Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty

Infobox Governor
name= Tim Pawlenty

caption= Governor Pawlenty at the Minnesota Governor's Residence in 2006.
office= Governor of Minnesota
term_start= January 6, 2003
lieutenant= Carol Molnau
predecessor= Jesse Ventura
order3 = Chairman of the National Governors Association
term_start3 = 2007
term_end3 = 2008
predecessor3 = Janet Napolitano
successor3 = Ed Rendell
birth_date= birth date and age |1960|11|27
birth_place= St. Paul, Minnesota
residence= Eagan, Minnesota
alma_mater= University of Minnesota
spouse= Mary Pawlenty
profession= Lawyer
party= Republican
religion= Evangelical Christiancite web|url=http://minnesotaindependent.com/view/vp-or-not-vp-a|title=VP or not VP: A Pawlenty pick leads McCain to 30 million evangelicals|author=Andy Birkey|publisher=Minnesota Independent|date=2008-06-10]

Timothy James Pawlenty (born November 27, 1960) is the 39th and current Governor of Minnesota and a member of the Republican Party. In the Minnesota gubernatorial election of 2002, as the Republican nominee, he was elected Governor of Minnesota and inaugurated on January 6, 2003. He was re-elected in 2006, and his second term will end on January 3, 2011.

Early years, education, and early career

Pawlenty was born on November 27, 1960, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and raised in nearby South St. Paul, one of five children of a milk truck driver and a housewife. [cite web|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/08/us/politics/08pawlenty.html|title=Pawlenty Looks to National Stage|author=By MONICA DAVEY|publisher=The New York Times|date=2008-08-07|accessdate=2008-08-09] When he was 16, his mother died of cancer. Pawlenty took to ice hockey and played on his high school's junior varsity squad. [cite web|url=http://www.citypages.com/2004-01-28/news/a-portrait-of-the-governor-as-a-young-weenie/|title=Grant Hart recalls his old classmate, Tim Pawlenty|author=Jim Walsh|date=2004-01-28|publisher=City Pages|accessdate=2008-08-09]

In 1983, Pawlenty received a B.A. degree in Political Science at the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts. [cite web|url=http://www.polisci.umn.edu/people/alumni.php|title=PoliSci Alumni|author=Political Science Dept of College of Liberal Arts|publisher=University of Minnesota|date=July 5, 2008] In 1986, he graduated with a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. [cite web|url=http://www.law.umn.edu/news/commencementday05-17-08.html|title=Empowered with a New Degree, Class of '08 Sets Forth - 120th Commencement Ceremony|publisher=University of Minnesota Law School|date=February 11, 2008] In law school, he met fellow student Mary Anderson and one year later they married, settling in Eagan, Minnesota.

As a practicing attorney, Pawlenty's first job was as a labor law attorney at the firm Rider Bennett, where he had interned during school.cite web|url=http://www3.washingtontimes.com/elections/candidate/436/|title=Tim Pawlenty (Rep)|date=2006-10-09|publisher=The Washington Times] Later he was Vice President for a Software-as-a-Service company [http://www.wizmo.com Wizmo Inc.] cite web|url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/2002-11-06-pawlenty_x.htm|title=His plans changed, but message didn't|date=2002-11-07|author=Tom Squitieri|publisher=USA TODAY]

Political career

City and state legislative positions

While living in Eagan, Pawlenty was appointed to the city's Planning Commission by then Mayor Vic Ellison.cite web|url=http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/09/08/3409/whats_next_for_tim_pawlenty|title=What's next for Tim Pawlenty?|date=2008-09-08|publisher=MinnPost|accessdate=2008-09-10] One year later in 1989, at the age of 28, he was elected to a term on the City Council.cite web|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/campaign2002/governor/pawlenty.shtml|title=MPR Campaign 2002|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio]

Pawlenty's start in state politics began as a campaign advisor for Jon Grunseth's 1990 losing bid for Minnesota governor. [cite video| people = Jon Grunseth, Tim Pawlenty|title= [http://www.tpt.org/aatc/videos/2008/02/19/twin_peaks Minnesota's Twin Peaks?] | medium = TV Series Almanac|publisher=Twin Cities Public Television|location=Minnesota| year2 = 2008] His connections to Grunseth's former wife, Vicky Tigwell, would later involve him in an ethics and accountability call with his private employment in 2003. [cite news|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/07/16_mccalluml_ethics/|title=DFLer slams "Grunseth groupies"|author=by Laura McCallum|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2003-07-16] [cite press release|url=http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/caucus/dem/MemberNews/2004/dist65/20030721_Pappas_Paw_Disclosure.htm|title=Legislators Call for Full and Complete Disclosure from Governor Pawlenty|publisher=MN State Legislature press release|author=State Senator Sandra L. Pappas|date=2003-07-21]

Pawlenty was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1992, winning 49 percent of the vote in District 38B (suburban Dakota County). He was re-elected five times and was chosen House Majority Leader when the Republicans became the majority party in the State Legislature in 1998.cite web|title=Legislators Past and Present|publisher=Minnesota Legislative Reference Library|url=http://www.leg.state.mn.us/legdb/fulldetail.asp?ID=10512|accessdate=2007-08-23] Independent Governor Jesse Ventura's tax cuts were a priority of Pawlenty's agenda.

2002 gubernatorial campaign

Pawlenty initially wanted to run for governor in 2002, but party leaders made it clear that they favored businessman Brian Sullivan for that spot. [cite web|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/12_mccalluml_sullivan/|title=Campaign 2002 profile: Brian Sullivan|author=By Laura McCallum|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=June 12, 2002] Pawlenty shifted his sights to the U.S. Senate but he abandoned those plans when Vice President Dick Cheney asked him to step aside to allow former St. Paul mayor Norm Coleman to challenge Senator Paul Wellstone without Republican primary opposition. [cite news|author=Smith, Dane |title=Cheney advises Pawlenty not to run for Senate; Majority leader bows to request from White House |url=http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-73416464.html|publisher=Star Tribune |date=2001-04-19|accessdate=2008-04-27] Pawlenty returned to his original gubernatorial ambitions and won a hard-fought and very narrow victory over Sullivan for the party endorsement. [cite web|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200209/13_mccalluml_pawlentyprofile/|title=Tim Pawlenty|author=By Laura McCallum|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2002-09-13]

In the general election, Pawlenty faced two strong opponents. His main rival was veteran Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) state senator Roger Moe. Complicating matters, former Democratic Congressman Tim Penny ran on the Independence Party ticket, with polls at times suggesting a very tight three-man race. In September 2002, the three were essentially tied. Pawlenty campaigned on a pledge not to raise taxes to balance the state's budget deficit, requiring visa expiration dates on driver's licenses, a 24-hour waiting period on abortions, implementing a conceal-carry gun law, and changing the state's education requirements. Pawlenty prevailed over both challengers at the polls. His largest gains since a poll conducted that September were among voters in the suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

2006 re-election campaign

Pawlenty ran for re-election in 2006. He ran on conservative issues, though he was criticized by conservatives on funding issues including two stadium bills for the Gophers and Minnesota Twins, and transportation bonding which included the Northstar commuter rail line. [cite web|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/06/02/pawlentyendorse/|title=Pawlenty accepts Republican endorsement for re-election|author=by Laura McCallum|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=June 2, 2006]

The 2006 gubernatorial race included Pawlenty's own DFL Attorney General Mike Hatch, Peter Hutchinson of the Independence Party, and Ken Pentel of the Green Party in the November 7 general election. Pawlenty won, defeating Hatch by a margin of 1%, though both the state House and Senate gained DFL majority. [cite web|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/11/07/mngov/|title=Hatch concedes; Pawlenty barely wins re-election|author=by Laura McCallum|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=November 8, 2006]


Pawlenty has not yet decided whether or not to seek a third term in 2010, which is allowed under Minnesota law. Beginning in 2005, he was informally suggested by the press as a potential candidate for President. [Ambinder, Marc. " [http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=484788&page=1 Conservatives Say Pawlenty Is Potential Presidential Candidate] ", "ABC News", February 9, 2005.] [Will, George F.. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/22/AR2008022202173.html The Running Mate McCain Needs] . "The Washington Post". 2008-02-24. Page B07.] [Martin, Jonathan. [http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8558.html Steadfast McCain ally sparks veep talk] . "Politico". 2008-02-17.] When formally announcing his candidacy for a second term as Governor of Minnesota on May 31, 2006, Pawlenty said, "As to my future, if I run for governor and win, I will serve out my term for four years as governor." [ [http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/05/31/pawlentyannounce/ MPR audio, May 31, 2006] ] Black, Eric; Tice, D.J. [http://ww3.startribune.com/bigquestionblog/?p=594 Pawlenty for veep: Will he or won’t he?] . "Star Tribune". 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2008-04-10.] [http://wcco.com/video/?id=17337@wcco.dayport.com Pawlenty Announces re-election campaign] (video). "WCCO-TV". 2006-05-31. Retrieved 2008-04-10.] On January 15, 2007, after being re-elected, Pawlenty said, "I am committed to serving out my term as governor. That's what I am going to do." [Black, Eric. [http://www.minnpost.com/ericblack/2008/02/18/916/how_did_veep_talk_go_so_far_without_pawlentys_pledge_coming_up How did veep talk go so far without Pawlenty's pledge coming up?] . "MinnPost". 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2008-04-10.]

In January 2008 the Minneapolis "Star Tribune" suggested Pawlenty's renewed focus on his proposed immigration reform plans might be politically motivated as counter-balance to McCain's less favorable guest worker program. [cite news |last=Hopfensperger
title=Is Pawlenty's plan for immigration aimed at a VP slot?
work=Star Tribune
date=2008-01-07 updated 2008-02-05
] That month it was announced that Pawlenty would be serving in a lead role for McCain as a national co-chair of his presidential exploratory committee [Associated Press, " [http://www.startribune.com/587/story/937287.html Pawlenty to co-chair McCain '08 exploratory committee] ", "Star Tribune", January 15, 2007.] which led to Pawlenty becoming co-chairman of McCain's campaign (along with Phil Gramm and Tom Loeffler). [cite news|last=Pugmire|first=Tim|title=Presidential campaigns raise volume in Minnesota|work=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2008-01-09|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/01/09/minnprez/|accessdate=2008-01-10]

Though Pawlenty was widely considered to be a leading candidate for the vice-presidency on the Republican ticket with John McCain in the 2008 presidential election,cite news|url=http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/08/28/mccain-notify-vp/|title=McCain Selects His Running Mate|date=2008-08-28|publisher=FOXNews.com|accessdate=2008-08-28] Sarah Palin secured the position. [http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/29/palin.republican.vp.candidate/index.html "McCain taps Alaska Gov. Palin as vice president pick"] , CNN (2008-08-29). Retrieved 2008-08-29.]


tate budget

Pawlenty was elected in 2002 on a platform of balancing the state's budget without raising taxes. He emphasized his campaign and first term with the Taxpayers League of Minnesota slogan "no new taxes." [cite web|url=http://www.citypages.com/2005-01-19/news/minnesota-eats-itself/|title=Minnesota Eats ItselfAnother Pawlenty budget, another round of bloodletting|author=Britt Robson|date=2005-01-19|publisher=City Pages|accessdate=2008-08-31]

During his first year as governor, Pawlenty balanced a deficit of $4.3 billion without raising taxes, primarily by reducing the rate of funding increases for state services, including funding for transportation, social services, and welfare. The local government aid (LGA) program was further reduced to city governments only and program reform dollars were eliminated. [cite web|url=http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/issinfo/histlga.htm|title=The History of the City Local Government Aid (LGA) Program|date=2003-02-11|publisher=Minnesota House of Representatives] In 2004, Attorney General Mike Hatch voiced dissent over the cuts and suggested that sex offenders found in some Minnesota nursing homes were the result of budget cuts to social services programs. [cite news
title=Hatch alleges sex offenders were housed at nursing home
publisher=Minnesota Public Radio
] Later in his first term, disagreement among parties led to a government shutdown in 2005 from a deadlock between the governor's office and the split-party legislature on the state budget. Transportation, state parks, and other key infrastructures were threatened with the shutdown, dampening the tourism industry. In 2006, the State announced its financial health had improved with a more than $2 billion budget surplus over the next three years. [cite news|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/11/28/budget/|title=State predicts $2 billion budget surplus over next three years|author=by Tim Pugmire|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2006-11-29|accessdate=2008-09-13] The Finance Commissioner cautioned the forecast does not include inflation.

In his first term, his plan to hold the line on taxes was not consistent with his raising State fees. State school tuition was largely impacted and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities board members complained, noting students' share of the cost of tuition increased by double-digit percentages in 2003 and the years following. The increase was defended by citing increasing tuition at universities nationwide while some called to maintain affordable higher education at its public universities as part of Minnesota education tradition. Another publicized but minor fee was the "health impact fee" which was a fee on cigarette sales. [ [http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/12/21_scheckt_cigtax/ MPR cigarette tax] ] Pawlenty ran into obstacles between his pledge not to raise taxes and the need he acknowledged for the state to take in more money in a budget deficit. He acknowledged in his first budget that it relied on $300 to $500 million in increased fees that did not include tuition increases at public colleges and universities. [cite web|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/06/02_mccalluml_pawlentyvsdfl/|title=Pawlenty, DFLers campaign around the state|author=by Laura McCallum, Minnesota Public Radio, by Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2003-06-02|accessdate=2008-08-28] The reaction of skeptics, including some at the Taxpayers League, was that Pawlenty had reneged on his campaign promise, arguing that the proposal was simply a tax increase by another name. The measure carried, but since the terms of the 1996 Minnesota Tobacco Settlement stipulated that the state reserved a right to raise taxes, but not fees, on cigarettes, cigarette wholesalers sued, and on December 21, 2005, a District Court judge struck down the fee. However, the Minnesota Supreme Court later reversed that decision, upholding the fee.

Funding projects

Since the Minnesota Constitution prohibits state-run gambling outside of Native territory, Pawlenty proposed negotiating with Minnesota's 11 tribes over profit sharing of their casinos. [cite web|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/02/05_khoom_sosgambling/|title=Pawlenty's speech puts focus on gambling|author=by Michael Khoo|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2004-02-05] Legislators also pushed a proposal to turn Canterbury Park horse track into a racino. [cite web|url=http://www.hometownsource.com/capitol/2003/april/3racino.html|title=Canterbury racino legislation advances in House; Pawlenty cool to more gambling|author=by T.W. Budig|publisher=ECM Capitol Roundup|date=Posted at 10:27 AM on 4/3/03] The plan was poorly received by Northern Tribes who would operate part of the racino, citing reluctance to compete with other tribes. [cite web|url=http://media.www.universitychronicle.com/media/storage/paper231/news/2005/05/02/News/Some-Angered.At.Racino.Proposal-945975.shtml|title=Some angered at racino proposal|author=Becky Glander|date=2005-02-05 |publisher=University Chronicle] Tribes with casinos opposed the expanded gambling and some legislators objected on moral grounds that the state shouldn't exploit problem gamblers. Politicians in heavy tribal areas feared losing campaign-finance sources if they supported the plan. [cite web|url=http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/stories/2003/03/10/story2.html?jst=s_cn_hl|title=Canterbury chasing jackpot with 'racino'|date=2003-03-07|publisher=Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal|author=by Andrew Tellijohn] [cite web|title=Indian Country is in the midst of political awakening|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/10/29_robertsont_rezturnout/|accessdate=2007-12-03|date=2004-10-11] Delays by the Legislature ended with the bill being pulled from committee. [cite web|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/05/17_khoom_gambling/|title=Casino issue is dying, if not dead, at Capitol|author=by Michael Khoo|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2005-05-17] Tribes had spent millions lobbying legislatures in 2004. [cite web|title=Native American casinos|url=http://www.indianz.com/News/2005/008330.asp|accessdate=2007-09-26 |date=2005-05-23 |publisher=Indianz]

Pawlenty worked throughout 2006 to fund a Minnesota Twins baseball stadium in Minneapolis. The resulting Minnesota Twins-Hennepin County ballpark bill called for an increased county sales tax which passed the state legislature and was symbolically signed in at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. [cite audio|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/05/26/midmorning2/|title=Twins ballpark: What's next?|date=Broadcast: Midmorning, 05/26/2006, 10:06 a.m.] [cite web|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/projects/ongoing/votetracker/issue_view.php?id=52|title=Votetracker Minnesota Twins stadium|date=2006|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio] The majority of Hennepin County commissioners did not feel a referendum was necessary to approve the sales tax because of the delay it would cause. Pawlenty and the Legislature agreed, citing 10 years already of the project's debate and exempted the county from state law requiring one in the bill. [cite web|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/05/22/stadium/|title=Twins' stadium opponents were tired of the fight; supporters weren't|author=by Tom Scheck, Brandt Williams|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=May 22, 2006] [cite web|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/25_williamsb_twins/
title=Pohlad: Contribution to Twins ballpark `fair, substantial'|author=by Brandt Williams|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=April 25, 2005

In June 2006, Pawlenty signed a $999.9 million public works bill that included funding for additional work on the Northstar Commuter rail line (a change in position from reservations about the idea he initially expressed), an expanded Faribault prison, a bioscience building at the University of Minnesota, and science facilities at Minnesota State University Mankato. The bill also funded a $26 million expansion of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. [ [http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/news/local/14634807.htm Legislature passes $1 billion public works bill] Accessed 06/26/06]


After the failure and repeal of the "Profiles of Learning" Kindergarten through 12th grade graduation requirements in a previous session, Pawlenty sought to reinstate them during his governorship. Renamed the "Minnesota Academic Standards," they were guided by Department of Education commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke. The bill's first draft raised several concerns by the education review boards including the amount of content, age-appropriateness, and a European-centric view of the social sciences portion. [cite web|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/10/31_mccalluml_standardsflap/|title=Social studies standards face more heat|author=Laura McCallum|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2003-10-31|accessdate=2008-08-08] Yecke revised and expanded material based on the response. [cite news|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/12/19_mccalluml_newstandards/|title=Yecke unveils second try at social studies, science standards|author=Laura McCallum|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2003-12-19|accessdate=2008-08-08] Even as both Legislative houses passed the Academic Standards bill, her confirmation as commissioner was rejected by the DFL majority Minnesota Senate. [cite web|url=http://www.oah.org/pubs/nl/2004nov/evans-norling.html|title=What Happened in Minnesota?|author=Sara Evans and Lisa Norling|publisher=Organization of American Historians newsletter|date=2004-11|accessdate=2008-08-08] She was seen as an outsider coming from Virginia and became unpopular having pushed the academic reforms during a tight budget session as well as her critical look of Minnesota schools.cite news |last=Pugmire |first=Tim |url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/05/16_pugmiret_yecke/ |title=Yecke blasts Minnesota's political climate for vote to oust her |accessdate=2007-09-26 |date=2004-05-16 |publisher=Minnesota Public Radio] In her confirmation hearing DFLers also noted concern over her conservative viewpoints.

In June 2006, Pawlenty proposed the "ACHIEVE" program for the top 25% of high school graduates. [cite web|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/06/27/freetuition/|title=Good grades would mean free college under Pawlenty plan|author=Tim Pugmire|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2006-06-27|accessdate=2008-08-08] The program would pay for tuition for the first 2 years (4 years for selected fields such as science, technology, engineering and math) and would cost the state and estimated $112 million per 2-year cycle. However the program was not included in the 2007 higher education bill. [cite web|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/05/07/dream/|title=Dream Act dies under threat of Pawlenty veto|author=Art Hughes|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2007-05-07|accessdate=2008-08-08]


During Pawlenty's term, urban traffic congestion was a significant concern of voters. He appointed his lieutenant governor, Carol Molnau, as transportation commissioner. Molnau attempted to reform the transportation department, (Mn/DOT), using concepts such as "design-build". Molnau has said she did not read bridge inspection reports and has been blamed by some for the I-35W bridge collapse. Legislators criticized Molnau's performance as transportation commissioner, citing ineffective leadership and management, and removed her from that role in February 2008, a decision Pawlenty said was motivated by partisanship. [cite news|author=Saulny, Susan|title=Minnesota Transportation Chief Is Out|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/29/us/29bridge.html|work=The New York Times|publisher=The New York Times Company|date=February 29, 2008|accessdate=2008-02-29] cite news|author=Anderson, G. R. Jr.|title=One head finally rolls|url=http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/02/28/1040/one_head_finally_rolls|work=MinnPost.com|publisher=MinnPost|date=February 28, 2008|accessdate=2008-02-29]

Pawlenty favored raising fees and imposing toll lanes on roads as the primary means of discouraging excessive traffic. During his term, the carpool lanes of Interstate 394 leading into downtown Minneapolis were converted into high-occupancy toll lanes. Pawlenty used or threatened vetoes in 2005, 2007 and 2008 on legislation funding proposed highway expansion, infrastructure repairs, road maintenance, and mass transit. [cite web|title=State House approves gas tax hike|publisher=KSTP|date=2007|url=http://www.kstp.com/article/stories/S40345.shtml?cat=89|accessdate=2007-08-03] The 2008 veto was in spite of Pawlenty's announcement that he would consider reversing his opposition to a state gas tax increase for funding road and bridge repairs, in the wake of the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge. [cite web|last=Jackson|first=Henry|coauthors=Mark Scolforo|title=Police Release List of 8 Bridge Missing|publisher=ABC News|date=2007-08-04|url=http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3448277|accessdate=2007-08-04] Pawlenty's tax policies were blamed as part of the cause of the collapse by Mayor James Hovland of affluent Edina. [cite news |last=Hovland |first=James B. |title=A conflict at the helm of MnDOT?|publisher=Star Tribune |date=2007-09-14 |url=http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/11150061.html |accessdate=2008-01-12]

Pawlenty had opposed the Northstar Commuter Rail as a legislator but changed his position in 2004, announcing a funding plan to jump start the project, when the Bush administration determined the rail line was deemed cost-effective and time-saving for commuters. [cite web|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/08/03_mccalluml_northstarmoney/|title=Pawlenty finds money to jumpstart North Star rail line|author=by Laura McCallum|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=August 3, 2004]

In April 2008 during the budget bonding bill signing, Pawlenty used his line-item veto on $70 million pledged toward the building of the Central Corridor light-rail project, intended to connect Minneapolis and Saint Paul. In vetoing the expenditure, Pawlenty did not consult Peter Bell, head of the Metro Council and project leader. [cite web|last=Sturdevant|first=Lori| |title=Working toward the train in vain|publisher=Minneapolis Star Tribune|date=2008-04-12|url=http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/17563464.html?page=1&c=y|accessdate=2008-04-25|] Pawlenty stated that he vetoed the bill in order to send a message to the Legislature, which had exceeded his initial budget request, that they needed to "stay focused, be fiscally disciplined, set priorities and solve this budget crisis in a fiscally disciplined way."cite web|last=Yuen|first=Laura|coauthors=Tom Scheck|title=Pawlenty delivers a setback to the Central Corridor project|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2008-04-07|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/04/07/vetofollow/|accessdate=2008-04-25|] Pawlenty however was supportive of the project and had requested the money in the bonding bill he submitted to the Minnesota State Legislature. The veto disappointed some of Minnesota's congressional representatives in Washington, including Minnesota's Republican Senator Norm Coleman, who pledged to "raise my voice as strong as I can, as loud as I can. The federal commitment is there." [cite web|title=Coleman: Disappointed By Gov. Vetoing LRT Money|publisher=Associated Press|date=2008-04-10|url=http://wcco.com/local/coleman.central.corridor.2.696929.html|accessdate=2008-04-25|] Though Pawlenty's veto might have delayed the ability of the state to receive federal matching funds for the project, Bell said the project was not derailed. [cite web|last=Sturdevant |first=Lori|title=Working toward the train in vain|publisher=Minneapolis Star Tribune|date=2008-04-12|url=http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/17563464.html?page=1&c=y|accessdate=2008-04-25|] The Central Corridor funding issue was resolved on May 19, 2008 with the state pledging its original amount towards the project after legislators compromised with Pawlenty's budget requests. [cite web|url=http://blog.lib.umn.edu/urelate/lightrail/2008/05/central_corridor_planning_move.html|title=Central Corridor planning moves forward|author=by Tom Weber|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2008-05-28]

There were Republican state legislators who supported other cuts of the bonding bill, including Doug Magnus, the ranking Republican on the House Transportation Finance Division, who praised Pawlenty's "fiscal responsibility." [cite web|url=http://www.startribune.com/politics/state/17878864.html?page=2&c=y|title=Met Council head is in a political bind|publisher=www.startribune.com|date=2008-04-18|accessdate=2008-04-25|last=Kaszuba |first=Mike] Critics, including Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, called Pawlenty's veto "political gamesmanship," seeing the move as retribution for the Legislature's successful override of Pawlenty's veto of a transportation bonding bill. They noted cuts overwhelmingly targeted Democratic districts, and Democratic stronghold Saint Paul most heavily. [cite web|url=http://blogs.twincities.com/politics/2008/04/vetoes_not_political.html|title=Vetoes not political? (The Political Animal)|publisher=blogs.twincities.com|accessdate=2008-04-25|last=Salisbury|first=Bill] [cite web|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/04/07/bondingveto/|title=MPR: St. Paul officials: What does Pawlenty have against us?|publisher=minnesota.publicradio.org|date=2008-04-07|accessdate=2008-04-25|last=Scheck|first=Tom]


Minnesota has mandated a 10% mixture of gasoline and ethanol (gasohol) since 1997, while most cars are designed to safely handle 15%. Pawlenty signed into law in May 2005 a bill that will raise the minimum mandated mixture to 20% in 2013. Pawlenty has also lobbied the Governors' Ethanol Coalition to mandate higher ethanol use nationwide. [cite web|last=McCallum |first=Laura |title=Pawlenty pumps ethanol|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2005-09-26|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/09/26_mccalluml_ethanol/|accessdate=2007-08-06]

Conservative Republican governors were not supportive of Pawlenty's presentation on clean energy to the governor's association, which he gave in cooperation with Ed Rendell, who is the governor of Pennsylvania and the NGA's Democratic vice-chairman. With Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Pawlenty is co-chairman of the association's energy committee. The effort received "adamant opposition" from governors of oil producing states.


In 2004, the credibility of Pawlenty's commissioner of health, Dianne Mandernach, suffered when a website posting by the department suggested that abortion might have a role in breast cancer. She also angered many when it was learned she had delayed releasing government research on cancer in miners. [cite news
coauthors=and Lopez, Patricia
title=State health commissioner resigns
publisher=Star Tribune
] In 2007, Mandernach resigned.

In 2005, Pawlenty asked a U.S. Senate subcommittee to allow his MinnesotaCare health plan to expand and continue allowing state residents and employees to import cheaper Canadian prescription drugs. [cite news|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/02/16_scheckt_drugimports/|title=Measuring the success of Canadian drug imports|author=by Tom Scheck|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2005-02-16|accessdate=2008-09-12] He also asked Congress to leave the program alone. However, the U.S. government put pressure on Canada to cease these practices and banned the importation of drugs from Canada in 2006.Fact|date=September 2008

Foreign relations

Since the 1980s, Minnesota governors have increased their travel abroad with the goal of increasing Minnesota's visibility around the world.Fact|date=August 2008 For example, Pawlenty took a delegation of nearly 200 Minnesotan business, government, academic and civic leaders on a voyage to China in mid-November 2005. The objectives of the weeklong trip were to provide a forum for companies to acquire market information, assess market potential, evaluate market entry strategies and identify potential business partners, as well as to promote Chinese investment in Minnesota. Pawlenty also led Minnesota trade delegations to the Czech Republic in 2004 and Canada in 2003, and went to India in October 2007. [Smith, Dane. " [http://www.startribune.com/587/story/969287.html Pawlenty plans trade mission to India] ", Star Tribune, January 30, 2007. Accessed January 30, 2007.] Pawlenty's first term coincided with the deployment of National Guardsmen from numerous states, connected with the War on Terror and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pawlenty made trips to Bosnia (2003), Kosovo (2004) and (2008), Poland, Iraq and the Czech Republic visiting Minnesota troops.

He also welcomed Mexican President Vicente Fox in 2004 in an effort to strengthen trade. The president announced that his country would open a consulate in Minnesota the next year, removing the need for Mexican residents in the state to travel to Chicago for identification papers and other materials. Early in 2006, after issuing a study that estimated the cost of illegal immigration to the state as approximately $188 million, Pawlenty announced a program for changing the way the state dealt with persons who are in the United States illegally. Pawlenty noted the economic benefit does not justify the illegal behavior. [cite web|url=http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/jan-june06/immigration_3-22.html|title=MINNESOTA'S IMMIGRATION DEBATE|publisher=Twin Cities Public Broadcasting|author=Jim Lehrer|date=March 22, 2006] By mid-year he sent Minnesota National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

National involvement

Pawlenty was the chairman of the National Governors Association from 2007 to 2008.

Media opinions

Pawlenty has a weekly one-hour radio show on WCCO-AM, a tradition he inherited from his predecessor as governor, Jesse Ventura.

In February 2008, columnist Robert Novak wrote that Pawlenty was the most conservative Minnesota governor since Governor Theodore Christianson in the 1920s.cite news|author=Novak, Robert|title=How Not to Run for Vice President|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/27/AR2008022703177.html|work=The Washington Post|publisher=The Washington Post Company|date=2008-02-28|accessdate=2008-02-28]


In 1994, Pawlenty's wife Mary was appointed as a judge of the Dakota County District Court in Hastings, Minnesota and the two began raising their two daughters, Anna and Mara. After he was elected in 2002, the family remained at their Eagan home instead of moving into the Governor's Residence because of Mary's requirement to stay in her judicial district. [cite web|url=http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200211/06_hughesa_newgov/|title=Pawlenty sets stage for a Capitol revolution|author=by Art Hughes|publisher=Minnesota Public Radio|date=2002-11-06] In 2007, she left her judicial position to become General Counsel of the National Arbitration Forum, a dispute resolution company based in Minneapolis. [cite web|url=http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/01/04/marypawlenty/|title=Mary Pawlenty leaves bench for new job|date=2007-01-04|author=Associated Press|publisher=Minnesota Public radio] She stayed on only briefly before departing for another dispute resolution company, the Gilbert Mediation Center. [cite web|url=http://wcco.com/local/mary.pawlenty.first.2.370037.html|title=Minn. First Lady to Join Gilbert Mediation Center|date=September, 2007|author=Associated Press|publisher=wcco.com]

Of Polish and German heritage, Pawlenty was raised a Roman Catholic. His conversion to an Evangelical Christian faith is largely attributed to his wife Mary, who is a regular member of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. [ [http://www.mnhs.org/people/governors/gov/gov_40.htm MNHS Biography] ] The church is part of the Minnesota Baptist Conference, and the senior pastor, Leith Anderson, is the president of the National Association of Evangelicals. [cite web|url=http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/391516.aspx|title=Is Tim Pawlenty the Perfect Evangelical VP Candidate?|date=2008-06-12|publisher=Christian Broadcasting Network]

Electoral history

Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = Tim Pawlenty
votes = 997,907
percentage = 44.4
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Roger Moe
votes = 819,428
percentage = 37.2
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independence Party of Minnesota
candidate = Tim Penny
votes = 364,069
percentage = 16.4
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Green Party (US)
candidate = Ken Pentel
votes = 50,520
percentage = 2.5
change =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = Tim Pawlenty (Incumbent)
votes = 1,028,568
percentage = 46.7
change = +2.3
Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Mike Hatch
votes = 1,007,460
percentage = 45.7
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independence Party of Minnesota
candidate = Peter Hutchinson
votes = 141,735
percentage = 6.4
change =


External links

* [http://www.governor.state.mn.us/ Minnesota Office of the Governor Tim Pawlenty] official state site
* [http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.29fab9fb4add37305ddcbeeb501010a0/?vgnextoid=7518224971c81010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD National Governors Association - Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty] biography
* [http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?si=200623&c=420775 Follow the Money - Tim Pawlenty & Carol Molnau] 2006 campaign contributions
* [http://www.ontheissues.org/Tim_Pawlenty.htm On the Issues - Tim Pawlenty] issue positions and quotes
* [http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=BS021778 Project Vote Smart - Governor Tim Pawlenty (MN)] profile
* [http://www.timpawlenty.com/ Governor Pawlenty] official campaign site
* [http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/campaign2002/mn_governor.shtml Campaign 2002 - Minnesota Governor] "Minnesota Public Radio"
* [http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/2006/campaign/governor/pawlenty/ Campaign 2006 - Tim Pawlenty] "Minnesota Public Radio"

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