Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Is that a white flag I see? 

On the air last weekend, I said that if Governor Pawlenty could in fact begin moving monies towards the flooded areas of southeastern Minnesota and towards the I-35W bridge repair, the DFL would ask to come back to the table for a more limited special session to get at least some credit for the clean-up. Pawlenty's task, I said, was to make sure the relief looked real and like it would cover everything. Thus putting up a site like Minnesota Recovers, replete with a TPaw quote on the masthead, is damn good politics. So too is changing the timing of municipal payments. It didn't require any action of the Legislature, and let all the credit go to the executive. Do that, I said, and they will have to take the limited focused session. It would be beyond foolishness for the DFL leadership to allow Pawlenty to deliver relief on his own; it would cost them politically.

It's happening.
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller appear ready to drop the idea of a more comprehensive special session to deal with larger issues like property tax relief and a bonding bill and to focus exclusively on the two disasters which struck the state in August. They also suggest they would consider abandoning the idea of a gas tax increase, using $370 million in existing funding to address disaster needs.

�We have absolutely no interest in putting special legislation on your desk that you feel compelled to veto,� the letter said.

�It is unfortunate that you are unable to act decisively and comprehensively to the transportation challenge, either due to philosophy or politics,� the letter said. �However, we agree the emergency needs from the bridge collapse and the flooding remain and must be dealt with immediately.�

If that happens, and the DFL doesn't get the gas tax, or LGA/property tax, or a bonding bill, or all the other things Pogie says he didn't say but his uncontrollable caucus does, that looks like a victory for the governor's office. Those who have doubted him from the conservative ranks will have egg on their faces. Those from the liberal ranks who thought they were getting their untimed down will curse the fates.

Labels: , , ,