Since, former Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-03, Cook) and Sen David Tomassoni (DFL-06, Chisholm) were the two DFL votes against the confirmation of Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley, which resulted in a 33-31 vote, because as we inferred, Sen Jim Abeler (R-35-Anoka) abstained and Sen David Senjem (R-25, Rochester) voted in favor. We thought some history and political intrigue was worth noting.
Bakk, Tomassoni and Kelley all served in the House and the Senate at the same time and the northern Senators held no love for the Hopkins native. Kelley began his legislative career in the House 1993-96 then the Senate 1997-2006, while Bakk served in the House 1995-2002 and Senate 2003-present and Tomassoni came to the House 1993-2000 and moved to the Senate 2000-present. Iron Rangers fully understand the concept of horse-trading and if Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) wanted to protect his appointments he should have called Bakk and Tomassoni and made sure they stated on the One Minnesota team.
We have heard there are talks underway with Sen Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) continuing on a 1.3 billion Bonding Bill, but he is not the obstruction House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-31A, Crown) is.
So, even had Bakk and Tomassoni traded their votes in this fashion it likely won’t matter unless Bakk can get his fishing buddy Daudt to move. Maybe Walz should call Bakk and ask him to do so. At least, if he had Republicans could make the claim the rejection was bipartisan.