Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006


Short Term Memory Loss

I can see Gary’s first comment upon his return: ”When did the site become Gutknecht v. Kennedy?”

As usual, everyone’s in favor of term limits unless it’s their term being limited. In 1994, Gil Gutknecht ran on a platform of only serving 12 years in Congress---DFL Chair Mike Erlandson wants Gilly to honor that commitment:

”State DFL Chairman Mike Erlandson said that if Gutknecht seeks reelection to his House seat next year, his reversal would be "a very valid issue for whoever the Democratic candidate is."…

"Gutknecht didn't just support term limits," Erlandson recalled. "He fought for them and talked about them as central to his vision of government and his mission in Congress. We just want to know when he will announce his retirement."

Gutknecht was a vocal term-limit advocate when he ran for the House in 1994. He attended a rally outside the U.S. Capitol with more than 300 Republican House members and candidates who signed a Contract with America calling for a constitutional amendment limiting politicians to 12 years in Congress.

In early 1995, Gutknecht drafted a bill that would have barred House members from accruing additional pension benefits after they serve for six terms.

He didn't push the bill, however, and term-limit legislation went nowhere.”

DFL Senator Paul Wellstone broke a similar pledge in 2001 when he announced he would seek a third term to the U.S. Senate. Wellstone’s ”broken promise” became an early feature of Republican Norm Coleman’s campaign. The DFL will likely attempt to paint Gilly as another ”promise breaker”, but given the district’s strong culturally conservative leanings, it’s doubtful that (or any other) message will play well enough to threaten Gutknecht should he seek another term in Congress.

”Gutknecht "still supports the idea of term limits, but you can't unilaterally enact them or it negatively impacts the district," his spokesman, Bryan Anderson, said Wednesday. If Gutknecht retired, he said, the southern Minnesota district would lose the political clout that comes with seniority -- including his chairmanship of an agriculture subcommittee.

"The reality is that in a time when agricultural districts are getting fewer in number, it's important that they have a strong voice," Anderson said.”

--Posted by First Ringer


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