How would you grade the performance of the Legislature and the governor in the 2010 session?

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has called the Legislature into special session to deal with the state budget crisis. Today’s Question: How would you grade the performance of the Legislature and the governor in the 2010 session?

  • dmox

    As a newly arrived Minnesotan, from Arizona, I can only offer you the contrast to my home state. We had a similar budget shortfall in AZ. The legislature & governor were in the same party, and still, they acted like babies, threw public tantrums, turned their backs on constituencies, threw out babies with bathwater, and after raiding all “liberal” causes such as arts funding, education & welfare, cast aside the budget (which went 9 months into the next fiscal year if I remember correctly) and began “rebuilding consensus” in their own party by designing & pushing through legislation like the new Immigration bill that’s been so controversial.

    By and large, while I have my differences with some of the measures cut here in MN, I have to tell you all, that I admire your willingness to work with each other, remain cordial, & to be accountable to the people by, at the very least, finishing on time to avoid any gov’t shutdown.

    You may not have the perfect budget, but you have it a hellova lot better than many other states!

  • Jeff

    I have to vote for each separately as the Governor has long been an obstructionist eliteist pontificator whose self-serving policy has never truly reflected main-stream Minnesota values and vision. He squarely gets a solid D- (and that is generous).

    The legislature has unfortunately echoed the National Legislative branch and become far too firmly entrenched in bi-polar partisanship. Partisanship is good, but entrenchments and “If I can’t have it my way, I won’t participate” does no-one any real good in this country. The Legislature gets a marginally better C+

  • Gary F

    Seeing what’s happening in California, New Jersey, and other “big government” states, we got it done.

    Seeing what’s happening in Europe right now, I hope out state legislators realize that “big government” is not the answer. We don’t need to be more like Europe.

    I do wish there were more reforms on how we do things. But of course, they didn’t.

  • Wm Minnihan

    Personally I’m fed up with the current situation in both our state and federal govts. The Republican chant about how we can not raise taxes yet we can still spend billions of dollars on wars makes absolutely no sense as I watch my property taxes go up on property that has less value. Meanwhile the Democrats and the concept of a transparent legislative process are making deals behind closed doors in order to pass a healthcare bill that still does not fix the majority of the problems with the existing system. If I could address the people in all the federal, state and local positions at the same time I would remind them that they are working for the people not for their own parties or objectives. Can we start by putting an end to lobbying with money a.k.a bribery? And then follow up by removing the “general fund” If the politicians had to procure their retirement and healthcare funds, along with whatever other perks this provides, maybe finding solutions to these problems would be more achievable

  • bab

    I am impressed with the legislature’s ability to find compromise with an uncompromising governor. It takes a real understanding of the inner workings of government to get to where they did. A balanced budget and some policy improvements in the current economic climate is amazing.

  • Deb

    Gov Pawlenty is NO leader; as previously stated he is an obstructionist. He get a F. He has done NOTHING to improve the lives of people of the State of Minnesota.

    The legislature. Am going to give each party a grade. The GOP gets a D…for they only do what the Governor tells them to…they walk lock step with GOP ‘leadership’. The DF-L gets a B-. They tried, yet most have not taken the leadership. There have been some

    DF-Lers that have called out the Governor for his poor leadership.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Excellent performances! Oscar material all around! Especially moving was Tim Pawlenty’s performance in the role of Stubborn Ideologue. At times it seemed as if he actually believed his rhetoric. He recieved much help in that role by the Legislature, which was very effective in giving Pawlenty lots of things to be stubborn about.

  • Clark

    Govenor gets an A+ and legislature an F-. As a wagon puller I am sick and tired of all the worthless unions and other low income give me something for nothing to simply demand the far left DFL to increase taxes. It won’t work, it never works. Look at California and New Jersey. Great job Tim.

  • Dan

    Governor Pawlenty gets an A+ for his determination to stop the DFL from wasting our money.

  • Charlotte Wasiluk

    I agree with other comments to this page. Gov. Pawlenty was extremely uncooperative with the majorities in the House and Senate. Making them wait for days while he obstructs any progress. He gets a very bad mark from me.

  • Harlan

    legislature: F for caving to pawlenty

    pawlenty: if F is failing, what is Z———-?!?!?!?!?!????????

    pawlenty only cares about running for president, obviously not the people of the state of Minnesota.

    Pawlenty is not a leader, he IS a THUG!!!

  • bsimon

    atrocious. What’s below failing? I’d hold them back, but don’t want the same cast of characters next time around, so maybe we’re stuck with social promotion.

  • Arthur

    The session was a major victory for Republican ideology. Government failed, except for Pawlenty’s exhibition of his skills as dictator. I fear for my state and country.

  • Ken

    Gov. Grover Norquist Pawlenty has succeeded in holding the state’s head underwater in the bathtub, and his Republican minorities in the Legislature have abetted his actions. Unless something changes for the better in the November election, another GOP governor will finish off our once-proud and vibrant state.

    Shame on the governor for sacrificing public service for his personal presidential ambitions. He should have taken a lesson from what David Cameron, Conservative Party leader in the UK, just did in forming a coalition (compromise) government for the greater good.

    Grades: F to the Governor if you care about Minnesota.

    F to the legislative GOP.

    C to the legislative DFL for trying to get a balanced approach to state budgeting.

  • Donna B

    Legislature: C- Borrowing from the schools may solves the current problem but leaves future government in an even bigger financial hole. However, it is difficult to negotiate with someone who thinks negotiation is saying ‘no’ repeatedly.

    Governor: F- Totally immoral to put his future political goals before the financial health of the state.

  • Joe Schaedler

    I give Gov Pawlenty a hard F (again) for his extremist tax-bashing crusade that amounts to effective cannibalism of the society that the Minnesotan people have worked generations to create. Tim Pawlenty is a cannibal of society.

    I give the Legislature a C for its inability to overcome the governor’s grievous philosophy of mismanagement with a united alternative plan for running the state. They tried, but couldn’t get enough solidarity.

  • Jo Ann hendricks

    Did we have a governor in MN? I thought we had someone who just traveled and just said “No” all the time to everything. You certainly could not call him visionary or proactive. Feet in concrete perhaps. No programs, no leadership. No plans to move the state forward. And the legislature couldn’t get their act together to move around him! They get an A for effort but an C- for results. The governor gets a no-show. He dropped out.

  • Carrie

    I would give Gov. Pawlenty an F. One of the worst governors this state has ever had. Who would want to be governor after him and try to dig us out of the hole he helped create? Everything was put down the road.Lord help us if Emmer gets elected. We needed a revenue increase along with the major cuts that needed to be made to balance the budget. Once again the very rich continue to not have to pay their fair share.

    I’d give the legislature a C. The DFL controlled legislature tried to present common sense budget solutions but they don’t have a veto proof majority.

  • Dave DeBace

    I would give them a F. They solved nothing. Nothing but empty words. Next year we will be hearing about cutting the Homestead credit and paying back back nothing.

  • James

    B for Tim. Mostly for holding the line on taxes.

    F for the legislature for not cutting when and where needed.

    We face some VERY difficult financial times, Tightening the belt means cutting spending… I learned that in Econ 101. “Yes we can” raise taxes, however this will lead to business as usual for the government. This is NOT business as usual. With the unemployment rate at 8.2% (actually closer to double that) and groceries and fuel at record highs we need to be responsible booth in government and personal finance.

    DTOM

  • Karen

    I’d give the governor an F. Leadership involves more than blocking efforts of a legislature.

  • Dan

    F for Pawlenty, only because that’s as low as the scale goes.

    C- for the legislature for not holding the governor responsible.

    This entire mess is on Pawlenty. Until the income tax disparity is addressed we will continue to have these problems.

  • Chris

    Pawlenty is absolutely terrible (F grade)! He only cares about himself and it makes me sick. I can’t wait for Pawlenty part II aka Emmer.

    The DFL led legislature is typical..SPINELESS (F grade). They always cave to the spoiled brats on the right. Boy I am sure glad they took Pawlenty to court over his unallotment. After it was ruled unconstitutional they turn around and ratify it. That isn’t leadership, just pathetic. Nice work Margret!

    When are we/they going to realize that this “new” deal IS business as usual. Remember that this usual business doesn’t work?? Unreal!

  • David

    As an educator, I would have to grade their work as a group, since they were all working towards the same goal (addressing the budget shortfall) and they have to work together. I would give them a solid C, reduced to a D for turning in their work late. Aspects of group work that I emphasize with my students are the need for someone to serve as the leader (that didn’t happen), for clear and open communication (that didn’t happen), and for setting and meeting deadlines for contribution of work (that didn’t happen either). As a result, the weak product is not all that surprising.

  • Paul

    C+ for the legislature…they tried, but in our governor strong system, what can they do when the Pawlenty won’t compromise. But they still need to take a stand for Minnesota values of good education and good government.

    F- for Pawlenty as the worst governor in the state’s history. Had he made small compromises with the legislature these past years, Minnesota could have better weathered this economic storm (like in past decades). By simply accounting for inflation in budgeting and increasing taxes a tiny fraction on the rich, we would be in solid shape. Instead, we are all victim to his ridiculous ideology.

  • Douglas Overland

    A grade of F for the Gov is really too kind. This Gov is certainly the worst I have ever experienced in my lifetime (76years). What puzzles me is the support that he has among minnesotans. What does this say for our future? Is this the end of the right’s control or will the next Gov only be worse?

  • don

    I would give the governor a B for holding the line on spending and not raising taxes in a bad economy which was brought upon us by both major political parties.

    I would give the house and senate each an F. Do they know nothing other than tax and spend?

  • Gwen

    F for the governor, again. He has not negotiated w/ the legislature in 8 years and has driven us into a fiscal black hole. Smoke and mirrors have been a hallmark of the budgets he has forced on the state from the outset. The legislature is helpless if the gov. will not negotiate and the minority party is composed of robots. B- for DFL leadership. They have proved incapable of explaining to the public what this man has done to the quality of life in Minnesota in the last 8 years.

  • Brian Duren

    I would give Pawlenty an F–not just for this budget session, but for every one of the past eight years.

    We have had four years of a libertarian governor, and eight years of an extreme right-wing Republican governor, and the result is an unmitigated disaster. Roads and bridges falling apart; schools, woefully underfunded, with over forty students in many classrooms; higher education underfunded at a time when we need those institutions more than ever before; property taxes going up; the middle class shrinking, the wealthy getting much wealthier, and an ever-increasing percentage of Minnesotans living in poverty; and the assistance provided by state to its most vulnerable citizens greatly diminished. What is there to boast about here? Again, if there is any one name that should be tagged to this disaster, it is Pawlenty.

    The sole beneficiaries of Pawlenty’s policies are the greediest among the wealthiest Minnesotans. It’s easy to see why the Swift Boat Veterans for Character Assassination came into this state in 2006 and spent over a million dollars ($500,000 of that from a rich Texan) during the last week of the gubernatorial campaign to get him elected.

    Pawlenty and his right-wing cohorts are committed to the idea that society should be built on greed. They utterly reject the concept of the common good, the notion that the wealthy should give back to society, and the progressive income tax. If we don’t turn this state in a new direction, it’s finished as a decent place to live.

  • Gary F

    Why don’t you belly achers run someone better for governor?

    Geeze, Arne Carlson was you last big time liberal.

    “E-85? What is this, Quizbowl?”

  • Luke Van Santen

    Governor – D- for pushing (yet again) the problem down the road so the “job-creators” can benefit now…

    Legislature – C- for for taking so long to do anything and then not being able to do anything. At least they tried to come up with a solution that addressed the issue though.

    Please run the State, folks – we elected you to do that, not play political games…

  • Rex Hamann

    Pawlenty gets an A for his success playing sleazy political games and an F for leadership. A leader acts in a professional way, bringing both sides to the table to work on multi-pronged approaches to problem solving. Sure he held the line on taxes, it was easy to do with the Bush tax cuts. What he didn’t hold the line on was joblessness and the sinking of this state’s reputation as a state which values education and values the potential of people. Taxes are lower than they’ve been in 50 years, and what are we getting out of it? You keep the taxes low and do everything you can think of to promote a postive enviroment for business investment and business will still shaft you by leaving, then blaming their departure on a poor economy or liberal policies.

  • Jeff F.

    Ask the average Minnesota citizen if they feel they are better off after 8 years of a governor who avoided the equally tough decision of adding straight forward honest revenue to the resolution. Pawlenty took the easy route of saying no new taxes all the while this tactic led to the largest increase in property taxes in recent history. He cannot truthfully claim that he had no hand in raising taxes because of this. Add to that his blatant attacks on the most vulnerable, disadvantaged borders on elitist, bigoted and homophobic. The latest disgrace was his veto of the bill establishing end of life protections for same sex partners.

    The legislature was not much better by allowing Pawlenty’s mean spirited, callous actions stand without doing what was right and finding a way to override. Final grade: Pawlenty gets a huge F minus, the legislature gets an incomplete.

  • Wisesooth

    I think that we are grading the wrong people. We should be grading ourselves as well. I give us an overall D. We want to spend everyone elses money for our benefit. We like our public perks to be built by government funding so long as someone else pays for most of it. We do not bother to define the real source of our problems . . . us! We assign ownership of our problems to a government that is not equipped or even chartered to solve them. We elect our officials that run our government, and then subject them to volley after volley of libel, insults, and defamation of character that we would never tolerate ourselves. Human nature requires separation of power to achieve a blalance of power that avoids power corruption. If we lose balance of power, the government no longer serves the people.

  • Owen Strand

    A qualified B for Pawlenty who talked more about restraining or reducing government than actually doing it. He still seems to be willing to allow government spending. Education is one example.

    The Legislature gets a D for mostly self-serving activities that are standard for politicians.

    I had to read all the way to the comment by Wisesooth at 11:39 AM who said we are the ones who should be graded to find a really pertinent comment.

    Not only do we expect too much from government, but we relegate too much power and control to government.

  • Bryan

    An F is way too high of a grade for the Governor-I finally had to just shut the radio off after listening to him say nothing but the same right wing, mean spirited garbage. . Legislature C for not standing up to the governor more. Money is tight, no doubt, but how about EVERYONE doing their part to help. All that has happened with the “No Taxes” issue is the wealthy have been taken care of, the middle and lower class suffer. Poorly funded schools — who cares, the wealthy can send the kids to Private School. Poorly funded Public Transporation — who cares, the wealthy can afford cars/gas/insurance. Poorly funded public health care — who cares the wealthy can afford insurance. The middle and lower class have done all the ‘giving’ to fix the budget woes…we dont even have to talk about higher taxed for the weathly, how about the weatlhy just pay the same percentage as the rest of us?

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    I would give the governor a “D”, mostly for his unwillingness to compromise with the legislature, and for passing off the tough decisions facing this state to future legislative sessions.

    Pawlenty is no longer a politician who puts Minnesota first, but rather, makes himself more agreeable with southern-style conservatives seeking national office.

    I would also give the legislature “D” for its unwillingness to reform the qualifications for receiving government entitlements, a problem that is getting worse and worse at both the federal and state levels.

  • Sue de Nim

    One thing I’m convinced of: if His Obstinacy the Governor is pleased with the outcome of this legislative session, it’s a safe bet that most Minnesotans won’t be.

  • EAL

    In general, Minnesotans are up in arms about Wall Street greed yet ignore the same seeds of greed within the state. In addition, legislatures for years have made Minnesota unfriendly to businesses required to generate revenue for the “musts” not wants required to run the state. A “D” is appropriate for the legislators. Leadership is not a popularity contest which Governor Pawlenty understands. A “B+” is appropriate.

  • Tess Galati

    Governor Pawlenty’s behavior is a fair expression of his moral and ethical values. In every public statement he presents himself as angry, self-congratulatory and inevitably rude. He presented all these deplorable qualities today in his broadcast. He seemed to take credit for the iPhone, even, while blaming the Legislature for everything imaginable and insulting the blogger who keeps track of his absences from the state that he is purportedly governing. Contrast his uncouth-angry-guy behavior with that of President Obama, and you see immediately why the Republicans are falling apart across the country. As Lyndon Johnson said when he signed the anti-segragation legislation, “there goes the South.” The South he was speaking of is now called the Tea Party. I hope Pawlenty finds a home with the teabaggers, as he is seeking to find. That will ensure that we have heard the last of him.

  • jane

    I am very disappointed in our Legislators overall performance in these recessonary times….it seems to me they didn’t plan for the shortfall. Now some will suffer and it seems it will be our vulnerable citizens.

    One of the issues that we keep avading and the Legislation is too is that they live by projections. The problems we are facing because they have failed to move forward in the recession and find new and better ways to operate our State. It is time to move forward and reconsider our States finacial position. Yes we have an unbalanced tax situation. It is time to really look at our State and consider the Flate Tax Rate with limitted VA. No loop holes. I am disappointed that the legislauter and it lack of looking to the future to maintain the Qualltiy of Life we offer here in Our Minnesota!!!

  • Lisa

    D- to Pawlenty for how it affects Minnesota, especially our kids and education. A+ how it serves his political aspirations. C- to the legislature for actually being able to work more effectively amongst themselves but still being incapable of holding the Governor accountable to have good-faith negotiations.

  • Pat

    A+++++

    Just to read how he affects the

    Liberal crowd:-)

  • Jake R

    I must applaud the governor for sticking to his guns as well as his party line – “the party of NO.” Indeed, there was NO real compromise between the governor and the legislature. It is evident to me that the legislature made his unalottment decisions permanent because the DFL could not come up with any solutions that pleased his highness, Governor Pawlenty.

    I agree that it is necessary to make certain cuts in these tough times, but I also wholly support certain tax increases like the new high-income tax bracket and a previously proposed liquor/alcohol tax in order to solve the long-term budget issues.

    It infuriates me to no end to listen to Mister Pawlenty talk about what he has achieved when he has not compromised with the individuals who are doing their best to represent their constituents – the taxpayers of Minnesota.

    Good riddance to Governor Pawlenty; I give him a D for ignoring the Minnesota voters in his potential bid for the White House. The legislature gets a C overall, while I give the House Speaker an F for conceding to the Governor’s wishes .

    My vote for governor will likely go to an independent candidate who is willing to compromise and include new revenues as well as appropriate cuts to the budget.

  • Adam

    Pawlenty: F for being a tyrant

    Legislature: F for not standing up to him

  • Kristin

    I would give Governor Pawlenty and F and the rest of the legislature a B overall. The governor has done nothing this session to work with the legislature to get things done. It seems all he has done is obstruct progress and say no rather than being proactive and coming up with solutions.

  • Mary Sullivan

    The governor deserves an F for:

    Failing to compromise;

    Fleeing the capitol for the Fishing opener when he should have been working with the Legislature to Finalize the budget;

    Finding excuses to avoid raising taxes on the rich while raising property taxes on the middle class and pulling the safety net out from under the poorest citizens of the state; and for

    Flinging the “blame” for our deficit budget onto the DFL leaders in the legislature.

    The Legislature gets an A minus for:

    Always looking out for the people of Minnesota, but not always accomplishing this objective.

  • Ross

    The Governor’s performance. ZERO POINTS. He can’t follow directions, let alone complete an assignment, such as “Govern the State of Minnesota,” and “Balance the budget,” but instead set about “Running for President,” which was not part of the assignment. Zero. Zip. Nada.

    The Blue Dog Democrats. ZERO POINTS for impersonating someone who cares about the general welfare of the public and instead really just wanted to get elected in a blue district.

    Democratic voters, C- for voting said blue dogs into office.

    Republicans and fence sitters in the minority: ZERO POINTS for obstruction of laws that should have been in place 20 years ago or more, like the end of life rights for gay couples. Its outright bigotry.

    Speaker of the House: F – for not even trying to override the governor more than a couple of times. You will not get this educator’s vote for governor. How will you lead over this legislature as governor if you couldn’t even stand up to Pawlenty? Education Minnesota endorsed the wrong candidate.

    Liberal Democrats: C for continuing to be foolish enough to think that bi-partisanship is worth your time. Its not. The GOP started this behavior and they do not intend to stop. Fight fire with fire, please, and get the blue dogs to do the right thing or get out.

  • Marc

    Governor Pawlenty earned an F by following his ideology over Minnesota’s needs repeatedly during this session. From continuing to allow the richest Minnesotans to pay a lower effective tax rate than the middle class to turning way a $7 Federal match for each $1 of Minnesota spending on expanding Medicaid. All he wants to do is protect his rich supporters and run for President. Losing $750 million of Federal health care matching money while we are reducing payments to doctors, hospitals and nursing homes is inexcusable. Just think of the taxes we would have captured from that spending in Minnesota. The legislature barely did any better. The Republicans were partisan bots and the DFLers performed with minimal competence. They never were able to find a way to threaten the things that Pawlenty valued, of course he did not compromise, he had nothing on the table.

    We need legislative leaders who understand how the process works and how to use it. This group just follows the same playbook to defeat after defeat, they seem unable to learn.

    The tax recognition shift costs the districts real dollars. The result is not holding the line on education funding but a reduction in dollars for education. What is there to be proud of in balancing the budget on the backs of our children, the sick, the old and the elderly?

  • http://godisnot3guyscom-jeanette.blogspot.com/ Jeanette

    Pawlenty gets an F from me for vetoing income tax hikes for the very rich. He exploits the public’s failure to understand that blanket opposition to taxes actually raises taxes for the middle class and poor, besides depressing the entire economy. Pawlenty is smart enough to know this but refuses to budge from his intransigent position because he’s courting the far right in his campaign to be president.

    I would hate to have the job of Kelliher and other DFL lawmakers. I don’t see what they could’ve done differently.

  • JC

    Pawlenty’s goal (along with the goals of the Republican Party for the past 30 years since Ronnie Reagan was elected Pres.) has been to destroy the unions and the middle class in our country. T-Paw wants to turn Minnesota (by stages) into Texas, then into Mississippi, and then ultimately Haiti. During his past 8 years he has taken us far down that road. The gutless Democrats led by Spineless of the House, Margaret Kelliher have helped him out at every turn. It’s time we throw these gutless Democrats out of office at all levels and elect real Progressives who know that the only way we can save our country is to destroy the party of “give it all to the rich” —-the vicious, despicable GOP.

  • Jo

    I would definitely give Pawlenty an F. More obstructionism, grandstanding and refusal to compromise at all is not what we need in our state or our country. Pawlenty didn’t even accomplish anything as he pushed all the problems over to the next governor. The GOP legislators are mostly just Pawlenty clones so they get an F too. I was initially very disappointed in the DFL legislators for not fighting harder, but I realize that with Pawlenty being as obstinate as he is and the system stacked against them (much power to the governor) they can only do so much without making our state’s problems worse (government shutdown), so I will give them a C+. Hopefully our voters stay far away from the likes of Emmer, who would be even worse than Pawlenty. We need solutions not just more “no new taxes” pledges and resistance to compromise. We need a governor who will do what is best for the state and not put their party ideaolgy and their future political career ahead of Minnesotans.

  • Wayne

    Governor = D-

    Legislature = C+ for effort.

  • Doug

    Gov Pawlenty = F. Possibly could have been D- if not for lapsing into partisan rhetoric and the usual blame game about 12 seconds into his press conference today — after getting his own way!! Guardians Of Privilege legislature = F for mindless party line voting irrespective of pragmatism, fairness or who gets hurt. DFL legislature = C- for letting the Champions of Greed prevail and failing to convey an effective message. The “I’ve got mine ‘F’ everyone else” drumbeat is shameful and a slap in the face to all who sacrificed for the common good to build this country and once great state.

  • Lois

    Pawlenty may think he gets an A but the people losing jobs with this budget won’t agree with that. More nursing homes will close, even though he says they didn’t get cuts. More police positions will be lost. More teachers and schools will close. And therefore, less tax will be collected from the “working People,” who won’t be working.

    What Pawlenty and his supporters don’t seem to realize that if we want first class roads and schools and hospitals, ie better than most of the other states, we have to pay for them. That means paying taxes.

    If you want things to fall into disarray and education to go down. well then don’t pay for them.

  • jessica Sundheim

    I would vote, rally, donate, phone call and door knock for those who will raise taxes on the millionaires making millions to invest in education, healthcare, MN towns, and programs for low income workers – workers who’ve had their wages continuously cut over the last 40 years. I would support legislators who invest in people and businesses with innovations that will increase jobs (not just businesspeople who already make millions and might increase jobs). That is how I would, and WILL, grade the government. Not that it makes any difference. : (

    Anyone want to join me at the phone bank tomorrow night 6-9pm? Oh of course “Lost” is on. How could I forget?

  • John B

    Governor: F

    Legislature D-

    The governor was not crowned king, kaiser, czar, il duce, or fuhrer by the majority of Minnesotans. Remember, he was elected by a plurality; more than 50 % of Minnesotans didn’t vote for him. The politics of NO shown by both sides makes me long for the smoke-filled back rooms where real legislators who had the public’s interest at least marginally in mind brokered agreements that nobody really liked–they ended up being pretty good law, by and large.

    Lawyers who know how to compromise to get the best possible solution–everyone’s ox gets gored, but not fatally–are sorely missing from this legislature on both sides of the aisle. Shame on you all!

  • Al

    Pawlenty – F

    Have we ever had such a condescending jack*&# as governor? This tough guy talk down to everyone else at the table may play well with the Tea Party crowd, but last I checked the Tea Party made up a portion of the US population far short of the approximately 50% he will need to become president.

    Legislature – C

    Although it’s really hard to rate them given that they couldn’t do any actual negotiating.

  • Brent

    The legislature has been pussyfooting around Pawlenty, particularly the Republican representatives, because Pawlenty looks to be a 2012 presidential candidate. Scrapping bipartisan bills with incredible support because of the governor’s veto, opting to let the veto stand instead of challenging, is a sign of incredible weakness in our legislative body. In and of itself, the legislature has been reasonable. It has, however, allowed itself to be a rag doll to Pawlenty’s decisions.

    Pawlenty has been and continues to be a disappointment. Being as blind as Reagan due to ideology and so distant to Minnesota (and, by extension, Minnesotans), Pawlenty has managed to put himself and his political aspirations ahead of the needs of the state. I agree with Arne Carlson’s remark that Pawlenty has shirked his duty as governor. “Hard-headed” is not a virtue, especially when you are a governor. Moreover, an ideological refusal to consider tax increases does not make for any sort of bargaining, especially with the “compromise” of taking so much more money from our state’s education budget.

    T-Paw: when you next decide to cut the budget, consider cutting all funds for maintaining the governor’s mansion. It’s not like you live there anyway. At least that would be a symbol that you’re genuinely looking to cut waste instead of fostering it.

  • Douglas

    The Governor

    Deportment – does not play well with others

    Character – ideological, but not always with integrity

    Discipline – he would walk off a cliff rather than admit there was no bridge there

    Legislature

    Deportment – tend to form cliques that disrupt true prupose

    Character – tend to function best when under deadline

    Discipline – elected by and represent a wide range of positions. Doing the best they can.

  • suestuben

    I enjoy history, and thought about Pawlenty from that point of view. Shockingly, Mussolini came to mind immediately. I asked my brain ‘why?’ Well, Mussolini was a bombastic loudmouth who spent much time out of state kissing up to those in power hoping some would rub off on him. He cared little for his people and taxed and stole from them while the poorest among them lost educational opportunities, housing, healthcare, all while starving. The riches he took from them he spent to impress his rich and powerful friends, seeking to squirm his way into their good graces. He was a joke to them but they allowed him to enforce his unethical laws and demands so long as they grew richer without dirtying their hands.

    The comparison is obvious. Pawlenty has failed to work for Minnesotans and failed to earn his salary as he has been absent from the state more often than not. When he returns to the state, he confidently stands before the press to arrogantly dismiss the efforts of the legislature. He proudly denies services for the worse off amongst us while guaranteeing his rich friends that he will never raise their taxes. He has been unhelpful to Minnesota across the board. We are a lesser state because of him.

    As for the legislature, they have been afraid to exercise their power, perhaps because they are cowed by the govenor. Well, they were not elected to huddle quietly and discuss the problems for weeks at a time. They were elected to speak their minds and push forward legislation to move Minnesota toward a better future. Still, I will give them a C, primarily for the strong legislators who spoke up and worked exceedingly hard for their constiuents.

    Pawlenty gets and immoral F.

  • John Vaughn

    TPaw and his dance partners in the legislature get an INCOMPLETE. They waited until the last minute then stayed up all weekend, and still didn’t complete the work, although they insist they did.

    So, the whole state has to do the grade over.

    And, if you thought the homeroom teacher – Mr. Structural Deficit – was cranky this year, just wait for next.

  • Ron in OWAT

    I would say that the serious problem is with the citizens who elected these people. I think the jury is still out on that subject. If we allow our elected “servants” to act like most 5 year olds then we get the bad grade. This Nov. there will be many options for change and if we put the same people into office again, we can expect the same results, as history will show to be true. We have people on both sides of the political line that are very highly motivated to get re-elected and less about making the tough decisions.

    You have to make a choice, if you like what you saw then vote to have these same people serve you again. If however you would like some adults who act like adults and quit blaming the other side for the problems that we have make changes. We need new blood in those positions. You have to decide who gets elected and what your grade will be.

  • Sue de Nim

    The trouble with blaming the voters in this case, Ron, is that the voters didn’t actually elect Tim Pawlenty. He got less than a majority both times, which means most voters didn’t want him. What we really need is a reform of the election system.