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Entries in Tim Pawlenty (93)

Thursday
Nov182010

New GOP Governors Introduced to RGA; Focused on Budgets

Photo Courtesy - Governor [dot] State [dot] MN [dot] US(SAN DIEGO) --  Like a proud parent, Republican Governors Association Vice Chairman and outgoing Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was happy to show off a crop of newly-elected governors to a crowded room of RGA donors, members and the media.  As he introduced each of the five “new faces of the GOP” Wednesday afternoon, Pawlenty mentioned the amount of money the RGA contributed to the efforts of many of those campaigns.

Of course, it helps Pawlenty, a likely 2012 nominee, to get close with many of these newbies.  Governor-elect Nikki Haley hails from South Carolina which hosts one of the first primaries in 2012.

The four other panelists on the “New Faces” panel, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Corbett, Nevada Governor-elect Brian Sandoval and New Mexico Governor.-elect Susana Martinez, represent swing states that will be key to the chances of any Republican nominee in 2012.

Aware of the bleak fiscal situation facing them when they take office in January, the newly-elected executives said they were focused on being honest with voters about the difficult cuts and choices that await them.

Ohio’s Kasich, whose state is looking at an $8 billion budget hole, told his colleagues that “you weren’t elected to be re-elected.”  When it comes to shrinking the size of government, he said, you can’t “play favorites.  If [government programs] don’t work, get rid of them.”

Haley, who survived a rough-and-tumble primary and general election campaign, told the audience, “We have to be honest with the people of our state.  We need to say this is going to hurt.  We’re going to struggle.  But we have to make sure we don’t make political decisions the first year.  We make the right decision.”  And, she noted, “if we do that, we will come out of this challenge in year two and three stronger and more competitive than when we started.”

What was as notable was what the governors-elect didn't say. There was no talk of social issues, and even health care reform barely was addressed, though it’s clearly unpopular among this crowd.  Instead, the focus was almost 100 percent on economic and budgetary issues.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct282010

Pawlenty Plays FOIA Game With DNC

Photo Courtesy - Governor dot State dot MN dot US(WASHINGTON) -- A day after ABC News reported that Democratic Party officials asked the Pentagon for records of communication between military agencies and nine Republican presidential contenders, one of those possible candidates is firing back with his own public records request. 

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn., was set to announce Thursday that he’s filing his own Freedom of Information Act request with a range of federal agencies. He’s asking for details of the Democratic National Committee’s role in promoting President Obama’s health care law.

"Next week’s election isn't even here -- and it will largely be a referendum on the president’s failure to create jobs, out of control government spending, and an ill-conceived health care bill -- but I find it ironic that they have given up the current fight and are instead so focused on the president's own re-election," Pawlenty said in a statement.

"But since they asked, and since they are so worried, I have some questions of my own about President Obama's time in the White House. For example, what was the DNC's role in selling Obamacare? Did the president's political advisers know the true costs of Obamacare?"

The DNC’s request for documents also drew a response from former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., who joked to CNN that it was “flattering” to be on the Democrats’ short list for 2012, after a 2008 candidacy where he struggled to gain traction. 

He said the opposition research effort reflects Democrats’ concerns about a "political tsunami" next week.

"They know they are going to get wiped out next Tuesday," he said. "They wouldn't be looking down the road in two years if they thought that they really had any shot at winning these races next week."
The DNC fired back Thursday evening, hitting Pawlenty for his frequent out-of-state travels as governor:

“That Tim Pawlenty, who has taken more trips to Iowa and New Hampshire this year than to several counties in Minnesota - the state he’s supposedly governing - would lecture anyone about where their focus is certainly funny.  As a matter of fact, if Pawlenty is so suddenly interested in transparency he should start by releasing his political travel records and meetings with lobbyists that he’s adamantly refusing to allow the people and press of Minnesota to review despite repeated requests,” said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan.  

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct142010

Tim Pawlenty Blames ‘Corrosive Impact of Teachers’ Unions’ for Michelle Rhee's Resignation

Photo Courtesy - Governor dot State dot MN dot US(WASHINGTON) -- The resignation on Wednesday of Washington, DC public schools chief Michelle Rhee, who has become a lightning rod in the city and the education reform community, has already drawn a reaction from one potential 2012 presidential candidate.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, through his political action committee, released a statement praising Rhee as a “superwoman in education” and condemning the role that powerful unions played in her exit from the top job in one of the most troubled urban school districts in the country.

“Michelle Rhee's resignation is more evidence of the corrosive impact of teachers' unions in American schools,” Pawlenty said in the statement.  “Despite -- or maybe because of -- the early success of her school reforms, the teachers' unions worked tirelessly to stop her, showing no compassion for the thousands of children stuck in failing D.C. schools.”

He added that even though Rhee is leaving her position as chancellor of the D.C. school system, “her leadership is inspiring to reformers everywhere and will make it harder for the unions to defend the failed status quo.”

While it might seem a like a case of strange bedfellows for a Republican Midwestern governor and likely presidential hopeful to wade into local politics in the District of Columbia, Pawlenty’s comments are part of his broader effort to establish himself as a voice on national education issues as well as a critic of the influence of unions.

Last month when Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty was defeated by challenger Vincent Gray in the Democratic mayoral primary, Pawlenty issued a similar statement, criticizing teachers unions for spearheading a campaign against Fenty and Rhee.

“Fenty's loss is further evidence that despite all their rhetoric about 'the children,' what the teachers’ unions really care about is getting more money for jobs they can't lose at schools that produce students who are not prepared to compete,” Pawlenty said in a statement in September.

Fenty’s political fortunes were closely tied to his association with Rhee, who developed a hard-driving reputation during her three-and-a-half-year tenure, rubbing many teachers and parents the wrong way.

Pawlenty wrote an article for the National Review in early September that outlined his views on education reform and took direct aim at what he called a “cartel of teachers’ unions, bureaucrats, and politicians [that] has stood in the way of innovation, reform, and results.”

In the piece, Pawlenty held up Washington, D.C. and New York City as places where school officials were making real strides despite opposition from interest groups.

“The era of education policy written for and by teachers’ unions is drawing to a close,” Pawlenty wrote.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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