Our Guy T-Paw has struck a very sweet deal … for Our Guy T-Paw. The AP story says: “Pawlenty has resigned as a national co-chairman of Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to lobby for Wall Street. He has also ruled out a run for governor or Senate in Minnesota in 2014. The Financial Services Roundtable announced Thursday that Pawlenty will become its new president and chief executive officer on November 1. Pawlenty adviser Brian McClung told The Associated Press that Pawlenty ruled out the races as he prepared to take the job heading the Wall Street lobbying group.”
Alan Zibel at The Wall Street Journal says: “He succeeds Steve Bartlett, the former Dallas mayor and Texas congressman who announced plans to retire earlier this year. Mr. Pawlenty will also be stepping down from his post as national co-chairman of Mitt Romney‘s presidential campaign, the financial-services groups said. Until now, Mr. Pawlenty had been viewed as a leading contender for a top job in a Romney administration. ‘My time in public service was rewarding and focused on achieving results,’ Mr. Pawlenty said in a statement. ‘I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve, but I am now moving on and committed to focusing fully on this new opportunity.. Financial-industry executives have been pressing for lawmakers to undo parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law, a push that is likely to intensify next year after the election season passes.” So this means he’s not going to be secretary of state, I guess?
At Slate, Josh Vorhees comments: “Pawlenty had stayed on with the campaign as one of Romney’s top surrogates. Given the campaign’s recent struggles, it’s not exactly a stretch of the imagination that Pawlenty was looking for an easy exit. But that doesn’t appear to be the story (at least the full one) here. The high-profile Roundtable represents the interests of about 100 financial services companies — from big banks to insurance companies — and is a major player in any debate over finanical legislation on the Hill. It also doesn’t hurt that Pawlenty’s salary could approach $2 million, according to reports. ‘I think this is the sexiest CEO job going around in the association space,’ Ivan Adler, a principal at the McCormick Group, an executive search firm in D.C.’ “
At Bloomberg, Jesse Hamilton notes an obvious irony: “In a Bloomberg Television interview last year before he ended his presidential run and joined Romney’s campaign, Pawlenty said his ‘truth message to Wall Street is going to be, ‘Get your snout out of the trough.’ … ‘Obviously, I was one of the voices saying we need to fix the problems,’ Pawlenty said in an interview today. ‘There’s been an attempt to fix them. Now we just need to make sure they don’t overreach and stifle economic investment and job growth.’ Pawlenty, who campaigned as a ‘Sam’s Club Republican’ concerned with issues affecting the middle class, will represent the interests of the large financial firms across a broad range of business, from insurance giants such as State Farm Insurance Cos. and money managers including BlackRock Inc. (BLK) to payment networks like Visa Inc. (V).” Those are some very big snouts.
At The Washington Post, Suzy Khimm writes: “At first glance, it’s an odd decision: The Financial Services Roundtable, one of Wall Street’s most prominent lobbying groups in Washington, has chosen former GOP governor Tim Pawlenty as its new chief at a time when President Obama’s chances of reelection seem to be rising, and Democrats are gaining an edge in key Senate races. The downsides seem clearer than the upsides. If Romney wins, then Pawlenty, a close Romney friend who co-chaired the Republican candidate’s presidential campaign and was seriously considered for the veep slot, will have all the access he could want. But if Obama is reelected, Pawlenty isn’t likely to be the most appealing messenger to the Democrats’ administration. … By bringing on Pawlenty, who’s stepping down as co-chair of the Romney campaign, the Roundtable is fortifying its relationship with the current Republican establishment and making it clear that its priority moving forward will be on legislative action in Congress, according to Hill aides and outside analysts. There’s little expectation that Dodd-Frank will be completely repealed, even if Mitt Romney were elected. Instead, the hope is that Congressional Republicans will be able to push through more incremental reforms to alter and roll-back parts of the Wall Street reform law.” And if there’s a can that needs kicking …
Our Favorite Congresswoman has her first campaign ad up. At MPR, Catharine Richert says: “A day after her Democratic opponent Jim Graves put two television spots on the air, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is striking back with an ad of her own. The 30-second ‘No Room for Us’ ad paints Graves as a big spender. ‘Graves’ time in Congress would be an expensive stay for Minnesota taxpayers,’ the ad states. ‘Big spending Jim supported the wasteful trillion dollar stimulus, and the $700 billion bailout.’ Graves ‘fancies himself a moderate,’ but ‘there is simply no evidence to back up that claim,’ said Bachmann spokesman Chase Kroll in a press release. ‘Jim Graves has already given his support to big-spending policies that are driving the federal budget deeper into debt.’ ” On the other hand, Graves might actually show up for work.
And the winner is … International Falls. WDIO-TV in Duluth reports: “[T]en different Minnesota cities entered a sample of their water to be tasted by the public, and by judges. After a popular vote, the top three get judged by what Brian Bergantine, of Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, dubbed ‘the elite panel of judges.’ International Falls took the win, earning the title ‘Best in Glass.’ Bergantine explained how judges made the decision. He said ‘we’re looking for clarity. We’re looking for color, and we’re looking for taste.’ Water pitchers on the table in front of him came in clear, cloudy, and a little bit yellow. Yellow isn’t good, according to Bergantine. ‘There’s a little bit of color within some of them,’ he said. ‘A water should basically have no color.’ As for taste, Bergantine said the best water doesn’t taste like anything.” I believe Wisconsin’s winners are fermenting their water as we speak.
Minnesota lost 2000 jobs in August. Adam Belz of the Strib writes: “Minnesota employers cut 2,000 jobs in August, the state said Thursday, the first month of job losses after two straight months of gains. On top of that, July’s job count was revised downward by 2,000 jobs, more troubling news as economists try to identify a trend in the data that would indicate growth. ‘Despite solid job gains in the previous two months, the labor market is still struggling to find its footing,’ DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips said in a statement. ‘The long-term trend remains positive, however, with the majority of business sectors reporting job growth over the past year.’ The state has added 24,500 jobs in the past 12 months, a growth rate of 0.9 percent.”
It took a while, but there’s finally a guilty plea in the case of the guy slinging heavy objects at cars in Bloomington last winter. Paul Walsh’s Strib story says: “A 40-year-old man has admitted to throwing dangerous items — ranging from a bench vise to gallon water jugs — at oncoming vehicles numerous times this past winter along a stretch of busy road in Bloomington. Gerret Parks, of Bloomington, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court to first-degree assault and is expected to receive six years and three months in prison when he is sentenced next Tuesday, the county attorney’s office said Wednesday. … Parks has a long history of property, traffic and alcohol-related crimes, according to state records.”
Minnesota for Marriage held a contest for best marriage proposals. The Strib’s Jeremy Olson writes: “Set aside politics for a moment, and enjoy the proposal story announced as the winner of a contest arranged by Minnesota for Marriage. The organization, in favor of the proposed marriage constitutional amendment, chose a winning entry from Jim and Dee of Bloomington that has me impressed for its high risk-reward level. Jim’s description:
At Yellow Lake, near Danbury, WI, on Memorial weekend 1995, I strung a heavy-duty leader onto my fishing line and one on my wife’s. We went fishing on a very windy night at about 9:30PM. I took the engagement ring when my wife wasn’t looking and clipped it through the leaders of both lines and had a sinker on one of the lines. I pretended to bait her hook and threw both lines (with the ring) out into the water. We had lighted bobbers, so when I pulled my line, I pulled hers with it and tried to pull her bobber under to get her to reel it in. I eventually told her she was snagged and to get her line into the boat. When she reeled in the line and got it to her, she first thought she snagged a ring from the water. And then she realized… I then bent down on my knee on the bottom of the boat and asked her to marry me! We celebrated her “YES” answer with a glass of champagne in the boat! At first she thought I was crazy for wanting to fish on that windy night, but later understood why!”