The Minnesota Republican Party officially announced today that they are spending $150,000 on a TV ad featuring Chairman Keith Downey encouraging lawmakers to spend all of the budget surplus on tax credits.
First, it’s important to note that Downey’s message is not what Republican lawmakers are supporting.
The Star Tribune writes:
A campaign encouraging legislators to “Give it all back” would be at odds with proposals of many House Republicans, who took the majority in their 2014 election victory.
In addition to that concern, the Minnesota Republican Party is in the red. Last December, they reported a budget hole of $1.5 million, and earlier this year, vendors called out the Party publicly for not paying them back hundreds of thousands of dollars owed.
At the press conference announcing the new ad, reporters questioned Keith Downey on the Party’s credibility on spending proposals given the Party’s struggles with balancing their own budget over the years.
Reporter question: Why should Minnesotans trust your Party on budget concerns?
This reminds me of the old adage that actions speak louder than words.
Why should Minnesotans take budget advice from a Party that can’t balance their own books, and in fact spends more money instead of making good on their bills?
It gets even more concerning when you look at Keith Downey’s budget record. While in the state legislature, Downey advocated for tax breaks for venture capital firms [Finance & Commerce, 3/16/12], supported eliminating the corporate income tax [Finance & Comerce, 3/16/12], and even voted against closing corporate tax loopholes to pay back Minnesota’s schools [Star Tribune 3/9/12].
As a legislator and Chairman of the Republican Party, Downey’s budget priorities will not make a stronger Minnesota. It’s just one more example of “fiscal conservatives” saying one thing and doing another.