He’s a bully

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The Minnesota GOP today launched an attack on Mark Dayton that is sure to shock everyone. You see, it turns out the guy’s rich.

I know, I know, who would have thought that an heir of the founder of Target would today be rich? It would be nice if the guy hadn’t tried to hide this from us. Maybe if he’d gone by the name Mark Target, we would have connected him to that company. I mean, it’s not like the name “Dayton” has any significance to Minnesotans.

Anyhow, like most rich heirs, Dayton has a lot of money, and evidently some of it has been moved into tax shelters over the years, according a Republican analysis of the tax records Dayton released earlier this year. And Republicans are mad about this, because they’re totally opposed to tax shelters, and completely in favor of the rich paying their fair share in taxes. Kidding! No, the GOP is mad because Dayton has proposed actually taxing rich Minnesotans at the same rate that poor Minnesotans are taxed, and yet Dayton, who has the temerity to be rich, gets money from a family trust that he doesn’t control which maybe once tried to avoid taxes.

Of course, Tom Emmer would never resort to such shenanigans. Or possibly, he hasn’t filed taxes ever. I really couldn’t tell you, because Emmer hasn’t released his tax returns. Unlike Dayton, who gave the Republicans the very documents they used to gin up this nontroversy, Emmer refuses to disclose his own financial records, because the rules Tom Emmer makes up don’t apply to him.

Indeed, this is the second time in the same day that Emmer has been caught attacking his opponents for falling short of standards that he doesn’t hold himself to. Over the weekend, Emmer blasted Dayton and Tom Horner for not running their budget plans through the Department of Revenue, which would presumably look over the numbers in an impartial way. (Granted, it’s a department controlled by Tim Pawlenty, but let’s suspend disbelief.) Dayton agreed to do so. Emmer, unfortunately, hasn’t, despite saying he had. He ran his plan by Revenue Commissioner Ward Einess, who did some doodling on an envelope and said it looked okay, but no formal analysis of Emmer’s plan has been undertaken.

Of course, it shouldn’t be surprising that Emmer holds others to standards he himself refuses to live up to. He’s a bully. He wants to push others around. There’s nothing consistent about his ethics; he just wants to force others to dance to his tune, to punish others for made-up infractions. This is who Emmer is. And it’s why he’d be a disastrous governor.