleagues suggesting they contribute to pay the bills, although in an interview he thought just $3,000 to $4,000 remained.

The money owed to the counties comes from the state Republicans' love of recounts, the most recent in the governor's race last fall.  Democrat Mark Dayton was ahead just under 8,000 votes before the recount, 9,000 after.  (Unpaid) Money well spent, huh?

The MN GOP appears to have learned the IOU bill pay method from one of the best: Former Governor himself, Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty left us with a balanced budget that included a variety of IOU's. IOU's on the scale that no other governor in Minnesota has ever done.

First, there is the $1.4 to $1.6 billion that we still owe the school districts from the Pawlenty unallotment. I really enjoyed the banter from candidate Tom Emmer during the campaign in which he said they would hold education harmless. Equally brazen is the rhetoric from House Education chair Pat Garofalo and how proud he is of the House education budget. Neither of them has ever had any intention of finding a way to pay that money back, while schools borrow and pay interest to make up the difference. This IOU has become locked in so heavily that even Governor Dayton sees no path to repayment during the current biennium.

MN-Sen: Where Things Stand

The legal teams have made their closing arguments and the trial has concluded as the three-judge panel will now deliberate for, likely, a period of weeks to determine who won the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota.  Via Minnesota Public Radio, you can listen online to the closing arguments of both the Franken legal team and the Coleman legal team.  When will a decision be handed down?  Talking Points Memo asked a Minnesota election law expert:

Hamline University professor David Schultz tells TPM that he now expects the court to probably rule at some point in the first week of April, with a declaration that Al Franken is the winner.

After the three-judge panel, what will happen next?  There are a couple of possibilities as to how things might (or might not) proceed.  In my analysis, I operate under two assumptions:

A) Norm Coleman is a loser and Washington Republicans know it.  Wait, huh?  If the D.C. Republican establishment know that Coleman is a loser, why do they bother supporting him?  Ultimately, for Republican leadership, an empty seat is as good as a Coleman win.  Why?  The Senate GOP's only weapon is the filibuster.  Whether there are 99 seated Senators or 100 seated Senators, Democrats need 60 votes for cloture.  Therefore, a prolonged legal battle keeping the seat empty is as good as a Coleman win.

(Much more below the fold.)

There's more...

MN-Sen: Republicans Concede Coleman Loss When Striking Deals On Committee Ratios

Interesting. From CQ, we have another in a string of "elections have consequences" stories...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have reached a tentative agreement that would give Democrats a three-seat advantage on most committees during the 111th Congress.

That is a big change from the 110th Congress, when the party held only a 51-49 operating majority in the full Senate and a one-seat edge on most committees.

Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow , head of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, said Democrats negotiated a larger, four-seat advantage on the Appropriations and Armed Services committees. By statute, Democrats will have only a one-seat edge on the Intelligence Committee and a two-seat advantage on the Joint Economic Committee. On all other committees -- except the Ethics panel, which always includes three members of each party -- there will be three more Democrats than Republicans, Stabenow said.

But this one was made all the sweeter by the news of a certain concession made by Republicans during negotiations...

The major sticking point of the lengthy and sometimes difficult ratio negotiations -- whether to count the still-unresolved Minnesota Senate election as a Democratic pickup -- appears to have been resolved in Democrats' favor.

Stabenow said the ratios she disclosed Tuesday assume Democrats will enjoy an effective 59-41 edge in the Senate as a whole, a margin the party would achieve only if they win Minnesota.

Norm Coleman is still stubbornly litigating the certification of Al Franken's recount victory, which MN's Secretary of State, Marc Ritchie, in turn, continues to accept as an obstacle to his officially certifying Franken as the next Senator from Minnesota. Franken, in an aggressive move today, has announced his intention to fight Ritchie's lack of action.

From TPM:

In a conference call with reporters just now, lead Franken attorney Marc Elias announced that the campaign is filing a lawsuit at the state Supreme Court to force GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to issue Franken a certificate of election, and send him to the Senate.

Elias placed a request with Pawlenty and Ritchie yesterday, which was promptly rejected, arguing that Franken was entitled to a certificate contrary to the conventional wisdom that state law blocks the issuing of a certificate until after Norm Coleman's lawsuit to overturn the result is settled.

Not so, Elias argues, saying that a different section of the same law would actually require the issuing of a certificate in a legislative contest, with its discussion of revoking an already-issued certificate if the contest concludes with the original loser now on top. "So there is a tension between these two provisions," Elias said. But he thinks the provision he's relying upon will trump the other because it is the more specific of the two.

Nice. Another strong move by Team Franken, which has really played the recount just about perfectly.

There's more...

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