Get thee to Crown, Kurt, saith the governor
And so saith we all
As another session of the Minnesota Legislature reached its denouement, a result, frankly, not unexpected, given Speaker Daudt and the Republican caucus in the House’s hatred of choo choo trains and the user fee called the “gas tax,” Mark Dayton said, in disgust, Go home everybody. This is the biggest debacle since another Kurt was Speaker of the House. Maybe the name is snakebit.
The Strib’s Patrick Congdon tweets that the governor has little enthusiasm for a special session soon (in spite of Kurt Daudt asking for one).
Dayton discourages idea that anything comprehensive on transportation, ie 10-year plan, would happen if there is a special session. #mnleg
— Patrick Condon (@patricktcondon) May 24, 2016
There is an old saying about second marriages: They are the triumph of hope over experience. And that is what a special session would probably be, too.
So Kurt and his caucus pals can explain to their constituents that no, they didn’t get any money to fix roads and bridges in rural Minnesota, but by god, at least the metro area won’t get the transit that the federal government would have mostly paid for anyway. And never mind about all the other public works projects around the state that got spiked.
A very important negotiating tip, Kurt, is that you trade for things you want by giving up things that don’t mean much to you. In the scheme of things, the Southwest LRT is very unimportant to Greater Minnesota, but it means a lot here in Lesser Minnesota.
But, to use some rural imagery, you had to be the dog in the manger. I doubt if even Norm Coleman’s dark money thuggery can paper this over.
If you possessed the quality of leadership — that we’re looking for in a candidate for governor, say — you would have explained to and persuaded rural interests and constituents that transit is part of a comprehensive plan (and a gas tax probably is, too); it’s necessary to be fair statewide, and to put it prosaically to them: You ain’t gettin’ your roads and bridges unless the metro gets the choo choo.
It was a chance to measure up, Kurt. You blew it.
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