Pawlenty gets minor facts wrong on national news, fact-checker finds

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today discussing why he believes the moral case for unions doesn’t apply to public employment. And then he talked about the issue this morning on Fox News.

Fact checkers will find many of his statements correct, but Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib notes he got at least two minor things wrong:

He said in the Journal that the Twin Cities bus strike was in 2005, but it was 2004, she notes.

And in small talk on Fox, he told Gretchen Carlson that the Dome was built in 1986. It opened in 1982, and actually collapsed once because of snow in ’81 before opening.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/14/2010 - 09:04 am.

    Stassen-Burger just proves that the bigger the lie the more likely it is to be overlooked. There was nothing “silent” about the state worker strike of 2001. Nor are the negotiations and state contracts secret. I have photos of the back to work demonstrations at the capital during the last government shutdown. Government Unions are not silent secret organization. Furthermore they have been steadily accepting pay and benefit cuts in their contracts for the last decade.

    Pawlenty isn’t lying when claims the median wage for government workers is higher than that in the private sector, but misrepresenting wage scale. He’s comparing apples and oranges. Government workers tend to be better educated and doing jobs that require far more experience and expertise. In fact, by comparison many government workers are getting paid less than the would for doing a comparable job in the private sector. Pawleny’s comparing government workers to cashiers at Target.

    Government compensation has been studied, there is actual data, and that data shows that government workers have some advantages from their union membership, but union members in the private sector have the same advantages, they tend to have better benefits and pay. It’s interesting that none of these free market champions are talking about non-union failure to keep up, instead they complain about workers making too much while championing tax cuts for super wealthy.

    Here’s an article about government compensation:

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/are-federal-workers-overpaid/

  2. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 12/14/2010 - 04:06 pm.

    Pawlenty’s whole premise is wrong. If you compare a government worker’s salary to a comparable job in the private sector, the government worker makes less. Fact. Simple to understand. His whole Op Ed piece in Fox Street Journal was just more posturing.

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