Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Serious Private Compassion

I love this time of year.

We are reminded of the importance of family and friends. And we are reminded of what it means to be truly compassionate. And all because of the celebration of the birth of Christ.

That is why this article is so heartening during this Christmas season. (click here)

A plan to end chronic homelessness in Minnesota by 2010 got a boost today when a coalition of business, non-profit and religious leaders announced a commitment to raise $60 million in private donations over the next three years and to coordinate public and private efforts through a new umbrella organization, HeadingHome Minnesota.

"The announcement today is a going to be a huge piece of really turbo-charging that effort," Gov. Tim Pawlenty said at a news conference at the Camden Apartments, a housing program for homeless families in North Minneapolis. (emphasis mine).

The worries, of course, are either 1) that the Government will screw this up by interfering too much in what private groups are participating in, 2) that some Leftist will file a lawsuit to prevent the religious organizations from playing a role.

True compassion comes from the heart and soul, not from the state. In fact, Government would be best served staying out of the compassion business because business, places of worship, non-profits and neighbors do a far better job of lifting the human spirit while lifting the economically depressed. In this case, the announcement today by Governor Pawlenty is truly meaningful for the goals we all have of seeing an end to chronic homelessness.

HeadingHome will stress three strategies to end homelessness, said Jim Frey, president of the Frey Foundation and the other co-chair of the new organization.

Participating groups will provide emergency assistance to people who need help to pay for housing, Frey said.

They will offer services to address the underlying causes of homelessness, he said. Those services include mental health counseling, job training and childcare.

And they will reach out to homeless youth and adults on the streets to provide the help they need to get into housing, he said.

"One of the great beauties of this plan," Pawlenty said, "is that, while it is a moon-shot plan, it gets everybody coordinated toward the same goal with a common set of objectives and tactics."

What a great story of serious private compassion as many of us prepare for the Christmas season.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pawlenty Hits Judicial Appointments Out of the Park

This afternoon, Governor Pawlenty filled a number of judicial appointments, including a very important Supreme Court position which will be vacant beginning January 1st of 2008.

Conservatives, Republicans, Minnesotans, Americans and even Liberals who respect the judiciary should be absolutely proud of these recent appointments, and what they mean for the future of the judiciary and jurisprudence in Minnesota.

I'd like to touch on just two of them.

First, Governor Pawlenty appointed long-serving State Senator Tom Neuville as a Rice County District Court Judge. I first met Senator Neuville while in high school, once when I had an opportunity (thanks to Senator Roger Moe actually) to address the Senate Education Committee, and once down in his hometown of Northfield when I attended American Legion's Boy's state. I got to know him my freshman year of college at St. Olaf, part of the area he has admirably represented in the State Senate.

Judge Neuville is conscientious, brilliant and conservative. He is also a person of impeccable integrity who we can all be confident will administer justice without fear or favor.

Governor Pawlenty also appointed appeals court Judge Christopher Dietzen to replace the Honorable Sam Hanson on the State Supreme Court. Justice Dietzen is a class act, has been a brilliant private practice attorney and has served with absolute distinction on the court of appeals since December of 2004. Justice Dietzen will join a court growing more and more restrained and intellectually honest after a handful of truly egregious, and intellectually void decisions over the years. Justice Dietzen will serve along side model justices such as Barry Anderson and Lorie Gildea. He will stand with integrity and a humble nature along with Chief Justice Russell Anderson (a former Judge in Crookston, and a St. Olaf Grad himself).

I cannot express how exciting today's announcements are, especially in light of a judiciary that is often unrestrained and all too often political. Nobody can make those claims about this set of appointments. Governor Pawlenty continues to impress as he leaves his mark on the judiciary. His influence and his integrity will have a lasting effect long past his Gubernatorial tenure.

Governor Pawlenty to Name New Supreme Court Justice

It is being reported that Governor Pawlenty will name a replacement today for Justice Sam Hanson who will be retiring from the Minnesota Supreme Court effective January 1st, 2008.

Check back later today for analysis on the Governor's pick.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

From One of Our National Correspondents?

One of the most prominent Conservative New Hampshire Political Bloggers at a site called GreenMountainPolitics (click here), posted a piece today entitled, "What The Republican Party Can Learn From Tim Pawlenty"

Here are a few of the best excerpted portions from this piece.

This post is about Governor Pawlenty.

And his terrific "Road-Map Out Of The GOP Message Wilderness" stump speech (our words not his) that he delivered in Fairlee, Vermont last night to New Hampshire and Vermont GOP activists.

But then the Governor moved into the actual meat of his speech. And he stopped sounding like "a lot of politicians".

He began by talking about the massive economic, cultural and technological changes currently sweeping across the globe. He told the audience that "massive change" is both "a little bit scary" and "exciting" at the same time.

Then he told the audience that Americans in general, and the Republican Party in particular, needs to "hold on to what makes us great" while at the same time being flexible enough to "take advantage of new opportunities".

"So what's something that makes us great?" Governor Pawlenty asked the Republican crowd. "We are the Party of fiscal discipline!" he answered himself.

The Governor then proceeded to sort out his 55 vetoes as Governor of Minnesota, including his vetoes of most of Minnesota's major omnibus bills.

Heads started bobbing up and down in the room.

"But the Republican Party needs to have a broader vision than just being accountants for the Democrats," Governor Pawlenty explained.

Our heart fluttered. More than a little bit. (emphasis mine)

The good Governor then launched into a 20 minute discussion on education reform, health care reform and energy reform.

Our favorite quote, on the need for energy reform, "70% of our oil comes from foreign sources and it hooks us to people and places that we shouldn't be hooked to. It is a national security imperative that we move our country away from oil. The public is way ahead of the politicians on this issue."

By God! A Republican who is clearly unwilling to cede the energy issue to the Democrats? Incredible!

And the Republican Party should watch the good Governor closely and learn a thing or two about updating (creating?) their broader message for 2008. And beyond. (emphasis mine)

We're just saying.
Well. . . Hmmmmmm. . . How should we read this Northeasterner's post?

First of all, he is right. We've written about this from the beginning. It is refreshing to have a leader like governor Pawlenty unwilling to cede any issue to the Democrats in this country. Conservatives have answers to health care, education and the environment just like we have answers on taxes, the economy, defense and crime. And on each and everyone of these issues, Governor Pawlenty is leading the way.

Second of all. . . well. . . he is right. Our party should really watch Governor Pawlenty in 2008 and beyond to learn a thing about updating and creating our message.

It is almost as though our new friends at GreenMountainPolitics believe the GOP has become the "Party of Pawlenty."

Pass it on.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Muddy waters

Right on cue, no sooner had the Minnesota Poll revealed that a majority of Minnesotans opposed raising the gas tax than liberals stated that the reason for the lack of support is that taxpayers are simply too dumb to support the liberal position. Whenever polls show a lack of support for their policies, liberals reflexively reason that people don’t agree with them simply because they’re stupid.

The following except appeared in an article by Pat Doyle in the Sunday Star Tribune:
Some who have followed the issue over the years were surprised that more people didn’t support a gas tax hike in the aftermath of the disaster.

“I would have thought the bridge collapsing might have been a pretty good indicator that something needed to happen, but it’s still muddy waters,” said Lee Munnich, who specializes in transportation policy at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

He said politicians supporting a hike have not made a persuasive case that routine but critical maintenance needs more money and the federal government won’t provide enough of it.
While I shall pass over Munnich’s unfortunate reference to “muddy waters” subsequent to the bridge collapse, he needs to refer back to the poll results. There is absolutely nothing “muddy” about these numbers. Contrary to what the Democrats believed, taxpayers aren’t willing to write the tax-and-spenders a blank check because a bridge collapsed. DFLers believed that they had the perfect issue to force a tax increase and were salivating at what they believed was slam-dunk opportunity.

If the poll results had been reversed, Democrats would be trumpeting the results as proof that Minnesotans are firmly behind a gas tax increase. They would be scampering about demanding action in light of what would be described as overwhelming support for the tax hike. However, since the poll results are not in line with liberal plans, they are “muddy” and “surprising.”

The other obvious and more important point in the article is how it exposes the liberal belief that people don’t agree with them simply because the explanation was inadequate. In other words, were taxpayers more fully informed, they would obviously support raising taxes. It’s not a matter of genuine philosophical differences; it’s that a more “persuasive case” must be made. (Leftists “making a more persuasive case” is the type of ominous euphemism that one can easily imagine the Gestapo employing.)

The best line of the article was quoting Robert O’Byrne of rural Rochester who stated, “I think for every dollar you pay in taxes you get back about ten cents in value.”

This wisdom is contrasted with a statement that will certainly be a contender for the Stupidest Logic of the Week Award in which 82-year old poll respondent Ralph Belin stated that he favors a gas tax increase because, “I don’t think people in our state are that bad off, they can afford a nickel a gallon.” Brilliant. Just brilliant. To liberals, the only qualification for whether a tax is advisable is if taxpayers can “afford” it.

How about this logic: I don’t believe Ralph is so bad off he can’t afford to send me $100. Ralph, if you’re reading this – and unfortunately you’re not – I’m waiting for the check, because you can “afford” it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Star Tribune: Pawlenty Has Highest Approval Ratings In Four Years

"Gov. Tim Pawlenty appears to have weathered some of the most tumultuous events of his tenure, with 59 percent of Minnesota adults approving of the job he is doing as governor, a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll shows. It is his highest approval rating in the poll since February 2003, shortly after he took office.

Despite frequent combat with the DFL-dominated Legislature, the recent horror of a bridge collapse on his watch and questions about the state's response to flooding in southeastern Minnesota, Republican Pawlenty's strong approval rating cut across gender, regional and age lines." Source: Star Tribune, October 3, 2007

Click here for complete story.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pawlenty's Latest Reform Success

Governor Pawlenty has appointed a reform minded Commissioner of Health in Sanne Magnan, who is receiving wide bi-partisan acclaim as she approaches the confirmation process.

“She had an incredible set of credentials and experiences that make her extremely well-suited to serve in this position,” Pawlenty said.

Top legislators on health issues were quick to praise the Republican governor’s selection. Rep. Tom Huntley, chairman of a House health care funding committee, predicted Magnan would be an “excellent commissioner” who has a shared desire to improve the health care system. Her background also is impressive.

“She understands the science of health care, and that’s really important,” Huntley, DFL-Duluth said. “I think she’s going to be great.” (excerpted from article)

Obviously turning the ship of Government is just that, an attempt to move a ship. It would be ideal if the governor could have gone in and gutted each of the departments of dead weight and inefficiencies, but unfortunately, you can't make quick reforms until people are in place who are capable, and people are removed who hold reform back.

It appears that the latest department which will move in that direction is the Health Department under this new Commissioner.

(click here for entire article)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Governor Proposes Small Business Relief in Greater Minnesota

In the first of what looks to be a series of 2008 legislative initiatives, Governor Pawlenty today traveled the state to lay out his plans for tax relief and grants to spur small business growth in Greater Minnesota Communities.

SEED (Strategic Entrepreneurial Economic Development) will facilitate business development across Minnesota through 22 new or expanded programs that target several strategic areas, according to a news release from the governor's office in St. Paul.

The proposal is the first major initiative Pawlenty has proposed for the 2008 legislative session. (excerpted from article). (click here for the entire article)

The governor's office issued a release on the program today which reads in part:

“Investing in small business will bring lasting value and economic growth to our entire state and especially rural communities that need it most,” Governor Pawlenty said. “Companies with fewer than 100 employees account for 97 percent of the state’s businesses and generate most new jobs. SEED will help new business, existing companies, and rural communities by providing a wide variety of economic development tools that can be matched to each situation.” (click here to learn more from the governor's office)
Small business often bares the brunt of punitive taxation and over burdensome regulations and mandates. Years of government attacks on our small business community have effectively decimated much of this critical sector in Greater Minnesota.

Today's announcement by the governor signals a significant shift away from attacking the job creators of our state (by our state) towards a much more sympathetic approach. This is on the heals of the governor's highly acclaimed JOBZ program aimed to give significant tax relief in many depressed Greater Minnesota counties by this governor.

Obviously, it would be ideal if our government would choose not to treat job creators as the enemy to start with.

But as we seek to reform this state, providing relief to small business owners is a significant step in the right direction.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Pawlenty Begins to Lay Out 2008 Legislative Agenda

Governor Pawlenty will begin defining his 2008 legislative agenda on Tuesday as he travels to St. Paul, Sauk Rapids, Brownsdale and East Grand Forks to talk about Economic Development.

Check back with Party of Pawlenty over the upcoming weeks as Governor Pawlenty continues to define a bold, reform oriented agenda for 2008.

(click here for the story)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Are you kidding me???

I'd like to introduce a new category of posts here at Party of Pawlenty we like to call, "Are you kidding me???"

In this morning's Star Tribune, the fine "journalists" over there took Governor Pawlenty to task for playing an active roll in selecting the best possible educational path for his oldest daughter.

Here is the opening line of this breaking news (assume drum roll here):

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a key player in setting policy for Minnesota public schools and allocating billions of dollars for public education, has chosen private school for one of his daughters.
And that is what the entire story is about. (I apologize profusely for including a link to it).

In other breaking news, the fine "journalists" at the Star Tribune have learned.

--"Gov. Pawlenty, who governs a state with excessively generous social welfare programs, has a job and is not on a single public assistance program."

--"Gov. Pawlenty, who works in an office with a state-paid photocopy machine, asked his wife to go to Kinkos to print birthday invitations."

--"Gov. Pawlenty, who oversees the allocation of billions of dollars to promote Minnesota tourism, took his family to Disney Land."

In all seriousness, the Trib should be embarrassed that it allowed any ink to be spilled to print such a nonsensical and irrelevant story.

One of the greatest issues facing education today is a lack of parental involvement. It is demonstrably true, that kids who have involved parents do better in school.

And we, as a people, should encourage the kind of involvement that we see from the Governor of Minnesota (a busy guy), in the education of his own daughters.

There is nothing inherently noble about sending ones child to a public school versus a private school, or vice versa.

We have been blessed in Minnesota to have a pretty good mix (we have some work to do yet) of public, private, charter and home-school "institutions" of education in which parents can pick which one best fits the needs of their child, their family, and their community (believe it or not, where the Star Tribune thinks a child should attend is way down the priority list).

But regardless of the intent of the "journalists" at the Trib, an important point does come across in the story.

Governor Pawlenty places a high value on education, and part of his tenure as Governor is defined by making schools accountable to parents and kids so that all of our schools (public, private and otherwise) are providing a world class education.

Pawlenty urges helping hand for war vets

Governor Pawlenty, who has been a national leader as Governor on Veterans issues, has announced a series of new initiatives that seek to make Minnesota, "most veteran-friendly state in the nation."

Speaking Tuesday at the fall conference of the Minnesota Association of County Veterans Service Officers at Grand View Lodge, Pawlenty said the military is made up of people who have raised their hand and volunteered for service.

"We would not have the country we have without the brave men and women in the military," he said.

While wearing yellow ribbons and declaring support for the military is admirable, those deeds have to be followed up with action.

"It has to be backed up by deeds that matter," he said.

Giving credit to lawmakers and veterans officials, Pawlenty listed what has been accomplished for veterans in recent years in Minnesota.

• 100 percent tuition reimbursement for National Guard veterans.

• A no-protestors funeral law.

• The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program for reintegration.

• The Minnesota GI Bill.

• Increased funding for veterans' counseling and veterans' service agencies.

The governor predicted an "up-tick in need and demand" for the veterans service officers' services. (excerpted from article).

Of course, as we all know, Governor Pawlenty is a leader among leaders in terms of our nation's Governor's.

So ultimately Governor Pawlenty's leadership on Veteran's issues will matriculate throughout the other states of the union and Governors, legislators and citizens across the country see the success of Governor Pawlenty's initiatives.

(click here for the entire article).

Monday, September 10, 2007

Governor Wins Narrowly Taylored Special Session

Governor Pawlenty today exhibited restraint and leadership this afternoon to deal with the flood ravaged Southeastern portions of Minnesota.

A limited, one-day Special Session which will focus only on the immediate needs in the aftermath of the natural disaster will take place beginning at 5:00pm tomorrow, the 11th of September.

"'It's, I think, the fastest disaster recovery special session that we've had in recent memory,' Pawlenty said. 'I know there has been some concern about timing, but the fact of the matter is that those two other floods, the special session was three months later. We've moved this up for understandable and good reasons and it needs to be moved up.'" Source: MPR, September 10, 2007
Earlier, Governor Pawlenty was able to utilize existing executive authority, federal aid and existing money to get the state on track to replace the fallen I-35W bridge.

Some have recently sought to utilize the bridge and flooding as a springboard to increase the taxes and spending in advance of the regular 2008 session.

Unless the current deal is broken by Governor Pawlenty's political opponents, we should see a quick, focused session on providing much needed emergency relief.

Our legislative leaders have an opportunity in the Spring to openly debate a more expensive agenda should they choose.

They will just have to do so outside the heated passions of a recent disaster, as a time when greater deliberation and contemplation (you know, the kind that is supposed to accompany the legislative process) is available to our elected officials.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Focus and Restraint

MDE hit the nail on the head with his post below on Governor Pawlenty's leadership in defining what will and what will not be part of a Special Session should one happen.

To follow up on that, it is becoming clear (I guess it has always been so) that there is a focus and restraint problem on the other side of the aisle that Governor Pawlenty has to deal with as he seeks to build this bridge, assist in flood recovery, and do the other "stuff of Government."

And Governor Pawlenty has simply found that he can utilize the tools given to him to ease the pain caused by these two issues without letting legislative leaders open up a Pandora's Box of government intervention and higher taxes. They will undoubtedly try to do that during the regular session, so why allow for that this fall.

Plus, Governor Pawlenty doesn't need to.

In a letter to Pawlenty, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller dropped their requests for a gas tax increase and property tax relief and instead proposed a one- or two-day special session starting next Tuesday. They suggested focusing on two agenda items: replacing the I-35W bridge and flood relief costs. They proposed paying for those projects with up to $370 million from the state's budget surplus.

Pawlenty said thanks, but no thanks.

"We now know the federal government has committed to cover the reconstruction costs of the I-35W bridge," he wrote in a letter to Kelliher and Pogemiller. He said it would be premature to assume the state must provide additional money to complete that project. If more funds are needed, he said, the 2008 Legislature can provide them.

As for the flood, he said he will soon use his executive authority to help meet the financial needs of flood victims, and he expects to propose legislation on the matter later. The state might have to borrow up to $200 million to repair or replace roads, bridges and other public infrastructure in the southeastern corner of the state, he said. (excerpted from article)

There is a legitimate fear that legislators during a Special Session would be like kids in a candy store. We need a bridge built and we need some relief for flood victims. Everything else can be debated during the regular session in 2008.

Kids already eat too much candy.

(click here for the entire article)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Governor Pawlenty Outmaneuvers DFL Leaders Once Again

Governor Pawlenty has outmaneuvered the DFL legislative leaders once again:

"DFL legislative leaders said Tuesday they're ready to abandon a more comprehensive special session to focus on last month's Interstate 35W bridge collapse and the massive floods in southeastern Minnesota. They also suggested a willingness to drop advocacy of a gas-tax increase." Source: Star Tribune, September 4, 2007

Click here for the complete story.

It gets better:

"Minnesota's Democratic legislative leaders today dropped most of their wish list for a special session, and pleaded with Gov. Tim Pawlenty to call lawmakers back to St. Paul to only work on issues related to a Minneapolis bridge collapse and southeast Minnesota flooding." Source: West Central Tribune, September 4, 2007

Click here for the complete story.

Pleaded? DFL leaders are now pleading for a special session. I have said before that I'm not advocating a special session, but I'm certainly not afraid of one either. It seems that Democrats in Minnesota have once again been outmaneuvered by Governor Tim Pawlenty in legislative negotiations.


This story is cross-posted at Minnesota Democrats Exposed and True North

Friday, August 31, 2007

Pawlenty Continues Leadership on Emergency Relief

It has been a tough month for the state of Minnesota.

We've had a bridge, that experts said didn't need serious work for years to come, fall to the river while crowded with vehicles.

While the recovery effort was still under way, Southern Minnesota towns and roads were flooded out by torrential rain fall.

Throughout these tragedies, Governor Pawlenty has taken all of the bold, unilateral steps he has been able to take (both to provide the flood relief and get moving on bridge construction) that he has been able to do with the powers he has as Governor.

And he continues to show leadership as he seeks to work with allies and opponents alike to do what is necessary in an emergency situation.

So why are some Democrats willing to risk timely relief for the sake of the extraneous and trivial?

It is time that the public demands DFL house and senate leaders move ahead on what matters in the here and now, and leave all of the extras aside until we can have an open and public debate about needs vs. wants during the 2008 legislative session.

Because many of the Democratic leaders seem unwilling to narrow the focus of a prospective special session to the serious issues of emergency relief, a special session appears to be on hold.

Thankfully, the Governor is taking all necessary, prudent, bold and appropriate steps unilaterally to do what needs to be done in the near term to provide for emergency relief.

Pawlenty wanted to call a special session to pass laws on four issues: bridge safety, flood relief, property taxes, and transportation.

"Special session are supposed to be called for emergencies. And we have one," said Pawlenty.

But the Governor won’t call a special session unless he has in writing, an agreement from lawmakers that they’ll stick to emergency issues only.

"The governor wants to avoid a free for all slumber party where he calls a special session and legislators don’t leave," said law professor Larry Jacobs. (excerpted from KSTP article)

I'd like to challenge the Democratic leadership to let Minnesotans know what issues are so important that they:

a) Are worth sacrificing emergency flooding and bridge tragedy relief. AND
b) Can't wait until February for the regular session?

Just give us a list, and we'll let the public decide.

(Click here for the entire article)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Isaiah 6: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” and Isaiah responded, “Here am I, send me!”

There is a terrific article in the Bemidji Pioneer detailing the homecoming celebration of Bemidji-based "Able Company" which saw 16 months of active duty fighting terrorism in Iraq.

You can read the entire article here:

“What’s the most generous thing you’ve ever done with your life,” the Republican governor (Pawlenty) said he once was told as a way to judge generosity. “In other words, what do you have that you’re willing to give away to somebody else that may make their life or our world a better place?”

The troops and family have given of their time, their skills, received some money, made some friendships, he said, but ultimately what one does with it is an indicator, he said.

“Are you willing to give what you got for a cause or a circumstance that is different from, bigger than, better than just our individual circumstance?” Pawlenty asked.

The troops honored Saturday were willing to serve 22 months this time, perhaps six years in total for Guard duty, with the only request that “I will go, if you need me,” he said.

Pawlenty quoted from Isaiah 6, where God says, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” and Isaiah responded, “Here am I, send me!”

The troops didn’t get to say, “Send me, unless it’s inconvenient,” Pawlenty said, or unless a new son or daughter is born, or unless it’s an inconvenient time for work, or unless it will be too hard on the Soldier’s wife or husband or significant other, or unless it will make mom worry a lot.

“They just have to salute and go,” he said. “It’s an extraordinary, extraordinary act of generosity.”

Minnesota is a great state, not for its politicians, but “because it’s a state filled with really great people,” he said, listing off high national rankings for the number of volunteers, in charitable giving and in church attendance.

“When we’ve had the big catastrophes in Minnesota in the last weeks, what we saw was horrible tragedies but we also saw the goodness of Minnesota shining through,” Pawlenty said, referring to the Minneapolis bridge collapse that killed 13 and southeast Minnesota floods that killed seven. (excerpted from article)

The Governor is absolutely right. We have a lot of selfless people in Minnesota and in the United States.

None are more selfless than the men and women in our armed forces, and there have been few times when we have asked more of them than in the current and on-going War on Terror.

One of the most difficult and somber, but important things Governor Pawlenty has to do is send our National Guard troops off to war (second only to attending the funeral of troops we lose).

One of the most heartening things he has the opportunity to do is welcome them home.

“We can’t give back the 22 months that you’ve given, but … you gave the people of Iraq an opportunity for something better,” he (Governor Pawlenty) said.

Pawlenty also noted that those who died had also given “the ultimate measure of generosity and sacrifice in laying down their lives.”

“The state of Minnesota and people across the state do not forget what you’ve done and are grateful, and will keep you in their thoughts and prayers,” he said of Able Company. “We appreciate every minute of every day that you were gone.” (excerpted from article)

Thank you.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Top 10 least popular presidential campaign promises

Because things have been pretty serious lately, here are the Top Ten Least Popular Presidential Campaign Promises courtesy of David Letterman’s top ten contest. Feel free to post some possible chart-breakers.

10. Promises to make Rosie O’Donnell “Goodwill Ambassador”

9. $2000 donation gets you a night in the Lincoln Bedroom. $25 donation gets you a hunting trip with Dick Cheney

8. To change the national anthem to “Funkytown”

7. Tax deductions for three or more wives (Mitt Romney only)

6. Iraq, the 51st state!

5. Jamba Juice stores to have “30% more Jamba”

4. Even more Law & Order marathons (Fred Thompson only)

3. Send me to the White House and win a free night in the Kucinich Bedroom

2. No new taxes, only higher older ones

1. New head of PETA: Michael Vick

Thursday, August 23, 2007

FEMA teams assess flooding; Pawlenty asks for speedy help

I happened to be across the border from Winona and some of the hardest hit small communities in SE Minnesota last weekend when it seemed like the rain would never stop. It was pretty incredible how saturated the whole area became, and how much damage a little water can do.

Governor Pawlenty is seeking quick and efficient relief for the infrastructure damaged by last weekends flooding from the Feds.

On Wednesday, one FEMA team headed to Rushford, a city of about 1,700, ringed by rugged bluffs about 130 miles southeast of the Twin Cities. Water that quickly rose to hip-deep in the streets tore through the city in the wee hours Sunday morning, washing out foundations and forcing people to flee their homes.

City Councilwoman Nancy Benson said she went into her basement to rescue belongings and a wall gave way. A wall of water came rushing at her. She would have died had her husband not pulled her up the stairs in time, she said.

The city's business district was wiped out and about 277 homes had been destroyed. She said the city is "desperate" for federal aid.

"Our community has to be helped or we will die," she said. "We'll end up being a bedroom community." (excerpted from article)

In times of tragedy, it seems like Minnesotans in particular do a very good job of coming together to lend a helping hand.

(click here for entire article).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pawlenty Update

I received the email update below just a few moments ago.

Just a few personal observations.

Much has been written and said about special sessions and funding our roads. Here on Party of Pawlenty, we have discussed Governor Pawlenty's leadership on this issue, and his focus on making a priority getting the bridge built efficiently, safely and quickly.

The email below "speaks" for itself, but it is Minnesotans can proud that the Governor is prepared to cut through the red-tape to get this bridge built and refocus our efforts on actually funding transportation (a truly core function of state government).

And if we can all get an income tax cut in order to target revenue towards roads and bridges as the Governor has outlined, all the better.

It is nice to see a governor focused on the right priorities.

Dear Friends,

As you may have read over the weekend, Governor Pawlenty has been working with legislative leaders from both parties to discuss a possible special session to deal with transportation safety issues.

I wanted to share an update with you on some of Governor Pawlenty's priorities for a possible special session.

Governor Pawlenty has outlined his preferences for a special session, as reported by the St. Cloud Times, including:
  • A dedicated account to finance bridge inspections, repairs, improvements and replacements
  • Inclusion of a trunk highway bonding plan to accelerate priority road projects around the state
  • Dedication of the current sales tax on leased vehicles to roads and transit
  • A bonding bill that focuses mainly on road and bridge projects
  • Statutory changes allowing greater authority for highway and freeway lane additions funded through tolls
  • Expedited authority to cut through red tape relating to road and bridge inspection and improvement

Also, you may have read that the Governor has put a possible gas tax increase on the table. What had not been reported until Saturday's St. Cloud Times is that the Governor has made it clear to legislative leaders that he would like to see this gas tax increase as only temporary and offset by an income tax cut.

I hope you will stay tuned to this important story as it develops and support our efforts to deal with infrastructure safety in a fiscally responsible way.


Michael Krueger

Political Director | | (651) 905-0555

Monday, August 20, 2007

Study: Minnesota drops out of most expensive states for business

Virtually every governor in recent history has attempted to get Minnesota out of the top ten in the tax burden it imposes on its citizens.

Earlier this year, Governor Pawlenty actually accomplished that unifying feat.

A new study indicates that along with that, Governor Pawlenty has also brought us out of the top ten in terms of the cost of doing business.

Minnesota dropped out of the 10 most expensive states for doing business, according a new study.

The study, compiled by the Milken Institute, calculates the cost of doing business in each state based on an array of factors, including wages, taxes, electricity costs and real estate costs for industrial and office space.

Minnesota ranked No. 10 in the 2006 survey, with an overall index score of 107, meaning that costs were 7 percent higher here than the national average.

This year, that figure fell to 104.3 (4.3 percent higher than the average), and the state ranked No. 13. (excerpted from article)

Of course this isn't really about "business" per se, but about people and quality of life, which is always the reason we should seek to ease the burden (and yes, that is what it is, a burden) of government regulation and punitive taxation.

Moving the ship of state in the right direction is often exactly analogous to turning a large, lethargic ship.

But Governor Pawlenty, step by step is doing exactly that.

And this is just more evidence of his leadership.

(Click here for the entire article)

Friday, August 17, 2007

“It would be a shame if anything happened to your nice family”

It has been ten months since Mike Hatch lost his bid for governor and yet he continues to furnish Minnesotans with evidence that voters made the right collective decision. It was disclosed yesterday that in a March ruling Judge Lawrence Collins admonished Hatch for his misconduct in two civil trials in which Judge William Leary accused Hatch of improperly telephoning him and threatening Leary with negative news coverage if Leary failed to acquiesce to Hatch’s demands. (Just the type of behavior one looks for in an attorney general.)

Because the facts were too obvious to argue (Hatch admitted that he had, indeed, telephoned Judge Leary and tried to have him removed from the case), Hatch retreated to that old liberal standby that his actions were simply misconstrued. Uh-huh, sure they were. Mob bosses (with whose bullying tactics and bellicose threats Hatch has much in common) often resort to the same defense insisting that – honest to God – they weren’t threatening anyone when they ominously warned someone that it would be a shame if anything happened to the individual’s nice family. Similarly, in no way was Hatch threatening Judge Leary when he mentioned exposing him to news coverage. Hatch was simply implying all the nice stuff he was going to share with the media. That’s precisely the type of nice-guy stuff we all associate with Mike Hatch.

In an episode that was otherwise entirely devoid of any humor whatsoever given the seriousness of the charges against a sitting attorney general, Hatch provided an hilarious postscript by outrageously claiming yesterday, “I only wish that the decision was issued before the election, because I believe it repudiates the accusations made in the Swift Boat commercials.” This from the individual that kept Judge Collins’ order secret for nearly half a year after its issuance! Why, if the order were so exculpatory, did Hatch keep it secret for so long?

The obvious answer is the correct one. Hatch understands the ruling for what it clearly is: a judicial admonishment of the then highest law enforcement officer for interfering with justice.

"Fast-track bridges becoming standard"

The Pioneer Press has an excellent piece today about the common practice of fast-tracking bridge construction in order to safely get traffic and commerce moving.

When Minnesota Department of Transportation officials said a replacement for the collapsed Interstate 35W bridge would be built by late 2008, some were skeptical. They questioned whether the agency was rushing ahead without regard to safety or how the bridge should be designed.

But accelerated construction schedules, using contracts with steep incentives for builders, have become common since 1994 when C.C. Myers rebuilt Southern California's earthquake-damaged Interstate 10 in 66 days, earning a $14.5 million bonus. (excerpted from Pioneer Press story)

This is clearly an issue of defining priorities here in Minnesota (and a model of defining priorities elsewhere).

Are we more worried about salamanders being displaced, or are we more worried about people's livelihoods being disrupted?

Are we worried about debating bids for the most unique aesthetics, or does that seem a little trivial?

Can we define some of the red-tape that can be set aside for the purpose of getting life back to normal?

And when we do so, can we reexamine whether all that red-tape was necessary to begin with.

And Brian McClung, a spokesman for Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who first set the aggressive timetable, said the job could be finished on time and safely.

"We're going to hold (the contractors) accountable to building a safe bridge and doing it in the right way," McClung said. (excerpted from Pioneer Press article)

The Governor spent a significant part of his morning radio show talking about his "Drive to Excellence" initiative.

State Government is saving millions and millions of dollars under Governor Pawlenty simply by doing "the stuff" of Government more efficiently, and using new technology.

The same thing conceptually applies to the leadership he is showing as he seeks to rebuild this bridge.

I feel a little sorry for the dinosaurs in state government and politics generally (and the media of course) who are skeptical. They aren't helping us get traffic moving again.

But it is apparent the Governor has a little more vision and foresight than those skeptics. So we can expect bold initiatives out of his office to move this project ahead for the people of Minnesota who just want this thing built.

I encourage you to click here for the entire Pioneer Press story.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poll: Pawlenty approval rating at new high

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has picked up on the escalating approval ratings of Governor Pawlenty in the wake of his steadfast and bold leadership pertaining to the tragic I-35 bridge collapse two weeks ago today.

In the wake of the Minneapolis bridge collapse, Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s approval rating has climbed to its highest level recorded during his tenure in office, a new poll shows. (excerpted from article)

It seems apparent to me that these high approval ratings are a direct result of Governor Pawlenty making it clear that he is going to rise above politics and bureaucratic red tape so that we can get this bridge build and reopen this important artery as soon as possible.

Perhaps just as important has been his focus on prioritizing spending on those pieces of this puzzle that the people of Minnesota really agree with (our real transportation infrastructure of roads and bridges) and away from feel good projects and peripheral spending that will not move traffic.

This sort of leadership, and a demand that the taxpayer's money be spent wisely, and with accountability has been the hallmark of Governor Pawlenty's tenure in office.

Which brings us back to the numbers, and why his approval ratings are so high.

(click here for the entire article)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Survey USA Poll: Pawlenty Approval at 59%

According to the poll, Pawlenty's approval is at 90% among Republicans, 54% approval among Independents, and 39% approval among Democrats.

Click here for the complete details on the new poll from Survey USA.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Governor Pawlenty sets up new "Veterans Linkage Line"

Showing his character, and leadership on issues pertaining to our Veterans, it was announced that Governor Pawlenty has set up a "Veterans Linkage Line" to "make it easier to find services and to ensure immediate crisis intervention."

“Our goal is to make Minnesota the best state for veterans to live,” Governor Pawlenty said. “Understanding and navigating the many programs and services provided by state, federal and local governments can be discouraging. The Veterans Linkage Line will connect veterans and their family members with information on veterans’ benefits, health care and reintegration. It’s another way for us to make sure we thank and support those who serve our country.” (Excerpted from Article)

Veterans can contact the hot line 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-LINKVET (546-5838).

(Click here for the entire article)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Overwhelming majorities approve of Pawlenty's handling bridge tragedy

Governor Pawlenty has proven himself to be a strong reformer and a visionary leader during his tenure as Governor.

A new poll conducted by SurveyUSA and KSTP shows that Minnesotans overwhelmingly approve of the way Governor Pawlenty is handling the current tragedy surrounding the collapse of the I-35W bridge just north of Minneapolis.

The survey shows that 75 percent of all Minnesotans, and even 70 percent of self identified Democrats approve of the way Governor Pawlenty is handling this disaster.

(Click here for a pdf with the full results of the poll)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"Build the Bridge"

Much has been written, and rightfully so, on the collapse of the I-35W bridge just a week ago tomorrow.

It has been a sad time for Minnesotans and will ultimately lead to a public policy debate as to where transportation (and more specifically roads and bridges) should be on the priority list for state government expenditures. I happen to believe that building and maintaining our road and bridge infrastructure is one of the most basic functions of state government.

We still live within a Federalist system, and within the state we are best served with that Federalist equivalent. Let the Feds defend our boarders, keep us safe and fight our wars. The State can keep up with the roads, and play a role in education and a few other issues, locals can be most effective in the education realm, and let families, communities and places of worship handle the compassion and charity.

Now, however, we need to build this bridge and make sure others are safe for the traveling public.

We are blessed to have a leader like Tim Pawlenty who is already showing bold leadership and not allowing people to say this thing can't be reconstructed quickly and safety to recreate this critical Minneapolis artery.

The Mesabi Daily News has a great piece today entitled
Yes, cut the federal red tape; it's an emergency. (click here for the entire article)

Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants Minnesota’s members of Congress to get action to help cut through federal red tape as the state moves ahead in recovery and reconstruction efforts following the bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

By all means, let’s get at it.

The governor specifically asks the Minnesota congressional delegation to “craft federal legislation that would designate authority to the United States Secretary of Transportation or other proper individuals the ability to expedite, waive, or relax certain regulations, permitting and other requirements that can properly and safely be set aside to allow us to recover more promptly from the emergency,” he said in part in a letter to the state’s members of Congress. (Excerpted from Article)

This governor has consistently defined bold leadership during his tenure in office. We applaud the governor as he steps up to this challenge, and appreciate his initiative to cut through state and federal red-tape to get this bridge built and get traffic moving again.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Pawlenty complimented for uniting Minnesota at time of crisis

"The horrific bridge collapse sent a wake-up call to the entire country and in particular to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. If there ever were a time for the representatives of the people to meet and speak, in one voice, it is now.

The governor himself has expressed understanding of this, telling reporters Thursday: 'We will do anything and everything it takes to make sure this recovery effort is done well, and we will do everything possible, including a special session, if necessary. This is a time of crisis and a time for Minnesota and America to come together.'

The governor is absolutely right, and, more than that, he has exhibited that unity, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, and fellow Republican Norm Coleman. He is cooperating with U.S. Reps. Jim Oberstar, chairman of the 8th District and the House Transportation Committee, and with Keith Ellison, in whose 5th District the tragedy took place.

And Pawlenty stood Thursday with DFL Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis, who he was scheduled to meet, along with other metro-area mayors, had the bridge not fallen." Source: Duluth News Tribune, August 5, 2007

Click here for the complete editorial.

Friday, August 3, 2007

There they go again

The Democrats’ sickening ability to sink to ever lower levels never ceases to amaze me. Their cynical and grubby exploitation of Paul Wellstone’s death shocked and appalled just about everyone, except for the hapless and (by his own admission) still unrepentant Rick Kahn. I incorrectly and naively believed that the Democrats had learned a lesson about the limits to which the public would allow them to manipulate and exploit genuine human tragedy for political purposes.

Recent events prove me wrong. It took less than 24 hours for Democrats to turn the I-35W bridge collapse into a partisan talking point. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid kicked things off by suggesting that the nation’s infrastructure has suffered because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying, “Since 9/11 we have taken our eye off the ball.” It is preposterous beyond description that our nation’s senate leader is suggesting that the I-35W bridge would still be standing had we not spent money fighting the War on Terror.

Playing into Reid’s theme last night, CNN’s Jack Cafferty exploited the collapse tragedy to criticize the war in Iraq by suggesting that the money “pouring into Iraq” would have been better spent “at home.” He topped this off by featuring a viewer’s e-mail that complained that infrastructure spending is a “drop in the bucket compared to $450 billion wasted in Iraq.”

Liberal Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman helped Reid keep things going by writing today:

For half a dozen years, the motto of state government and particularly that of Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been No New Taxes. It’s been popular with a lot of voters and it has mostly prevailed. So much so that Pawlenty vetoed a 5-cent gas tax increase - the first in 20 years - last spring and millions were lost that might have gone to road repair.

I’m not just pointing fingers at Pawlenty. The outrage here is not partisan. It is general.

Not just pointing fingers at Pawlenty?! Such linkage is a prima facie attack on Pawlenty – especially when, as usual, Coleman appears incapable of criticizing his fellow Democrats. Certainly a case could be made that their plowing billions of dollars into wasteful government social programs could have been better spent on infrastructure. I, however, will not even begin to suggest that such a course would have prevented the I-35W bridge collapse.

On Minnesota Democrats Exposed Michael Brodkorb linked to this disgusting and inexcusable post from Democratic Underground. No more need be said.

Rather, such comments by the liberals reveal nothing more than their own sick and appalling thought processes. To them, everything is political fodder. To them, good Minnesotans dying is no tragedy if they can effectively abuse the tragedy to bludgeon their opponents.

Must everything – even the worst tragedies we suffer – be politicized by the Left? Is nothing too precious, sacred, or off limits not to be subjected to the bile and slime of the Democrat political ambition?

Sadly, more – and much, much worse – is coming. That the earthly remains of the bridge collapse victims wait to be recovered has not stayed or hindered Democrat attempts to exploit the tragedy. They have learned nothing about the boundaries of civil discourse.

After working the 2002 election cycle, such Democrat tactics fail to concern me. Voters will respond to such inexcusable and cynical behavior as they have in the past. In the face of this week’s tragedy, however, even that is no comfort.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Governor Pawlenty And Mayor Rybak Announce Interfaith Prayer Service

This press release was just sent out by Governor Pawlenty's office.


Minneapolis-Saint Paul – Governor Tim Pawlenty and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak announced this evening that there will be an Interfaith Prayer Service held on Sunday, August 5, at 7:00 p.m., for members of the public and the families and victims of the 35W bridge tragedy in Minneapolis on August 1. The location of the service will be announced in the days to come.

The interfaith prayer service will include a collection to be taken for relief efforts including the victims and families of the bridge tragedy.

More details will be released as they are finalized.

Star Tribune Posts Video Of 35-W Bridge Collapse Press Conference

The Star Tribune has posted video from of press conference held earlier today on the 35-W bridge collapse. Governor Pawlenty is the first to speak and he discusses the items mentioned in the press release posted earlier today.

Pawlenty doesn't rule out a Special Session to address 35-W bridge collapse

Governor Pawlenty is speaking at a press conference and said he hasn't ruled out calling a Special Session to address the 35-W bridge collapse.

Governor Pawlenty declares peacetime emergency, activates State Emergency Operations Center

This press release was just sent out by Governor Pawlenty's office.


Saint Paul – Governor Pawlenty signed an emergency executive order today declaring a peacetime emergency and activating the State Emergency Operations Center. The Governor has directed all state agencies to provide necessary assistance to help local, state and federal units of government respond and recover from the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. The emergency executive order will remain in effect until the conclusion of the emergency.

The following is the text of Emergency Executive Order 07-09:

I, TIM PAWLENTY, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the applicable statutes, do hereby issue this Executive Order:

WHEREAS, on August 1, 2007 at approximately 6:05 pm, the Interstate 35W bridge spanning the Mississippi collapsed totally destroying the bridge; and

WHEREAS, the catastrophic collapse of the bridge caused significant injuries and loss of life; and

WHEREAS, the response to the collapse has involved City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and other local, state and federal emergency response agencies; and

WHEREAS, significant local, state and federal resources are needed to continue recovery efforts, investigate the cause of the collapse and respond to the continuing needs of the victims of the collapse and infrastructure needs of the City of Minneapolis, the state and the nation; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I hereby order that:

A peacetime emergency under Minnesota Statutes, Section 12.21 exists as a result of the collapse of the bridge effective 6:05 p.m. CST. The damage caused by the collapse of the bridge also meets the definition of a disaster as defined in Minnesota Statutes, Section 12.03, Subdivision 2.

The Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will open the State Emergency Operations Center and continue activation of the Minnesota Emergency Operations Plan, including the provision of on-site support and assistance to the affected local governments.

All state agencies are directed to provide the assistance necessary to help local, state and federal units of government respond to and recover from this emergency.

The extent of the damage to Interstate 35W, impact on the governments, employers, and residents of the city, county and state are severe and constitute an emergency contemplated by the terms of 23 U.S.C. 120(e) and 125.

Damage to Interstate 35W, a Federal aid highway, is extensive and significantly impairs the transportation infrastructure of the city, county and State such that immediate repairs and rebuilding are vital to the security, well-being, health and commerce of the residents of the Sate of Minnesota.

I request that the Secretary of Transportation, or other appropriate federal highway official, concur in the declaration of this emergency.

The Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and other state agencies are directed to work with local and federal officials to determine the need for supplemental federal assistance and take all actions necessary to obtain needed assistance.

All state agencies are directed to provide support, assistance and cooperation as requested by the National Transportation Safety Board, which has been identified as the lead agency investigating the cause of the bridge collapse.

Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2006, 4.035, Subdivision 2, this emergency executive order shall be effective immediately and will remain in effect until the conclusion of the emergency.


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Governor Pawlenty statement regarding I-35W bridge collapse

Saint Paul – The following is a statement from Governor Tim Pawlenty regarding the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis:

"This is a catastrophe of historic propositions for Minnesota. We want to say to the families who are being impacted by this that our hearts and prayers are with you. But we also want to make sure that you know we are doing everything we can to make sure that we respond as quickly as we can to the needs of this emergency." Source: Office of Governor Tim Pawlenty, August 1, 2007

Press conference highlights

Governor Pawlenty and other officials held a press conference at 9:00pm. Here is an excerpt of rough quotes from Governor Pawlenty:

“This is a catastrophe of historic proportions for MN. We’re doing anything and everything to respond to the needs of those affected in this incident.”

“I visited the site. It is a catastrophe. To the families who are impacted by this, our hearts and prayers are with you and that we are doing everything we can to respond to this emergency.

“The bridge was built in 1967 and it’s unique in its design… It was inspected in 2005 and 2006. No structural defects were identified in those reports”

“Both federal and state officials, once the rescue operation is concluded will launch a full investigation… there is no indication that this was caused by terrorism, all signs point to structural issues.”

To support the relief effort log on to

I-35W bridge collapses

Developing News Story. . .

A major tragedy has occurred in Minneapolis with the collapse of a bridge over Interstate 35W.

The Interstate Hwy. 35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed during the evening rush hour Wednesday, dumping at least eight cars and a truck into the water and onto the land below, creating a horrific scene of damage, fire, smoke, injuries, frantic rescuers and terrified motorists.

It was not clear how many people might be hurt or killed, but witnesses said at least 20 cars were involved. (excerpt from Star Tribune story)

Click here for the entire developing story.

Please keep all of the prospective victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Star Tribune: #1 Isn't Good Enough

The Annie E. Casey Foundation just released its 2007 KIDS COUNT Data Book last week. The KIDS COUNT report measures child well-being for all 50 states, based on key indicators including the high school dropout rate and the percentage of children living in poverty. For the first time in the report's history, Minnesota ranked #1 in the nation.

You'd think the Star Tribune editorial page would have a tough time using this report as an excuse to bash Governor Pawlenty. You'd be wrong.

American-izing our energy

I received email below from Governor Pawlenty's committee. National security remains the critical issue of our time, and it is nice to see Governor Pawlenty leading the charge both as Governor of Minnesota and Chairman of the National Governor's Association.

Dear Chris,

Next time you go to the gas station, when you're standing there watching the numbers flip by as the cost climbs, think about this fact:

10% of our imported oil comes straight from Venezuela.

That means every time you fill up, you're probably buying at least a gallon of gas from Hugo Chavez. The same Hugo Chavez who believes the United States is "the devil."

And another 10% comes from Saudi Arabia.

Since the gas lines of the 1970's we've known that hooking our economy to the Middle East is very dangerous. Yet the federal government has provided almost no leadership on this issue in the last 30 years.

In my new role as chair of the National Governors Association, my focus will be securing a clean energy future for America.

As you know, states are frequently the incubators for important policy initiatives.

I believe it is critical that we move America towards energy independence.

Over the next year, I intend to continue to lead by example in Minnesota, while working with other governors to find ways to "Americanize" our nation's energy supply.

If we can unhook from the Middle East and in the process find new energy sources that do less damage to the environment, all while enhancing, not harming our economy, I believe it will be a major breakthrough for America.

I hope you'll join me in this cause.


Tim Pawlenty

P.S. To learn more about our initiative to "Secure a Clean Energy Future" click here.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thoughts and prayers for the family of Norm Coleman Sr.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Senator Norm Coleman, his wonderful wife Laurie, their two awesome kids and the entire Coleman family on the passing of Norm Coleman Sr.

On a personal note, throughout the few campaigns that I had the opportunity to either work for or volunteer for Senator Coleman, I had the chance to meet Norm Sr. on a handful of occasions. He was a hell of a nice guy, and you could tell every time you spoke with him just how proud he was of his son, our great United States Senator.

Opinion - Pawlenty’s NGA role is a plus for the state

DL-online, out of Detroit Lakes has a very good pieces on why Governor Pawlenty's new role as NGA Chairman is a good thing for all Minnesotans (click here for entire article).

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been accused all year of pursuing a spot in the national limelight. Today, he gets one. At its annual meeting in Traverse City, Mich., Pawlenty will be elected chair of the National Governors Association.

His attainment of this national perch is something Minnesotans of every political persuasion can applaud. The NGA is an influential, bipartisan promoter of state governments that better serve their citizens, and of a federal government that better responds to state needs. Its focus is on wise policy, not politics. (excerpted from article, emphasis mine)

Some of these points are often lost in a hyper-partisan environment we are currently in, which may sound odd coming from a hyper-partisan.

But it is refreshing to see papers like this and others focusing on the good Governor Pawlenty has and will do, and the positive influence he can have here and across the country with this new position.

So remember this as Left-wing bloggers and opposition hacks criticize "ambition." And, of course, take their comments with a few grains of salt.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pioneer editorial: Pawlenty’s pick a wise one for him

Today, the Bemidji Pioneer praised Governor Pawlenty for choosing energy security as a priority issue during his tenure as chairman of the NRG.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty played into his strong suit when he declared “Securing a Clean Energy Future” as the theme of his upcoming year as chairman of the National Governors’ Association.

The Republican governor took over the reins of the organization on Monday, and proclaimed energy as his year’s project for the NGA, partially to “showcase” Minnesota’s energy initiatives, which Pawlenty says puts the state ahead of the rest of the nation. (Excerpt from Pioneer article)

Governor Pawlenty continues to receive accolades for his leadership and vision.

(Click Here for Entire Article)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pawlenty revs up his peers on energy

As we have discussed almost ad naseum, Governor Pawlenty has now taken the reigns as the Chairman of the National Governor's Association.

From a right-wing conservative's perspective (mine), it couldn't have gone better. From the perspective of fellow Governors (right and left), well. . . they agree with me/us on this one.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, head of the Republican Governors Association, said that Pawlenty "exudes trust, and that's the most valuable commodity you can have in this business." When Pawlenty talks, he said, "I stop and listen." (excerpt from Trib Story)
"Gov. Pawlenty is one of the most thoughtful, introspective of all our governors," said Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, the group's new vice chairman. "Among all our governors, no one looks to the future more than Tim Pawlenty." (excerpt from Trib Story)
And let none of us forget that Governor Pawlenty started his tenure pushing for the "Americanization" of energy.

Some will say this is a push to avert global climate change, and you know what, if we are all conscientious of that, we are all the better.

But Governor Pawlenty showed just one of the reasons why he is now the voice and face of the GOP and the Conservative movement when he talked about energy security and how it is truly a national security issue in a post 9/11 world.

TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. - With the nation's governors assembled before him, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said on Monday that the United States can no longer rely on "unstable and unfriendly" foreign sources for its growing energy needs and called for an "Americanization" of energy.

By 2030, Pawlenty said, the United States also will be responsible for producing 20 percent of the world's carbon emissions, outpaced only by China.

"If we continue," he said, "we will risk the nation's security posture, its prosperity and quality of life."

Although he has pushed an alternative energy strategy at home in Minnesota for several years, Pawlenty, in his national rollout, broadened his focus to "cleaner energy," to include coal and petroleum producing states.

"We want to recognize traditional energy states that have concerns," Pawlenty said, nodding across the room to Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter. Cleaner, more efficient ways to burn fossil fuels, such as coal gasification, he said, should be part of the nation's energy arsenal right along with ethanol, wind, biodiesel and others. (Excerpt from Trib article)

And lest we all forget what a truly class-act this Conservative leader is.

"He's a bridge-builder, and, at his core, a decent human being," said Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Gran- holm, after attending a sunrise prayer service on Sunday where Pawlenty read from the Old Testament's Isaiah. Discussion among a group as diverse as the governors "can devolve into partisan rhetoric," she said, "but he's really stayed focused more on policy than politics." (Excerpt from Trib Article, and yeah, she's Canadian).

The point here is clear.

MN has a Governor, and the GOP has a leader, who is miles ahead of the pack when looking at national and energy security issues. And while he stands out as a truly Conservative leader, the other side recognizes Governor Pawlenty as a class act, a model of ethics and a visionary leader.

Thanks Gov.

Keep fighting.

(Click here for entire story)

Monday, July 23, 2007

The economy that’s never good enough

Ever notice how whenever a Republican is in the White House or the Governor’s Mansion, the economy is never quite good enough? Even if it’s firing on all cylinders, the media laboriously caveats all positive news with pessimistic warnings of what bad developments might occur.

Even as the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through the 14,000 mark, liberal media outlets couldn’t report the good news without ominous cautions. On Thursday’s ABC’s World News, substitute anchor Elizabeth Vargas led the broadcast with news of the record close but quickly fretted that “there’s a good deal of worrisome economic news these days – from sky-high gas prices to America’s gaping trade deficit.” Reporter John Bergman continued with a piece noting that, while the Dow took only three months to rise 1,000 points from 13,000 to 14,000, he marveled it did this, “despite those serious jitters about the U.S. economy: three-dollar gas, a major housing slump – a drag on the U.S. economy.” He concluded with a gloomy note about “disappointing earnings reports from Google” and that “it may mean that the mood tomorrow won’t be quite so rosy.”

This angle was consistent with the line taken by CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric back in April when the Dow broke the 13,000 mark when she worried that “even as investors are making money in the market, Anthony Mason reports there are concerns tonight about the rest of the U.S. economy.” (Can anyone recall a time in our nation’s history when there wasn’t concern about our economy?) Mason’s report noted that “…Wall Street and Main Street appear to be headed in different directions. While the stock market’s been racing ahead, the economy has been slowing down. Housing is mired in a slump.”

It’s a bit like getting a health check-up and being told you’re in great physical shape – but you might get cancer. Or you could get hit by a bus. Or maybe you’ll get struck by lightening. Unfortunate potential developments (in any conceivable area of life) will always loom on the horizon.

Similarly, here in Minnesota there is no amount of economic good news good enough for the DFL. Even this past week’s announcement of job growth rate more than doubling that of last year was greeted with dismal spinning by DFL leaders. Given all their dire warnings earlier this year of the state’s imminent infrastructural collapse were Governor Pawlenty not to sign their massive tax increases, one can understand their refusal to acknowledge such positive economic developments.

Were the media consistent in their coverage, however, all of this would be far less disconcerting. When Bill Clinton was president, such economic news lacked such equivocation. (Given the fact that Democrats haven’t occupied the Minnesota governor’s office in a generation, I can’t speak to what state economic reporting looked like back then.)

As long as Republicans occupy the chief executive positions nationally and here in Minnesota, don’t expect any unadulterated good economic news. None. Zilch. Nada.

It is rather obvious that much of Minnesota’s economic progress can be attributed precisely to Governor Pawlenty’s adamant refusal not to raise taxes. And liberal Democrats can’t afford to admit it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Set your DVR

Governor Pawlenty will be on C-SPAN's Washington Journal tomorrow (Monday, July 22nd) morning at 6:30am CST/7:30am EST from the National Governor's Association meeting in Traverse City Michigan.

He will be talking about his agenda as he assumes the role of Chairman of the NGA.

I call this progress

During a Good Morning America segment last week, ABC reporter Diane Sawyer shared with viewers a recent courtroom experience that she described as “hurtful.”

Sawyer explained: “You know, I wanted to sit on a jury once and I was taken off the jury. And the judge said to me, ‘Can, you know, can you tell the truth and be fair?’ And I said, ‘That’s what journalists do.’ And everybody in the courtroom laughed. It was the most hurtful moment I think I’ve ever had.”

Given the mainstream media’s outrageous bias, it is no wonder that average Americans literally laugh at the suggestion that journalists tell the truth and are fair.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

More of Party of Pawlenty in the news

"'He won in Minnesota in the worst of all years,' said Chris Tiedeman, a young GOP activist who admires Pawlenty so much he helped launch a 'Party of Pawlenty' Web site. In an inaugural posting, Tiedeman described Pawlenty as a model for an ailing party: 'Governor Pawlenty has become the GOP brand.'" Source: Associated Press, July 20, 2007

Party of Pawlenty in the news

"Former GOP party executive director Corey Miltimore and other prominent GOPers including Jonathan Blake, Michael Brodkorb and Chris Tiedeman have just launched, which is "devoted to discussing the future of the Republican Party and what we need to do to successfully elect Republican candidates and enact our conservative agenda for Minnesota and the nation. We believe that one of the most important leaders in that effort and in the future of the Republican Party is Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty." Source: Politics In Minnesota Weekly Report, July 20, 2007 [subscription required].

AP: "Pawlenty takes another step on apparently upward path"

Brian Bakst over at the AP does a nice job capturing Governor Pawlenty's rise as the face and voice of today's GOP in this piece: (Click here for the entire story)

On Monday, Pawlenty takes over as chairman of the National Governors Association as the organization moves into its centennial year. And by next year, he'll strut his stuff before the Republican establishment when the party's nominating convention comes to town.

Just 46, Pawlenty says he'll stay put until his term ends in 2010, and he won't rule out a bid for a third term. And he denies he's positioning himself for higher office. (excerpt from AP Story)

Significantly, Governor Pawlenty comes through, even in print, as to part of the reason he is so well loved across the spectrum while remaining a visionary conservative voice.

"You could drive three minutes south of the Minnesota border and nobody would know or care who I am. And that's OK," Pawlenty said in an interview Thursday.

"I'm energetic but I'm not obsessed with what I'm going to do three years from now," he said. "I could very easily be running a nonprofit or fishing on Lake Vermilion or working somewhere internationally. I have no idea." (excerpt from AP Story)

In a youtube and blog era, when too many politicians seem superficial (to use a generous word), much of Governor Pawlenty's political and legislative success has resulted specifically because he is the antithesis of superficial.

As comfortable in hockey skates as he is in wingtips, Pawlenty often has trouble hiding boyish tendencies from his days growing up in the meatpacking town of South St. Paul. (excerpt from AP Story)
And perhaps most telling, is that in this an other recent articles, the worst his opponents seem to be able to say about him is that he is a nice guy who is too dogged in keeping taxes low. (seriously, at a time when MN job growth is high and Governor Pawlenty solved the most massive deficit in the country his first year, they criticize him for being too successful).

But Pawlenty does have his critics. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Tarryl L. Clark (D) said that while Pawlenty is “likeable and affable,” he also “digs his heels” in and refuses to compromise on certain issues, such as raising taxes. (from the Stateline piece)
For those of our readers outside of St. Cloud MN, Tarryl Clark is a freshman state senator, former 2nd in command for the State DFL, and the supposed face of today's DFL.

To paraphrase Senator Clark as she tried to tear down the governor, "he's too nice as he leads the charge for a vibrant MN economy by letting the private sector flourish. Damn you for being so nice and keeping a lid on taxes."

Check back as he prepares to announce his NGA agenda.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Stateline: Minnesota gov lands national spotlight

Stateline published a great article today on Governor Pawlenty's ascent to national prominence. It's the top story on their website.

Insiders say that for Pawlenty to keep his job in a year when Democrats swept a majority of the nation's governorships and statehouses — in a state that hasn’t voted Republican for president since 1972 — says a great deal about his appeal.

Supporters say that Pawlenty’s ability to frame budget and other issues in ways that Minnesotans understand helped the governor prevail in last fall’s election and in work with the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

The son of a truck driver and the first in his family to graduate from college, Pawlenty struck a populist theme when he famously said in his first year as governor the GOP needed to be “the party of Sam’s Club, not just the country club.”
On a self-serving note, Party of Pawlenty is mentioned in the article and our own Chris Tiedeman and Michael Brodkorb are quoted in the story. Click here to read the full story.

Pawlenty to chair National Governors Association

In today’s Pioneer Press, veteran political reporter Bill Salisbury reports on Governor Pawlenty’s upcoming appointment as chairman of the National Governor’s Association.

Being elected to chair the NGA is an impressive achievement. Moreover, it demonstrates the positive qualities Governor Pawlenty’s Republican and Democrat gubernatorial peers recognize in him as a genuine leader.

Salisbury writes:

“The (association) is one of the premier public policy organizations in the country, and I really enjoy and appreciate the chance to serve people and hopefully make a positive difference in public policy,” Pawlenty said in an interview Thursday.

As chairman, he will be the spokesman for the nation’s governors on Capitol Hill, at the White House, in business and foundation board rooms and with the Washington press corps.

The job also will give Pawlenty a national platform to promote himself. But he insisted that’s not why he’s taking the post.

“With the exception of a small group of reporters who follow this stuff, 99.9999 percent of Minnesotans and Americans don’t know or care, understandably, who the NGA chair is,” he said. “It’s not a particularly high-profile political opportunity, but it is a great public policy opportunity.”
Click here for the complete article.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Politico looks towards our "North Star" Pawlenty

Jonathan Martin at Politico has a great piece on Governor Tim Pawlenty today.

Mitt Romney is Vin Weber's favorite former governor. But the Minnesota congressman-turned-lobbyist and Romney kitchen cabinet member likes another chief executive just as much.

"I think he's a rising star," Weber says of Tim Pawlenty, the 46-year-old Minnesota governor now in his second term.

Which is why Weber, along with former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, hosted a private gathering of over 50 of Washington's top Republicans at his lobby shop last night in honor of Pawlenty. "He's a real talent for the Republican Party and they ought to know who he is," Weber says.
I encourage you to take a look at Jonathan Martin's entire post.

Party of Pawlenty makes National Journal blogroll

Party of Pawlenty was mentioned today on the National Journal's "Beltway Blogroll"

-- It's nice to have fans in the blogosphere, and now Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has a whole party of them over at Party Of Pawlenty, a new group blog.
Many thanks for all of the responses we have received during our short time in the blogosphere from Republicans from all across the country excited about Governor Pawlenty and the hope he brings for our message and our party.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

National Journal: Pawlenty is GOP's "next superstar"

National Journal's Hotline blog discusses Governor Pawlenty's appearance at a DC law firm luncheon today:

"Granted this kind of guess work might be premature, but [Ken] Mehlman and other DC GOPers certainly see something in [Pawlenty's] brand of populist conservatism, often referred to as 'Sam's Club Republicans' this afternoon."

Party of Pawlenty blog announces its list of contributors

St. Paul, MN – Today Party of Pawlenty, the latest blog following the career of the Republican Party’s new and dynamic voice, Minnesota’s Governor Tim Pawlenty, announced its initial list of blog contributors.

Corey Miltimore—Corey is a longtime activist and political operative in Minnesota. He served as the Executive Director for the Republican Party of Minnesota for four years, and has been a major player in moving Minnesota from solid blue to deep purple. In 2002, Corey lead the state GOP as its Executive Director as the party secured its largest majority in the state house in recent memory, and won the Governorship, the US Senate seat and elections up and down the ballot.

Michael Brodkorb—Michael, also known as MDE (Minnesota Democrats Exposed), has risen to be one of Minnesota’s most prominent and well recognized Republican and Conservative bloggers. Prior to leading the blogosphere, Brodkorb was the Research Director for the Republican Party of Minnesota, and he has served on multiple Republican campaigns and causes over the course of the last two decades.

Eric Hoplin—Eric was most recently the Deputy Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota. Hoplin previously served as chairman of the College Republican National Committee and presided over the largest expansion in the group’s 113 year history. He is a member of the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors and serves as vice-chairman of the International Young Democrat Union (an international coalition of young center/right party leaders).

Jonathan Blake—Jonathan is a communications and public policy consultant in the Twin Cities. Prior to his consulting career, Blake worked in several roles at the Republican Party of Minnesota, including Finance Director and grassroots organizer. He is a longtime conservative activist and volunteer.

Chris Tiedeman—Chris is a Minnesota attorney and political and public affairs consultant in St. Paul. He has been a long time conservative activist and Republican Party leader, working and consulting on campaigns in Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas and Oregon.

Also, many thanks to Derek Brigham of for his help with the design and layout of Derek is quickly becoming one of the prominent graphic designers within the Conservative Movement.

“Some say great leaders are defined by their time; by a particular moment in history. Others say great leaders transcend their time. Tim Pawlenty does both,” said one of the blog’s authors, Chris Tiedeman.

“We encourage readers to visit often to learn more about one of the conservative movement and Republican Party’s most significant new voices,” Tiedeman concluded.