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2018 will be ‘an election for the soul of Minnesota’

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, June 29, 2018

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS —I don’t know why, but somehow my wife’s name got on a list and she received a mailing from the Tim Pawlenty for Governor campaign. Truly curious, I read the letter.

“We appreciate it when people use positive words to describe Minnesotans,” the letter began. But instead of laying out a positive vision for the state to bring Minnesotans together around a common agenda, the letter — signed by Pawlenty — fanned the flames of fear of immigrants and resentment against alleged “illegal and ineligible people defrauding the government.”

He dismissed his possible DFL opponents as embracing the “Far Left” and offered himself as “a common sense conservative Republican.”

Not one word in the letter about Pawlenty’s eight-year record as Minnesota governor from 2003-2011.

No wonder.

Pawlenty left our state a mess.

After the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge, instead of supporting increased investments in infrastructure, Pawlenty vetoed the transportation bill — only to have his veto over-ridden by a bi-partisan majority in the legislature.

Instead of increasing investment in our children’s education, Pawlenty cut public school funding — leading to the layoffs of thousands of teachers — and then borrowed from the schools to pay the state’s other bills.

During Pawlenty’s time as governor, the number of people without health insurance increased by 50 percent while health insurance premiums soared. Pawlenty also sought to cut healthcare coverage for the most vulnerable Minnesotans — children and seniors on fixed incomes.

After leaving the governor’s office, Pawlenty began a brief and unsuccessful run for President in 2012.

What next? He went to work in Washington, D.C. for the Financial Services Roundtable as its CEO. There he served as a lobbyist on behalf of the nation’s most powerful financial interests.

Tim Pawlenty’s record and whose side he stands on is clear.

When Pawlenty entered the race for governor this year, Minnesota AFL-CIO president Bill McCarthy commented:

“After eight years as governor, Tim Pawlenty left Minnesota worse off than when he took office. His policies resulted in a state with crumbling infrastructure, cash-strapped schools with fewer teachers, more expensive healthcare, and a six-billion-dollar deficit.”

“Working Minnesotans remember the last time Tim Pawlenty was governor,” McCarthy said. “We remember how he put billionaires and corporate CEOs ahead of working people, children, and seniors on fixed incomes.”

“Thanks to Governor Dayton’s leadership, Minnesota is once again leading the nation in prosperity,” McCarthy noted. And, he added,  “Working people can’t afford to go backwards with Tim Pawlenty.”

“This is an election for the soul of Minnesota,” Governor Mark Dayton recently told the DFL state convention. “This last legislative session gave a preview of what a Republican legislature and a Republican governor would do to Minnesota… What’s best for the people of Minnesota was way down their list of priorities.”

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