When Rep. Seifert said "if you are on some type of public relief program, and you don't scoop your vehicle out and it gets towed, you kind of get treated differently than if you are someone who works," Rep. Kalin shook his head. And when there was a brief break in the action ten seconds later, Rep. Kalin said aloud, "welfare recipients are the real working people of Minnesota, because they are trying to get to the top of the economic heap." It is not on the tape, but it was heard. And it is consistent with Rep. Kalin's underlined comments that are noted above.
A staffer for the House GOP Caucus was standing 15 feet behind Rep. Kalin, saw him shake his head when Rep. Seifert differentiated welfare recipients and working people, and heard him say those exact words ["welfare recipients are the real working people of Minnesota, because they are trying to get to the top of the economic heap."] during the consultation between Rep. Juhnke and Clerk of the House Al Mathiowetz, just before Rep. Kalin said on the tape that welfare recipients were "working their tails off" to "reach the top tier of income taxes.' Lawyers would say that Rep. Kalin is pleading a distinction without a difference, in order to hide a weak case."At this time I am inclined to believe the remark occurred, contrary to Rep. Kalin's assertion. I am also quite convinced that the Kalin amendment - again, contrary to his assertion - accomplished exactly what the GOP House Caucus described: immunity from towing and impound fees for citizens of Mpls. and St. Paul who qualify for welfare benefits.
If Rep. Kalin is prepared to offer evidence to the contrary, on the statement or the amendment, he is certainly welcome. But the "off mic" statement is certainly consistent with the things he said on mic, and I simply don't see that there is any room for argument on the amendment.
Frankly, it seems this whole sordid affair has been an exercise in hair-splitting, and he might have been better served by leaving it alone in the first place.