Molnau says T-Paw wouldn’t keep aides who criticized him

MORNING EDITION

Despite having “won” his battle here in Minnesota, T-Paw the presidential candidate is having a pretty rough couple of weeks. So-so to poor fund-raising, discouraging polls, and now even Carol Molnau is dumping on him. The Huffington Post writes: “Carol Molnau was Pawlenty’s lieutenant governor in Minnesota for the entirety of his two terms as governor. In an interview, she said that Pawlenty has never been willing to keep close aides who are willing to criticize him. ‘He has a tendency to not be a good judge of what he needs,’ Molnau said. ‘A lot of us like to have people around us that think like we do and agree with us because we don’t take criticism very well. Well that’s a good thing because you don’t have a lot of white water conflict. The thing is you never know when you’re going off because everyone’s afraid to tell you, or, the people who do, you don’t see as trustworthy anymore.’ ‘He surrounds himself with people that say ‘yes’ and tell him how good he’s doing, but he doesn’t have a lot of people who can take the chance at critiquing him, and that’s a problem he’s had for a long time,” Molnau added. The Pawlenty campaign declined to comment when asked about this criticism.”

Mark Zdechlik of MPR blogs on those New Hampshire poll numbers: “The latest WMUR Granite State Poll shows 35 percent of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire say they would vote for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann holds a distant second place in the poll with 12 percent. But Bachmann is the only other candidate who registered support in the double digits. Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 7 percent. Former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had just 3 percent.” And last time I checked, Palin, still “employed” by FoxNews, is not even running.

And that cur, Vin Weber, suggesting that a serious constitutional scholar like Our Favorite Congresswoman is benefiting from her, uh, “attractiveness”! Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times writes: “Vin Weber, a top adviser to Tim Pawlenty’s Republican presidential campaign, issued an apology on Wednesday evening after declaring that Michele Bachmann’s candidacy was catching on, in part, because ‘she’s got a little sex appeal.’ Mr. Weber, a former member of Congress from Minnesota who served as co-chairman of Mr. Pawlenty’s political action committee, made his initial remarks during an interview with The Hill newspaper. He said that Mrs. Bachmann would be ‘very hard to beat’ in Iowa, the state that opens the presidential nominating contest. ‘She’s got hometown appeal, she’s got ideological appeal,’ Mr. Weber said. ‘And, I hate to say it, but she’s got a little sex appeal too.’ ” That is SO outrageous, How would Weber like it if one of Bachmann’s people said T-Paw was trading on his resemblance to one of the sweaty junior execs on “Mad Men”?
 
Charley Shaw of Politics in Minnesota lays out a picture of what went on last week under the “cone of silence” (TM Maxwell Smart): “Beneath the acrimony that followed the breakdown of negotiations, a fairly clear picture of the talks and of the bargaining chips in play nonetheless emerged. As the state counted down to its second government shutdown in six years, both sides made striking departures from their original positions. Republicans made offers that spent more than their long-entrenched $34.2 billion bottom line; Dayton made offers that involved forsaking all or part of his desired upper-bracket income tax increase. But the major revenue source on which the two sides came closest to agreement involved new debt, not new taxes: Over the 24-hour period leading up to the shutdown that started at 12:01 a.m. Friday, both the Legislature and the governor made proposals that included major expansions of the K-12 spending shift. Under the terms of those offers, the state (which already owes schools some $1.9 billion in payments that were deferred as part of the 2010-11 budget agreement) would have increased the school shift by anywhere from $350 million to $1.4 billion. Besides the enlarged shift, two other main elements remained on the table as the clock expired on pre-shutdown talks: a Dayton proposal to raise about $750 million in new upper-bracket tax revenue on incomes over $1 million a year, and a GOP proposal to raise several hundred million dollars more in one-time revenues — no exact figure was specified — by selling the proceeds of future tobacco company payments to the state in conjunction with the settlement reached in a 1998 lawsuit.”

Wednesday‘s shutdown negotiations, such as they were, are described by David Bailey of Reuters. It is not encouraging: “Minnesota’s Democratic Governor Mark Dayton offered two proposals on Wednesday to end a budget impasse and government shutdown, but Republicans rejected the ideas as a step backward. Dayton proposed a temporary income tax increase on people making more than $1 million per year or a $1 per pack tobacco tax increase along with healthcare surcharges and a delay in school aid payments. He said this would close an estimated gap of $1.4 billion between his spending plans and Republicans. ‘What we have maintained all along … it has always been about spending,’ Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers told reporters afterward. ‘Adding additional tax increases at this point it is pretty clear to us things went backward today.’ “

James Hohmann of Politico adds: “Dayton expressed surprise about the visceral response of Republicans to his new plan. Republicans quickly circulated a Dayton quote from last fall’s governor’s race when he criticized a proposal by third-party candidate Tom Horner to raise the cigarette tax by $1.50-per-pack. ‘You raise the price of a pack of cigarettes $1.50 as Mr. Horner proposed, that’s money out of the pockets of working people and poorer people, and that means kids don’t have as much to eat or don’t have the same quality of food,’ Dayton said then. ‘Those are addictions, and I think you treat addictions as addictions and you don’t penalize the people who are dealing with them economically.’ The governor complained Wednesday that Republicans would like to use bonds to borrow against future payments from a tobacco settlement to close the gap instead of addressing the problem head on now.”

A piece by Mark Sommerhauser of the St. Cloud Times is picked up by USA Today: “State officials say they won’t be able to calculate the shutdown’s full cost until it’s over, but they have quantified some of the notable losses: $1.25 million a day on the lottery, $1 million a week on state parks, $52 million a month in uncollected tax revenue that idled state auditors would have brought in. The cost of other shutdown casualties — including 100 road construction projects — has yet to be calculated.
‘Nobody believes the state is saving money,’ said John Pollard, spokesman for Minnesota Management and Budget, the state’s finance agency. State parks are losing $1 million a week in camping fees, park passes, concessions and gift shop sales, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.”

The view from Power Line’s Scott Johnson comes via his exclusive half-hour chat with Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. Says Johnson: “I asked Senator Koch about the ‘council of wise men’ convened by former Vice President Mondale and former Governor Carlson. The committee was being announced as we spoke. She said that she was willing to listen to anyone who had an idea about how to resolve the impasse, but that there were three parties at the table who needed to reach agreement. She would not say anything disrespectful of the concept, but I sense that her attitude is not too far from that of the statement issued by the Minnesota Republican Party. Incidentally, if the committee were a Broadway show, it would be closing today.” Then he goes on to rip the Strib’s Rachel Stassen-Berger again.

My blogging colleague, Joe Loveland (who I encourage you to read on a regular basis), goes after the GOP’s “jobs” agenda in his post at The Same Rowdy Crowd. Intones Joe: “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to bid a fond farewell to a special friend who was taken from our loving embrace too soon, due to a senseless act of self-destruction that none of us will ever be able to understand. In the dark days of the campaign of 2010, her birth lit up the lives of every gullible Minnesotan she touched. Yes, it seems like only yesterday when a buoyant Republican House Speaker in waiting Kurt Zellers prophesied her destiny:

‘If it isn’t about jobs, improving the business climate, it’s not a priority.’

… The cruel disease that ravaged the beloved GOP ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ message is known in professional circles as ‘message creep.’ Little by little what you oughta say and do is replaced by what special interests demand you say and do, until suddenly you wake up, and your previously successful message has been completely drowned out, by you. It’s what is known as an autoimmune disease, where the body actually attacks its own cells. The results obviously aren’t pretty.”

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Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/07/2011 - 08:12 am.

    “‘If it isn’t about jobs, improving the business climate, it’s not a priority.”

    It’s called a “lie”. The problem here isn’t the promise, it’s the inability to tell or even recognize the truth. In other words our “values” laden Republicans have completely lost the capacity for honesty or integrity.

  2. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 07/07/2011 - 08:30 am.

    “How would Weber like it if one of Bachmann’s people said T-Paw was trading on his resemblance to one of the sweaty junior execs on “Mad Men”?”

    This is an unfair comparison, Brian. I mean, you’re right that Pawlenty does bear an uncanny resemblance in appearance and character to a certain Mad Men junior exec character. But obviously, Weber’s remarks were not intended as a put down although some people might see them as “sexist.” But somehow I cannot imagine the people who support Bachmann or Pawlenty as caring too much about such political correctness.

    One other comment: for some time now, the press has allowed the Republicans to get away with calling “government expenditures” as “spending.” This has been part of their very subtle and successful attempt to reduce the complex issues of fiscal policy to a simplistic comparison with “families” which of course cannot live beyond its means. Families cannot raise taxes to cover their “spending” but governments can to cover “expenditures”. On the other hand, this “spending” which the Republicans want to reduce means a permanent cut off of money for people who desperately need it. Let’s stop the obfuscation of the debate. Let’s not let people forget about the pain the Republican’s budget will inflict on needy people.

  3. Submitted by Deb Reed on 07/07/2011 - 08:35 am.

    Republicans are children. They only want things their way or no way! They lie constantly! I use to only vote for the person, but right now a republican would never be that person!!
    Dayton and Obama are working on solutions for the American people, republicans are working for corporations and their own pocketbooks!

  4. Submitted by Tim Walker on 07/07/2011 - 09:06 am.

    Vin Weber apologized for “declaring that Michele Bachmann’s candidacy was catching on, in part, because ‘she’s got a little sex appeal.’”

    I think Weber should apologize to me, too, because reading that he connected “Bachmann” and “sex appeal” just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

  5. Submitted by will lynott on 07/07/2011 - 09:59 am.

    So, the Rs “quickly circulated” a Dayton quote about cigarette taxes? Obviously, these people are still obsessed with winning, rather than working toward a solution. Wonder if they’ve “forgotten” about Amy Koch’s apparent lie a few months ago that the Rs would not be bringing social legislation forward because they were “focused like a laser” on the deficit.

  6. Submitted by will lynott on 07/07/2011 - 10:05 am.

    #2, families cannot raise taxes to cover their spending, but they can and do get second (or third) jobs to raise revenue in tough times. This is something that conservatives like to ignore when they’re mouthing their sound bites, because it trashes their cherished “kitchen table” metaphors.

  7. Submitted by Georgia Holmes on 07/07/2011 - 10:58 am.

    It’s about “jobs, jobs, jobs alright.” It is just not about “creating” them. It’s about “destroying” them! That’s the real Republican agenda. Republicans are so ignorant of basic economic theory that they would rather destroy the economy than lose a childish argument. They are doing at least as much harm to employees in the private sector as they are to those in the public sector. They are destroying businesses and eliminating public sector jobs all because they are too pig headed to admit they may have been wrong in promising a few millionaire donors there would be “no new taxes”.

  8. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/07/2011 - 12:20 pm.

    I see no problem with Vin Weber’s comment. Altho not Marilyn Monroe, Bachmann is an attractive lady. That she has a “little sex appeal” doesn’t win the diplomacy award of the month, but it is not out of line.

  9. Submitted by C.S. Senne on 07/07/2011 - 01:20 pm.

    #8…Yes, Vin Weber’s troglodyte-ish comment regarding our senior citizen representative IS out of line.

  10. Submitted by Brian Simon on 07/07/2011 - 01:27 pm.

    Weber’s comment wasn’t offense so much to the Bachmann campaign as the Pawlenty campaign for pointing out their candidate’s utter lack of sex appeal. Run along now Timmy, I think Wally & the Beev are playing in the vacant lot.

  11. Submitted by craig furguson on 07/07/2011 - 02:00 pm.

    I agree with Rolf, I don’t see a problem with Vin Weber’s “little bit of sex appeal” comment. The trouble is, you have to turn on the sound occasionally.

  12. Submitted by William Levin on 07/07/2011 - 04:31 pm.

    Perhaps Brian Lambert could take note of today’s MinnPost headline on Susan Perry’s column about things at Medtronic taking a “nasty, personal turn” and review his column today to excise the snarky comments that don’t relate to issues but rather to personalities.

  13. Submitted by John Hoffman on 07/09/2011 - 06:39 am.

    Wasn’t it T-Paw who, when he wasn’t running for President 2 years ago, reintroduced us to TFLOMN as his “smokin’ hot wife”? May this culture in the T-Paw camp seeped under the skin of the normally politically reserved Weber, and evoked a long supressed comment, previously only in his private thoughts, to the surface while trying to explain the success of the girl from next door? Or, maybe she is hot too? Who cares? She’s a lying loud mouth lynx.

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