With the launch of Tim Pawlenty’s campaign for governor, lots of people will be trying to say what he stands for. Here’s what he says

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty answered questions about his campaign Friday at Hovies Grill in Eagan.

It’s déjà vu for some Minnesotans this week: Tim Pawlenty, who served two terms as Minnesota’s governor from 2003 to 2011, ended months of speculation Thursday when he announced plans to run for the office once again.

But the Pawlenty running now might sound a bit different this time around.

After a failed bid for president in 2012, he’s spent the last five years as CEO of Financial Services Roundtable, where he acted as a lobbyist for big banks and made millions of dollars. It was an experience that made him realize he doesn’t really “like Washington” and doesn’t want to run for president again. But, he says, he did vote for President Donald Trump and thinks he’s doing a good job. (Pawlenty said Trump was “unfit” to serve as president after the Access Hollywood tape was released.)

Pawlenty does want another shot at governor, however, and this time he refuses to sign any no-tax increase pledges, a position that put him regularly at odds with Democrats in the Legislature. He said he would try to be a uniter this time around.

“Our politics in Minnesota and in the country are too divided and are too toxic,” Pawlenty said Friday at Hovies Grill in Eagan, the first time he fielded questions about his campaign. “I think I’ve got the strength and the experience to rise above that and bring people together.”

His late entrance into the race has shaken up an already crowded field, with candidates from both parties already using his previous record and positions as governor as ammo against him. But eight years later, where does Pawlenty on the major issues facing the state and nation today? Here’s an edited look at his response to questions about everything from guns and global warming to whether he plans to abide by the Republican endorsement.

On his early comments that  Donald Trump was ‘unfit’ to be president

I voted for President Trump, I support almost all of what he’s doing in terms of policy directions strongly, I just don’t like and haven’t in the past liked some of his past behavior.

After the Access Hollywood tapes came out, that kind of set me off, and that’s why I made those comments, but since then I think he’s made a lot of great progress as leader of our country and president of the United States in terms of his policy priorities and the outcomes.

On how he’ll explain his time lobbying in Washington, D.C.

I grew up in South St. Paul, the son of a truck driver, my mom was a homemaker who died young, and I’ve had the chance to be successful. I want everybody to have that chance.

On the Republican Party’s endorsement

I’d be honored to have the Republican endorsement and we are going to explore that, although I’m getting into the race very late and I’m not sure if the cake is already baked for that endorsement.

This is a campaign that is going to be focused on winning. We hope to get the endorsement, but this campaign isn’t going to stop there.

On the current Republican field for governor

I met with Jeff [Johnson] and Keith [Downey] last year…I said, “Look, I don’t necessarily need to run if one of you can get some momentum and get some traction and raise some money and show that one of you can be a winning candidate in Minneota. I’ll support one of you.” But that hasn’t happened.

This is a tough race in the best of years for Republicans in a tough state, and we need to have our A team on the field, and I haven’t seen that from the other candidates in the field.

On the opioid crisis

We have a raging opioid crisis all across the country, all across Minnesota. It’s devastating families, it’s devastating communities, there are a lot of people that need to be held responsible for that outcome, a very bad and tragic outcome, but one stakeholder in that is the large drug companies who have made a lot of money profiting from pushing opioids, and I think frankly, urging over subscriptions of it in some ways.

On education funding

We do need to drive more resources to our schools, but we need to make sure they are accountable for better results. When it comes to closing the achievement gap in Minnesota, we need to try everything. The idea that more of the same is going to work, or incrementalism as it relates to addressing the educational needs of our most challenged and disadvantaged students has to go out the window.

A four-year college degree may not be the best pathway forward for everybody, and as we think about the future, the skilled trades and the jobs where people can receive a technical education and retain a technical skill, are going to be so vitally important to the economy in the future. I would like to bring technical training back to the high schools.

On tax cuts and making pledges to not increase taxes

My focus is going to be on tax relief and holding down taxes, especially for those in the middle income brackets in our state…we are in the minority of states in the country that taxes social security benefits. For modest and middle income Minnesotans, we’re going to eliminate taxation on social security benefits.

I’m not going to sign any pledges, I’m not filling out anybody’s questionnaire, I’m not going to be beholden to any interest group, and anybody who wants me to pledge or guarantee anything, they can go fish. I’m going to be my own candidate with my own thoughts and views.

On school safety and gun control

Let’s make our schools more secure and more safe, and that means giving them more resources and more help to design on a local level the types of security enhancements that they would like.

We need to make sure that people who have mental health challenges or have a history of being violent, don’t have access to guns. It’s just common sense. Let’s make sure that we have bump stocks, or anything that would make a weapon or a machine gun, illegal.

As it relates to background checks, one idea I think that is worth exploring is to say, if you’re a registered firearm dealer, you have to have a background check, if you’re not a registered firearm dealer and you’re selling weapons, make the background check system available to those people in a way that’s easy and convenient, and offer them legal safe harbor if you use it. That’s common ground. That’s an area where strong Second Amendment supporters like me could come together.

On global warming

I think you have to acknowledge that climate is changing. That at least in a recent period of time, there have been indications that it’s getting warmer. That’s the science, and humans caused some of it. But…we’re addressing it better than anybody in the world.

On the 2018 election

It’s not going to be the easiest year for Republicans nationally or in Minnesota. It’s hard to tell, when people talk about waves, politics in six months is an eternity. What might be true in April will be different in November. I think it’s fair to say it’s not going to be the easiest year for Republicans.

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Comments (33)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 04/06/2018 - 03:17 pm.


    “But…we’re addressing it (climate change) better than anybody in the world.”

    By being the only nation in the world to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, scrap the Clean Power Plan, toss out the mileage standards the auto industry had agreed to and try to tip the scales to favor the dirtiest fossil fuels available?

    Yeah, “better.”

    • Submitted by Barbara Skoglund on 04/06/2018 - 09:14 pm.

      So he’s changed his mind?

      I worked at the pca when he was elected and there was an edict that climate change did NOT exist. He was an anti science bush hack.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/06/2018 - 03:56 pm.

    The Carpetbagger Returns

    Pawlenty is going to run for MN Governor again. He talks like he is a Minnesotan, but he isn’t, he has been out of the state for 6 years, a lot has changed in the interim. I believe the term that fits Pawlenty is carpetbagger. I bet the GOP will LOVE him and his 6 billion dollars deficit spending past. Remember GOPers are no longer deficit hawks, that is only when a Democrat is the Governor. Pawlenty has been a bank lobbyist for the last 6 years. I can’t figure out how that gave him what he needs to run the state again. As Governor Pawlenty was a divider because he only wanted to serve the special few and himself. As governor he was full of all kinds of cute GOP tricks to make it look like he was presidential material. Taxes he imposed weren’t taxes, they were fees. He borrowed from the education budget to make the budget looked balanced. He couldn’t get past the first rung of the presidential ladder, those ruthless Iowa Republican voters showed him the exit door. In his failed attempt to become President Pawlenty even got beat by Michelle Bachman, how humiliating. Now he is back hoping we have forgotten the mess he made of Minnesota. This is yet another story of a Republican in office who makes a huge mess and a Democrat comes in and cleans up the mess. Now he wants to “Put those in the middle first”, which is tacit proof he only served the wealthy and himself when he was Governor. The Republicans always have trouble serving everyone they were elected to serve. For me I have had Paw-lenty of Pawlenty. Governor Dayton has proven Republican shenanigans are not required to run the state. Thank you, Governor Dayton, for your sound steady governance of our fine state! Carpetbaggers are not welcome here.

  3. Submitted by Sheila Kihne on 04/06/2018 - 04:19 pm.

    That’s it? Give even more money to the teachers union and cut taxes for those in the middle when it was the high-income Minnesotans who got the screws put to them under Dayton? I hate the lip service on education–never a creative idea, it’s always just “give them more money, ask for more accountability”– that’s like George Bush 2000 and it’s not going to work.

    I also see he’s still on the global warming train (when it’s 10 degrees outside)….thanks for the higher energy bills with your mandates Governor! What about illegal immigration? What about refugee resettlement?

    And the mea culpa on Trump is just weak— If Pawlenty and Paulsen and the rest of their ilk in the Minnesota swamp would’ve supported Trump, MN would’ve gone red.

    Pawlenty will need every single conservative vote to stand a chance at winning—- reading this, I don’t think he can deliver. Change course soon TPaw— MN needs a bigly tax cut to keep people in the state.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/06/2018 - 06:24 pm.


      Could I see some data that there is a tax related reason that people are leaving Minnesota? Not just rhetoric, actual data. Have people been flocking to Mississippi for the last few decades? Or even So Dak?

      • Submitted by Sheila Kihne on 04/07/2018 - 11:50 am.

        Oh Mississippi, Oh “The South”, the knee-jerk liberal reaction to almost everything.

        Much of The South is booming while the Midwest– or “The North”– or whatever we’re calling it nowadays, isn’t. Travel a bit and see the massive amounts of commercial building in places like Dallas, Atlanta, and Charlotte. Huge international headquarter buildings, not just downtown condos.

        Also, southern Universities and colleges offer much-lower in-state college tuition than Minnesota. It’s amazingly cheap to go to school in the South– and don’t say that Texas and Florida don’t have great public universities, they out-rank Minnesota where we have only one nationally known institution.

        Middle-income and low-income people may not be leaving Minnesota, but high-income people are and although it’s a small number, each one of these people equal hundreds of “middle” Mn taxpayers. There are many articles out there on the subject, here’s one from Twin Cities Business Magazine:


        If you’d like to pretend this isn’t the case, that’s fine.

        I think any Minnesotan can see with their own two eyes the “graying” of the state and an influx of immigrants and refugees. Boomers aging, requiring health care and nursing home services, being replaced by lower-wage workers who need things like Free PreK (daycare) is a recipe for long term spending problems.

        What do you guys want, even higher taxes? You really think that Minnesota should have higher taxes than New York City and California? You think that high taxes, mandatory wage and sick leave laws are going to attract big business and the executives who come with it?

        And regarding global warming– so what? What do you want to do about it? More light rail, right? Higher energy taxes? No coal mining. You actually believe you can control the air temperature via these policies? I don’t buy it. You use the issue to get these policies to try to control behavior and redistribute wealth.

        Here’s the reality: The big Minnesota companies of the past are long gone….I give Target ten years. Bakeries and coffee shops aren’t going to cut it. So, the question for 2018 is: what are we going to do about it? After eight years of Dayton, let’s hope it’s time to change course. I think it is. But, if it’s not than count on the expected consequence: attract more people who need government services while those who don’t quietly leave.

        • Submitted by Bill Willy on 04/07/2018 - 04:01 pm.

          Just one thing . . .

          I know it’s just a petty annoyance that will, no doubt, be further evidence that today’s Minnesotans are the imbeciles I can hardly believe you can stand to spend one more minute having to put up with (assuming you live here), but one of the more interesting things I’ve come across in the past couple years related to what you’re saying about Minnesota’s stupidity compared to things in the enlightened south — with their low taxes and booming economies and all — goes like this:

          Minnesotans pay somewhere between $80 and $100 billion per year in federal taxes but only receive some version of $40 to $50 billion back in federal funds, services, grants, etc..

          It varies, of course (never lower than a negative 50% return, never higher than a negative 15% return), but the basic fact is Minnesota NEVER “gets back what it puts in,” whereas Mississippi, Alabama, several of the low state tax states get back $2.25, $2.45 and more for every federal dollar they contribute.

          Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I could make several of the things you’re complaining about “go away” if I had an extra $40 or $50 billion per year to work with . . . I mean, the total yearly MN state budget is right around $23 billion, so if we could JUST BREAK EVEN on what we contribute in federal taxes, we could, for instance, eliminate all state taxes and still have a few billion laying around to, say, put into our infrastructure for a few years, or you name it.

          Or, if we put the Mississippi shoe on the Minnesota foot and we got back, say, $2.25 for every dollar we contributed in federal taxes, I’ll leave it to you to do the precise arithmetic ($2.25 X $80 to $100 billion), but that would take care of our entire “cost of doing state business” AND leave us with more than plenty to “make improvements.”

          But, unfortunately, those booming low tax states down south (or wherever) NEED that extra money to pay for their schools and roads and boring, non-sky crane stuff and, although it would be great if everything federal tax-wise was based on a MINIMUM of “You get back what you put it” and “You PAY for your own stuff with your own money BEFORE you can tap into the federal kitty” — a basic conservative principle, no? — a principle most imbeciles in Minnesota seem to believe in — your bright, shiny, booming Southern Utopia MIGHT find itself with a kink or two in the system I’m surprised you’re not fully locked-into yet (assuming you’re not).

          Anyway . . . Probably nothing important when it comes to your perspective (you’ve got an ironclad answer for that too, no doubt) but thought I’d mention it.

          Somehow, some people in Washington keep finding ways to make sure people in totally stupid “blue states” wind up having to pay their OWN way PLUS so that some totally brilliant, forward booming, low low tax “red states” don’t have to.

          But hey . . . Just because the dullards up north (or out east or west) don’t know how to play the game doesn’t mean those who do should have to figure out a way to pay for their own “essential services” because we all know THAT game is for suckers, right?

        • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 04/07/2018 - 04:01 pm.


          Your article is 2 years old and Minnesota is still here and doing quite well thank you very much. Many of us see 8 years of Dayton as a vast improvement over the last guy. In fact there are so many of us that I am afraid you’re going to have to hold on a little longer because 2018 ain’t gonna be your year. Your candidates, like your rhetoric, are weak. Nice to see a true believer posting here though, no matter how misguided.

        • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/07/2018 - 04:37 pm.

          Yaw, I have cabin fever too

          It seems anyone who has these concerns should run for office to fix all of Minnesota’s massive problem. Keep in mind we do our best problem solving when we work together, not as party against party. That working together thing will make it hard for some to endure.

          I see the problems those darn gray hairs and immigrants cause. They should just pack up and leave. I’m not sure how Minnesota seems to end up on so many “Best Lists” with all of its woes. Best place for employees, business, retirement, healthcare, etc, etc. Personally, I’m looking forward to those who just quietly leave. Keep in mind Mississippi has plenty of open space and a great tax structure. Some of you have become expendable and others just want to get the heck out of Minnesota. Good luck to all on their way out!

        • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/08/2018 - 06:13 pm.

          But, What About

          Ms. Kihne, I noticed you did not mention anything about So Dak or Mississippi, or any thriving metropolises therein.

          But I do hope you continue to post comments on Minn Post.

    • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 04/06/2018 - 07:33 pm.

      10 deg outside?

      Give me a break!! Every measure of global temperature shows it’s rising at an increasing rate.

      When Anchorage Alaska hit the mid 40s on January 2nd, did you claim global warming is real? I bet not.

    • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/06/2018 - 11:24 pm.

      Republicans must understand the relevance

      of the word GLOBAL. It isn’t Minneapolis, Becker, International Falls, or even Minnesota warming. It’s Global Warming which means the average temperature of the earth we all share and have to live on is warming. It should concern all of us regardless of party. It is not everyday citizens proclaiming it. It is trained scientist that are studying the earth and its atmosphere proclaiming that it is warming. Sticking ones finger outside in Minnesota won’t prove that it is or isn’t warming.

    • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/07/2018 - 02:27 pm.

      Why would it be good if Minnesota was a red state

      Tim Pawlenty was a Republican that put the state in debt to the tune of $6,000,000,000. I fail to see the good in that.

      Trump on the other hand add $1,400,000,000,000 to the US deficit when Republicans are self proclaimed deficit hawks. I don’t see the good in that.

      Trump is majorly messing with Minnesota soy bean and hog farmers livelihood with his trade war. The great negotiator doesn’t know what he is doing. I don’t see the good in that.

      I think you are going to find that neither Pawlenty or Paulsen will be supported the next time they run. I see the good in that.

      I do agree with you Pawlenty doesn’t stand a chance, change of course or not. We’ve already learned Pawlenty’s conservative principles don’t work. Republicans gave themselves the title of conservative and it is meaningless, just like Republican deficit hawk is a meaningless title.

  4. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 04/06/2018 - 04:24 pm.

    T-Paw shares something in common with Hillary Clinton. They are politicians that refuse to acknowledge their relevancy is past…time to stand aside.

    • Submitted by ian wade on 04/06/2018 - 09:52 pm.

      The only faction that talks about Clinton

      are Republicans. She’s living rent free in their heads.

      • Submitted by Howard Miller on 04/10/2018 - 05:02 pm.

        best quip of the …. ?

        thanks for that post – have a wide grin that has been absent all too often during this presidency! I promise to steal it without attribution, but confess it as someone else’s wordscape

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/06/2018 - 05:34 pm.

    Skilled Trades & SSP Roots

    Mr. Pawlenty, in regards to the skilled trades, do you support the right to collectively bargain for a better standard of living, current labor law which prohibits free riders who enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining but pay nothing for those benefits, as well as prevailing wage laws, which were initiated over 100 years ago by the Republican Kansas legislature as a regional economic development tool?

    When the state of Kansas eliminated it’s prevailing wage law, the costs of school construction dropped by only 2% (much less than had been promised), but compensation for the skilled trades dropped 30%. Further, as both wages and union density in Kansas trades plummeted, those skilled workers left the industry, a gap filled by unskilled workers. When accident rates and work comp insurance rates predictably shot up, the work comp laws changed to greatly reduce benefits. Instead of a reliable supply of skilled tradesmen and women, the jobs were held by those just passing through the industry. The trades were no longer careers that supported families. As union density dropped, apprenticeship programs dried up programs that were 100% privately funded. There was no longer a steady supply of skilled workers.

    Indiana made the same mistake just a few years ago. When the Wisconsin legislature was considering the same mistake, an Indian GOP legislative leader addressed his WI counter parts, he reported that Kentucky benefited from the elimination of prevailing wage (called common wage in IN). Local road projects were going to low wage KY contractors, and the local multiplier of public projects went out of state as well. The IN GOP leader said he was told that project costs would drop 20%, even though labor only comprises 20% of road projects, and not many people work for free.

    Mr. Pawlenty, how do you square your boosterism for the trades with the decade long GOP war on unions? As wages for the skilled trades drop as a result of anti-labor legislation in WI, Michigan, and Indiana, will you follow the same path? And how do you expect to attract young people to the trades when compensation is falling?

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/09/2018 - 10:53 am.


      …for the Kansas example regarding the prevailing wage law, which was new to me. Doing away with prevailing wage laws is as popular with those who like to call themselves “conservative” as the equally-pernicious “right to work” law, both of which do little except lower the standards, and standard of living, of people in the trades. If ever there was a state that serves as a living testimony to the intellectual bankruptcy of supply-side economics and Republican dogma, it’s Kansas.

  6. Submitted by Howard Schneider on 04/07/2018 - 01:51 am.

    Since you’re already at MinnPost, everybody should read:

    What Tim Pawlenty accomplished in five years as Wall Street’s man in Washington
    BY SAM BRODEY | 02/15/18

    – see link above. Explains a lot about Pawlenty should not be our governor.

  7. Submitted by John Webster on 04/07/2018 - 07:35 am.

    Building Trades

    It’s politically incorrect to say so in 2018, but the biggest reason that wages in the skilled trades haven’t kept pace – especially in construction – is the huge influx of illegal immigrants who willingly work for much lower wages. This impact is most obvious in residential roofing, which used to be a predominantly unionized job. A few years ago a retired roofer wrote a letter to the editor in the Star Tribune, which somehow made it past their PC censors. That roofer noted that up until the mid-1980’s, residential roofing paid around $26 (2018 inflation-adjusted) with excellent benefits. Illegal immigrants started showing up in the Twin Cities, and contractors started employing them at much lower wages, thereby undercutting union contractors, the vast majority of whom either started employing illegals or went out of business. Residential roofing was soon classified as a “job Americans won’t do”.

    This same dynamic has occurred in dozens of other blue-collar jobs, although not in journalism. This is the #1 reason why the execrable Trump is President: millions of formerly Democratic voters saw with their own eyes what illegal immigration had done to their economic prospects. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Barbara Jordan, even Barack Obama used to support blue-collar citizens before it became politically correct to label them as racists for being angry about being economically displaced or having their incomes reduced as a result of massive illegal immigration.

    • Submitted by Bill Willy on 04/07/2018 - 01:45 pm.

      It’s those sleazy illegal immigrants

      This new (but old as dirt) whopper of a Mass Talking Point is slick.

      Not accurate, not truthful, all but totally detached from reality, but simple enough for anyone with a third grade education to understand, “relate to,” have their general dissatisfaction explained and their related anger fueled by.

      About as overly simplistic as anything could be, but slick and, I guess, semi-effective (for now).

      Who knows? You may actually believe it yourself.

      “Are you short of money? Not being paid enough? Has your income and buying power been stagnant or moving backward for years? Having trouble paying your rent, your mortgage, your family’s health care insurance premiums, co-pays and medical bills? Having trouble paying your other, everyday bills, saving for retirement or taking a weekend off once in while?

      “It’s no wonder . . . Look at all the illegal immigrants in our country! There’s no doubt about it . . . Illegal immigration is the reason hard working Americans are having a hard time.”

      It was all those illegal immigrants who were working (80 hours a day for low pay) as air traffic controls who went on strike and were promptly fired by Saint Ronald in the 1980s (because of national security concerns, of course).

      It was illegal immigrants who decided to move their production and payroll-related activities to places like China and Bangladesh to cut costs, “increase productivity” and, of course, profits.

      It was illegal immigrants who decided to outsource every “call center,” every clerical, cheap software, etc., job possible to India and other places around the world where people had enough skill and spoke English well enough to “provide high quality customer service” (for $3.00 per hour or day or “app”).

      It was illegal immigrants who engineered the massive “transfer of income and wealth” from the “bottom” 90 percent of Americans to the “top” 10 percent and, especially, the top one-tenth of one percent, over the past 30+ years.

      And, of course, it’s all those illegal immigrants who are making all that money and hiding it in their “Paradise Papers” offshore personal and shell-corp accounts to get around having to pay millions, billions, trillions in American taxes.

      Yes yes yes. Illegal immigrants are to blame! It’s a national security issue! It MUST be stopped if hard working Americans are to stand a chance of having an economically successful life again!

      Yes yes yes. Ferret them out! Arrest and detain them! Make their lives as terrifying and hellish as possible and DEPORT them now! Send in the military! Stop them! THEY are to blame!

      And as soon as we’ve gotten that under control Americans will once again be making a minimum of $26, $32, maybe even $50 to $60 to who knows how much per hour . . . As soon as the national security and economic scourge of illegal immigration has been eradicated.

      Not that you are (I have no idea), but I find it “hugely ironic” that those who are such Strong Supporters of Totally Unfettered, Deregulated and Tax-Free Industry in America are the ones who keep making — or encouraging the acceptance and expression of — the outrageous, dishonest, hateful claim that it is “illegal immigrants” who are to blame for the 30+ year stagnation or decline of 90 percent of American’s economic well being.

      I won’t bore you with the mountain of empirical facts, data, statistics, but the only people who HAVEN’T suffered an erosion in their “buying power” and quality of life — since the Great Conservative Vision began being implemented in the 1980s — are the people who have OWNED and INVESTED in the businesses that MADE THE DECISION to send their factories and jobs overseas (while retaining their “American Corporate Citizenship” and “Legal Privileges,” of course) to make More and More and More Money for themselves and their sacred shareholders, everyone else in America be damned.

      And doing it all wrapped up in the American flag (to this day).

      But no no no no. Those great Americans had nothing to do with the average American’s financial (and other, related) struggles.

      No no no . . . It was (massive) illegal immigration.

      Isn’t it amazing how cunning, organized and powerful those people are?

      Last I heard, there were somewhere around 320,000,000 million people living in America.

      10 percent of those people (32,000,000) possess 90 percent of America’s wealth while the other 288,000,000 Americans possess 10 percent of it.

      Last I heard, there were somewhere around 11 million illegal immigrants slinking around America.

      Isn’t it amazing how the scheming and actions of just 11,000,000 people (without social security numbers, drivers licenses, “social standing” or “legitimacy,” etc.) could have had such an enormous impact on an 18 Trillion Dollar Economy and THAT many American’s financial lives?

      Thanks for the reminder of where the fault lies.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/08/2018 - 06:09 pm.


      I’ll cop to some progressive heresy here, and in the process likely lose a little street cred from some here on Minn Post, by partially agreeing with Mr. Webster. There was no shortage of gyp wall board tapers in MN when Mexican immigrants began to enter that industry. On balance, I support an immigration policy that is fair and humane, consistent with my Christian family values. No sovereign nation must have open boarders and accept all comers.

      That said, the elimination of prevailing wage laws in many states the last two decades (or so) has lowered wages in the trades. It sends local tax dollars out of state, harming local economies. But for some, union busting is more important. There are many contractors in the four states that surround MN that would love to see us ditch our prevailing wage law.

      Finally, I want to say I appreciate Mr. Webster’s contributions in the comment sections. I hope he continues to post in the future.

      • Submitted by chuck holtman on 04/09/2018 - 11:03 am.

        Not sure what you’re proclaiming is progressive heresy.

        I hope it’s not your rejection of “open borders.” No one favors “open borders,” that’s just another bit of tendentious framing from the Right. Every society has the right and imperative to manage immigration to prevent instability and ensure continuity of its norms and culture. Progressives, as always, are reality-based and seek an optimal level of immigration that recognizes these needs and balances them against the vitality that immigration contributes to a society as well as the humanitarian need to provide a place of refuge pursuant to particular criteria (the progressive also recognizes the role of U.S. policy in creating the instability in other societies that drives emigration to our borders). The point (which Mr. Willy makes quite strongly) is that the effect of illegal immigration on the economic circumstances of those who rail against immigrants is noise compared to the effect of those who control the flow of capital.

        • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/09/2018 - 12:56 pm.

          My Heresy

          Is not about open borders, it is that some Americans may have been economically disadvantaged by undocumented immigrants from Mexico. Similar to the way some economists have conceded that unskilled factory labor was hurt by NAFTA to a greater degree than they had anticipated, I believe that immigration is on the whole good and necessary. But that does not mean that there have been bumps in the road. Many progressives are unwilling to concede such.

          To blame a loss of wage income primarily on immigrants rather than squarely at the feet of ALEC inspired union busting is wrong at best, and bigoted at worst. (That some may make such remarks through bigotry is no reflection on Mr. Webster, by whom I’ll assume the best of intentions, having absolutely no reason to believe otherwise.)

          • Submitted by chuck holtman on 04/10/2018 - 09:18 am.


            Though I still think you shouldn’t worry about being chased by a mob of progressives with torches and pitchforks. Progressive policymaking isn’t about ideology or absolutes, it’s about facts, complexity, optimizing and creating incentives for people in a society to be moral, responsible, informed and cooperative so there is social progress over time.

    • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 04/09/2018 - 02:18 pm.

      What else happened in the 80s John?

      Ronald Reagan happened, he killed off the Air Traffic Controllers Union and kicked the Republican Anti-Union adgenda into high gear. Its the decline in Union participation that’s driving down wages, its not undocumented workers. The union did a good job of keeping undocumented workers off jobsites because joining the union required documentation. The decline in wages, decline in union participation and the increase in undocumented workers are all tied together and its Republicans to blame. They’re killing off the Unions, driving down wages and telling folks like John that it all the fault of “illegals.” So far its working for them. Wake up Dude your being used.

  8. Submitted by jim hughes on 04/07/2018 - 11:16 am.

    tough year

    This could be a tough year to run as a Trump apologist. Especially one who previously acknowledged that Trump is “unhinged” and “unfit”.

    Pawlenty obviously wants to start positioning himself for another run at the Presidency in 2020, and between now and then will engage in a lot of highly convoluted and carefully contrived waffling on exactly what he thinks about Trump.

  9. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/09/2018 - 10:59 am.

    Timing is everything

    …and Mr. Pawlenty’s timing is not especially good. Particularly in an election year when Washington lobbyists are not seen in a favorable light by a sizable portion of the public, Pawlenty’s list of accomplishments is not likely to generate a lot of enthusiasm among the grass roots. Toss in the multi-billion dollar deficit he left behind for Mark Dayton and the DFL to fix, previous statements about the Current Occupant’s lack of fitness for office – the same Current Occupant whose few policy initiatives Pawlenty now embraces – and the odds against him increase dramatically. What he’s offering is something I’m not inclined to buy.

  10. Submitted by Brian Simon on 04/09/2018 - 12:26 pm.

    Who are his base?

    Does Pawlenty have a natural base in MN any more? I read a piece on an online MN conservative site (Alpha MN) that tore him to shreds. I doubt he has a path to the nomination, much less the governorship.

    • Submitted by ian wade on 04/09/2018 - 01:24 pm.

      Although I agree with your premise,

      I wouldn’t put too much stock in the opinion of a guy who also wrote a piece in that same “conservative site” on the horrors of diversity and asking why he didn’t see any lawn signs “wishing our Christian neighbors a Happy Easter.” After scanning the rest of the content, I would think that to their readership, anyone to the left of Donald Trump would be deemed a Marxist.

  11. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/09/2018 - 12:30 pm.

    Poor TPAW

    All those nice, middle of the road, electable words and if were not for his actual record he would be looking fine right now.

    The most significant, impactful, important job he will ever had or have was as Governor of our state. He simply threw away 6 of 8 years because someone whispered “Presidential Timber” in his ear and it was all over for our state as a priority.

    I’m reminded of his 2006 planned arctic tour with Will Steiger that was cancelled because it would have forced him to deal with, well, I guess, an inconvenient truth…

  12. Submitted by Bob Johnson on 04/10/2018 - 01:52 pm.

    Hit the Paws button, Timmeh

    Just one statement for Tim…
    ‘Living With Less in the Land of Pawlenty’

  13. Submitted by Howard Miller on 04/10/2018 - 05:05 pm.

    Tax returns?

    Life after public service has been good to Tim Pawlenty income-wise, based on scant reports. Will Tim Pawlenty release his tax returns for the time between when he was governor and this year?

    I don’t suspect a thing wrong – but people ought know what economic frame of reference Mr. Pawlenty uses lately as he considers public policy. And it would set him apart from the nominal “leader” of his political party, in a good direction.

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