Pawlenty Gets Vetoed

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So finally after three tries the State Legislature finally overrides Governor Pawlenty’s veto of a transportation funding bill. Funny how the deaths of 13 people and the need for one 300 million dollar bridge can shake up party loyalties.

Word from St. Paul is that the Governor is pissed and I’ve heard a lot from Republicans about their “concern? for hard workin’ families and how the gas tax will impact their wallets. Funny no concern about how hard working families are stuck in inadequate roads, having to spend more and more time in their cars or buses to get to and from work. Where’s that concern? Where’s the concern that we are falling behind economically (read jobs) because our infrastructure is literally collapsing?

Actually I think T-Paw’s peevishness is related to two items. First is his Veep standing. One of his positives in the eyes of Republicans is that he had controlled spending and taxes in a pretty Democratic state. It’s one thing to do it in Oklahoma but to do that in Minnesota. Looks good on the GOP resume.

But more importantly I think the Republicans know that in the end an extra $50 or so a year for gas is not really that big of deal for most if not all families and if we get a better infrastructure system out of it, all the better. That really goes against what the Republicans are trying to sell us. People ARE willing to spend more as long as they get something out of it. If the Republicans lose that argument, they have very, very little to run on.

Finally I think a shout out is deserved for the Twins ballpark funding plan. First, how come no one is complaining that there is no referendum for the increase in the sales tax to pay for transportation improvements? I thought that was a big deal? Second the ballpark deal demonstrated that politicians could raise the sales tax with no blowback at the ballot box. No surprise a year or so after the Twins were able to raise $$$ through the sale tax that politicians are coming back to the sales tax to pay for transportation and open space improvements.

6 Comments

The best part is that the Republicans who broke ranks with the party had their committee positions stripped. Party before State!

Good point, one of the real sad things of the Bush Administration is that so many republican legislators put party over country.

What doesn't make sense with MN reps is that why would the Republicans want to isolate and ostracize these folks any more. It seems like you are sending them straight into the arms of the Dems. More veto overrides may be in our future. Seems little the R's can do to keep those guys in line. Bad Politics imho.

It's one thing to oppose the bill, but it's another altogether to go ape about the override. What was their alternative transportation proposal? Borrow more money? Ask private contractors to finance our bridge projects too?

In some respects, the veto over-ride was actually a win-win for the Governor. He gets badly-needed funding for transportation (which everyone agrees was absolutely necessary, and was going to have to come from somewhere)AND he still gets to tell the Taxpayers League and their ilk that he courageously held true to his "no new taxes" pledge.

The thing that bugs me most over this whole deal is that the Governor, by reason of the no-taxes pledge, was unable to exercise any real leadership. The pledge boxed him into to an absolute corner. Essentially all he could say on the subject was "No." He was precluded from brokering any kind of a deal, since he left himself absolutely no room to compromise. Slavishly adhering to this silly "pledge" certainly is not my idea of leadership.

Here's the topper. Dick Day argued in vain for Carol Molnau in her bid for another term as head of MNDOT that she was hampered by a lack of funding! That's funny stuff.

Yeah, well, anyone who has followed Legislative stuff knows that was par for the course with Dick Day.

I'm almost tempted to root for his U.S. Congress campaign just so we'd be rid of him in the State Senate.

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This page contains a single entry by Freealonzo published on February 27, 2008 1:40 PM.

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