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.

Sincerely,


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 PartyofPawlenty.com, 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 www.FreedomDogs.com for his help with the design and layout of www.PartyofPawlenty.com. 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.


###

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

MN job growth twice as strong as the same time last year

Governor Pawlenty has consistently fought against tax increases, and has been steadfast in his insistence on government restraint when it comes to spending.

And the results are undeniable.

Encouraging news on the jobs front for Minnesota.


Minnesota's economy added 4,200 jobs in June, marking improvement in the pace of job growth compared with last year.


The state's economy has added an average of 3,600 jobs per month through the first six months of 2007, better than the 1,700 monthly average for the same period a year ago, according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Since the 2006 elections, conventional wisdom has been that Republicans have lost their brand, especially on issues of spending and morals.

Republicans from sea to sea have a proven example on how to get our brand back with Governor Pawlenty.

Roundheads, Whigs, Know Nothings, and Liberals

This past Wednesday, DFLer Jim Cohen announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Norm Coleman. Interestingly, Cohen markets himself as a “pragmatic Progressive.” (Yes, a “Progressive” with a capital P, whatever that means.)

Since Cohen is taking excruciating pains to not be classified as a liberal, you be the judge as to whether the label is appropriate.

1. He’s a DFLer
2. He’s described by the Star Tribune as an “environmental activist”
3. He worked for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund
4. He worked for the Environmental Task Force

But don’t call him a liberal! Nope – he’s a Progressive with a capital P.

Nice try on Cohen’s part, but if he isn’t a liberal, then liberalism no longer exists – which, of course, it tragically does.

Cohen’s refusal to be labeled as a liberal is indisputable proof of the Left’s desperate attempt to reduce the toxic liberal label to a quaint anachronism of America’s past. Their efforts would have voters believe the liberal label is as relevant as that of Roundheads, Whigs, Know Nothings, and other such long forgotten parties, ideologies, and movements.

When archetypal liberal candidates like this refuse to refer to themselves as liberals, it emphasizes how truly low the liberal brand has sunk. Cohen’s refusal to embrace the label is proof that conservatism killed liberalism in the marketplace of ideas. The Left’s unwillingness to defend or even attempt to rehabilitate the term show how politically lethal the term is. Liberals (at least those who run for public office and actually hope to win) have been forced to retool themselves in a shameless and brazen Orwellian fashion. Based on such reasoning, conservatives could just as well start referring to themselves as Martians.

The obvious point here is that just because the liberal ideology has been thoroughly repudiated by voters, doesn’t mean that the Left has abandoned their goals. On the contrary, they are simply deconstructing language to repackage their discredited ideas and agenda, endeavoring once again to sell to voters something they don’t wish to buy.

Monday, July 16, 2007

"See you soon" and "Welcome Home"

Governor Pawlenty, as the Commander in Chief of the Minnesota National Guard has the opportunity to do two things that should make all of us very proud this week.

First, Governor Pawlenty will witness the National Guard 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry deployment as they are headed to Kosovo on a peacekeeping mission.

Second, he will blessed to welcome home 200 members of our National Guard as they return from Iraq.

From a story on the deployment:
Gov. Tim Pawlenty praised the soldiers for stepping up and serving.

"You have who are raising their hand who will say 'I will go be a peacemaker. I will step into the middle of this fight and say you need to stay apart until things can cool down and we can get a better handle on it,'" said Pawlenty.

For some of these soldiers, like 1st Sgt. Tom Malecha, this is the second deployment to Kosovo within the past five years.

"It's very rewarding. Cause we're creating history. It's the future of that country that's at stake," said Malecha.

Whether they are coming or going, these are America's finest. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they defend our freedoms and welcome them home with the honor and dignity they have earned.

Here is the information on the deployments and welcome home.

July 16. GOVERNOR SPEAKS _ Gov. Pawlenty speaks at deployment ceremonies for Minnesota National guard troops in Albert Lea (10 a.m.), Mankato (2 p.m.) and St. Paul (6 p.m.)

Locations: Albert Lea National Guard Armory, 410 Prospect Ave., Albert Lea; Mankato National Guard Armory, 100 Martin Luther King Dr., Mankato; Historic Fort Snelling Visitors Center, 200 Tower Ave., St. Paul.

Contact: Brian McClung, XXX-XXX-XXXX

----------------------------------------------------------------------------


July 17. 8 a.m. PAWLENTY WELCOMES _ Gov. Pawlenty welcomes home about 200 returning members of Minnesota National Guard. Media planning to cover must register in advance by e-mailing Lt. Col. Kevin Olson at kevin.olsonus.army.mil by 3 p.m. Monday, July 16. All media must arrive at front gate of Volk Field by 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Location: Volk Field, 100 Independence Dr., Camp Douglas, Wis.

Contact: Brian McClung, XXX-XXX-XXXX

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Our cause for hope

Change often comes slowly. Oftentimes, but by no means always, the bigger the change, the more slow and imperceptible change is. Large, imposing edifices on the brink of tremendous change often appear impervious to it. Take, for example, the former Soviet Union.

The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics was officially created in late December 1922 at the conclusion of the bloody Russian Civil War. Called into being by the proto-Bolshevist Lenin like the spawn of some demonic ghoul out of horror fiction, the reality of the Soviet Union was all too real to the pitiful generations who lived and died under its banal brutality and terror until it was mercifully dissolved in December 1991, its demise mourned only by a preposterously insignificant handful of Russian elite that relied on its largesse and an equally preposterous number of Western Leftist elite who never tired or flagged in their defense and approbation of the tortured system – or had to suffer under its tyranny.

For nearly seven decades, the Soviet Union seemed at times to successfully defy natural law. Many in the West puzzled at how the Soviet Union could lumber on decade after decade with its antiquated command economy, absence of freedom, and lack of genuine human rights. This apparent success caused some to doubt Western-style economic freedom and civil liberty and view the Soviet system as simply another, equally acceptable form for government.

One is reminded of John Kenneth Galbraith’s breathtakingly wrong assessment of the health of the Soviet economy. As late as 1984 he stated, “That the Soviet system has made great material progress in recent years is evident both from the statistics and from the general urban scene….One sees it in the appearance of solid well-being of the people on the streets…and the general aspect of restaurants, theaters, and shops….Partly, the Russian system succeeds because, in contrast with the Western industrial economies, it makes full use of its manpower.”

Or of liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who observed that “those in the United States who think the Soviet Union is on the verge of economic and social collapse” are “wishful thinkers who are only kidding themselves.”

Or of Columbia University Sovietologist Seweryn Bialer’s equally massively wrong observation in Foreign Affairs, “The Soviet Union is not now nor will it be during the next decade in the throes of a true systemic crisis, for it boasts enormous unused reserves of political and social stability.”

As we now know, however, history eventually caught up with the Soviet Union and such benighted intellectuals thanks to Ronald Reagan. He understood that while the Soviets might be able to cobble together an economy and paste over human rights abuses for a time, eventually, their system would end up “on the ash heap of history.” Reagan recognized that the solution was not d├ętente but challenge; i.e., the escalation of market forces to expose the flawed and defective foundations of the entire Soviet system.

So much for history. Cut to May 2007 and the Star Tribune’s announcement of staff reductions due to financial woes. Created in 1982 out of the merger of the Minneapolis Tribune (founded in 1867) and the Minneapolis Daily Star (founded in 1920), the admittedly liberal Star Tribune has finally foundered on the rocks of free market competition. Strib deputy editor and leading liberal voice on the editorial page
Jim Boyd acknowledged that the new Strib owners (Avista Capital Partners) are more concerned with financial goals than ideology. In response, Boyd has chosen to take a buyout but insists that not much will change.

On the contrary, everything has changed.

Given his repeated assertions that Avista is more concerned with financial performance than ideology, one can only assume that Boyd is whistling past the graveyard of market forces demanding return on investment. As much as Boyd may be loathe to admit it, free market forces are now impacting the Star Tribune. As with the former Soviet Union, the inexorable winds of change are blowing. In fact, they’re blowing with gale force through the newsroom and editorial board, which has been reduced from 12.5 to 7.5 positions. (Question: What do you call a Strib editorial board reduced by five positions? Answer: A start.) And similar to the demise of the Soviet Union, the recent changes to the Strib editorial department have been mourned only by a preposterously small handful of liberal elites that rely on the largesse of editorial bias.

It has been acknowledged by Strib management that the newspaper’s extreme liberalism has hurt profits by alienating readers and advertisers who place themselves anywhere to the right of the Bolveshiks on the political spectrum. As with the Soviet Union, the Star Tribune has likewise been subjected to change due to market pressures.

For a time, the Strib proved willing to place financial returns a distant second to the promotion and defense of Leftist ideology in general and all things Democrat in particular. Like the Soviet Union, the Strib marched on for decades seemingly inured to reality. However, with the change of ownership, first to McClatchy and then to Avista, the denial of financial realities came to an end. (McClatchy, which purchased the Strib from Cowles Media for $1.2 billion in 1998, sold it to Avista for only $530 million in December 2006.)

Sadly, the revolution within the Strib was not without some unfortunate casualties. It’s dismaying that
James Lileks lost his column and reassigned to write local news stories. As the admiring owner of The Gallery of Regrettable Food, Interior Desecrations, and Mommy Knows Worst, I remain hopeful that Strib leadership will recognize this waste of talent and restore Lilek’s column.

One should be cautioned that since it took the Soviet Union seven decades to collapse, we should not despair over the lack of further immediate and dramatic changes at the Strib. Until such change is truly effected, the Star Tribune remains less a newspaper than an inherently flawed and biased liberal propaganda organ. It is less a trusted news source than an ideological tool of the Left.

However, let us be cheered that change has come, and confident that it will continue to grow, albeit perhaps slowly.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

RNC Convention in Pawlenty's backyard right on track

The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that fundraising for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul is on track and "flowing as anticipated."

"We're excited about the buzz that is out there about the convention," (Cindy) Lesher said. "The companies have been very receptive to talking to us and being involved in the convention planning."

We too are excited at Party of Pawlenty because part of the buzz revolves around Governor Pawlenty, and his new place as who, and what the GOP needs to be about as it market's its conservative and optimistic message to the voters in 2008.

There is a certain amount of irony that the Twin Cities were selected for the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Who would have known at the time of the selection that those descending on Minnesota would have the privilege of being welcomed by one of the parties most dynamic and successful new national leaders?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Nick Coleman blames the Governor for everything... including cafeteria service at the Capitol

Nick Coleman, the perpetually outraged Star Tribune columnist, wrote a piece today on a recent management change at seven State Capitol cafeterias. Coleman is furious that Taher, Inc. - the local company that was recently awarded the contract for cafeteria operations - has decided to use non-union labor. (I know what you're thinking, nothing grabs the public's attention on a Friday afternoon like a labor dispute involving food services at state buildings.) Coleman, of course, makes this a classic good versus evil story with good being represented by - surprise - himself and the unions, and evil, of course, personifed by Governor Pawlenty. The unforgivable sin for which Coleman castigates the Governor: allowing the Department of Administration to initiate an open and transparent bidding process, thereby getting the best value for taxpayer money.

Coleman apparently cares little about the need to conduct competitive bidding processes with integrity and transparency. He dismisses the fact that the bids were reviewed and scrutinized by a 8-person panel and judged by a set of objective criteria. He doesn't care that some recently dismissed workers have already been re-hired. And he implies that Governor Pawlenty personally intervened in the process in order to punish union workers. But worst of all, Coleman does it all with his trademark combination of condescention and histrionics:

"[One former worker] who lives in a low-income apartment near the Capitol, had walked to her dishwashing job through rain and snow for 39 years. Gov. Rudy Perpich used to ask how her parents, who lived in Two Harbors, were doing. Gov. Jesse Ventura gave her an autographed picture. Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave her the boot."

Coleman could have added, "and now I'm using her as a punchline to score a few political points against a governor I despise."

Something tells me if I was a glutton for punishment, I could wade through some of Coleman's other columns and find him chastising the state and especially federal government for awarding contracts without allowing for a similar open and transparent bidding process. In those cases, Coleman would have accused a conservative admininstration of playing favorites and rigging the system. Now he's criticizing a conservative administration for not playing favorites and refusing to rig the system. But consistency isn't in Nick Coleman's vocabulary. The only things consistent about Nick Coleman are intolerably dull writing, intellectual dishonesty, and an irrational hatred for Governor Pawlenty.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wecome to "Party of Pawlenty"

Welcome to "Party of Pawlenty"

Why the Party of Pawlenty?

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.

At a time when the Republican Party has suffered significant losses at the ballot box, Tim Pawlenty is a leader who transcends time but at the same time is exactly what the Republican Party needs in order to regain its brand, its image and its foothold in American politics.

Matthew Continetti writes in his Weekly Standard piece, “Tooting the Horn of Pawlenty; Meet the first Sam’s Club Republican,”

The most important speech at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference, held in early March at a Washington hotel, didn't come from any of the Republicans running for president. It came from Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, one of the few Republican success stories in 2006--he was reelected with 47 percent of the vote--and a rising star in a party that's been knocked back on its heels.

Far before that, Governor Pawlenty’s rise to prominence and the reasons why his style and brand of conservatism is needed at this time in history for the GOP really became apparent at the very beginning of Pawlenty’s first term in office. As Coninetti writes,

Pawlenty's first task on assuming office was to confront the state's $4.2 billion budget deficit. The newly elected governor had promised to erase the deficit without raising taxes. He did so. And he kept busy. He signed a law requiring a waiting period for abortions and another allowing permit-holders to carry concealed firearms. He threw out the state's lax education requirements and passed new, tougher standards. He won passage of a drug reimportation bill. He poured resources into alternative energy--one of his favorite subjects and proudest accomplishments. He talks with rare interest about biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol and wind power.

Governor Pawlenty has remained a staunch conservative voice, holding the line on taxes and spending despite intense pressure from the Left. He has moved the ball forward on important social issues such as the protection of life, and defense of the 2nd Amendment. At the same time, he has been an unapologetic leader on issues the GOP has all too often shied away from. On issues such as healthcare reform, the environment and energy independence, he has been able to lead in a conservative way on many of the bread and butter issues too often associate with the Democratic Party.

Perhaps this is why, looking forward, DaveG over at http://race42008.com/ writes that for the GOP to have a chance at success, the Party of Pawlenty has to win over voters who he defines as, “Pawlenty Democrats.”

In race after race, Republican politicians were defeated in the Midwest, both incumbents and non-incumbents, both moderates and conservatives. The sole survivor of the Late Unpleasantness sits still in the governor’s mansion of the State of Minnesota. He is a rising star of the GOP, and a man who can possibly clue Republicans into just how to cobble together an electoral majority in 2008. I am referring, of course, to Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

If the GOP is to win in 2008, it will have to figure out how to win back what I call the “Pawlenty Democrats” of 2006 — Midwestern voters who cast ballots for Democrats in other races but who split their tickets in Minnesota to re-elect T-Paw.

Some believe that the GOP in 2006 lost its brand. The GOP gained the perception of being the party of big spending Government and lost the moral high ground it once had as it was plagued by scandal. In the waning days of the 2007 legislative session in Minnesota, Governor Pawlenty stood up to tha big spending image, wielding his veto pen like a sword striking down tax increases and big spending bills sent to him by the Democratically controlled state legislature.

Governor Pawlenty has become the GOP brand.

He is steadfast in his defense of the taxpayer, unimpeachable with his Boy Scout character, and unapologetic about confronting the issues that affect working men and women such as health care, education and the environment.

Republicans from coast to coast can be proud of this new voice, and new face for our shared conservative values.

We invite you to check back often as we track the development of Governor Pawlenty’s leadership and track the Party of Pawlenty’s reclaiming of its rightful place as the majority governing party in Minnesota and across the country.