Gazelka Betrays Business Owners, Increases AG Ellison's Budget by 17%

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka betrayed the business owners who defied the Governor's illegal shutdown orders last December by increasing the funding for Attorney General Keith Ellison's office. Currently, those business owners are still being sued and attacked by Ellison in courts on behalf of Walz' Department of Health. 

In an attempt to act tough, Gazelka posted a video on December 17th with a message directed at the Governor and Attorney General, stating that "if you start fining these people $10,000 a piece, you can expect that money to come out of your budget". Gazelka added "you can not keep closing down these businesses, they are hanging on by a thread". That message turned out to be a lie, as Senate Republicans just passed a budget early Wednesday morning that increased the AG's budget by $8 million. Meanwhile, businesses like Haven's Gardens in Lynd, MN are still under attack by Ellison.

Gazelka also made a feeble attempt on the last days of the Special Session to remove the excessive fines imposed on the businesses when he added an amendment to the State Government Finance Bill, SF2. That amendment was removed by House Democrats in conference committee on Sunday. Rep Erik Mortensen tried adding it back into the bill on the House floor late Tuesday night, but it was voted down by all Republicans and Democrats. Gazelka then passed the final bill without the reprieve from fines, leaving these business owners in the same position - under attack by their government.

Here's the language of the amendment that was removed from the final bill:

The State Government Finance Bill contains the AG's budget, which increased by over $8 million or 17% from the last biennium. Gazelka was all talk, no action. He betrayed these business owners and ended up in a position where Governor Walz could do it all over again because he refused to hold up the budget until the Never Again Bill was passed into law. 

Here are the votes on the State Government Finance Bill in the Senate:

Here's the vote in the House:


2019 State Finance Bill: 


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  • J Bird
    commented 2021-07-02 09:35:24 -0500
    Several courts and judges have looked at your argument, Pat Nius, and determined that Walz was in the right. From your own local paper:

    “There’s legislative guardrails but there’s also court guardrails and we’ve won every single case because we stayed closed to the law and common sense,” said Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office has defended Walz in court. “And now we have case law to support what we already suspected the governor’s powers were during a peacetime emergency.”

    The political opposition is in stark contrast with findings by at least 15 state and federal judges that Walz has not exceeded his constitutional authority to respond to crises.

    Last fall, U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz dismissed a challenge to Walz’s mask mandate filed by the conservative Minnesota Voters Alliance activist group. Ramsey County Judge John Guthmann cited Schiltz when tossing out a similar case this month, repeating that the First Amendment does not grant the right to put “at risk the lives and health” of others.

    And, Pat Nius, the Supreme Court has set precedence to Walz’ legal orders, saying in part: “Liberty secured by the Constitution does not import an absolute right … to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint.”

    So what I have said a number of times IS correct: Your rights end where mine begin.

    And note that I said Walz WAS in the right – as in past tense. As in this IS over. This IS End of Story. The powers have been removed. The mandates are no longer in effect. And it happened without any help from Action 4 Liberty. You can choose to whine cry and rant over it, but its over and done. Move on…and spare me your repeated “domesitic abuser” false analogy in an attempt to vilify me. Get over it. Done. Over. OK?

    On a side note, you might want to confirm what your SAT words actually mean before you invoke them in a post. Take care!
  • Pat Nius
    commented 2021-07-02 07:05:34 -0500
    Walz’s orders were in direct violation of the constitution, especially the criminal penalties, and should have thrown out in court. And much J Bird the paid Walz sycophant wants this to be the end of the story, we won’t forgive or forget what that incompetent partisan hack did to this state.
  • J Bird
    commented 2021-07-01 15:15:15 -0500
    Those businesses that openly defied the legal health and saftey mandates only have themselves to blame. I credit Sen Galzeka for coming to his senses.

    Break the rules, pay the price. End. Of. Story.
  • Jake Duesenberg
    published this page in News 2021-07-01 13:02:57 -0500