Saturday, October 15, 2005
Weekend update: Special Session is dead
Now, let me get this straight. Pawlenty singles the DFL caucus out for not agreeing to a special session that Pawlenty passive-aggressively pushed, when in reality no one in the Legislature wanted a special session, not Steve Sviggum, not Erik Paulsen, no one. Perhaps one of Pawlenty's right-wing wonks had an idea that a special session would be a great wedge issue, and now that it's fizzling, they have to back off quick to make sure the Governor doesn't get caught holding the bag.
Pawlenty said he is still "willing to bring the Legislature back to St. Paul if legislators can reach agreement on a limited agenda and a number of days." Otherwise, he said, "they'll have to wait four and a half months until the next regular session."
Although Republican legislative leaders were the most decisive over the last week in opposing a special session, Republican Pawlenty in a written statement singled out the DFL Senate caucus for being "unwilling to commit to a special session to deal with a few timely and worthwhile issues."
Whatever the case, this is yet another data point in a long trend of Tim Pawlenty involving himself in partisan hackery that, frankly, the Governor of Minnesota should not be involved in. When push comes to shove, it's the Governor's job to find a middle ground so that the legislature doesn't get forced into a special session. It is NOT the Governor's job to throw budget proposals into the air four days before the end of session, necessitating the partial shutdown earlier this summer. Tim Pawlenty badly needs to be replaced with a DFLer who won't let House and Senate infighting get in the way of getting the job done.
While I believe Mike Hatch would be better than Tim Pawlenty at this, I strongly believe that Steve Kelley A.) Has no skeletons in his closet (see mikeunhatched.com for a small sample of what the GOP has in store for Mr. Hatch), and B.) is generally more palatable to moderates, especially in the business community, and thus would be the best choice for all involved - DFLers, moderate Republicans, and independents alike.
Since I'm no longer on Senator Kelley's campaign payroll, I get to say things like that :) Although my official capacity with the campaign has ended, I'll still be consulting on e-campaign operations, blogs, and various other things, so by all means, if you're interested in the campaign, you can still contact me and I can get you in touch with the right people. But money's money, and politics don't pay very well. Unless you work for Kelly Doran.