Pawlenty op-ed accuses government unions of ‘silent coup’

Gov. Pawlenty has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today attacking public employee unions, accusing the unions of buying sweet deals through campaign contributions to Democrats, touting his own record of standing up to unions and proposing that public employees be shifted from fixed-benefit pensions to fix-contributions deals like 401ks.

The full piece, which cannot be interpreted without reference to his unannounced candidacy for the Repub nomination for prez, is here. Here’s a quote from the op-ed:

“The rise of government unions has been like a silent coup, an inside job engineered by self-interested politicians and fueled by campaign contributions.”

He discussed the piece, as well as the collapse of the Metrodome, on Fox News. Video is here.

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Rod Loper on 12/13/2010 - 09:07 am.

    Too bad they didn’t ask who appoints the people who oversee facilities that collapse like this.
    Like the 35W bridge collapse, he is distancing himself from any responsibility for infrastructure
    on his watch.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/13/2010 - 09:46 am.

    He’s right, you know. And the public agrees. They recently elected a governor in New Jersey who ran on that platform and who now is in the process of fixing it.

    Listen to the applause.

  3. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 12/13/2010 - 10:30 am.

    Did he mention the “big education syndicate?”

  4. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/13/2010 - 10:34 am.

    Yeah, it’s the unions not private corporations that have corrupted and captured government. When Democrats win elections with some union money it’s a “coup”. When Republicans win elections with corporate money from the chamber of commerce etc. it’s liberty in action. I’m so glad this hack’s about to disappear to dust bin of political mediocrity.

  5. Submitted by John Olson on 12/13/2010 - 10:39 am.

    Consider that when Governor Pawlenty took office in January, 2003 there were 86,000 state employees in Minnesota, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

    September, 2010 BLS data shows that the number of state employees in Minnesota has risen to 101,600–an increase of 18.1% since he took office.;jsessionid=62307bd38bc726d49582

  6. Submitted by Brian Simon on 12/13/2010 - 10:45 am.

    “accusing the unions of buying sweet deals through campaign contributions to Democrats”

    In making that accusation, is he admitting his own sale of sweet deals through campaign contributions from corporate america?

    There’s a reasonable discussion to be had over whether we’re getting the best deal possible with our employees – but it is rare that Pawlenty meets the criteria for having a reasonable discussion. For starters, Governor, you have to be reasonable.


  7. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 12/13/2010 - 01:33 pm.

    Republicans complain that public employees back Democrats. Gee, imagine supporting the party that doesn’t demonize you.

  8. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/13/2010 - 01:44 pm.

    ‘Reason’ doesn’t get you a Republican nomination.
    TPaw knows what he’s doing.
    To get nominated he’s got to be to the right of Palin.
    After he gets nominated he’ll drift to the middle while claiming that he’s never changed his positions.

  9. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/13/2010 - 04:35 pm.

    Like so many who, in an act of willful self-deception, call themselves “conservative,” Mr. Pawlenty has lost touch with reality. Eric Ferguson is on the mark – gosh, what a surprise that public employees (not all of them mind you, just a majority, and a good many, according to John Olson, fairly NEW employees at that) tend to vote for candidates who don’t call them the equivalent of “the scum of the earth” during the campaign. That Pawlenty could claim, with a straight face, to be a fiscal conservative as he leaves office is an example of chutzpah not often encountered, even among the political class, and it’s perhaps exceeded only by this “silent coup” business.

    What should we call it when anonymous corporate donors provide major financial help to a winning Republican campaign? Doesn’t the same term apply? Just sayin’…

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