Looming Minnesota Recount Has Sinister Implications for Tax Policy

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First, the good news: It looks all but certain that Democratic-Farmer-Labor party candidate Mark Dayton, who ran on a progressive tax platform, will be Minnesota’s next governor once a vote recount is completed.  But here's the bad news: It also looks likely that Dayton’s Republican opponent will attempt to delay or contest the recount just long enough to give current GOP governor Tim Pawlenty a few additional weeks in office, giving him the opportunity to lead his state with a newly elected GOP-controlled legislature (something he did not enjoy under his eight years as governor) and shepherd in a conservative lame duck agenda. 
Speculation has already begun on what a full GOP reign (however brief) could mean for the state.  Massive spending cuts in response to the state’s budget shortfall and tax cuts for corporations will likely be on the list, along with passing a so-called "taxpayer bill of rights," popularly known as TABOR, which would limit spending and revenues and stifle the state’s ability to provide core services such as education and public safety.

In response to the Republican victories in Minnesota’s legislature, Pawlenty wrote in a press release on the website for his Freedom First PAC, “The historic nature of this victory cannot be overstated…This is a great validation of our work over the last eight years to cut spending and keep a lid on taxes.”  However, voters also elected a new governor who has unabashedly supported progressive tax increases to mitigate disastrous cuts in state spending.  Mark Dayton’s recount manager, Ken Martin correctly described a potential GOP effort to delay swearing in Dayton as governor as a “strategy designed to hijack the will of Minnesota voters.”

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