Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just The Facts

DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton presented his economic plan at a public meeting on Monday. Reviews from attendees include:

"Dayton offers facts and logic defending his tax plan"

"… if you value straight talk about what a candidate plans to do, based on facts and logic, DFL guv nominee Mark Dayton demonstrated again today at the Humphrey Institute that he is in a class by himself."

"… if there was an award for the most detailed and fact-based presentation by a candidate, Dayton would have won it"

What a speech for Dayton. He had the crowd enthralled, virtually eating out of his hand. Oh, the logic! The facts! The thrills going up legs! Dayton in 2010, Happy Days Are Here Again.

Not to turn the hose on the bandwagon prematurely, but these swooning endorsements weren’t exactly from a random selection of average voters. In fact, they were from, in order:

-- a headline writer for a liberal web site

-- an ex Star Tribune reporter

-- the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute

Not exactly a representative sample of the general electorate. If a Democrat candidate can't get breathless praise from the Mondale Chair at the Humphrey Institute, he's really in trouble. (By the way, I love that Mondale/Humphrey branding for an academic at a government run school. It's too subtle though. Maybe amp it up with a new title and announce he sits on the Wellstone Cushion of the Mondale Chair of the Humphrey Institute.)

Alas, the thrill of Dayton's speech has proven to be short lived. On Tuesday, while the amazing facts and logic of Mark Dayton were still triumphantly ringing in the ears of adoring partisans, the MN Department of Revenue rendered its judgment on the same presentation.

A state Department of Revenue analysis of DFLer Mark Dayton’s so-called "Tax the Rich" proposal to add tax brackets for high-income earners showed Tuesday that the gubernatorial candidate’s plan would raise roughly half of what he had hoped to get to help solve Minnesota’s $6 billion budget deficit.
Suggested topic for the next Mondale Chair led seminar at the Humphrey Institute: Can a logical and factual budget that comes up roughly 50% short of its designated goal be described as either logical or factual? Discuss!

Not to worry though, the Dayton campaign has a plan B:

Katharine Tinucci, a Dayton spokesperson, said the analysis showed "that more work is needed to identify additional sources of revenues" and said the campaign was "taking suggestions" on making cuts to erase the state budget deficit.

In other words, anybody out there got some facts and logic to spare for Mark Dayton?