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Pawlenty’s Courage? Not In Minnesota.

Contact: Denise Cardinal

Pawlenty’s Courage? Not in Minnesota

St. Paul, Minn. – Tim Pawlenty’s record in Minnesota is anything but courageous.  As he embarks on a national tour today to promote his book The Courage to Stand, Minnesotans have not forgotten the mess he left behind as governor.  Tim Pawlenty’s tax increases and his $6.2 billion budget deficit will continue to plague Minnesota long after he is gone.  A state-based group, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, launched: as a way to share the facts about Pawlentys legacy with those outside of the state.

Alliance for a Better Minnesota Executive Director Denise Cardinal released the following statement:

“Tim Pawlenty spent eight years unfairly increasing the tax burden on middle-class Minnesotans while failing to show strong leadership and balance Minnesota’s budget.  Minnesotans saw higher taxes, fiscal recklessness and an aversion to making tough choices from Governor Pawlenty, but we certainly never saw courage.”

The reality of Governor Pawlenty’s legacy is that he has left the state in shambles.  His lack of leadership has saddled the state with a $6.2 billion dollar deficit and his failure to show leadership on tough issues ensured that middle-class Minnesotans paid higher taxes throughout his eight years as governor. 

Pawlenty cut state aid to local governments by $2.6 billion dollars over eight years, which caused property taxes for Minnesota homeowners to skyrocket over that same time period.  Over 90% of Minnesotans have seen their state and local tax rates increase since 2002, with the richest 10% of Minnesotans remaining relatively unaffected.

In addition, Governor Pawlenty’s cut state spending on higher education over 15% during his eight years as Governor.  These cuts have resulted in an 80% increase in tuition to his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, putting the education that allowed him to succeed further and further from the reach of middle-class Minnesotans.   

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