Conservatives still bitter about Minnesota’s transportation investment


by Conrad deFiebre | September 3, 2009 • A year and a half ago, a Minnesota legislator joined a 91-vote supermajority that overrode Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto of the first significant new state transportation funding in 20 years. Last week,  the legislator, retired from office since January, was hired as Anoka County’s chief legislative lobbyist.

Phil Krinkie of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota thinks he smells a rat. He says former Rep. Kathy Tingelstad received an $87,500-a-year “quid pro quo” from Anoka County Board members who “dangled a carrot in front of her in return for her vote.” He added, in a commentary published in the St. Paul Legal Ledger, that “it is hard to believe this deal wasn’t hard-wired” and that Tingelstad, a Republican, failed “to support her party, her caucus or her governor [and] looked toward future employment.”

Hindsight is the official blog of Minnesota 2020. Hindsight gives the run down on the news that jumps out at us on the issues that matter. Often times these stories show us how much further we need to go to have the progressive policy realized in Minnesota.


As conspiracy theories go, this one’s a doozy. For one thing, there’s that 18-month lag between the vote and hiring. For another, according to Anoka County Board Chairman Dennis Berg, at the time of the vote “there was no indication the position … would become vacant.” In a response in the Legal Ledger, Berg called Krinkie’s accusations “simply ridiculous” and Tingelstad, a six-term House veteran from Andover, “the perfect person for the job.”

For her part, Tingelstad told the Legal Ledger: “There was no quid pro quo on any of the votes that I did at the Legislature. Period!”

So, who you gonna believe here? A serial fact slayer like Krinkie who spews allegations with no foundation beyond his no-taxes-no-matter-what ideology — his commentary actually exaggerated the cost of the transportation legislation by $5 billion — or two well-respected veteran elected officials? This call isn’t even close.