Mankato Free Press chides Emmer for choosing fighting words over facts


Although GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer missed an important vote on Friday related to the state’s budget crisis as he attended a son’s hockey try-outs before heading to campaign in Willmar, he’s had plenty to say about the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision reversing Governor Pawlenty’s unallotment cuts.

Yesterday, the Mankato Free Press editorial board gave him a resounding thumb’s down in Our View: Emmer uses fighting words, not facts

Thumbs down

It’s disappointing that Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer immediately called the unallotment ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court “judicial activism.”

Says Emmer in a statement: “The court changed the law in midstream by adding a time constraint to when the governor could exercise his unallotment powers.”

The paper then quotes the relevant statute and Pawlenty-appointee (and former law partner) Eric Magnuson’s clear decision in upholding the law. Go read the evidence the editorial board cites at the paper. The editors conclude:

The facts are Pawlenty tried to unallot for a full biennium and thus was in violation of the statute. Seems pretty clear to us, but then again Emmer is running for office, trying to gin up voter anger with emotional words like “judicial activism.”

Unfortunately, if this is part of Emmer’s “straight talk” campaign strategy, he is falling far short.

Name calling is also disrespectful to the Minnesota Supreme Court, of which four of seven members were appointed by Emmer’s colleague Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Emmer’s full statement can be found in the Minnesota Independent’s article, Emmer slams GOP-heavy Supreme Court for ‘judicial activism’. The article noted another fact about the make-up of the court:

. . .five of the justices on the court were appointed by Republicans and four were appointed by Pawlenty. None of the current justices were appointed by DFLers.

For me, it’s not just the fighting words. The guy blusters, but when it’s time for a vote, hockey try-outs and campaigning take priority. I’d be sympathetic if the “family reason” Emmer skipped work for was an emergency or illness, but hockey try-outs? I know a lot of working parents who don’t have that kind of on-the-job flexibility when it comes to their own children’s extracurricular activities, especially when it’s crunch time.