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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Pawlenty the fiscal liberal

--posted by Tony Garcia on 1/17/2006

Now tell me again how I am supposed to believe that Tim Pawlenty is fiscally responsible.
Dorman says he thinks funding for the Northstar commuter rail line will be less controversial among House Republicans than it's been in the past. Pawlenty pushed for funding the commuter rail line in the fast-growing northern suburbs, and says this year's bonding bill can complete the project.

"Sixty million dollars is the full needed amount to take the next step on that important and marquee transit project between Minneapolis and Big Lake," said Pawlenty. "Hopefully, this commitment will take the next step in getting this recognized and approved by the next level of review by the federal government."

Pawlenty is also recommending $2.5 million in planning money for a transit corridor between Minneapolis and St. Paul. He says it's premature for the state to authorize a larger amount, because it hasn't been determined whether the corridor will have a dedicated bus line or rail.
So he spent his time in the House and on the campaign trail for Governor talking about roads over rails...and then turns around (-1) to start advocating for sinking 7% of his budget into rails (-3).

Pawlenty's bill is $900 million. That is a $100 million increase from his previous bonding bill proposal. (-1)

And we're supposed to re-elect this guy on the basis of what platform? It sure as hell is not a fiscal record.

His proposal is also handing over $20 million to the Met Council for "state and regional park acquisition" (-2). I thought the Met Council was deemed improper according to small government types. Handing over $20,000,000.00 to the Met Council for ANYTHING is not making small government citizens feel like Pawlenty is an advocate of smaller government.

Now contrary to what the pro-rail people tell you roads and investments into the roads are far more important than rail investments. Unless I'm remembering incorrectly that is the general message that Pawlenty echoed during his run against Brian Sullivan for the GOP nomination in 2002. Perhaps Jason Lewis was right...Pawlenty was running to the right to fool the delegates into thinking he was a conservative. Pawlenty's budget plan bears this out. Road to rail spending in his proposal is an abyssmal $73.2 million to $67.5 million (-2). A better solution: 100% roads and 0% rail.

Did I mention the $25,000,000.00 for permanent supportive housing to help solve the problem of chronic homelessness. (-2) How about this instead: $25 million to job creation.

His $41.3 million "Effective Government and Public Services" can easily be cut to $8.6 million or lower. Knock out the following:
$10.2 million in trunk highway bonding improvements to the exterior of the MnDOT building
$6.2 million for seven projects to improve Capitol complex buildings (-1)
$7 million for infrastructure design to support new energy and steel plants in Itasca County – this funding replaces local support that might otherwise have come from the 21st Century Mineral Fund (if there is no local support then there should not be state support!!!!!)(-1)
$2 million for land acquisition at the St. Cloud regional airport (why?)(-1)
$3 million for Bemidji Events Center design (this should be Bemidji's sole responsibility)(-1)
$1 million for a Renewable Energy Clean Air Project in Koochiching County
So, please, one of you people who think that blind loyalty to an incumbent is required, explain to my why we should rally around this DFL-lite Governor. His conservative laurels have been well overshadowed by his sprint to the left.

********** UPDATE **********
I added the scoreboard changes to this posting. The amounts are in green.


Blogger R-Five said...

I used to be content to say Pawlenty simply isn't a conservative. Now I'm wondering if he's a Republican.

January 17, 2006  
Blogger Marty said...

I thought winter was supposed to be Minnesota's homelessness prevention program.

January 19, 2006  

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