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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Zellers "Principles" Cost The State Big Bucks

Category: Kurt Zellers
Posted: 07/15/14 14:06, Edited: 07/15/14 14:06

by Dave Mindeman

This statement from Kurt Zellers would almost be funny...if it wasn't so ridiculous:

"Democrats, political pundits, special interest groups, and even many Republicans predicted that we wouldn't hold to our principles and that the Republican-controlled legislature would cave to the intense political and media pressure during the shutdown," said Zellers. "But I did not surrender and the GOP legislative majorities did not cave. Instead, it was Governor Dayton who surrendered to us after two weeks."

That was principle? Let's review what happened. Dayton "surrendered" only after the Legislative Republicans agreed to his revenue requirements. And although they say they didn't fund it with taxes, here is the payoff....

1. Borrowed from public schools. Only after Dayton finally got his higher income tax increase were we able to pay them back. And because of that delay, school districts had to borrow money to operate and the local taxpayers paid the interest.

2. Tobacco money loans. With interest this will end up costing Minnesota about $1 billion.

3. Cost of Extra Session. Because Zellers kept stalling the negotiations and insisting on obstruction, Minnesota had to pay the costs of a special session.

So if Zellers wants to "brag" about all that as something he can be proud of....well, by all means, Mr. Zellers, brag away.

Your "principles" cost the state of Minnesota plenty.
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Ladies & Gents, Zellers Will Now Fix The Sex Offender Program

Category: Kurt Zellers
Posted: 11/14/13 01:09, Edited: 11/14/13 01:10

by Dave Mindeman

Good news everybody! Rep. Kurt Zellers will now be able to fix the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. Governor Dayton has halted all releases and procedures until the legislature can review and recommend on how to proceed.

Lashing out at what he called the "political circus" surrounding the proposed release of a violent serial rapist from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, Gov. Mark Dayton ordered state officials to suspend future discharges until the Legislature reviews the issue.

There you go, Rep. Zellers. Take the reins. Show us that leadership that has been so sorely lacking.

Take this problem and show us how it is done.

I expect that you will make your recommendations to the full legislature when the next session starts. After all, you are the answer man, are you not?

Rep. Zellers, the ball is in your court. The state is awaiting your wealth of knowledge and expertise.
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Kurt Zellers: Leader? No. Cheap Shot Artist? You Betcha

Category: Kurt Zellers
Posted: 11/11/13 00:50

by Dave Mindeman

Kurt Zellers criticized Governor Dayton for a "lack of leadership" in the proposed release of a sex offender.

Trouble is...it is Zellers' lack of leadership that has put Minnesota into this fix.

We have a problem with procedures on sex offenders. We have jail cells filling up with people involved in this type of criminal behavior and we have no logical plan to resolve their sentencing.

We don't have a fool proof system that tells us when they can return to society (if at all) but we can't keep them locked up forever -- it is not an offense designated for a lifetime sentence. How we resolve this is going to be a long term issue and it will require leadership.

Zellers isn't providing it.

Sure, its easy to say keep them locked up. Nobody is comfortable with releasing a known sex offender back to society. But if they have served the designated sentence, how can we continue to hold them indefinitely?

Zellers didn't offer any solutions - he just took the easy politically expedient method of criticizing the system. A system that he accepted and did not change with when he had the chance as Speaker of the House.

Governor Dayton called him on it when Zellers made his oh so public announcement of how Dayton was going to let this person back on the street. Dayton's chief of staff stated it this way in a letter:

The law also specifies procedures and criteria for the consideration of his eventual release into a controlled and carefully supervised setting. This law and its procedures were also left untouched by then-Speaker Zellers. In fact, after both DFL and Republican Senators voted last spring to make changes recommended by an expert panel, and the House DFL Caucus indicated its willingness to proceed with bi-partisan support, Rep. Zellers' Republican Caucus adamantly refused to support any of those changes.

Yes, Attorney General Lori Swanson can challenge that release. She has the legal authority and probably should make certain that all avenues have been properly vetted.

But Dayton is not arguing with the Attorney General.....he is only letting the recommendations of the review board move ahead. That is not a "lack of leadership"....that is following the law which the legislature put on the books. A law that Speaker Zellers wouldn't touch or "lead" on when he had the chance.

Zellers likes to use the "cheap shot". It's his style. He wouldn't lead on the Vikings Stadium and he wouldn't lead on the sex offender issue. All Zellers can do, I guess, is stand aside and criticize others when they make the tough decisions.

He doesn't seem to be able to make any of those tough ones himself.
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