DES MOINES, Iowa (WCCO) — A staffer for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was arrested in Iowa Wednesday morning for public intoxication and trespassing.

Ben Foster, 24, was found on the back doorstep of a home in Ankeny early Wednesday.

He was discovered behind the home when a 15-year-old girl inside heard her dog barking. She went to investigate.

“His arm was in my back door, trying to get in and I screamed and went upstairs to my parents’ room and I continued screaming,” Chloe Steward told KCCI.

Chloe’s father got his gun and her mom called 911. Stacy Steward said the man appeared very drunk.

“The guy was still trying to come in and my husband had gun on him,” she said.

The Steward family said that, in addition to scaring their daughter, Foster also vomited in their backyard.

Police came and arrested Foster and booked him into Polk County Jail pending public intoxication and trespassing charges. He was released a few hours later on $600 bail.

Foster had been a member of the exploratory committee for Tim Pawlenty’s 2012 presidential bid.

“Pawlenty is extremely disappointed in Ben’s actions and his behavior does not meet the standards he expects of his employees,” read a statement released by the exploratory committee.

Foster was placed on a two-week unpaid suspension by the committee.

He issued a statement apologizing for the incident, saying “I made a very serious mistake. I take full responsibility for my actions. I want to apologize to all affected by my poor judgment. I especially apologize to the people who were disturbed during the incident and the arresting officers. I give my word that it will never happen again.”

Prof. Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey Institute said the incident presents a distraction for a campaign that is trying to gain some traction.

“First Michele Bachmann jumps out of nowhere and steals his thunder and now his staffer is going ‘Animal House’ on him,” he said.

Comments (19)
  1. Tea Says Drink more! says:

    Wow…..I guess…when in Iowa…it’s better to be drunk than sober…..

  2. Patriot says:

    As much as i dislike Pawlenty, this should not be a reflection on him at all. I never was a fan of the guilt by connections/association game.

    I hope this guy gets the help he needs

    1. Randy says:

      Your right about the connection. Pawenty stands out alone without any help as the liar governor who never raised taxes but double talked the fee’s He couldn’t run a state so running the country is not in his future

    2. jimmy says:

      I’m guessing that Pawlenty sent him out to bring Pawlenty a girl.

  3. Mike says:

    I would get drunk if I had to work for Pawlenty too…..

  4. Ben says:

    Ok, I’m in Iowa trying to get things up and running for TPaw. Can’t drink that kool-aid anymore, better to drink and puke. Michelle B. and her tea-baggers will wreck our TPaw for Prez party anyhow, once again better to drink. Wish I was in WI.

  5. Tad G says:

    No fan of T-Paw here either but come on ‘cco – why use Pawlenty as the lead WORD ????
    Like I said – no fan of his but cease the bs and change the healine if you want to appear to have integrty. Jus my .02 and I am stickin’ to it. 😉

  6. merks says:

    obama hires tax cheats and 9/11 truthers so this is kind of low on the totem pole!

    1. WHAT????? says:

      Well if you are going to subscribe to the stupidity of conspiracy then what is your take on 9/11? Did Bush and Chaney do it? Just like a republican though, things are not going my way so I am going to cry and throw out outrageous statements to settle down my temper tantrum. No accountability, just trying the magic act, no look at this hand, that hand over there is not doing anything.
      So the GOP can do no wrong huh? Why is it a GOP gets caught doing something stupid (like at the last GOP convention under Michael Steele where people were taken to strip clubs on the tax payers dollar) and this is nothing but a Dem trying to set them up? On the other hand, when a Dem does something stupid any person that has ever had anything to do with the GOP cries for them to be impeached? What a bunch of babies you are (do not get me wrong, not all are but at least 90%).
      I agree that this should not be tied into T Paw as this is not something he would have been able to do anything about, but this is the game they play and this is how the media works no matter what side of the isle you are on.
      Last thing is please keep all your stupid “what a liberal” comments to yourself as there are more than Repubs and Liberals and the sooner you realize that there are more parties and just because we do not agree with you does not mean we are liberal, that just means you are an idiot and we do not want to be affiliated with you.
      Last thing is please keep all your stupid “what a liberal” comments to yourself as there are more than Repubs and Liberals and the sooner you realize that the faster people may be able to see eye to eye.

  7. Jack says:

    Everyones’s a winner!

  8. Luke says:

    Great story WCCO. You guys are so good at the news. Just anything to bring the republican party down. Is Pat Kessler going to interview the family? Keep up the great work?

  9. kristie60 says:


  10. John doe says:

    So Obama is a tax cheat for having Gietner being on his team? According to your standards? Maybe he’s a pimp for Acorn supporting his election!!!

  11. HELPER says:

    What can you say…Birds of a Feather….You know the ending…

    T-Paw is 0ne-and-Done as they say…

  12. last call says:

    there should be a limit to how much pawlenty and his crew drinks while on the job he really wanted that girl though huh

  13. Murph says:

    Tim Pawlenty only attacks the poorest,most sick ,disabled and elderly people! This guy broke his rules and should be chastized severely by the GOP.It’s too early in their plans to attack those who can defend themselves.That comes later!

  14. Dean says:

    WCCO, it’s a shame that you use those call letters! You used to be the real sight and sound of Minnesota. Talented people like Don Shelby, Dave Moore, Roger Erickson, Jergan Nash, Howard Viking etc are gone and so is the talent and entertainment. Time for a management change and a change of the news anchors.

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