Negotiation and diplomacy, Tim Pawlenty style


by Eric Pusey | May 28, 2009 • Or how to run your state into the ground because you want to run for President.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty ( R ) has criticized local government units throughout his tenure. His primary gripe is that cities and counties cannot live within their means. He usually says this after he’s slashed local government aid because he cannot paper over a budget crisis with one-time money and accounting gimmicks. Of course, one of the reasons we have so many budget crises is that Pawlenty has cut taxes for the richest Minnesotans so much.

Minnesota Progressive Project is the result of the merger between Minnesota Campaign Report and MN Blue, with common goals of providing a go-to source for online progressive politics in Minnesota.

A group of mayors asked the Governor to go easy on them. They wrote op-eds, held press conferences and sent letters:

Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden sent a letter to all 201 legislators urging them to strike a deal to head off the chance Pawlenty would go after aid to local governments. Hundreds of millions of dollars in state aid for cities and counties are at risk, Wolden said. He is president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, which has 78 members.

“The real losers in this failure to compromise are property taxpayers and Minnesota families who depend on critical services like police and fire protection,” Wolden said after Pawlenty’s announcement.

Instead of a statement like “thanks for your opinion” or “I’ll think it over”, he decides to lecture them. And be a dick about it.


That’s what Gov. Tim Pawlenty called the mayors and leadership of the cities of Albert Lea, St. Paul and Wadena Friday during a WCCO Radio Good Morning Minnesota radio broadcast.

Responding to press conferences held Thursday when mayors around the state called on Pawlenty to minimize cuts to local government aid, the governor said that instead of complaining about state aid cuts, cities need to do what other entities, businesses and people are doing right now and live on flat or slightly declining revenue.

(Albert Lea Tribune)

What the complainers who run Albert Lea, St. Paul and Wadena fail to realize is that Pawlenty doesn’t give a crap about your cities. Don’t these complainers know that he’s running for President? If he were to negotiate, if he were to compromise with Democrats even in the slightest and agree to raise taxes even just a teensy weensy bit, his presidential ambitions would be over.

Then the Albert Lea Tribune goes and gets all high-n-mighty and calls Pawlenty some names right back at him.

Minnesota has a lame-duck governor.

Oh, sure, Eagan’s Tim Pawlenty could try to seek re-election, but he would not succeed. Not when he is going on statewide radio and calling city officials names. He went on WCCO radio last Friday and called the leaders of Albert Lea, St. Paul and Wadena “complainers.”

It was in response to mayors across the state calling on the governor to minimize cuts to local government aid. They didn’t say don’t cut it. They just wanted to keep the reductions reasonable considering increases in cost of living.

The mayors surely don’t call Gov. Pawlenty names. They simply disagree with him. Pawlenty, however, gets down in the mud. He wouldn’t make such a uncalled-for move if he wanted to keep his job.

(Albert Lea Tribune)

The gall.

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