T-Paw feels new heat on old charge

Our Guy T-Paw is feeling some very Mitt-like pressure as he continues to be mentioned for the GOP veep slot. At The Guardian, Chris McGreal, kicking around in Minnesota, writes: “The touting of Tim Pawlenty as potential running-mate for Mitt Romney has reignited questions over his refusal as governor of Minnesota to release tax returns during a scandal over payments from a company owned by a close political ally. Democrats have been digging into a web of allegations from nine years ago which involved Pawlenty’s use of a shell corporation to shield $60,000 in payments from a telecommunications group during his election campaign that were not declared to the state’s campaign finance board. The money came from a firm run by a prominent Republican strategist. Pawlenty had until recently been a board member. … A former Republican governor of Minnesota, Arne Carlson, also remains critical of Pawlenty, saying that he was ‘engaged in several questionable things.’  ‘The whole business was very bothersome,’ he said. ‘I regarded Pawlenty as a man who used public office for his own personal ambitions and he didn’t care how he got there. He regarded politics as a chess game in which you do what [is] necessary to win and hope not to get caught.’ ” Welcome back to the spotlight, Mr. Pawlenty.

After careful review … they’ll fight the same fire if it erupts again. At the Duluth News Tribune, John Myers writes: “Nearly one year after a tiny wilderness fire exploded into Minnesota’s largest forest fire in more than 70 years, a temporary U.S. Forest Service policy will now put that kind of fire out before it can grow. Forest supervisors across the 193 million-acre national forest system have been directed to attack and snuff wilderness fires so money, personnel, aircraft and other equipment aren’t tied up fighting fires that started small and grew out of control. The directive has put on hold the usual Forest Service fire policy to often let fires burn across the agency’s 429 wilderness areas that cover more than 36 million acres. The new policy is aimed at saving money and keeping wildland firefighters where they are most needed — near developed, populated areas — and isn’t related to last year’s Pagami Creek Fire near Ely, said Brenda Halter, supervisor of the Superior National Forest.”

Good story from the Strib’s Dave Chanen on the growing sophistication of identity theft rings: “Just last week, six more people pleaded guilty or were sentenced to prison in the Twin Cities for their roles in two of the largest identity theft rings in the United States. Later this month, Julian Okeayainneh, one of the ring’s kingpins, is scheduled to be sentenced to life in prison, the longest punishment handed down for an identity theft case. Authorities say those cases reflect a growing confidence among some criminals to go beyond stealing a credit card out of a mailbox. Instead, they’re recruiting teams of people to steal data, work it through ever-cautious financial institutions and businesses and hide the profits from police. ‘Identity theft is the crime wave of the future,’ said Louis Stephens, special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service office in Minnesota. ‘It will affect more and more Americans.’ ”

A bit less sophisticated … thievery at The Uptown Art Fair. Tim Harlow of the Strib reports: “It was not immediately clear how many booths were broken into during overnight hours, or what was stolen, but ‘we had several incidents over the weekend,’ said Maude Lovelle, executive director of the Uptown Association, the organization that puts on the award-winning event. Lovelle said Minneapolis police have taken reports and are investigating the thefts, which occurred despite 24-hour security and a citizen’s patrol group that walked the grounds from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. nightly.”

Ten members of the local interfaith clergy take serious issue with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. In a Strib commentary, they say: “As interfaith leaders, we are appalled by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s discriminatory and unsubstantiated accusations. We strongly repudiate her past and current efforts to malign by association honorable American Muslims and respectable Muslim organizations that are serving our nation with great distinction. We deplore her finger-pointing and name-calling against the American Muslim community. … We want to send a clear message to Congresswoman Bachmann that her efforts to demonize American Muslims are not welcomed by the Minnesota faith community. The safety and security of our country necessitates that we work together and not sow the seeds of division.”

The annual Perseid meteor shower will be more visible this year, thanks to the lack of a full moon. In the PiPress, Mike Lynch writes: “Last year, a full moon washed out much of the show. That won’t be the case this time around. On Saturday night and Sunday morning, Aug. 11-12, when the Perseids will peak, the sky will be darker because a thin crescent moon will rise in the eastern sky after 1 a.m. … The debris trail that causes the Perseids comes from Comet Swift-Tuttle, which has a 133-year orbit and was last seen in 1992. There is some talk that Swift-Tuttle could collide with Earth in 2126, but that has been played down by many astronomers.”

Ol’ Sooch is suddenly a big Chick-fil-A fan. Joe Soucheray writes in the PiPress: “I was in Chicago when this story broke. An alderman there, Joe Moreno, said he would use his zoning powers to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in his ward. Moreno said that Cathy was bigoted and homophobic for his view on marriage and that Cathy did not represent ‘Chicago values.’ The mayor, Rahm Emanuel, who knows a political grandstand when he sees one, jumped in and supported Moreno. Chicago values? It’s the global murder capital of the world, but that is neither here nor there and takes us down the path of wondering if the state can have values that trump the individual’s. … In virtually every case of politicians rushing to oppose Chick-fil-A, they touted the diversity of their cities, how inclusive they are and how tolerant. Well, leftists, as they are demonstrating, are only diverse, inclusive and tolerant if you agree with them. Wouldn’t tolerance and diversity include married couples who are men and women?” Actually Joe, the city you might want to avoid is Caracas.

The AP reports on a study about family vacations and when school starts: “A new study by the University of Minnesota Tourism Center examines family travel patterns when school starts before Labor Day. Its researchers say it will provide data for policymakers mandating a school start date. The study found family trips of two or more nights decreased 50 percent in August or September when the start of school was before Labor Day. It also found family overnight travel from May to September decreased 30 percent when school opened before Labor Day.” Who paid for this study?

Sarah Horner of the PiPress files a story on the social media site Nextdoor.com: “Anybody have raspberry bushes? How about the name of a good baby sitter or reasonably priced plumber? Want to start a book club? After years of exchanging little more than the occasional wave, these are the kinds of conversations Kathy Ramundt is starting to witness among people in her small Roseville neighborhood. Most aren’t happening over the backyard grill. They’re taking place on Nextdoor.com, a new social networking site aimed at connecting today’s often-isolated neighbors. … To get involved, a person goes to Nextdoor.com and defines boundaries for his or her neighborhood, launching a private website for that area. Neighbors sign on by searching for their neighborhood or by accepting online invitations from other neighbors … .” If you live in Sooch’s neighborhood, ask if he’ll bring chicken sandwiches for the next book club.

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Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 08/06/2012 - 08:33 am.

    Imagine if your favorite radio staion…

    ..played only 2 songs over and over again. And every day for 20 years, you only heard those 2 songs. Now you know what readers of Sooch’s column feel like.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/06/2012 - 09:36 am.


      Do you really call that “reading?” It’s a more like listening to the crazy old man in the neighborhood yelling at pedestrians to stay off his lawn.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 08/06/2012 - 10:40 am.

    Pawlenty should feel more heat than just for tax returns

    Pawlenty should feel the heat for only kicking the can down the road as the governor and leaving the state with a $6,000,000,000 debt. He should feel the heat for not being willing to work with others. He should feel the heat for having no worthwhile accomplishments during his 8 very long years in office as he put trying to look presidential ahead of meaningful accomplishments. He should feel the heat from the public because he has already been told he is not presidential material and doesn’t deserve the VP slot. Voters you have the opportunity in November to make sure Pawlenty hears the message this time. Loud and clear Pawlenty is not fit for higher office.

    • Submitted by Roy Johansen on 08/06/2012 - 11:59 am.

      He should also take the heat for his blatant homophobia. He vetoed every piece of pro-gay and anti-bullying legislation that landed on his desk. And for eight years he refused to sign the proclamation naming June as Gay Pride Month.

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/06/2012 - 11:19 am.


    Plawenty always danced on the line. Don’t forget his campaign actually broke campaign laws, and there was that Bamco thing? And remember that time he tried to take the MNDOT traffic report away from KBEM and give it to WCCO where he just happened to have a radio show? This is all just the tip of the ice-berg actually.

  4. Submitted by Bob Rumpza on 08/06/2012 - 11:56 am.

    Absentee Guv

    And don’t forget that T-Paw was in absentia for the final two years of his second term. Minnesota was already in his rear view mirror by then.

  5. Submitted by Andrew Kearney on 08/06/2012 - 12:36 pm.

    “Bridge” Pawlenty

    Governor Carlson hit the nail on the head re Tim P. However, his worst moment had to be the collapse of the bridge. The guy had been voting against Transportation bills all the time he was in office and this was in my opinion a tragedy in which his chickens came home to roost-costing people their lives and their health. I stopped referring to him as Governor after his adult temper tantrum when his Transportation veto was over-ridden. With well under 50% he never had complete legitimacy and that did it for me. He became the occupant of the governor’s office. Now I just call him “Bridge.”

  6. Submitted by Wayne Swickley on 08/06/2012 - 12:55 pm.

    You mean KQ?

    Welcome to the Hotel California, 24/7.

  7. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/06/2012 - 03:09 pm.

    Let’s hope the GOP or Romney’s campaign team vets Pawlenty’s history with more care than they did Palin’s in 2008. There is, as the news reports are revealing for the national audience, more negative to the man’s political actions, since he was speaker of the MN House, not just when he became governor. Property taxes, shifted back onto residential properties and away from hugely expensive homes and business properties (sounds like Romeny stuff to me, but. . . ). Underfunding education. Slashing funds to MN cities. And more.

    Plus the biggy: his positions changed dramatically when he began pandering to the Tea Party and the far right, meaning that no one knows either what he really thinks on any issue, much less what he’d really do in a future elected office.

    All I can think of with regard to his governorship, is that he wanted to tear down, to dismantle, rather than build anything positive.

  8. Submitted by Ingrid Schneider on 08/07/2012 - 08:19 pm.

    Labor Day School start project funding

    Thanks for the question about the Labor Day School start project. The project was funded with dollars from the Carlson Chair for Travel, Tourism & Hospitality, administered through the University of Minnesota. The Chair Fund includes dollars to respond to important and urgent research needs and the many requests for this information on the impact of Labor Day school start was identified as such a need.

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