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Tim Pawlenty

The Uptake’s Mike McIntee and political and media consultant Jack Rice weigh in on international politics, Iran, Korea, the current president, the Republican Party, Democrats and Minnesota politicians Tina Smith, Richard Painter and Tim Pawlenty.  Their discussion provides smart advisories for former Governor Pawlenty, Senator Smith and Painter, DFLers and GOPers. McIntee (AM950 Radio- weekdays at 4 pm) is arguably the most alert, informed and best interviewer working electronic media; Rice is at the top of his game as an informed, perceptive and articulate analyst. The May edition of Democratic Visions is the first of our high def offerings.


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Democratic Visions is hand made by Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins and Bloomington lefties. Our program is not financially supported or endorsed by any political party, political action committee or special interest group.  We operate through Southwest Community Television and produce the studio portions of our series at the Bloomington Community Access Television facility.


grinch_santaRepublicans just love Christmas. They defend it to the edge of insanity and then over the edge. But the truth is their Christmas spirit and Christian charity only go so far. The truth is they are closer to the Grinch.
Hence the ghosts of Republican legislatures past is coming back to haunt Minnesota.
Republicans and then Governor Tim Pawlenty passed a bill so that starting in 2014, many seniors would lose their assistance for in home care and nursing care. But let the Minneapolis Star Tribune push the MNGOP talking points that Medicaid spending was running away instead of the truth:

The changes, which were adopted by the Legislature and signed into law by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2009 as part of a broader effort to rein in soaring Medi­caid spending, would have made it more difficult for low-income senior citizens with more limited needs to qualify for government supports that help them stay in their homes.
[my emphasis]

The truth is Republicans are happy to hurt kids, the poor, the mentally ill and seniors if it means protecting the magical job creators, i.e., the wealthy, from paying their fair share of taxes.
DFLers went along with this because at least the cuts weren’t going to happen immediately as Pawlenty and the MNGOP legislators forced through many immediate and draconian cuts to social services in 2009.
Thankfully, those bad days are gone and Gov. Mark Dayton comes to the rescue:


From: David Ybarra – Minneapolis Building Trades Council President
The Minneapolis Building Trades represents over 25 local labor affiliates, which represents over 13,000 men and women union workers, and we are proud to announce we have voted unanimously to endorse Mark Andrew in his bid for mayor of Minneapolis!
We endorsed Mark because he has what it takes to lead all of Minneapolis. The reasons we endorsed Mark are numerous, but our decision was cemented by our belief that Mark is a bold, innovative leader who has a plan for jobs and economic development for Minneapolis. Mark has a proven track record of making big ideas reality.
Mark Andrew is a bridge-builder–literally and figuratively. He had the vision for the Hennepin Avenue Bridge and the Stone Arch Bridge – both icons of our community. Mark’s leadership also led to the creation of Midtown Greenway, which has spurred hundreds of millions of dollars of development along its’ path. He was also the catalyst in making Target Field the greenest ballpark in the world.
The Building Trades embrace Mark’s vision for economic development and to make Minneapolis the greenest city in North America–not only because it’s the right thing to do from a moral and environmental standpoint, but it also ensures our prosperity by increasing the tax base, creating sustainable-living wage jobs and improving social and economic conditions for all of Minneapolis.
Mark knows that jobs will build our tax base and population, which will allow Minneapolis to grow into the city we all envision. He is the candidate that is making jobs and economic development the foundation of his campaign. Please join the Building Trades membership in making this vision a reality–caucus for Mark Andrew on Tuesday, April 16th!


Proposed changes to Minnesota LGA

by Dan Burns on March 19, 2013 · 1 comment

mnrotundaThere is a “bipartisan” effort afoot to deal with some issues regarding Local Government Aid in Minnesota.


The proposed simplification of the Local Government Aid (LGA) distribution formula is supported by leaders in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and in rural Minnesota. Rep. Ben Lien, DFL-Moorhead, is the bill’s chief author. Lien said cities of all sizes are backing the proposal because it would make LGA more predictable from year to year by factoring in inflation…


The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities said the bill ensures that more money goes to the communities with the greatest needs for property tax relief.


Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, said he signed on as a co-author to the bill because he believes it will begin a much needed debate.




Whenever the name of somebody like Greg Davids appears on proposed legislation, my bulls**t sensors peak. Probably, though, even politicians as atavistic as him are beginning to realize that, given demographic reality, especially regarding the overall intellectual level of the electorate, brick-wall conservatism isn’t going to cut it any more for politicians that wish to keep getting elected for much longer, in any but the most scarlet of districts.


The practice of sending some tax money collected from the middle class and poor back to the communities in which they reside was devastated during the reign of the worst governor in Minnesota’s history, Tim Pawlenty. Like any “good” Republican, he believed that the only proper use of government revenue was to funnel it, as tax-cut handouts or whatever, to the rich people that, not coincidentally, funded his political ambitions.


From August 2010:


The principle culprit behind statewide property tax increases since 2002 is the reduction in revenue the state shares with local governments. In constant 2010 dollars, state aid to local governments has fallen by $2.6 billion since 2002. In response, local governments have increased property taxes by $1.7 billion. However, property tax increases weren’t enough to replace lost state aid; therefore, total revenue of Minnesota local governments fell. In fact since 2002, local government revenues have fallen much more rapidly than state government revenues.


(MN 2020)


Really undoing the damage caused by Pawlenty and Republican legislators is going to take a lot more than this. But, how does that saying go, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Actually, a better translation is “A journey of a thousand miles starts under one’s feet” – Tao Te Ching 64.)


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Tim Pawlenty tried to reposition himself as a hard right, fire-breather when he ran for President in 2011. Republican primary voters saw through his repositioning and combined with his lack of charisma his campaign never achieved lift-off (or endangered any trees at the end of the runway).

Like most failed Republican politicians, Governor Gutshot failed upwards. He’s now heading the Financial Roundtable. That’s the advocacy group for the banks that have crippled our country. And isn’t he perfect for the role?

Timmeh addressed a meeting in Washington, DC of something called the Business Roundtable:

“It’s a deeply divided country,” Pawlenty said. “Sadly, we have become a government by crisis. Things get done only when there is a moment of crisis, when people are staring into the abyss, and then, and only then, are they able to lurch forward, sometimes awkwardly, sometimes more significantly.”

This was not good news for executives trying to push politicians toward a broad-based, long-term solution for the nation’s deficit spending.

Blandly obvious statements? Check.

But Pawlenty said he doesn’t see Washington returning soon to an era where politicians are as pragmatic as they are ideological.

“Almost all moderates have been systematically eliminated from ­elective office,” he said.

Kinda true but clearly missing the cause which everyone else sees? Check.

While he didn’t mention President Obama by name, Pawlenty suggested that a strong executive speaking with a “single voice” from a “bully pulpit” might have to fill the void left by a House and Senate that will not work together and a White House and Congress that don’t trust one another.

Bland non-blaming-assigning mealy-mouthed language? Check.

Sounds like the real Tim Pawlenty is back.


Pawlenty is undoubtedly giving satisfaction

by Dan Burns on November 30, 2012 · 1 comment

Former Minnesota governor and failed GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty has been at his new “career” for some time now.

Seeking his party’s nomination last year, Pawlenty tried to shed a competent-but-bland conservative profile. He engaged in Tea Party-lite attacks on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He opposed raising the national debt ceiling, even if that meant a government default and possible economic calamity. And he went on CNN (TWX), CNBC, and Fox (NWSA) to deliver “a truth message” to Wall Street: “Get your snout out of the trough.”

Today that’s a tad awkward. As chief executive officer of the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), he now works on behalf of JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), and the 96 other members of the Roundtable, which has 50 employees and spent $7.7 million on lobbying in 2011, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. A look of annoyance briefly clouds Pawlenty’s placid face when this is noted. No, he says, he sees no inconsistency.

As a matter of fact, I don’t see any inconsistency, either, though not of course in the same way that TBag perceives it.  It’s a sick, corrupt system that we have, and Timmy is certainly psychologically suited to thrive within it.  He’s been a sorry little suck-up to the rich and powerful throughout his adult life. His new gig isn’t even challenging;  the foundation for what he’s working toward – continued economic rule by the loathsome parasites of the financial industry – is already in place.  All he has to do is go out every day and lay the right mix of flattery and threat on craven elected officials.  Takes one to know one.  And Minnesotans are still paying the price, and will be for a while longer, for the kind of “one” that he is.

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This is really, in context, not a very important story at all.  But I’ve done so much blogging about former Minnesota governor and GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, over the years, that I feel some sort of compulsion to type out a few thoughts on today’s (Thursday’s) news.

One thing we know about Tim Pawlenty: He is not afraid to quit! Today, the Financial Services Roundtable, Wall Street’s deepest pocketed and most influential lobbying organization, announced that Pawlenty is leaving Romney’s campaign to become its new leader, replacing longtime head Steve Bartlett. See ya later, Romney!

Twitter greeted the news with a million-and-one variations of rats-vacating-sinking-ships metaphors, but Pawlenty’s move is meaningful for much more than what it signals about the state of Romney’s foundering campaign. Think of it this way: As a consolation prize for not being nominated as president, Pawlenty gets a $2 million-a-year job defending a lobbying group whose fingerprints are all over the great financial crash crime scene. What more do we need to know about the corrupt state of modern American politics? Pawlenty could have been president – instead, his job will now be to dismantle and obstruct financial sector legislation.

I’m not sure where his new bosses got the idea of Pawlenty being some sort of charismatic, get-things-done kind of guy.  His governorship was all about blocking, not accomplishing.  And there’s a very off-putting, repellent smugness about the man, that seems to have worsened with time.  But, he will have plenty of other people’s money to turn to odious purposes.  Right up his alley. More below the fold.
It occurred to me that Timmy’s exit from Willard’s campaign may not have been entirely voluntary;  there’s presumably plenty of infighting and CYA assigning of blame going on among the troops.  I mean, the guy was national co-chair.  But I’ve seen nothing whatsoever to back that up.  Plenty of Romney’s minions are likely grateful at somebody setting the precedent, as they work the phones and computers for better opportunities – anything at all – themselves.

The abandonment does reinforce the opinion of many, including me, that many of Romney’s own people don’t have any particular loyalty, and for that matter don’t even especially like the guy, any more than a great many voters do. What’s to like?  Dull, self-absorbed, conceited, phony, no sense of humor…Mitt Romney’s about two things, money and power, and so are the people around him.  Doesn’t make for a whole lot of team spirit, when things aren’t looking good.  

From Minnesota’s perspective, this is potentially the part that matters.

“With this new position, Governor Pawlenty is taking off the table running for U.S. Senate or governor in 2014,” McClung said in an email. Pawlenty himself did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

I gotta admit that I’m not embracing that one with wholehearted belief.  It’s certainly true that Minnesotans are happy to see TBag gone, and don’t want him back.  But he loves power, and I think that he feels very uncomfortable at the possibility of his political legacy being ultimately defined by his going out as a serious loser.  But I can hope.


Yesterday I wrote about a 2009 email from Rep. Pat Garofalo of Farmington.  In the email, Pat chastised the DFL members of the legislature for passing a bill to lower the amount of interest that can be claimed as a tax deduction.  The bill capped the interest that could be claimed, meaning the higher the value of your home, the less you could deduct in taxes.  Seems like a pretty progressive tax solution to me.  The poorest people tend to own the least valuable houses, so the impact would be minimal.  The million dollar home in Wayzata might be impacted a little more.  Seems fair to me.

That bill was vetoed by Governor Pawlenty.  Pat was happy because in his words it “would increase the cost of home ownership.” Those are Pat Garofalo’s exact words.  Fast forward from 2009 to 2012, and Pat Gar…
…Pat Garofalo tweets “Remember when Democrats tried to repeal the home mortgage interest deduction and raise taxes on the middle class? I do.”

Ignoring his lie implying that DFLers tried to get rid of it, it is odd that he remembers 2009, but seems to forget that he just voted to eliminate the Homestead Credit for Minnesota Homeowners.  Didn’t that vote “increase the cost of home ownership?”  His vote not only increased taxes on the middle class, but it impacted the poorest Minnesotans as well.  It is a true regressive tax that impacts the richest Minnesotans the least.

Pat Garofalo must be considering running for Vice President.  Because like the current Republican Vice Presidential candidate, he can only focus on events and votes in a narrowly viewed and skewed way that make everything positive for him, and nothing bad happens in his Republican world.  Is it delusion? Has he forgotten his vote? Is the word ‘hypocrite’ even in his lexicon?

Pat is truly an embarrassment to rational, principled and cordial voters in Farmington and the surrounding townships.  His opponent Jim Arlt ( is a truly caring Christian, with a big heart, the integrity of a career cop serving the people in the most honorable way, and he has a great sense of humor that does not include insulting one-third of his neighbors on a regular basis.

When you vote on November 6, vote for Jim Arlt.  If enough people vote for Jim, maybe Pat Garofalo who loves Las Vegas might move there, where the integrity and values he has shown as a Representative are much more common.

Crossposted by Steve Quist at
On Facebook MNDem and Twitter @Quist_Galaxie


Former Minnesota Governor and failed 2012 Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty tried out some new material at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL. His lack of charisma and inability to tell a joke hindered his ability to get his campaign airborne. Truthfully, his campaign never really made it that far down the runway.

But he hoped a friendly crowd and new material might resurrect his future in Republican politics. It most likely didn’t. Reviews were bad and worse.

– “Good evening everyone, and welcome to Barack Obama’s retirement party!”

– “I hear Joe’s (Biden) particularly interested in tonight’s proceedings. He even thought about coming here to Tampa. And he’s taking notes because when Paul Ryan speaks, Joe will finally get to hear what a real vice president sounds like!

– “But you know, President Obama isn’t as bad as people say, he’s actually worse.”

– “The president takes more vacations than that guy on the Bizarre Foods show.”

– “And I’ll give Barack Obama credit for creating jobs these last four years – for golf caddies.”

– “I’ve come to realize that Barack Obama is the tattoo president. Like a big tattoo, it seemed cool when you were young.
But later on, that decision doesn’t look so good, and you wonder: what was I thinking?”

– “Barack Obama’s failed us. But look, it’s understandable. A lot of people fail at their first job.”

– “With any luck, in a few months, Barack Obama will at last get some experience in the private sector.”
(Bring Me The News)

It’s pretty clear from his delivery why these jokes failed.

But the swipe at my friend Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods, was particularly lame. Andrew responded …

I loved the shout out. It would have been nice if you mentioned my name since we have known each other pretty well for a dozen or so years, but I understand you’re being respectful and not making it personal. I do. And while we don’t agree on the issues, and are from very different sides of the aisle, the last thing I want to do is add to the acrimony. But where are you getting your facts? President Obama and I share a lot of passion and commitment to same issues, one of which is work ethic. I only take off a few days per month, I think I had 4 in August and only have 2 or 3 days off in September. And on those days I was sneaking work calls while my wife wasn’t looking and returning messages on my phone ’til the wee hours. The President doesn’t need me to remind the world that he never takes a day off. I had the privilege of seeing that up close and personal at the White House last spring when he spent half of a holiday working away while his family took care of his personal commitments. Thanks though for keeping the Minnesota love flowing and for putting me in such great company. Links below to all the fun for those that missed the Republican National Convention speeches last night.

Then consider how many vacations the last Republican President took. Dubya spent 967 days on vacation or at some kind of retreat. That’s 120 per year. That means he only worked 245 days per year.

I want a job that gives me 24 weeks of vacation per year. I wanna be a lazy pig like His Shrubness.

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Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty set down his frac sand shovel for a few moments to shill for 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on CNN. CNN’s Soledad O’Brien has been quite obstinate about people lying lately. She must not know that talking heads on TV aren’t supposed to question Republicans claims.

Governor BridgeFail pushed the Republican lie that Obama cut Medicare. O’Brien countered the Republicans claim that Obama cut Medicare. In fact, Obamacare didn’t touch benefits paid to seniors, but cut profits going to pharmaceutical companies.

Who better to hit back at O’Brien than the sniveling TPaw. Gov. Gutshot wasn’t going to let her get away with preventing him from lying so he called her stupid.

“But, sir, it’s not a cut in Medicare, right?” O’Brien observed. “Let me just read from the CBO. It’s a ‘permanent reduction in the annual updates to Medicaid’s payment rates.’ It’s a cut in the spending — future spending. And it’s cut that actually goes to insurers, right? I mean, it’s not cuts to individuals.”

“No matter how you say this, it’s a cut to Medicare,” Pawlenty insisted. “You can’t even with a straight face, look your viewers in the eye and tell [them] that it’s not a cut to Medicare.”

“Well, I can’t look viewers in the eye from where I am,” O’Brien pointed out. “I’m saying the way the CBO puts it. … That is a savings.”

“Do you know what that is in English?” Pawlenty quipped.

“I speak English incredibly well, sir, as you know,” O’Brien shot back.
(Crooks and Liars)

What a jerk.

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