Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Putting the "Big L" in DFL

Minnesota Democrats (known as the Democratic Farmer Labor party) bowed to pressure from public employee unions SEIU and AFSCME to pass legislation unionizing in-home day care and Personal Care Assistants. With the Senate passing the measure last week (barely, 35-32), the House on Monday approved the bill by a razor thin 68-66 vote. Not a single Republican voted yes in either the House or Senate.

First off, I'd like to give kudos to the 4 Senate and 5 House DFLers who maintained a shred of common sense by voting "no." Of course, I may be giving too much credit to these legislators. Political maneuvering in the DFL caucus probably gave permission to these people to vote "no" since they were likely deemed the most vulnerable in future elections. Let's face it. Other than with union members themselves, this legislation was woefully unpopular amongst most factions, left or right. Heck, even both the St Paul Pioneer Press and Minneapolis Star Tribune (neither will ever be confused with the Washington Times) panned this bill.

A couple of final thoughts.

First, this is a golden opportunity for the MN House Republicans when the 2014 campaign season kicks in to high gear. If just one more House Democrat had voted "no" on the daycare/PCA unionization bill, the final roll would've been a 67-67 deadlock, meaning the legislation would have failed (unless the Dems had called yet another "do over"). With that in mind, every one of the 68 DFLers who voted "yes" can be tabbed as having cast the deciding vote.

Finally, it's pretty obvious that House Democrats were incredibly reluctant to hold a vote, thus they waited until there was less than 12 hours remaining in the legislative session to walk the proverbial plank. DFLers know this is crap legislation, but they're indebted to their union cohorts, who donated about $11 million to their campaigns this past election cycle. So the unions ended up being placated but at the expense of a group of people whom I know full well you should never anger --- Mothers.

Expect this bill to be challenged in court.


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