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#tbt: Not a Penny More.

penny more halfRemember the MNGOP Not a Penny More Caucus? They’re the ones who refused to vote for a budget that spent more than $34 billion in 2011, contributing to the 2011 government shutdown.

Politics in Minnesota reported in May 2011 that the following incumbent GOP legislators are members of the Not a Penny More Caucus:

  • Bob Barrett
  • Now-Speaker Kurt Daudt
  • Steve Drazkowski
  • Sondra Erickson
  • Mary Franson
  • Tom Hackbarth
  • Now-Majority Leader Joyce Peppin
  • Linda Runbeck
  • Peggy Scott
  • Chris Swedzinski

You’ll understand why the reminder is necessary, because the MNGOP seems to have fallen victim to a bout of forgetfulness, and members are now denying they were part of the Not a Penny More Caucus.

The Not A Penny More Caucus, you’ll see, now have significant leadership positions within the GOP-led House. These folks weren’t just a fun group – they had door signs, and had a hard line in the sand on spending.

The Not A Penny More Caucus: A Brief History

Bob Barrett, Bob Gunther, Branden Petersen, Linda Runbeck

The Taxpayers League targeted Bob Barrett, Bob Gunther, Branden Petersen, and Linda Runbeck for violating their Not A Penny More pledge in February 2012. MPR called the legislators targeted by the Taxpayers League “some of the fiercest opponents of government spending.”

Speaker Kurt Daudt, Mary Franson, Tom Hackbarth, Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, Peggy Scott

Daudt, Franson, Hackbarth, Peppin, and Scott were some of the many members who put Not a Penny More signs on their door, signaling their support for the caucus. Politics in Minnesota described the signs:

…posters began popping up on Republican legislators’ office doors depicting an overflowing bag of cash with “$34 billion” stenciled on the front and the legend “Not a Penny More” inscribed above.

Steve Drazkowski

Drazkowski was the one to start it all, according to Politics in Minnesota, emerging as the “leader of the more hard-line conservative discontent.”

Drazkowski claimed that going as high as $34 billion was already compromising.

Dave Hancock

In a series of constituent updates, Hancock went on a loooong rant about not a penny more, claiming that “$34 billion is enough and ‘not a penny more.'” He also claimed that a $34 billion budget lived within our means and spent what we had, closing with “Isn’t $34 billion enough?” [Hancock Constituent Updates, 05/19/11; 06/10/11; 06/16/11; 07/01/11; 07/08/11]

Kathy Lohmer

The Senate District 53 Republicans claimed in a May 2013 Facebook post that Kathy Lohmer was a “crowd leader” for the Not a Penny More Caucus.

It seems extremely unlikely that these hard-line conservative Not a Penny More members have suddenly turned over a new leaf now that they’re in charge. In fact, we’re already seeing more of the same, as Republican leadership has already determined they will cut economic development and health and human services funds significantly.

The next time you hear a GOP legislator claim they’re not ultra-conservative budget cutters, let the Not a Penny More Caucus remind you that they are.

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