Friday, April 11, 2008

I am shocked, shocked to find that politics is going on over there in St. Paul.

From the MPR website:

House Majority Leader alleges Pawlenty payback

The DFL Majority Leader in the Minnesota House is accusing Gov. Tim Pawlenty of using his veto pen to take revenge against him and other partisan critics.

Sertich, who is from the Iron Range town of Chisholm, said he apparently fell into Gov. Tim Pawlenty's disfavor last month, when he was quoted in a MPR News story on the governor's out-of-state travels.

In that story, Sertich accused Pawlenty of not being engaged in legislative discussions. Sertich said the story prompted a telephone call from a Pawlenty staffer.

"He had a message from the governor to me," Sertich said. "And the direct words were -- it's a hockey analogy. 'Cheap shots are cheap, but they're not free.' That the governor was looking forward to seeing my area's bonding recommendations when they come across his desk. A direct threat to veto the projects in my district, from the governor."

As for the bonding bill vetoes, Pawlenty has repeatedly said Democrats exceeded the state debt guidelines. But a spokesman for the governor confirmed the phone call to Sertich took place, but he denied any threats were made.

In a written statement, Brian McClung said,

"We respect the spirit of confidentiality that is generally part of private conversations, so I won't go into great detail regarding who said what."

He said nothing was said about the relative value of cheap shots.

"Sertich and all Democrats had fair notice of the consequences if they chose to violate the state's credit card limit by passing a fiscally irresponsible bonding bill," McClung added.

Pawlenty himself made that point earlier in the day during his weekly radio show.

"They should not be shocked or surprised. They were warned that that was going to happen. They made their choice to blow the spending limit anyhow and so they need to be responsible for those actions as well," Pawlenty said.

Another idea making the rounds is that the governor may let funding for light rail surface again, if certain of his other priorities (a new state park and a veteran's home) are funded. He has been outstate to personally deliver good hockey arena funding news. One man's pork is apparently another's prudent investment in exercise facilities and (some) biomedical research. Mesothelioma? Naw, ... that's pork.

Ciao, Bonzo

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