ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty inserted himself into the 2011 shutdown debate twice in the last six days.

First, an airport press conference denying responsibility for the $5 billion budget deficit which state lawmakers are fighting.

And second, a new television ad in Iowa in Pawlenty’s 2012 bid for President.

But it re-writes the history of a 2005 state shutdown under his watch.

“Minnesota government shut down,” said the ad, showing images of protests and tax hike newspaper headlines. “Why? Because Tim Pawlenty would not accept Democrats’ massive tax and spending demands. Result? Pawlenty won.”    

 That’s actually a distortion of what really happened.

Minnesota’s nine day shutdown in 2005 ended when Republican Gov. Pawlenty proposed a tax increase. It was on cigarettes, just as DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is doing now.

Pawlenty proposed a new 75 cent tax on every pack of cigarettes, closing the deficit and ending the shutdown.

Part of the deal was to write the new tax into law as a ‘health impact fee,’ not a tax. And Pawlenty warned critics not to use it for political reasons.

“Given what the state’s been through, anybody who tries to spin this as a partisan victory should be ashamed of himself or herself,” a relieved governor said on the night the unprecedented shutdown ended.

“It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t efficient. But it was democracy with all of its warts and all of its demands.”

Pat Kessler

Comments (21)
  1. 42 says:

    Who is Pawlenyt?

  2. Looking for Leaders says:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    All federal and state elected officials swear an oath to support/protect the constitution.

    Why is it that we are in a race for the bottom?

  3. lenzy1000 says:

    I guess this means under Pawlenty’s standards, Dayton is a strong leader as well. He is proposing the same thing. I knew this fool’s words would soon come back to bite him in the rear.

    1. Kathy says:

      To Lenzy 1000

      By that same comparison, it can be said that Dayton is no different from Pawlenty, who compromised the mental health of many peoplel who smoke to relieve a higher level of anxiety.

      All studies reveal this as being true.

      In a few short months, we are given an opportunity to learn much about the man that many of us voted for. I keep saying… they are working together on every issue with the same goals in plot.

      One concentrated effort to know what the budget represents in terms of where and who the money will be used for, is a telling of the entire picture which indicates a greater control.

      Surely, Governor Dayton has nothing personal to gain. With the empire of wealth that could not be spent in his lifetime, his actions are motivated by another force.

      So, we can talk about this until we’re blue in the face, but until people take steps to establish the problem and make changes by their own initiative, we are part of the problem.

  4. What??? says:

    “Pawlenty proposed a new 75 cent tax on every pack of cigarettes”…”Part of the deal was to write the new tax into law as a health impact fee” that is the TPaw we all know and loath. Not a tax when he talks to the public, but a tax when he talks to his fellow spinsters. Does this mean I am more of a patriot as I smoke and pay taxes at the end of the year?

  5. Jake says:

    So this shutdown is a result of a FORMER Governor? I thought that I had heard it all before, but this is a new low in Minnesota political reporting. We have a new governor, and a much different legislature, I don’t recall any emails from Pawlenty saying that he is still in charge and responsible for the current shutdown, or telling our current elected representatives what to do. Any evidence that that is occurring?

    1. Laura B says:

      there was a shutdown under Pawlenty’s watch too, sleuth.

    2. nam says:

      Dayton took office 1/3/11. Are you seriously blaming the FIVE BILLION DOLLAR deficit on his six months in office? Wow – that IS impressive.

      1. Phid says:

        I think the shutdown is more the result of an inability to get things situated with the legislature than the existence of a deficit.

        1. nam says:

          but what caused the $5B deficit? great policy? great budget management?

        2. rokkitman says:

          ‘scuse me? Governor Dayton has already cut $3.4 billion out of the $5 billion Pawlenty deficit. But for the mess ex-Gov Pawlenty left us, that would give us a surplus. Work on your math skills, will ya?

    3. Paul Solinger says:

      They’re talking about the 2005 shutdown, Jake.

  6. Lori says:

    I say if the State is going to be shut down. Dont just leave bits and pieces running. Its all critical. Shut down everything, so people get a real taste of it!

    1. ME says:

      Shut it all down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Mark from Minnesota TAX Waste says:

    Simply put, the worst story WCCO has wriitten. Distort the facts, put a political spin on it, lie so WCCO looks good. Pat Kessler is so far Left you cant call him a fair reporter!!

    1. MET says:

      Were you not around in 2005??? Whether Mr. Kessler is right or left, he reported it like it happened!!!!

    2. The Reality Based Dave says:

      Yup. Using Pawlentys’ quotes talking about a government shutdown when Pawlrnty was governor is a left-wing plot to make ‘CCO look good.
      Go back to your own universe. I hear Glen Beck still wants to sell you some gold & tell you some truthiness.

    3. lenzy1000 says:

      “I admit it — the liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures.” – Bill Kristol 1995 – lol

  8. Luther says:

    Left or right it DOESN’T MATTER! The Tea Party has turned the Republican Party into a “my way or the highway ” faction. Fine. I don’t like paying taxes either. Cut all waste and things we don’t need. But the money has to come from somewhere.

  9. worryfree says:

    You shut it all down types want to suggest what we do with the Veterans in our vets homes or the prisoners in our prisons? Any genius ideas???

  10. Murph says:

    The GOP plan is to make everyone but the rich suffer.Then hope Obama gets more blame than they do! But.. as everyone should surely see by now.The GOP has overplayed their hand.The partyof no,the fake death panels, the birth certificate! Bush’s war,Bush’s depression,Bush’s lack of financial over sight and dimwittedness will all be forgotten as they ride their big elephant to the rescue! NOT. It is just another trick to get more time to divest the lowly 98% to enrich the super rich 2%! Anyone who believes otherwise is hopelessly dumb or brainwashed by an Austrailian billionaire who owns FOX! The pole dancing with blackboard was just incredibly obnoxious! Which means Pawlenty could take Glenn Beck’s old spot!