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GOPer Parry Goes For The Cherry Picking

by TwoPuttTommy on May 10, 2011

In a State Republican Party known for its mendacity, GOPer Mike Parry is making his mark.  First gaining notoriety in 2009 as a candidate for scrubbing his twitter account of racist comments, now Parry is cherry picking from a letter written by Tom Lannon, Commander of the Minnesota American Legion on May 9th to GOPers Mike Parry and Morrie Lanning, with a cc: to Gov. Dayton.

Parry took that letter, and proceeded to write one of his own to Gov. Dayton.  Here’s how Parry starts it off:

Dear Governor Dayton,

This morning, I received a letter from the State Commander of the American Legion that recognizes the legislature has openly and publicly defended our stance to hold veterans and the Department of Military Affairs harmless in our budget. The State Commander correctly recognized that the honorable men and women that serve in our armed forces have been a top priority with both the Senate and House for the entirety of this session.

OK, no problemo there; here’s the exact cut ‘n paste from the American Legion’s State Commander:

9 May 2011
From: State Commander of the Minnesota American Legion
To: Chairman of the Conferee Committee of the Senate and House State Government and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Mr. Chairman,

You, as well as your co-chair, have openly and publicly defended your stand to hold Veterans Affairs harmless in the difficult issues of pending budget cuts this year. For that we are both thankful and grateful.

Here’s where Parry takes leave of his senses cherry picks – Parry continues, in his letter to Dayton:

The rhetoric being used by your administration completely disregards the legislature’s intent to provide the funding necessary to provide care to our veterans in our state’s veterans homes, to assist veterans in securing federal benefits and to maintain the readiness of our national guard. At the first hint of discretionary authority, you directed your staff to cut veterans and military affairs.

Complete BS.  Of course, coming from the party of Tim “we leave with money in the bank” Pawlenty and Mary “I didn’t own that bank” Kiffmeyer, it’s not surprising.

Here’s what the American Legion’s State Commander wrote:

Last Friday, in testimony the Department of Veterans Affairs had to make recommended cut projections based on guidance from the administration in the event that a cut scenario played out. This is exactly what Commissioner Shellito did, and we respect his actions.

In that hearing, the House and Senate again reaffirmed their stance to hold harmless the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Military Affairs in possible cuts. The Chairman asked if anyone had any way to make that more clear to offer a suggestion. Well, sir, I would like to offer two.

Add specific language in The Ominous [sic] Bill UES1047-2 on both sides (House and Senate) on page R19 when addressing any overall general cuts and on pages R20 and R21 at the opening of both Military and Veterans Affairs budgets.

Let’s look at that again:

Last Friday, in testimony the Department of Veterans Affairs had to make recommended cut projections based on guidance from the administration in the event that a cut scenario played out. This is exactly what Commissioner Shellito did, and we respect his actions.

And why did General Shellito have to do that?  Because the House version wasn’t tight enough; basically, the House version – despite its “intent” – just said “trust us.”  The American Legion recognized that problem, and made specific recommendations to tighten it up.

Again, Governor Dayton got the same letter; Dayton sent Parry and Lanning a letter based on it (and when I can get a link to Dayton’s letter, I’ll update) that recognized the American Legion’s point and asked to meet to work it out and get it done.

Apparently, Dayton’s letter to Parry crossed paths during delivery, with Parry’s letter to Dayton.

But while Dayton’s letter was professional, Parry went off the deep end.  Here’s how Parry finishes his letter:

I grew up in a military household. I served eight years in the National Guard. I have been around the military and veterans my whole life and I know what leadership looks like. What you have done to the military and veterans community is not leadership.

And that’s why I’m saying Parry is cherry picking the American Legion Commander’s letter.  Parry starts out taking the credit and praise the Commander gave; then ignores the part about General Shellito’s testimony and goes for an insult:  “that’s not leadership!”

No surprise there!  Hey, if he’ll scrub a twitter account, why would it surprise anyone that Parry’ll cherry pick and make (stuff) up?

What did General Shellito testify last Friday?  My take on it is here; here’s a cut ‘n paste from the Strib:

State VA chief: Budget cuts by GOP would hurt veterans
Article by: RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER , Star Tribune Updated: May 5, 2011 – 11:18 PM

Republican committee chairman in the House called Shellito’s analysis “a complete overreaction.”

Republican budget cuts could trigger the closure of at least one veterans’ home, higher burial fees for veterans’ families and elimination of the Bronze Star grave marker program, according to state Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito.

Shellito, who led the state National Guard under former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, said the budget as it stands would result in layoffs and other cuts, even though Republicans had pledged to protect veterans from spending reductions. “I’m very concerned,” Shellito said.

Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, the House State Government Finance chair, said the administration’s estimates are a “worse, worse, worse case scenario.” He called Shellito’s analysis “a complete overreaction.”  (more, at

“overreaction”?  Nope – that’s not how the American Legion Commander’s letter of Monday reads.  Not at all.  

Bottom line: the Commander of the American Legion made a concrete effort – through his letter – to fix the problem General Shellito testified about; Governor Dayton sent a professional letter to Parry and Lanning offering to meet to fix the problem using the Commander’s suggestion, but Parry fired back like a powder keg at a Tea Party.

Yet it’s Parry claiming “Today, I saw a very angry governor,” Parry said??!?

Dayton could have easily – EASILY – said: “This morning, I read a letter from a very angry Legislator” – but he didn’t.

Could of, but he didn’t.

Parry did.

But hey, that’s the kind of guy Parry is; that’s the kind of party Parry is from.

It’s time Parry quits pandering to his angry Tea Party base, gets that bill tightened up, passed, and sent to the Governor’s desk.

In other words, it’s time Parry starts doing his job.

Well, not just Parry; the GOP majorities need to get their act together and get some bills to the Governor’s desk.

Just don’t hold your breath….

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