46 thoughts on “I’d Vote for Tom Horner, If …

  1. Momkat of Apple Valley says:

    This must be my lucky day: the latest Scott Turow book waiting for me at the library and a nice long post from you although the last paragraph made me flinch with the image of Emmer in a ‘cute red leather jacket and…’.

    I’m so disappointed that we elected Dayton (ven though we’re on his holiday card list) that I’ll probably vote for Horner. I don’t see how we can afford to blunder our way through four years.

  2. PM says:

    I also thought that it was an excellent article. I have no confidence at all in dayton’s ability to do anything other than to move into the governor’s mansion should he win the election.

    As for Emmer–as i mentioned, i was favorably impressed with the fact that he did not have 2 left feet, ate no small children and did not get falling over drunk at the fundraiser that i attended. That said, i will not be voting for him.

    Anyone planning a Horner fundraiser anytime soon?

  3. Don’t you think that, if elected, Dayton would work with the legislature to get what’s possible passed? Why couldn’t Dayton be the one, in the course of a legislative session, to compromise and enact the sales tax broadening combined with a new higher-limit tax bracket, phased in at $300,000 like you say? I don’t get your animosity to Dayton. He’s certainly better than Horner and Emmer, no contest. Did he steal your girlfriend once or something?

    1. Mike Kennedy says:

      Better than Horner or Emmer? I guess that might be true by your measurement, but moderate liberals like my in-laws say they will support and vote for Horner because both Dayton and Emmer are too extreme on each side of the political scale. I agree, and I think Horner’s numbers will rise going forward.

    2. 108 says:

      I think Dayton gave BL a hard time about how many soda’s he was taking from the staff fridge.

      Just kidding!…..I think….

    3. No, and I don’t think he stole Peiken’s either. Its really as simple as this, Rob, the guy has screwed the pooch in his last major job — that he bought for himself — why trust him to do anything different this time out? It’d be different if he were a short-order cook who keeps screwing up the hash browns. But Governor? After the Pawlenty disaster?

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Lambo, come one, how’d Dayton “screw the pooch” in his last job? What was the grievous singular error equivalent to an aviator ditching his aircraft into the ocean committed by Dayton?

        One Senator in his first term doesn’t achieve much on his own. But neither does he singularly “screw the pooch,” especially during the Bush years. Hence his assigning of that “F” grade to the entirety of the Democratic Senate, not just himself alone.

        The closing of his office? Was that it? And the fallout from that was…? A lobbyist with a hole in his schedule? Come on, dial back the rhetoric.

      2. PM says:

        No, he gave that grade to himself. having served in the US Senate myself (staffer, of course), i have seen plenty of senators, distinguished and otherwise. dayton was a failure.

      3. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Yeah, I got that, PM, as I wrote, he assigned the “F” to himself and the entirety of the Dem Senate. Well deserved all the way around in those dark days.

        Still doesn’t answer my question, though.

      4. PM says:

        The man was a complete waste of space. he did nothing. He has done nothing his entire life except spend the money he was given buying himself into positions of more and more responsibility, where he continues to do….nothing.

        Maybe your standards are just lower….

      5. Jim Leinfelder says:

        My standards for rhetoric rise higher than yours and Lamberts, PM. Enough with the cliches. “Screwed the pooch,” “complete waste of space.”

        I’ll give Dayton a higher level of distinction than the cynical Democrats who voted for Bush’s invasion of Iraq and all the death and havoc that followed simply to inoculate their presidential aspirations.

        But all I’m asking for is criticism that’s rises higher than tossed off cliches and mental health innuendo. For example, point me to the freshman Democratic Senators during Dayton’s time in the Senate who set the standard you vaguely reference.

      6. Well, if a guy devotes his heart, soul and bank account to running for high public office, wins, then goes to the job and fails to engage anyone sufficiently to move any serious legislation … then blames a rotten culture and … quits … well, that’s my idea of screwing the pooch. If you’re stunned the Senate is dysfunctional … well, you may have not been paying attention, or properly training yourself for what you’re getting in to. There’s no whining in the Senate Club. It is what it is. Wellstone had at least as much liberal crede, but understood he’d have to interact with the troglodytes to stay relevant and nudge anything in a positive direction, which he did … at the peak of the Gingrich revolution. Politics is a tough game for chronic self-pity. So, why go through that again?

      7. I was only kidding about stealing your girlfriend, Brian, but now I’m not so sure. You prefer Tom Horner, a man who sold his mouth to the highest bidders and now wants us to believe there is a *real* him, over someone who devoted his life, fortune and efforts to help the less fortunate? In case you don’t remember, Dayton served in a senate controlled mostly by Republicans, and under a president who governed like the Democrats had won zero votes.

        From his Wikipedia page it doesn’t look like he did nothing while he was in the senate despite Republican obstructionism :

        He opposed tax cuts and the invasion of Iraq, and supported increased Medicare prescription drug coverage for seniors and use of ethanol and biodiesel fuels. He served on four Senate committees: Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Armed Services; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; and Rules and Administration.[7] With Sen. Joe Lieberman and Rep. Barney Frank, Dayton introduced legislation to the Governmental Affairs Committee extend to domestic partners of federal employees all “benefits available and obligations imposed upon a spouse of an employee.”[8]

      8. The gruel is a little thin there, Rob. Even if you can swallow Dayton’s “blame the system” excuse for his lack of effectiveness. there was no reason — none — why he couldn’t have spoken out, frequently and loudly, on behalf of liberal issues. He didn’t. He gave one good speech on the floor of the Senate. I’m not quarreling with his message, or the dysfunction of the system. I”m questioning whether he has ever, really, demonstrated the … tenacity, resilience and guts … to deliver on his message. Quitting doesn’t inspire much confidence.

      9. I find your romantic view of politicians odd, to say the least, Brian, in that it only seems to apply to Mark Dayton. Where is your critical facility for dealing with Tom Horner? What has he done with his life? Which corporate clients has he served? Which Republican issues has he pushed – deregulation, shifting of taxes away from the rich, anti-diversity, privatization of services, etc? Why do you not look at the history of Horner? There are no doubt many skeletons in there.

        Why do you expect Mark Dayton to be so perfect, when there is no such expectation of Horner? And so what if Dayton doesn’t have the charisma you so obviously expect? What – is this a high school prom contest?

        I’m really starting to wonder about you – you’ve been on this Dayton kick so long. My admiration for you and your writing has been built up over many years, but you’re well on your way to destroying it.

      10. Also Brian – your concern for the supposed efficacy of a Dayton governorship rings particularly hollow given the history of his opponents. Tom Horner is a Republican – he was one his entire professional life, so why isn’t he one now? Political expediency. In case you don’t remember, all the things you seem to care about – the steady downfall of our state – are due to the actions of HIS party – the Republicans. Yet that doesn’t seem to bother you. I ask again, what is it, REALLY, that bothers you about Mark Dayton?

      11. Romantic? I’m thinking more “realpolitik”. Moreover, you seem to think I’m locked into Dayton while taking no offense at any other. I’m looking more harshly at him because supposedly represents my interests. Emmer is — as I’ve said — a cartoon. Horner’s Republican past is not a mystery to me. He’s a classic old school republican. Do I have to say that another dozen times or more? My beef … to reiterate (and re-reiterate again) … is that Dayton’s record is one of chronic failure, largely based in his own personal issues, which he admits and are well known. In that context, the question I’m asking, is whether Horner deserves “serious consideration”. And … to re-re-repeat … that he’ll get it from me only when he re-thinks his absurd tax proposals. If he does, there is no question in my mind that he has more … (repeating, again) … tenacity and resilience for the cynical game of politics than Dayton has ever shown. You love Dayton’s message, Rob. I get that. But you’re discounting his record of never really making that message a reality and blaming external factors for his failures. I don’t get that.

      12. I’m not discounting Dayton’s record. You may believe it slim, and we can argue about that. Certainly being one of 100 senators is much different than being a chief executive governor.

        I have hopes for Dayton, to be sure. But I’d take a failed DFLer over a slimy Republican any day. You say Horner is old-school Republican. Did he support Pawlenty? Let’s all take a long look at Horner’s record. I’d prefer to take a chance with someone who’s heart and mind are in the right place than someone who is trying to pull one over on us.

  4. Joe Loveland says:

    You know those ads candidates always run listing glowing endorsements from third parties? I’m imagining Horner’s forthcoming ad:

    ” (I)n the entire field, (Horner) most convincingly describes how reform of both the state tax code and delivery of services could contribute to balancing the state budget.” – Star Tribune

    “Blah, blah, blah…” – Mankato Free Press

    “As dry a Republican as you’ll find eating a special dinner out at Olive Garden or Applebee’s. (But)…no one suspects (Horner) of being “erratic”, and he gives more indications than the other two of being a psychologically stable adult…” – Brian Lambert, Same Rowdy Crowd blog

    1. I believe you took the Mankato Free Press quote above out of context, the whole quote was–
      ‘Blah, blah, blah…and still a better choice than the other guys running.’

      You have summed this up well. The race is between Horner and Dayton. A race between the fear of a 3rd party candidate against the fear of erratic labeling. I want to choose without caving into fear, and I want you to too.

      So it is Dayton, who has shown the courage to propose the tax hike the state needs…against Horner, who has not. So, right now my vote is for Dayton until Horner can admit and add a tax the rich plank to his platform.

      As for the rest of the stuff…it is just stuff.

      1. Well, like I say, I’m not there — Horner-wise — yet. He needs to make a move in the serious tax code evolution before I can be comfortable with him. But, pragmatically speaking, it is borderline science fiction to see any but the most committed lefties — Phyllis Kahn, John Marty — getting enthusiastic about anything that can (and will) be labeled “tax increase”.

  5. 108 says:

    Wait a minute. All us Democrats are OK with a $300,000 phase in now? Has anybody told Dayton that?

    There’s a couple big reason’s he’ll lose, but this $150,000 phase in he’s promoting…will…not…play. There’s plenty of otherwise civic minded physicians, attorneys, and accountants who will not stand for it. Never mind Johhny Law and Jane Nurse-Law and their non-unionized equivalents in the private sector.

    MAK was the winning candidate. You blew it folks. Or the rangers blew it I guess. You’re right Brian. Rural people aren’t very smart.

    1. Uh, as someone who grew up in rural Minnesota, you won’t hear me saying “rural people aren’t very smart”. the elderly Rangers voted their self-interest. (More to the point … they VOTED.)

  6. BL = “But, pragmatically speaking, it is borderline science fiction to see any but the most committed lefties — Phyllis Kahn, John Marty — getting enthusiastic about anything that can (and will) be labeled “tax increase”.”

    Actually I disagree, and I disagree on the stance of pragmatism. A tax increase is obvious to a pragmatist…and all these ‘pass the cost on to our kids’ legislative and executive sausage-making is what is making our state sick.

    As someone who drives past Governor BridgeFail’s Memorial Park every day, and drove under that bridge an hour before it tragically failed…I refuse to consider a tax increase as being impractical.

    I demand a tax increase, and I expect adult leadership from my governor who will admit to it’s need, is open to saying so, is open to explaining so, and is willing to stand up and lead those who are willing to follow that lead. I’m sure I’m not the only pragmatist out there voting for what is good for me and my state.

    1. Look, I’m down with the “tax the rich” bit. It is where the money is. The issue, I repeat, is whether Dayton has the personal chops to “stand up”, “lead” and … here’s the real rub … has the tenacity and savvy to make it happen. Based on our long experience with the guy, I don’t see it.

      1. Why is this all falling onto Dayton…if MAK and Matt are supposedly the future leadership of the DFL, this next legislative session is where they prove it. They needed seasoning before being governor material and that didn’t end with the primary. If they expect my vote in the future, it will be based on their effectiveness next session.

  7. Mike Kennedy says:

    Well, Brian, “tax the rich because that’s where the money is” sounds good as a slogan but doesn’t really work in the real world. Government revenues from taxes have stayed at around 18 percent of GDP no matter where tax rates have been — 90 percent down to 35 percent — so liberals are simply using higher taxes to justify re-distributing wealth.

    It’s one thing — among several — that irritate me about “progressives.” Just be flat out honest and say that’s the goal instead of pretending that it’s about fiscal responsibility, just like some of the goofball conservatives claim tax cuts without spending cuts pay for themselves. Howlers, all.

    1. Mike, you’ve answered your own quandry…what liberals or progressives have not said this is about re-distribution? Of course it is, that is the point of a progressive tax rate.

      But the answer you provided above is that the 18% GDP when the rate was 90 or 35 means that now that the 18% comes with 35% max, that means a much larger burden of the overall tax falls on the middle class…and since infrastructure is failling at this rate and the economy is stopped given the lack of available discretionary funds in the middle class…the tax burden needs to shift back to the rich (who are hoarding their money and not investing it in the economy).

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        You missed the point. The very wealthy, by nature of controlling their income and their deductions and hiring people to find creative ways to shelter taxes, are not going to pay a bigger burden.

        That’s why the 18 percent stays at 18 percent. That is the point. You can raise the rate to 90 percent, but it’s not going to bring more money in from the wealthy.

        If I’m going to have my highest marginal income taxed at 90 percent, I’ll simply work to make enough to avoid that bracket. I’ll cut expenses, including businesses reinvestment and put off hiring people and invest my money in tax deferred and tax free vehicles — tax free bonds, Roth IRAs etc. And I’ll have my CPA come up with more tax avoidance strategies.

        Wait a minute. That’s exactly what is happening — per the last sentence of your response.

  8. Ambrose Charpentier says:

    BL, I guess your air-conditioning’s on the blink or you’ve got a boil on your backside or both. I hope you’re feeling better before you write your next column.

    I think it will take Jesus F. Christ to get sensible reform passed by the MN legislature any time soon. Too bad for all of us he’s not on the ballot.

  9. Steve Timmer says:

    Lambert asks what Dayton has ever, really, done? Well, I can think of one thing right off the bat. He took a Senate seat away from a telegenic Republican and it’s been in Democratic hands for ten years now.

    For any number of reasons, including the death of his pal and mentor, Paul Wellstone, Dayton had a miserable experience in the Senate. His popularity was low, and mirabile dictu, he stepped aside and we elected another Democratic senator.

    Ask yourself: would Amy Klobuchar be a senator today if Rod Grams had gotten a second term? Unlikely.

    It seems a little churlish, perhaps especially here, to criticize someone who appears to be getting a second act.

    Really, I don’t think that’s so bad.

  10. PM says:

    Frankly, i think that Grams was a poor candidate, who should have lost to klobuchar or just about anyone else.

    1. Steve Timmer says:

      Well, you’re right, of course. That Jerry Janezich, why he would have mopped the floor with the Grams guy. No question.

  11. Gerald Farmer says:

    Brian: Saw your article on Isle Royale. As the last survivor of the early IR (Rock harbor Lodge) I might have some historical details you might find useful over time. I’m 81, retired and live in MTKA. jerry

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