Dan McGrath and Mary Kiffmeyer | LeftMN photo
by Steve Timmer
Nov 8, 2012, 11:30 AM

Dan and Mary’s brand new day

“We want to cooperate with you liars,” say Dan and Mary

The day after the voter restriction amendment became the smoking crater of a Republican dream, Mary Kiffmeyer is back, saying now that she really wants to work with the governor and DFL legislature to pass a photo voter ID bill. Really, she does.

Kiffmeyer, the ALEC Mother Superior in Minnesota and ramrod on ALEC’s photo voter ID initiatives, paid scant attention to DFLers’ concerns on her voter ID bills in the last two sessions. On offered amendment after amendment on the bill that was passed in 2011 and that the governor vetoed, or the constitutional amendment bill that was passed this year, it was My-Way-or-the-Highway Kiffmeyer in the committee she chaired.

As an aside, it’s funny to read the words of the deluded Kiffmeyer, who apparently believes she is still Somebody at the Legislature. In case she hadn’t noticed, she went from a majority-party committee chair in the House to a minority-party zero-seniority backbencher in the Senate, a position she’ll hold for at least four years. She’s going to have trouble finding air to breathe, much less a pulpit to pound.

But Kiffmeyer has a funny way of extending the olive branch:

Kiffmeyer credited the loss to “the misinformation about it” from opponents, to a “very aggressive campaign to get voters to vote no,” to a successful appeal to Democrats to oppose it and to a last-minute appeal from former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson and current DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Dan McGrath sounded a similar note:

He blamed what he called a “fear-mongering message” promoted by opponents. “It’s senior citizens won’t be able to vote. Soldiers won’t be able to vote. Students won’t be able to vote. [Voters are] afraid it comes with all of this excess baggage,” he said. “Which it doesn’t.” Opponents said supporters misled voters and, in particular, downplayed the ultimate cost to state and local governments for overhauling the voter system.

But Dan will be back working with the liars too, we’re sure!

In the debate where McGrath and Kiffmeyer made many appearances, I wish some of the anti-amendment spokesters had waved a copy of the 2011 bill vetoed by Governor Dayton and said, “This is the Republican [wet] dream enabling act.” And then recited some of the requirements in it. It would have been an effective foil to McGrath and Kiffmeyer’s dissembling about how the amendment was simple, really, and nothing to be afraid of.

If you want to show your cooperative hearts, Dan and Mary, first support the bill to provide information to felons about when their civil rights are restored that you both opposed — but passed the Legislature, anyway — and Governor Pawlenty vetoed. That’s the only “voter fraud” we have. Or maybe, Mary, you could offer a bill to do what Utah does: permit anyone who is not actually behind bars to vote.

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