Dayton’s Mediation Maneuver: Deft PR, But…

Your move, Mr. Zellers.
Nifty PR chess move, but substantively silly. That’s how I’d grade out Governor Dayton’s suggestion yesterday that a mediator be brought in to help facilitate a solution to the state’s budget crisis.

PR-wise, the move is another brilliant move from a fellow who long seemed to have a bit of a tin ear when it came to public relations. A new public opinion poll this week is confirming what a Star Tribune poll recently found — that Dayton is fairing much better than Republican legislators in the Capitol cage match. His tax increase is polling 31 percentage points ahead of the Republican Legislature’s cuts only approach, and Dayton’s job approval rating is 32 points ahead of the Legislature’s. Who woulda thunk it, but the Tax Increaser In Chief is kicking ass just a few months after the Tea Party’s Great Shellacking of 2010.

And this move probably won’t hurt those numbers. Suggesting a mediator is so reflective of Minnesota Nice values. It plays into Minnesotans’ conflict adverse, middle-of-the-road instincts: “Oh geez, Ole, why can’t dem guys up der just get someone to help them figure it out then?”

Anyway, the maneuver seemed to work. The Republicans’ rejection of the mediator offer further cemented the public perception that Republican legislative leaders are refusing to compromise.

But beyond PR, come on Governor. I suspect Dayton knows this, but he, Zellers and the gang are the mediators we hired for this job. The Founding Dads designed a representative democracy, rather than a pure democracy, which means voters hire people, through elections, to mediate public disputes, rather than 5.3 million of us trying to resolve disputes mediator-less. Given that, it’s silly for our appointed mediators to appoint mediators who aren’t electorally accoutable to the citizenry.

So, Dayton’s mediation maneuver was a deft PR chess move, but the Republicans did Minnesotans a favor by quickly shutting that idea down.

– Loveland

6 thoughts on “Dayton’s Mediation Maneuver: Deft PR, But…

  1. PM says:

    How many different ways can he say “Let’s just split the difference”?

    Every time he does it, he looks better. It is simplistic PR, simplistic negotiating, but it works. I would guess that he probably has another 5 or 6 versions of this, and that he will pull a new one out every couple of days, and just keep the pressure on.

    The problem is that the IR’s have an absolutist position, and until they feel real pain they are not going to abandon it. But they will. Only after they have been hurt, a lot.

  2. john sherman says:

    As long as the Republican definition of compromise is “do exactly what we want” (actually on the federal level the definition is “do exactly what we want and then we’ll reject it”}, why shouldn’t the Governor suggest bringing in outside agents who if the Republicans weren’t intransigent could help facilitate an agreement, but who since the Republicans are could help make the point?

  3. Newt says:

    And now Ireland is reaping the benefits of tax-the-rich logic, chasing away an avowed liberal no less …

    Target: Bono is being accused of tax avoidance in his native Ireland and is likely to see a protest from the stage

    He is the rock legend dubbed ‘Saint Bono’ for his long-running campaign against global poverty.

    But when Bono’s band U2 perform at Glastonbury later this month, protesters are planning to accuse them of avoiding taxes which could have helped exactly the sort of people the singer cares about so dearly.

    Members of activist group Art Uncut will hoist a massive inflatable sign with the message ‘Bono Pay Up’ spelt out in lights during the Irish band’s headline performance.

    They will also parade bundles of oversized fake cash in front of the singer.

    The protest has been provoked by U2’s decision to move their multi-million-pound music and publishing business away from Ireland – thus allegedly avoiding taxes on record sales.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1394422/Saint-Bono-facing-huge-Glastonbury-protest–avoiding-tax.html#ixzz1OVgGS0Lj

  4. Newt says:

    If I were Brodkorb or Sutton, I would have positioned this months ago as the “Dayton Shutdown.” Only one person has the power to shut down government, and it’s Dayton.

    If they had an ounce of political skill, they could bury the DFL on this issue.

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