Gov. Pawlenty says no to proposed leadership summit

A proposal made last month by DFL legislative leaders to hold a Minnesota Leadership Summit in order to find ways to “balance Minnesota’s budget for the long term,” has been unceremoniously rejected by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

In a letter (PDF) to Sen. Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the governor says no thanks.

“As we have witnessed over the past year, DFL legislators have done a thorough job of admiring our state’s budget difficulties, but have refused or been unable to take action to address them,” the letter says.

Pogemiller and Anderson Kelliher planned to invite “current and former governors, Senate majority leaders, and Speakers of the House to a Minnesota Leadership Summit.” At the suggestion of former Gov. Arne Carlson, they also planned to seek advice from nonpartisan economists and fiscal staff.

The plan didn’t move the governor.

“The state already has an annual ‘Minnesota Leadership Summit.’ It’s called the legislative session and it lasts approximately five months. This past year, rather than taking timely and decisive action to deal with our budget deficit, the Legislature’s DFL leadership wasted the first few months of the session. Passage of your final budget bills in the last few minutes before midnight on the final day of the session was indicative how how you managed the situation,” Pawlenty wrote.

“Rather than calling together former legislators and governors to rehash already established concerns, the Legislature’s time would be better spent coming up with reasonable solutions, negotiating with my Administration, passing bills and having them signed into law.”

I have calls in to both Pogemiller and Anderson Kelliher for comment, but no responses yet.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by dan buechler on 08/11/2009 - 04:15 pm.

    The elders Carlson and 2 econs and Quie should take him to some private woodshed. Hammer out something reasonable that is for the average citizen and owners and present a public united front.

  2. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 08/11/2009 - 04:58 pm.

    It isn’t enough for the DFL to fail in their leadership responsibility apparently, they seem also to have a creepy compulsion to publicize their failure.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/11/2009 - 06:26 pm.

    Sadly, a loophole in a poorly-worded law allowed our Governor, who has never been elected by a majority of citizens of the state, himself, to appoint himself King of Minnesota at the end of this past legislative session, thereby negating the plans and desires of the legislature elected by the majority of Minnesotans.

    Much more sadly, many of those most vulnerable and in need, including our state’s school-aged children, and the elderly who will be driven from their homes by property tax increases made necessary by cuts to LGA (or by rising crime and decreasing safety in their neighborhoods caused by lack of police and the disappearance of programs to keep youth gainfully occupied in the summer and after school) will suffer enough that a tipping point will be reached and the overwhelming majority of Minnesotans will finally notice what “no new taxes” hath wrought.

    Meanwhile, the Governor will leave the state and portray himself as a hero for the damage he’s done in Minnesota and the Republicans in Minnesota, his most ardent lackeys will be left holding the bag and taking the blame for everything that no longer works, every service that is no longer available (or available in a timely manner) and everything that’s falling apart.

  4. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 08/12/2009 - 06:23 am.

    There is no reason to let the DFL off the hook here. The governor’s interpretation of the law is novel to say the least, and wrong to say just a little bit more. Clearly, his certification that the deficit was unexpected is a lie, just as it happens, a lie that’s going unchallenged by Democrats and everyone else.

    But we should never have allowed things to get to the point where a governor is allowed to put himself in a position to flout the law with impunity. In future, all appropriations legislation must contain language specifically exempting those bills from the application of the unallotment statute. What is happening now must never be allowed to happen again.

  5. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/12/2009 - 04:16 pm.

    Tim Pawlenty forced terrible hardship upon Minnesota’s citizens by refusing to raise the revenue without which it is impossible to maintain a morally necessary social safety net and city/town/county services. How typically hypocritical of him to then blame the legislature for his naughty deeds.

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