What a coincidence that Hurricane Gustav is heading for the Lousianna coast at the same time that McCain is considering Pawlenty as Vice President.
Pawlenty's political career is one of putting ideology above pragmatic concerns.
Grover Norquist, "on government-to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub", was Pawlenty's right hand man. Shortly after the 35W bridge collapse last August, Pawlenty publicly mused about increasing the gas tax to improve safety on bridges. When Norquist got wind of it, he sent Minnesota legislators a memo on why not. And Pawlenty toed the Norquist line.
With Pawlenty, Minnesota now has a regressive state taxes, higher incomes pay a lower tax rate than mid and low incomes. The word fee has replace taxes in the state legislation, so Pawlenty can report to Grover Norquist, he hasn't increased taxes, only fees.
More after the fold, including Pawlenty's Willie Horton problem.
Many of Pawlenty's cabinet picks were incompentent, but they were compatible ideologically to his base. His Lt. Gov/DOT head had a high school education and a background in farming. She was picked for her opposition to mass transit. Her hire was the Emergency Specialist who didn't return to the 35W Bridge collapse because she was on a junket to the east coast with her boyfriend, a Federal Highway employee. Pawlenty's Health Commissioner hid a study on cancer deaths on the Iron Range; Pawlenty's Education Commissioner told Native Americans she wouldn't have schools teach pre statehood history, Pawlenty's Transportation Commissioner didn't believe in maintenance. And Pawlenty had gutted the MN Sex Offender program prior to the rape and murder of Dru Sjodin.
When Pawlenty ran for governor the first time, he passed himself off as a humble state legislator, when in reality the majority of his money in the past year was made in a few days working as a " lawyer " for a wealthy donor.
Republican friends who went to school with Pawlenty in Anoka won't vote for him
Please let McCain pick Pawlenty.
Norquist and Pawlenty, from the RochesterDemocrat http://www.therochesterdemocrat.com/... :
After the bridge collapse, Pawlenty, for instance, initially stood ready to reverse a long-standing opposition to a gas-tax increase. It was a move that flew in the face of his base and put him at risk of considerable political fallout.
Norquist steps in
Eight days after the bridge collapse, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and the guru of the national no-new tax pledge, wrote to a number of elected officials, including many in Minnesota. In his letter, he urged the officials to sign the pledge. As part of his correspondence he included a question about whether there could be any exceptions to the pledge. In short, his answer was no.
"Tax-and-spend politicians often use 'emergencies' to justify tax increases," Norquist warned in his letter. "In the unfortunate event of a real crisis or natural disaster, legislators should cut spending in other areas instead of aggravating the situation."
Cheri Pierson Yecke-Education Commssioner ousted, from the MN Independent: "After he appointed Cheri Pierson Yecke as education commissioner, she told Minnesota Public Radio, "Every local district should have the freedom to teach creationism, if that is what they choose." She also moved to beef up social studies and history curriculum with quotes from figures in American history about God and Christians. Yecke was ousted by the Minnesota Senate in 2004."
Carole Molnau-Transporation Commissioner ousted, PLEASE READ HER ENTIRE WIKI ENTRY - there's just only so much incompetence that can be diaried here, from the wiki: "Molnau was a controversial transportation commissioner; while she does not have a college degree and said she did not read bridge inspection reports, she frequently promoted herself as a transportation expert while refusing to ask for funding to fix hundreds of problem bridges in Minnesota. She defended her leadership, citing that three members of her leadership team were engineers. The bridge that collapsed was one of those problem bridges that inspectors found to be structurally deficient. The required repairs were not made before the tragedy"
Pawlenty and the Dru Sjodin tragedy, http://www.pawlentyunplugged.com/... :In January, 2003, Governor-elect Pawlenty said that with the state facing a budget deficit, the corrections budget would be on the table for cuts, like every other area.3 True to his word, in his 2004-05 biennial budget recommendation, the Governor proposed "significant budget reductions" in such core services as sex offender evaluation and sex offender notification.4
In May, 2003, Dr. Anita Schlank, head of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, resigned after being told that the program was growing at an "unsustainable rate" and being directed to draw up a list of 40 civilly committed sex offenders to place in community housing in order to save money.5 Governor Pawlenty’s Human Services Commissioner initially called Schlank’s claim outrageous, but later recanted after another employee corroborated Schlank.6
In December, 2003, the Pawlenty Administration was severely criticized for releasing Alfonso Rodriguez from prison, rather than referring him for civil commitment as a sexual psychopath, where he would have been confined in a secure mental hospital. Rodriguez, a convicted sex offender, allegedly kidnapped and murdered Dru Sjodin. It was recently noted that referrals to the sex offender program have surged since Dru Sjodin’s murder.7 This is because the Pawlenty Administration had been allowing dangerous sex offenders like Rodriguez to leave prison without being properly referred for civil commitment prior to the Sjodin murder.