Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ex-mayors can't budget 

Former St. Cloud Mayor John Ellenbecker wants to ding Republicans (especially local state Rep. Steve Gottwalt) for Governor Pawlenty's budget proposal. In it he demonstrates a flawed understanding of government spending.

...please read the Saturday report and note that while he cuts spending on children's health care and colleges, Pawlenty also proposes to increase spending on the state's 150th birthday party and proposes a "$14 million guarantee for local organizers raising cash for the Republican National Convention in September."

Before Gottwalt again decries the spending requests of the evil liberals, he might want to first take a closer look at the spending requests of Pawlenty.

State spending on both the state's birthday party and the GOP convention should be the very first cuts made by the governor and the Legislature.

Both can be funded completely by private donations, or not at all.

In fact, the national GOP convention is being funded by private donations. The $14 million guarantee is a back-up, expected to spend no money whatsoever. It does not cost the state a penny unless donations come up short. Who, by the way, is paying for security at the convention? The federal government, funded by a bill passed by the Democrat-led House. And that's real money, not just a back-up guarantee. For $14 million -- hell, you can't barely buy a do-over primary for that!

The sesquicentennial? Maybe half a point there. According to the governor's budget plan, that item is within the "other initiatives" for $11 million. Small beer. I wonder how the Speaker's husband will feel about this attack on spending on MN history?

UPDATE: Link to letter added, sorry!

UPDATE 2 (afternoon): This article from last December reminds that the Governor's original proposal was for a $2 million allocation for the Sesquicentennial.

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