Minn. Shutdown Prompts Political Blame Game

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Minnesota's state government shut down Friday after bipartisan budget talks collapsed, putting thousands of employees temporarily out of work.
State parks and rest areas are closed, but critical jobs like state troopers and prison guards will continue.

Last-minute budget talks on Thursday drew protestors to the state capital in St. Paul. But political leaders were not able to agree on how to solve a $5 billion budget deficit. 
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton wanted tax increases on top earners, but Republicans refused.  Now the leaders of both parties are pointing fingers, claiming the other is to blame for the failed negotiations.

The Associated Press reported that Minnesota GOP Chairman Tony Sutton called Dayton a "piece of work" and accused him of inflicting "maximum pain" for political reasons.

But Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin insisted the blame lays squarely with the GOP, saying their drive to protect the wealthy from tax hikes led to the shutdown. 

"Shame on you for putting the interests of your rich campaign donors ahead of the well-being of the constituents you are supposed to represent," Martin said.

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