Learn The Truth About Tim Pawlenty

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Unchecked Poetry

A Few Lines Composed Above A State Office Building.

Tim, I think that I should see
The day that you will no longer be
Our governor, the source of great

Minnesota should not be a state
Of mediocrity. I hate
That I cringe at your sunny
Cheshire sentiment.

All the poets interviewed agree
That a Laureate is not a necessity.
I would extend it further
To a Pawlenty second term.

I am patient. I can wait
For a stronger, better state
Where voters vote and cast you out
In turn.


Tuesday, May 31, 2005

There once was a Governor from Eagan...

There once was a Governor from Eagan
Ambitious, pernicious, yet deceiving.
He vetoed a State Poet
While claiming to know that
Poetry’s taxing not fee-ing.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

All The Players Smirk

Nick Coleman’s on to it. Mark Brunswick, too. Tim Pawlenty’s got the Presidential bug and he’s got it bad.

This morning, in one of those joyous harmonic convergence moments, Coleman’s Strib column and Brunswick’s Gov/Sviggy/Dean-o negotiations story both revealed Pawlenty’s increasingly naked Presidential ambition. Coleman examines Pawlenty’s right-wing blogger love fest. Brunswick, though, nails it.

“[State Senate Majority Leader Dean] Johnson joked to a stone-faced Pawlenty that he should smile, but Pawlenty barely cracked a smirk.”

Oh, yes. This Governor smirks. He smirks quite a bit. I’ll bet he’s smirking right now. The President of the United States, George W. Bush, is also a notorious smirker. Smirking is key.

Tim hasn’t missed the point. Want to be president? You need a presidential smirk. No garden variety, smart-assed South St Paul High School, jock-sniffing, Vin Weber-worshipping smirk will do. I mean, come on, what respectable Republican president can’t derisively smirk at the most inopportune moment?

This month’s PE book club selection is Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, ’72. Thompson didn’t much care for Hubert Humphrey, reserving a special contempt for Humphrey’s naked ambition. Thompson was quick to spot vanity, arrogance and greed masquerading as noble aspiration. Coleman’s final paragraph captures a similar sentiment.

“The [Governor’s] mansion plays tricks on big egos. Once you glimpse yourself in a gilded mirror, you start to believe your own stuff.”

The smirk reveals all.


Monday, May 23, 2005

Flynn Dim on Tim

Today, the Star Tribune published excerpts from an interview with Harry Flynn, the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul. While we at PE do not agree with all of the Archbishop’s analysis (“I think the governor has a real good heart”) we do overwhelmingly support his overall message that Tim’s allegiance to the (to good to be) Taxpayer’s League is diametrically opposed to the core of mainstream religious teaching. Archbishop Flynn challenged Tim to do what he has done -- talk to children whose only daily meal is the one they get during the day at the child care facilities that Tim wants to cut funding from. Flynn said that, “any heart should be able to be changed by that." Unfortunately, Flynn’s confidence in Tim’s heart is likely misplaced. Tim seems to care more about promises to interest groups and being president or vice president than he does about religious teaching.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Kitchen Sink in Favor of House Transportation Bill

Admittedly, we here at PE link you to the Star Trib more than the Pioneer Press. However, here is a link not only to the press but to there (conservative) Editorial Board’s piece asking Tim to sign the House Transportation Bill into law despite his written promise to his blood brothers over at the Tax Payers League (special interest group).

This is just one of an array of articles, editorials, and opinions published in the last week asking for the following: “TIM, SET YOUR POLITICAL AMBITIONS ASIDE FOR JUST A SECOND AND, FOR ONCE, TAKE CARE OF OUR STATE!!”


Breaking News: Tim Will Say Anything to Look Good

In a shocking announcement, the Star Tribune (LINK) reported yesterday that Tim’s statements about Minnesota’s business climate aren’t exactly what you or I would call consistent. It turns out that Minnesota is either the best place to do business in the country, or the worst -- it all depending on Tim’s political ambitions that particular day. Hmmm, this sounds strangely familiar to Tim’s stances on expanding gambling and publicly funded stadiums. Two might be a coincidence, but three is a pattern. Can you say, “flip-flop?”


Don’t Count You Eggs Before They Hatch, Tim

Tim’s plan to turn Minnesota into Las Vegas in order to cover core state services is dead (see any newspaper today May 18th). The problem is, Tim had already factored this income into the state’s budget. Seems to me that the adage, “don’t count your eggs before they hatch,” would have been useful here. So, what do we do now, Tim? Should we just kick a few more thousand working Minnesotans off of their healthcare insurance? You didn’t seem to care too much about the first forty thousand, what’s a few thousands more? As long as it keeps David Strom and Karl Rove happy, it’s probably a good idea for you. Or maybe we could raise the nursing home fees, or pass on the cuts to our middle schools and high schools, or just charge the students at the University of Minnesota a few more thousand dollars a year in tuition? These all seem like viable options; surely they are better ideas than having all of us chip in our fair share to keep our standard of living highest in the nation, like we used to do. That, my fellow Minnesotans, would be profoundly stupid.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

It’s Not Original, But It’s Effective

We here at PE usually strive to be a little more original then this, but when I read this piece in the City Pages...I just had to share


Tim Pawlenty's false populism
Comforting the Comfortable

by Britt Robson - May 18, 2005

Was it really only four months ago that Gov. Tim Pawlenty was lecturing legislators in his 2005 State of the State speech? "When it comes to spending the people's money, we shouldn't be afraid of the people," he declared on January 18. "Today, I'm proposing what I call, 'Turbocharged--Truth in Taxation.'"

A scheme to starve the beast of government, "Turbocharged" would include three postcards along with every Truth in Taxation Form that is currently mailed to Minnesotans as a means of explaining how much of their money goes to taxes. The postcards--"one each for the county, city or township, and school district," Pawlenty explained--would enable taxpayers to mail in a "no" vote if they think a levy increase goes beyond a reasonable level.

"If significant dissatisfaction is registered, a levy referendum on the amount of increase above a certain level will be triggered," Pawlenty continued. "We've got to trust the people. So once again I ask the Legislature to pass a carefully drawn and limited form of Initiative and Referendum. We need to allow the people the chance to directly speak on the major issues of the day."

By late April, of course, the major issue of the day was a proposal to increase the Hennepin County sales tax so that $353 million of the people's money could be spent on a new stadium for the Twins. But state law currently stipulates that such a move be put to a referendum--exactly the mechanism Pawlenty championed in January, and supposedly wants to expand, as a means of holding politicians accountable for their spending decisions. Ah, but this windfall of tax dollars would flow not to school district classrooms, or county hospitals, or city-or-township police forces--but to billionaire Carl Pohlad, the richest man in the state. And with surveys once again showing overwhelming public resentment of this unique form of corporate welfare, Tim Pawlenty suddenly didn't much care about "trusting the people" anymore. Sure, he'd prefer that the issue be put to the people, Pawlenty told reporters. But, he cavalierly added, the portion of the stadium proposal that expressly overturned the requirement for a referendum "is not a deal breaker."

Pawlenty's paper-thin populism was again on display last week, when he worked himself into a lather over the Senate DFL's proposal to raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans. Never mind that the governor's own bean counters in the revenue department have determined that the richest 5 percent of the state population will endure a much lower tax burden than the blue-collar folk that Pawlenty pretends he wants to protect, or that the added revenue would go primarily toward education and health care for the middle class and working poor. Pawlenty memorably labeled the proposal "profoundly stupid" and claimed it would be a "job killer" for the state.

Not surprisingly, the governor cited no economic data to support his "job killer" charge. In fact, numerous studies have indicated that, if anything, states with high tax rates also enjoy robust economies. Certainly that has been the case in Minnesota, which emerged as a regional economic powerhouse during the last half of the 20th century at precisely the same time it was garnering a reputation for high taxes and liberal spending on education.

Now that Pawlenty and his "no new taxes" crew have held sway for the past few years at the Capitol, the state's record of job creation is not so stellar. According to the latest figures on the website operated by Pawlenty's Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota Labor Market Index has grown by 2.8 percent over the past year. The U.S. Labor Market Index is up 3.1 percent over the same period.

Put simply, Governor Pawlenty is less adamant about providing a check-and-balance on tax dollars for Pohlad than he is on tax dollars for schools. And he isn't afraid to use hyperbolic and factually inaccurate language to oppose proposals to make Pohlad and peers bear the same tax burden as the rest of us. On the other hand--as recent polls have shown Pawlenty's approval rating holding at 56 percent while his no-new-taxes policy is unpopular with Minnesotans--he really is a nice guy, isn't he?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Slow Motion: Pawlenty ATV Crash Coverage Continues

It’s not just us. Tim’s little ATV embarrassment is getting ink and air all over the state. Now, mainstream (not just bloggers) editorials are weighing in. Check out the Duluth Tribune’s piece.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Pawlenty Strays, Polaris Pays, DNR Looks the Other Way

This pat weekend, Tim Pawlenty was tear-assing around Grand Rapids on an ATV when he ran into a tree stump. The ATV, a 2005 model belonging to Polaris Corporation, sustained $2,500 in damages, roughly a third of its cost.

Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung quickly leaped to Tim’s defense. "The governor just happened to clip (the stump) with the corner of the ATV and that was enough to take it out.”

Pawlenty was not cited, but Department of Natural Resources supervisor Ken Soring said the governor was likely going too fast for the difficult terrain.

I suppose we should all breath a sigh of relief that Tim wasn’t attending a gun show.

Think about what McClung says. “The Governor just happened to clip it…” Just happened. Like he was driving along like any responsible ATV operator, completely in control of his machine, when he just happened to hit a stump. Note the passive language, deflecting responsibility. Tim didn’t hit the stump so much as the ATV kinda, sorta hit the stump.

This is right out of a Jerry Springer episode. “Jerry, I didn’t mean to sleep with my wife’s mom, it just happened. All seventeen times.”

Wouldn’t it be neat if we had a Governor who owned up to his mistakes? Who said, “Folks, I don’t ride ATVs that much and I was going a lot faster than was safe. I hit a stump that I should’ve seen. I wrecked an ATV that doesn’t belong to me but I’m paying for the damage I caused. It’s embarrassing to learn this lesson at my age and stage in life but I hope other people learn from my mistake.”

But, no, Tim didn’t say that. Instead, his toady said that Pawlenty’s accident just happened. Sort of like the way Tim governs our state. All those failing roads? They just happened. Our overcrowded, under funded schools? They just happened. Skyrocketing local property taxes? They just happened.

I guess Tim’s ATV accident isn’t so surprising.