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One party doesn’t mean one viewpoint

December 26, 2012
The Journal

An Associated Press report in Monday's Journal made a very insightful observation on the upcoming legislative session, the first since 1990 that will be under the control of one party in both houses of the Legislature and the governor's office. Reporter Brian Bakst pointed out that the last time the DFL?was in total control, they still managed to disagree. A lot! Rudy Perpich, then in his full-blown "Governor Goofy" stage, managed to argue with House and Senate DFLers over tax reform and other issues.

As the Minnesota DFL?again heads to the session with Gov. Mark Dayton in office, and controlling the House and Senate, it will not necessarily be clear sailing. One should never underestimate the ability of the DFL - or Republicans, for that matter -?to disagree with each other.

Look at U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and the problems he had trying to get his Fiscal Cliff "Plan?B" bill passed last week. Members of his own party dug in their heels at the prospect of raising taxes - any taxes - even if it is on millionaires. Boehner's failure to get his own legislation through the House that his party controls was politically embarassing for him.

Leading a political caucus isn't always the easiest thing to do. It may be a little like herding cats. Politicians tend to have strong opinions and minds of their own. It should be an easier session than the past few, but still interesting to watch.



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