Monday, June 27, 2005

Camp Ripley: Believe it or Not

When I first heard of Pawlenty's Ripley Gambit, to get the Legislative leaders and himself to Camp Ripley, I thought it was an intriguing concept. Sure he is trying to save face for his total lack of leadership throughout this process. But it is crunch time, and something has to be done to get the deal through. So what better way than to lock them all up together, without outside influence, and start hashing out the differences. So far, 3 our of 4 have agreed to the junket. From the Right:
The Republican governor said Sunday that his plane would be ready to depart this morning. He said House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, and Senate Minority Leader Dick Day, R-Owatonna, began packing their bags.
and the Left:
Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, was considering the trip, said his spokesman, John Pollard. House Minority Leader Matt Entenza, DFL-St. Paul, planned go to the talks, his spokesman said.

"Matt will travel anywhere, from Warroad to Worthington or anywhere in between to negotiate for health care and education funding," DFL House caucus spokesman Glen Fladeboe said today.
Now, here's the problem; unless EVERYTHING is on the table, it is not feasible to expect a fair and respectable outcome to these talks. The Left has given MAJOR ground throughout the entire process, while Tim and company refuse to make ANY reasonable concessions at all. The logjam that exists, and the pending shutdown that looms, is placed squarely on the Right for their refusal to negotiate freely and fairly. I just hope the Senate leaders don't wallow into obscurity and succumb to the demands of the Gov, and his henchmen in the House.


UPDATE: Sen. Mjaority Leader Johnson says NO to junket. Feels that St. Paul is the place to be and the Governor's mansion is a good spot to hash out the final details.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson on Monday morning rejected a request by Gov. Tim Pawlenty to isolate legislative leaders at Camp Ripley for budget negotiations, suggesting instead that they gather at the Governor's Residence in St. Paul.
Also, fiscal bean counters should be available to make sure they are dealing with real numbers and acurate projections.
Private meetings that shut out experienced fiscal and legal staff in the past, he said, "have resulted in mistakes. The people of Minnesota deserve better than that."

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