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Pawlenty is a lame duck

Oh, sure, Eagan’s Tim Pawlenty could try to seek re-election, but he would not succeed. Not when he is going on statewide radio and calling city officials names. He went on WCCO radio last Friday and called the leaders of Albert Lea, St.

The following is an editorial from the Albert Lea Tribune. It was published Wednesday, May 27, and is reprinted with permission.

Minnesota has a lame-duck governor.

Oh, sure, Eagan’s Tim Pawlenty could try to seek re-election, but he would not succeed. Not when he is going on statewide radio and calling city officials names. He went on WCCO radio last Friday and called the leaders of Albert Lea, St. Paul and Wadena “complainers.”

It was in response to mayors across the state calling on the governor to minimize cuts to local government aid. They didn’t say don’t cut it. They just wanted to keep the reductions reasonable considering increases in cost of living.

The mayors surely don’t call Gov. Pawlenty names. They simply disagree with him. Pawlenty, however, gets down in the mud. He wouldn’t make such an uncalled-for move if he wanted to keep his job.

No, our fair governor has national ambitions. By using his powers of unallotment and line-item veto, he is sidestepping a state budget formed in a populist and more democratic manner and going it alone.

He wants to impress Grand Old Party bosses and get a seat at the front row at the political game in Washington, D.C.

The legislative process requires compromises. If one branch gets too much power, there aren’t compromises. Next year — or maybe in 2011 after Pawlenty is out — the Legislature needs to review Minnesota’s legislative process and work out the kinks. Get rid of or at least redefine unallotment, and take a hard look at whether line-item veto really works. It was a political fad, like a hula-hoop, and our state bought it. Time to lose the hula-hoop.