Governor Pawlenty is feeling frisky again. Must be gearing up for one of those national fundraising trips. Today, in another flash of “bipartisan” problem solving, Pawlenty called the DFL Legislative majority “pathetic and ridiculous”. Nice negotiating posture for budget negotiations.
But if you examine the rest of Pawlenty’s statement, you get the reason for the rhetoric:
Pawlenty, playing the tough guy role to the hilt, said that if the Legislature doesn’t meet his demands by session’s end, he’ll have “options,” including vetoes and unallotment.
There’s that word again – unallotment. Pawlenty gets bolder and bolder about trotting that out. I hope the Minnesota Supreme Court takes this bit of political theatre into account, because it demonstrates how broken the cooperation between the executive and legislative branches has become in this state. Pawlenty has no need or desire to compromise. His pattern has consistently become, ultimatums followed by unallotment action. Government via unallotment.
The Minnesota Court is taking a long time to come to a decision on this issue, which probably means they are having a difficult time finding a consensus. In the meantime, Minnesota has a system of government out of whack. The legislature has difficulty finding a path that is not always blocked. Negotiations are seldom cordial…more often than not, public statements from the Governor, are peppered with caustic and confrontational names and language.
At a time when we need problem solving and new ideas, all we are getting is name calling and ultimatums. That is not in the best interest of the state. Not by a longshot.
Here’s hoping that the Supreme Court can find a way to fix this process. Maybe it will produce a bigger temporary mess in the short term, but a continuance of excecutive branch cowboy tactics has got to be corralled.
Sooner rather than later.
UPDATE: Well this must be karma…it WAS sooner. Pawlenty will have to change his bullying tactics.