Woodbury, MN – Action 4 Liberty, a Minnesota-based political non-profit that promotes free markets, limited government and fiscal responsibility, will be running radio ads in the Twin Cities demanding that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt not agree to a Special Session.
The ads started running on major Minnesota radio stations for starting on December 15th and will run for five days.
On Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, MPR reported that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton gave legislative lawmakers a deadline of Thursday, December 15 to finish the negotiations on the agenda for a planned Dec. 20, 2016 special session. As Alpha News reported, Minnesota legislative leaders Kurt Daudt (R-Crown), Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) and Joyce Peppin (R-Rogers) will have to work their negotiations for the billion dollar public works bill, health insurance premium relief and tax cut plan between “training sessions” while attending the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) “Special Symposium for Legislative Leaders 2016” held in the U.S. Virgin Islands this week. The leaders are expected to return on Friday. According to CBS Minnesota, Dayton said the deadline for a special session is 5PM tonight.
According to their press release, Action 4 Liberty is running the ads because this past election season, Minnesota voters elected Republicans to hold the majority in the State Senate. The release went on to say that if Kurt Daudt and Democrats agree to a special session before the new majority takes office, they are undermining the results of the November elections because Democrats would still have more power in that chamber.
Action 4 Liberty president Jake Duesenberg said, “Minnesotans aren’t paying attention to politics during the holiday season. Therefore, holding a special session at this time appears to be a sneaky way of ushering in massive spending without much reaction from the public or accountability by voters. Estimates of the cost of this special session are between $1.5 and $2 billion.”
The press release states that the special session would cost taxpayers additionally tens of thousands of dollars in per diem payments, which will directly benefit legislators. Other expenses incurred would be due to finding another venue to hold the meeting since the State Capitol is still under renovation.
Duesenberg told Alpha News that if the special session were to be held in December, newly elected legislators like Cal Bahr (R-31B) would have no say in the session while Tom Hackbarth (R) the incumbent of that legislative district who was defeated by Bahr would be able to vote. “By Kurt Daudt calling a special session before the Republicans take control of the legislature, he gives up his ability to actually get real long-term reform,” Duesenberg said.
Duesenberg expressed his concerns regarding the state’s top legislator’s negotiating a special session while at a conference in the Caribbean. “They’re down there in the U.S. Virgin Islands. There’s a perception that people back here in the state of Minnesota are looking at this saying, ‘you guys are really negotiating something that’s going to help people back in Minnesota?’ This is not how things are supposed to be done. These backroom deals have been synonymous with any kind of negotiation. Nothing is done in public. The leadership, usually Kurt Daudt, Tom Bakk and Mark Dayton come together with these deals and then they’re supposed to vote on it. It’s going to be done in a day and they’re going to spend close to $2 billion. It looks real bad when the lead negotiators are down in the Virgin Islands. It looks real bad,” Duesenberg said.