T-Paw: Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage?


T-Paw chatted up the Miami Herald and the takeaway, via Marc Caputo is this:

Q: Some of the increased spending happened in the Bush years, when two wars, a new Medicare prescription drug entitlement program and tax cuts were approved. Why not scale back all of that, including the tax cuts?

Pawlenty:You have to look back at what got us into the mess. And, again, revenues kept up with the private economy. It’s the government spending that went way beyond that. … When President Bush left office, the deficit was approximately $500 billion. It is now approximately now $1.5 trillion. In other words, President Obama has essentially tripled the deficit. To make matters worse, he promised in the first few months of his presidency that he would cut the deficit in half during his first term.”

Q: Part of the Obama deficit was the stimulus, but a number of Republican governors such as yourself both bashed it and took the money at the same time. How do you explain that?

Pawlenty: “There’s a lot of reasons for it. If the federal government is dumb enough to give it to us, we’ll be smart enough to take it. In Minnesota’s case, we are not a net taker of money from the federal government …”

Q: How about gay marriage?

Pawlenty: “When I was in the Minnesota Legislature, I was a co-author of the Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as between a man and a woman. I support a state and federal amendment to the constitutions defining amendments as such.”

Q: How do you support being a small-government conservative, yet favor this government limitation on private individuals?

Pawlenty: “The Constitution and our statutes and laws more broadly grant or prohibit all kinds of behaviors or rights. So I don’t think it’s out of bounds in that regard. … We have courts who have demonstrated they think they know better than the people on our statutes. And they feel that they should insert their personal or political views into these matters. And the only way to limit court excesses in that regard is to put it in our statutes and our Constitution.”


The West Central Tribune covers Al Franken at FarmFest. “The Democratic senator, back in Minnesota while Congress is in recess for a month, said he was not pleased with how the negotiations went to keep the country from defaulting on its obligations. ‘We got it done; I wish we would have gotten the FAA done though,’ Franken said, referring to the 74,000 Federal Aviation Administration and construction workers unemployed because Congress did not pass the FAA Authorization Bill. ‘But the big news is we didn’t default on our debt and we got a deal done that nobody is happy with.’ …  ‘I understand why folks pressed it and that’s what we got,’ he said. Although the debt-ceiling bill was rushed, Franken said some good came out of it. A bipartisan committee consisting of members of the House of Representatives and Senate must create a plan to exceed $1.2 trillion in savings by Dec. 23. ‘We have had some luck with bipartisan committees, but none of them had power to do something, so some good could come out of it,’ Franken said.” I’m sorry, Senator, I’m not tracking there.

Amy Forliti of the AP reports on a Minnesota guy nailed at a sports collectibles show in Chicago. “The head of a sports memorabilia company in Minnesota has been arrested at a convention in the Chicago area for allegedly selling fake jerseys that his company says were worn by athletes during games. Authorities say the jerseys were not authentic. Forty-year-old Steven Jensen of Osseo was arrested Thursday by U.S. postal inspectors. He was arrested at his booth at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont. Jensen is head of Minnesota-based Vintage Sports Authentics. Postal inspectors are also searching the company’s warehouse in Plymouth, Minn., looking for other merchandise that could be phony.”

Per Peterson of The Marshall Independent notes the first MinnPost poll, and goes on to say, “District 21A Republican Rep. Chris Swedzinski of Ghent said it’s too early to project how this year’s session will affect next year’s election. He acknowledged, however, that people have plenty of concerns when it comes to state government. ‘Everyone’s lives were affected by the shutdown,’ he said. ‘As far as what their thoughts are going to be in how many months, who knows? The ultimate goal is not to have a shutdown or at least to have a lights-on bill.’ … Swedzinski, one of 33 Republican freshmen in the House this year, hasn’t decided if he’ll run again in 2012. For now, he’s taking a wait-and-see approach.”

Joe Loveland at The Same Rowdy Crowd applauds our poll and says, “Last week, MinnPost released its inaugural public opinion poll, another step in it’s maturation as an increasingly central part of the Minnesota news landscape. I maintain polls are an important part of news coverage in a democracy, and MinnPost proved it last week when it was the first to tell the story of the public blaming Republicans, by a 2-to-1 margin, for the bitterly debated government shutdown. After months of wonky budget debate coverage, it was interesting to read about the public verdict, as measured by a random sample survey. Our little MinnPost is growing up. … Getting at the ‘whys’ of the horse-race poll questions is as important as getting at the ‘whats.’ Is Dayton getting lower approval ratings because he is perceived to be compromising too little or too much? Is he considered too liberal or not liberal enough? Do most of Dayton’s detractors think he didn’t cut enough spending enough or do they think he should have spent more to create jobs? Is he losing approval because of his ideology or his leadership style? This kind of probing delivers a much richer level of understanding than simple ‘approval/disapproval’ style questions. And that kind of news media polling would certainly be in keeping with the MinnPost motto, ‘a thoughtful approach to news.’ ” Thanks, Joe. I think.

GOP Sen. Carla Nelson defends her votes in a commentary for the Rochester Post-Bulletin. After noting the thunderstorms in Olmstead County, she writes, “While storms can be damaging, they also have a renewing effect. Our agreement, showing true compromise, has aspects I agreed to but don’t agree with. While I disagreed with the school shift, initially suggested by Gov. Dayton on June 30, and the funds from the tobacco bonds, I couldn’t vote against the significant reforms in our agreement. … A critical part of making Minnesota more business friendly to promote a jobs renaissance was to avoid Gov. Dayton’s $4.1 billion proposed tax increases. Our final budget doesn’t include any tax increases. What’s more? We included tax relief for small businesses, farms and homeowners. Minnesota schools will also be revitalized under our budget.” Yeah. Aren’t you “revitalized” every time you’re overdrawn at the bank.

An Alabama woman who engaged in an extortion scheme that ended with a Minnesota man killing himself is getting … 90 days in jail. Dave Hanners of the PiPress reports, “[Shannon] Gura, who now lives in Alabama, had pleaded guilty in October to a single count of coercion in a plot to extort $500,000 from Dan Kreye, one of the founders of High Five Erectors Inc., a steel-construction company in Shakopee. She had met Kreye through Alcoholics Anonymous, and Gura said he had expressed an interest in helping her and had even given her money to help her buy a Jeep. She testified at an earlier hearing that when she told a friend of hers, Rickey Pouncil, of Rosemount, about Kreye, Pouncil figured the businessman was wealthy and came up with a scheme to extort money from him. At Pouncil’s direction, Gura sent sexually explicit texts to Kreye in August 2009. The businessman replied in kind, even sending her a graphic sexual photo of himself. Later, over a steak dinner, Gura presented Kreye with printouts of his texts and photo and told him that she’d give them to his wife and kids unless he paid $65,000. Pouncil and another woman allegedly continued the extortion over the next few months. On May 10, 2010, Kreye, 57, took his life in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.”

A graffiti-style wall mural has become a point of controversy in Duluth. Christa Lawler of the News Tribune writes, “Work has been stalled on a mural in Cascade Park in Duluth that has some Central Hillside neighbors concerned about its artistic merit. ‘It’s the same kind of things that they arrest people for,’ said Dan Williams, who owns rental property across the street from Cascade Park, where work on the mural began last week. ‘It’s graffiti. It’s not a craft. It’s not art. If it was a mural of quality I wouldn’t say anything about it.’ Artists involved with the ‘Unity in Community’ mural are scheduled to meet with city officials and Neighborhood Housing Services today to talk about the direction of the project and to come up with a sketch of the final concept, according to NHS executive director Cliff Knettel. … The mural is based on a similar technique employed by St. Paul artist Ta-Coumba Aiken, who painted a mural that way in the student union at the College of St. Scholastica this winter. But that doesn’t satisfy Williams. ‘It’s going to affect my property value,’ Williams said. ‘It’s going to look like inner-city crap.’ “

I’m a couple days late finding this one: An MPR commentary, by Tom Prichard of the Minnesota Family Council says, among other things, “ … the debate over welfare policy is just beginning. I think there are a few things worthy of consideration in the debate. First, as our state government shutdown was ending, an interesting report was issued by the Heritage Foundation analyzing Census Bureau data on how the average poor person, as defined by the federal government, actually lives. I think the results would surprise most people. I suspect when many people think of the ‘poor’ they think of homelessness, hunger and other significant hardships. The Heritage study found that the average ‘poor’ person has air conditioning, cable TV and a family car. Poor people are likely to have two color televisions, a DVD player and video games like Xbox. They also have a microwave, refrigerator, an oven, a stove, clothes dryer and washer, ceiling fans and cordless phones. This picture confirms the observation made several years ago by noted political scientist James Q. Wilson, who said, ‘The poorest Americans today live a better life than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago.’ Certainly, some people truly are homeless and hungry, and face severe hardships; they deserve our concern and support. Yet charges that any cuts or changes in welfare spending will devastate the poor are highly questionable when the very definition of ‘poor’ is flawed.” So the Heritage Foundation suggests people with an air conditioner and an Xbox are not really “poor.” Why am I not surprised?

Finally, my apologies to Brady Gervais (female) of the PiPress who probably has had enough of being misspelled as “Bradley.” 

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Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by Dan Hintz on 08/04/2011 - 04:25 pm.

    “When President Bush left office, the deficit was approximately $500 billion. It is now approximately now $1.5 trillion. In other words, President Obama has essentially tripled the deficit.”

    The deficit wasn’t “approximately $500 billion.” It was over a trillion. How is it that the questioner lets Pawlenty get away with a lie like that?


  2. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 08/04/2011 - 04:32 pm.

    “While I disagreed with the school shift, initially suggested by Gov. Dayton on June 30, and the funds from the tobacco bonds, I couldn’t vote against the significant reforms in our agreement.”–Sen. Carla Nelson

    Wait…I had heard that it was the GOP that suggested another shift. Which is correct?

  3. Submitted by Tom Lynch on 08/04/2011 - 04:36 pm.

    According to a Republican, you aren’t poor unless you’re starving. The poor in America just have it too good. But those millionaires, billionaires, and corporate CEOs…now those people need the help. More tax cuts. Less regulation. They’re the “job creators” after all. As they say, “When was the last time you got a job from a poor person.”

  4. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 08/04/2011 - 04:39 pm.

    Wow. The country is clearly moving towards accepting same sex civil marriage. Polls are moving rapidly towards acceptance, New York approved it with out judicial action, and this week the American Psychological Assn – 158,000 professionals – publicly affirmed support for same sex marriage.

    Perfect time for T’Paw to go out and talk up a federal amendment. Tin ear Tim, always with his agenda, and not interested in doing what the public actually wants.

  5. Submitted by will lynott on 08/04/2011 - 06:05 pm.

    There is no flip-flop, pander, or outright lie that TP won’t utter in his utterly hopeless quest for votes. Even in the face of incontrovertible evidence that NOTHING IS WORKING FOR HIM, he continues to speak nonsense and dare interviewers to call him on it. I’m thinking of starting a pool on when this useless weathervane will pull out of the race.

  6. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 08/04/2011 - 06:09 pm.

    T-Paw, T-party no difference in either case
    “To Ignorant to govern!”

  7. Submitted by will lynott on 08/04/2011 - 06:34 pm.

    “Pawlenty: “You have to look back at what got us into the mess. And, again, revenues kept up with the private economy. It’s the government spending that went way beyond that…”

    This is calculated gibberish, and instantly recognizable as such. TP never once presented the legislature with a balanced all-cuts budget. Don’t interviewers do their homework, or are they paralyzed by the prospect of having access cut off? I’ve heard stories about reporters being given lists of topics that are off limits if they want an interview. When did this craziness begin?

    Wait, I think I know the answer. Leslie Stahl interviewed Saint Reagan during his second term when he was obviously pathetically senile, but was somehow persuaded not to so report. Maybe that was the beginning of the end. Wouldn’t you hate to be a reporter these days? I sure would.

  8. Submitted by James Stout on 08/04/2011 - 07:13 pm.

    Mr Pawlenty correctly notes that the deficit was officially $500B at the end of the Bush-43 term, but the actual deficit, when one adds in the off-budget costs of two wars is closer to 1.8T. Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, Mr Obama put the numbers into the budget to try more transparency. Don’t blame Mr Pawlenty for not stating the facts accurately: he claims to have left Minnesota with a surplus, when in fact the deficit was about $6B.

    We really need a credible, experienced, rationale GOP candidate, if only to give voice to many Americans whose views despite all reality still clings to deficit reduction at all costs, when there is no evidence whatsoever to show that tax cuts ever created jobs.

  9. Submitted by James Stout on 08/04/2011 - 07:21 pm.

    Mr Pawlenty, like all the other Republican Presidential candidates, is clearly out of touch with American sensibilities. A healthy majority of Americans now supports gay marriage.

    Another way to look at gay marriage is to read the Declaration of Independence, which says, slightly paraphrased (and with apologies to Mr Jefferson): ‘We know these truths to be self-evident, that all humans are created equal, and are endowed with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. I think most people, and certainly Mr Jefferson, would agree with including marriage as being within the meaning of ‘pursuit of happiness’.

  10. Submitted by Donn Satrom on 08/04/2011 - 10:55 pm.

    Comment #1 notes incorrect statement by Pawlenty and asks how the questioner lets TPaw get away with a lie like that. Unfortunately, that is the new journalism — just report what is said without regard to its accuracy. Today’s “jouralists” are more like stenographers — they never challenge misstatments so small wonder the electorate is so misinformed.

  11. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 08/05/2011 - 12:09 am.

    You are not surprised because you thought that an X-box was a right?

  12. Submitted by Roy Everson on 08/05/2011 - 12:42 am.

    According to Pawlenty’s logic, those athletes should be the ones complaining about wearing fake jerseys.

  13. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 08/08/2011 - 12:44 am.

    Mr. Stout: You failed to mention the 30 states where the people voted to pass a constitutional ban on same sex “marriage”.

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