Minnesota Legislators Bakk and Davnie Introduce “Download Tax” Bills, Begin Long, Painful Return To Private Life

We always admire qualities in others that we lack. To wit: Senator Thomas Bakk claimed to support Mike Ciresi’s senatorial bid because Ciresi had spent his career “protecting the little guy.”

 Nobody, but nobody, knows everything about everything–not even Robert Burton or me. Given the sorry state of electoral politics in the US–especially apparent among the hordes of one-dimensional, money-grubbing hacks from both major parties infesting both Congress and its statehouse equivalents–we should count ourselves lucky when any elected official knows anything about anything not directly connected with dough acquisition and/or staying in office.

While Bakk–not unlike our current governor–skews overtly anti-urban and anti-arts, you’d think Davnie might have a bit more on the ball.

Sadly, some of Minnesota’s legislators aren’t even up to the latter. Take Senator Thomas Bakk and Representative Jim Davnie.  Please. By authoring and introducing a pair of bills that would impose Minnesota’s sales tax on all legit downloads–music, movies, books…the whole tamale–both lawmakers have already demonstrated their abysmal ignorance of music, the music industry, internet commerce, piracy, and the internet, along with arts and media in general–along with their indifference to the devastating effect the tax would have on our state’s independently owned labels, its vibrant music scene and musicians. The one funny thing about the situation is that  neither Minneapolitan Davnie nor aspiring governor Bakk realize how many artists in all disciplines they’ve already alienated with their hack, “monkey-see, monkey do,” posturing. Whether or not the tax bills pass is moot at this point; artists, arts administrators and supporters, owners and employees of arts-related businesses, readers, listeners, viewers–all of us need to do everything in our power to get these bumblers out of office and keep them there.  (More next week.)

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