Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Arne Carlson: Pawlenty Caused Minnesota Budget Woes

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 3, 2011

Just to remind everyone:

Carlson contends that his administration didn’t just point out the long-term structural problems in the 1995 report that Downey was referring to. Rather, it made the “reforms” necessary to correct the problems.

Carlson also contends that Tim Pawlenty, as majority leader of the House and then as governor, undid most of the changes the Carlson administration instituted. Along the way, Pawlenty got a little help from Gov. Jesse Ventura and some DFLers.

But mostly Carlson blames Pawlenty.

He says that Pawlenty closed the very department, Planning, that created the report Republicans now are citing.

He also says that Pawlenty, as House majority leader, was responsible, along with Ventura, for a disastrous change in the relationship between school funding and property taxes.

And he also says that Pawlenty showed that he wasn’t serious about budgeting because he never pushed for inflation to be considered a factor in out-year spending, only in out-year income.


Gimmicks replaced the reforms of the Carlson years, Carlson said. Tobacco settlement money was used as a one-time budget-balancing fix. School funding aid was shifted. Federal stimulus money was used.

“Under Tim Pawlenty, it became deficit heaven,” said Carlson. “All the things we did were undone. Now, what bothers me is you get these holier-than-thou attitudes. Oh, we’re all to blame. But that’s just not true. There’s one person who has the power to insist on a balanced budget. That’s the chief executive officer, the governor.”

Carlson’s words were borne out back in 2005 by Britt Robson in his excellent City Pages piece “Minnesota Eats Itself“.

3 Responses to “Arne Carlson: Pawlenty Caused Minnesota Budget Woes”

  1. Charles II said

    It would have been nice if Carlson had this stuff sooner.

    But better late than never, I guess.

    • Oh, he’s always been after the members of his former party, even when he was governor. He’s an old-school Republican of the type that used to dominate the party until the nationwide and concerted efforts of the Con movement forced them to go to ground.

      Which reminds me: Arne got to be governor in a rather interesting way. Seems that while he’s always been popular with most Minnesotans for his fairly sensible (for a Republican) stances, those same stances have made him anathema to the Republican Party of Minnesota ever since the mid-1980s. That’s why in 1990, he was pointedly denied both the endorsement and the nomination of the RPM even though polling showed he would do the best by far against incumbent Democratic governor Rudy Perpich; instead, they went with Jon Grunseth — who promptly got taken out when it was revealed he’d once been swimming naked with underaged teenage girls, one of whom was his niece. There were rumors that this was only the tip of the Grunseth sexual impropriety iceberg, but those didn’t get pursued as Grunseth, after weeks of dithering, finally pulled out of the race and allowed Carlson to step in. To this day, there are still Republicans who think Carlson was behind the revelations, but from the sources I once knew, he apparently was just as surprised as everyone else when the news hit.

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