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Monday, January 02, 2006

Strom on Pawlenty


Unfortunately, as I connected to the internet again I caught this wonderful story. I really don’t get it. Pawlenty apparently wants to go into 2006 fighting to maintain his tax/fee increase, despite its unconstitutionality, and add to that wonderful issue raising taxes to pay for a new stadium for the Twins. With the tobacco tax/fee, Pawlenty is pretty clearly defying the judge’s ruling by ordering the Revenue Dept to continue collecting the tax, and flirting with a constitutional crisis of minor proportions.

Both of these issues could die a quiet death if Pawlenty would let them. The stadium deal was set to expire on New Years day, but apparently Pawlenty wants to ride into the New Year on two issues that divide his conservative base.

I frankly don't get it, and not just because I oppose Pawlenty on this issue. For instance, I have it on great authority that Pawlenty's #1 transportation issue will be Northstar, which I oppose, but at least I understand his reasoning. On these issues I am simply perplexed. The stadium is a clear political loser from any angle, and the tax/fee hurts him because it keeps an issue alive that has hurt him deeply already. He had almost completely recovered from the political damage the issue had caused him with all but the most faithful conservatives (like me), but now everybody will be reminded of the silly doublespeak he employed to get this passed.

Bad, bad, bad idea. What are they thinking?

Pawlenty is hoping the social issues - gay marriage, abortion and immigration - will keep his base energised, and he's listening to the big business types on the stadium boondoggle. Pawlenty should get calls to ask that he publicly state he will veto a stadium bill that doesn't have a referendum.