Minimum Wage Work-Around

As the conference committee on the Minimum Age continues to stand at an impasse’, we thought we saw an opportunity to move things forward in the overall debate. When we inquired as to the support amongst the majority party members on both sides, we learned the Senate is lacking eleven votes on their side to pass an indexing provision. When we mentioned this to the House Chief Author Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL -46A, St Louis Park), he was quick to question the validity of this point.
We asked him about a point raised with the Senate, which was to pass a bill at $9.50, on which both sides agree and put the question of indexing before the voters in the fall as a Constitutional Amendment, to which he said, “No more Constitutional Amendments.” We have since spoken with other constituency groups and are finding broad support. When we spoke with AFSCME President Elliot Seide, he pointed out the fact that this was how they passed the issue in New Jersey over the opposition of current embattled Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ). The referendum passed in the Garden State with 61.26%.
In Kentucky, current Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and she is a staunch advocate for an increase in the Minimum wage to $10.10/hour. With Kentucky clearly a Red State, McConnell facing opposition on his right from Tea Party Candidate Matt Bevin (R), a wedge issue like the Minimum Wage could be an x-factor in a statewide election in the Blue Grass State, because it helps offset the gender disparities in wages for women. Minimum Wage jobs are more often held by the fairer sex and hence could be a motivator for female turnout at the polls if such a question were on the ballot.
Now, we are not discussing this idea due to any partisan nature, because an issue like Minimum Wage is motivating factor, which would drive more women voters to the polls, just because in Minnesota women vote more democratically than do their male counterparts. Actually, as the debate rages on about whether or not increasing the Minimum Wage is a jobs killer or not could be placed before the public and the public’s opinion could be ascertained. The two sides could gear up for a robust debate over the course of the summer and the Chamber of Commerce and the state’s labor unions could have a conversation about the merits or demerits of such a change and battle it out in the marketplace of ideas.
One other point we learned from our discussion with Winkler, who was fast to point out he didn’t want to provide us with much depth as to his negotiations strategy, but he did encourage us to research how Minnesota raised the Minimum Wage prior to having it enshrined in state law. Back in 1913, the state Minimum Wage applied to women and children and the wage rates were set by a commission housed in the Department of Labor and Industries. Maybe this is what Winkler was suggesting we seek and find. If there were to be a commission formed, it would make Minimum Wage less of a hot button political issue for the legislature, but then again a Constitution Amendment on the issue, would resolve that question far into the future.

Short While Gone But Not Forgotten

Just in case, you think we have been finding better ways to bide our time, rather than putting out screeds or diatribes about political issues; our hiatus is now come to a close. We’re back and ready to provide our unique perspective on politics. Now just in case you missed it with just a couple of tweets, we surprisingly, facilitated the departure of Dennis Nguyen from the Secretary of States’  race.  We also assisted someone to reassess their thoughts regarding another statewide office, but that occurred far more covertly.

Now, it is never our intent to scare someone out of an electoral contest. We don’t carry that kind of weight. If you have read critical opines, by some less than pedantic Republican blogs, you will see we have received payments for our opinions on political matters to the tune of $40,000. So what. We also have previously received thousands of $$ from the Republican Party of Minnesota, Republican candidates, Democratic candidates, the Independence Party of Minnesota and even Green Party candidates.

If receipt of money is a crime then we’re completely and totally guilty and does money influence our opinions, no not at all. We here at Checks & Balances have a long and storied political history. Publisher Shawn Towle, is a fail candidate for office seeking a Senate seat in 1992. Oh shock he also was a member of the DFL Constitution and Bylaws Commission up until 1998. Gasp.

So Jay Kohls, if you ever want to do that interview you were working so hard on, for your Republican bent television station we can stop calling.  Checks & Balances is not an advocacy group, lobbying interest or any other entity in violation of  House or Senate Rules.

If there is biased information found in opinion, it is because it is opinion. If the is political analysis found in Checks & Balances it’s because there is political analysis in Checks & Balances.

Now, no one will ever believe a company owned by Stanley Hubbard, run by Stanley Hubbard, Jr remains uninfluenced by the boss come on who are you kidding. When either of the Stanley’s write checks, we know it’s really just a loan, because there will be campaign ads running KSTP News or radio later on. When one of the Hubbard’s endorses a candidate, like Rep. Kurt Zellars (R-34B, Maple Grove) or is the campaign finance chair for Chris Dahlberg (R), we know there is not possibly any influence on the news coverage.

Because if there is even the remote possibility or even likelihood then KSTP should just forgo accepting any campaign advertisement and run the ads for free. Just, do Minnesota a public service, and save campaigns money. This way the Hubbards and Ginny Morris won’t need to write some many checks.