The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 10, 2013

Obama, liberals aim for pain on shutdown

— The liberals in Washington certainly know how to shut government down and earn points from swing voters by implementing “Maximum Pain for Political Gain.”

President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took a lesson from the playbook of Gov. Mark Dayton right here in Minnesota. Or did Mark Dayton take his orders directly from the national democratic party in Washington?

As we now know Gov. Dayton didn’t seem to bother to read the bills put before vetoing them in 2010 with evidence of this in: Dayton proclaimed the Vikings snuck in the Personal Seat License into the stadium bill. Sorry governor, as a senator who was there, I can say this was talked about in almost every committee hearing on this bill.

Dayton blamed the Republicans for the school shift. Had the governor gotten his way the shift would have been a 50-50 shift. As a senator, I was there. Despite a Legislature that passed bills that balanced the budget and put Minnesota back on track for taxpayers, families and businesses in Minnesota — the governor vetoed the bills and shut down government.

The point is I believe Dayton didn’t bother to read the bills because he knew he was going to shut the state down; no matter what, and just blame the Republicans; with no negotiation.

Now we are faced with a federal government shutdown and both President Obama and Harry Reid are counting on you to stay uninformed so they win the battle of information. Here are a few tidbits that you may not have read in your local newspaper or heard on the 6 o’clock news.

According to a report in the Washington Times an anonymous Park Service Ranger said they were ordered to make Americans suffer as much as possible. The National Park Service barricaded the WWII Memorial and kept veterans on Honor Flights out. This is not the government’s memorial; it is the WWII veterans' memorial and we the people’s memorial. They also closed a parking area alongside a state highway near Mt. Rushmore to stop visitors from taking pictures. (This area wasn’t even on park property)! [1]

CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux reported that 200 children sick with cancer were turned away from the National Institutes of Health due to the government shutdown and blamed Republicans. She never mentioned that Republicans passed a continuing resolution to fund NIH in a separate bill without preconditions and that Senate Democrats refused to pass [2]. In true absurdity, Obama kept the golf course at Andrews Air Force base open while closing grocery stores on base and blocking out sporting events to the troops around the world [3].

Rep. Walz is no different. In a recent letter sent out by Shawn Schloesser, field representative for Congressman Tim Walz, Walz voted against the congressional resolutions that support our troops because it didn’t fund all programs under HUD, DOL and other agencies. Walz even refuses to fund the Office of Justice Programs, which funds “Amber Alerts” With Walz it’s an all or nothing approach!

Is that what we sent Walz to Congress for? Support the president’s mission or to support you in Minnesota? Do you see Walz standing up for our veterans in opening up our memorials and keeping the NIH open for children with Cancer? In keeping FEMA open in case of an emergency? No he voted against HJR70 (Parks and Memorials), HJR85 (FEMA) and HJR73 (NIH)

It’s time the Democrats realize the each and every Congress must put forward a budget to fund the country, but no Congress can be held liable for a former Congress’ actions. Each must make their own decisions on what is funded and every funding bill must begin in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

When President Obama took it upon himself to delay the Obamacare federal penalty on business he caused a constitutional crisis. Now he is claiming Congress must fund every segment of his unpopular bill but actually Congress is doing its job in making decisions what to and what not to fund in the best interest of the American public, with the debt ceiling in mind. 

It’s their constitutional obligation and I think it’s time for Democrats to sit down and negotiate a compromise.

Al DeKruif is a former District 25 state senator. He is the owner of DeKruif Enterprises and Sakatah Trail Resort. He lives in Madison Lake.