A tale of two
luncheons news reports
As I was perusing Twitter Thursday morning, I came across a Minneapolis Star Tribune story about a luncheon where Governor Mark Dayton spoke to a business group.
The headline of said story?
Gov. Dayton gets standing ovation from business group
Gov. Dayton Lashes Out At Chamber Of Commerce
Gov. Dayton told a stunned luncheon audience that Minnesota is among the best places for business in the country, contrary to the Chamber’s message.
He said government spending is right in the middle, and that the state’s tax rank is dropping.
Dayton said he never heard the same criticism when Republican Tim Pawlenty was governor for eight years, and he asked his staff to investigate.
“And we could not find a single instance of the chamber calling for spending reforms during those eight years,” Dayton said. “Evidently, in your view, spending reform is needed only when a Democrat is governor.”
Aside from what sounded like an incredibly childish statement, it is stupefyingly false. While the Governor's staff may have been unable to come up with the Chamber itself objecting to higher spending during the Pawlenty administration, individual businesses sure as heck took exception.
My friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg conveyed it better than I could.
Business never complained about spending on Pawlenty’s watch? Huh?No doubt Pawlenty had a few warts. The
During the first term, business complained about things like “health impact fees” – stealth taxes framed as compromises with the DFL in a legislature he didn’t completely control. Just ask Sue Jeffers. On the other hand, he generally held the line on taxes, pursuant to his pledge to the Taxpayers League.
During the second? Pawlenty was faced with a wastrel DFL legislature; business rightly figured he was the last line of defense against the sort of pillaging the
MessingerDayton Administration and the Legislature have in mind.
And they were right then, and they’re right now.
Anyhow, back to the original point of this post. How come the Star Tribune story didn't mention Gov. Dayton's insinuation the the Chamber of Commerce was a biased organization for not calling out a GOP governor on spending cuts with the same fervor as they've conveyed to him? Could it possibly be that Dayton's rather petulant statement didn't exactly cast him in a favorable light and thus the Strib is covering for him?
Whatever the case, I give props to WCCO-TV political reporter Pat Kessler for specifically targeting that portion of the speech in his news report. For highlighting something which doesn't exactly make Dayton look like a stable leader is something that's rarely done amongst the Twin Cities media elite.