Saturday, July 2, 2011

A How-to Lesson in Anti-Negotiation

It sounds like the "cone of silence" imposed by the Minnesota legislative leadership and the governor as they met to work out their failed budget compromise hid some interesting parts of the process from the public's view.

So far, the Star Tribune is reporting that on Wednesday the Republicans came back to the table, where they had been getting closer to a compromise, with a list of non-finance (i.e., policy) demands. Governor Dayton would have had to sign bills to:

  • require voter ID
  • approve the Republican redistricting plan
  • eliminate collective bargaining for teachers
  • bar the University from doing embryonic stem cell research
  • further restrict abortions in the state.
The Minnesota Progressive Project, clearly not a fan of the Republican point of view, has posted a document that appears to be a Republican leadership memo from Wednesday that includes those demands, plus others, such as tort reform and "prevailing wage reform" -- I'm not sure what that is exactly (it got almost no discussion in the media, and what little there was is from March), but it clearly has nothing to do with the state budget.

Introducing this laundry list of pet causes so late in the process makes it clear the Republican leadership wasn't interested in getting a budget bill done. Did they think any of those items would be okay with Dayton? Really? All it could do was antagonize him.

Interestingly, this part of the negotiation -- which appears to have been key in derailing the whole deal -- was not reported by the Pioneer Press or, from what I can tell, by MPR.

I wonder why not? Maybe it will still come out in the next few days.


Loretta Ellsworth said...

Interesting - I hadn't heard any of this before. Thanks for posting.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I'm not entirely sure, but I think I heard mention of these demands on KNOW yesterday morning. nothing in detail, though.

Unemployed Dragon said...

I've been looking forward seeing a posting by you about this, DN3. One more example of the tumultuous times we live in right now. I'm disappointed that Minnesota has gone this route.

Ms Sparrow said...

I posted the link on my Facebook.
Thanks for letting us know!