Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pawlenty's Veto Stalls "Towing Nightmare" In St. Paul

(Photo from the Pioneer Press, Rep. Alice Hausman)

I'm sure it never even occurred to Governor Pawlenty, but his recent veto of $127 million worth of projects in St. Paul may have stalled the "towing nightmare" which the light rail (Central Corridor Project) was getting set to create, by eliminating 600 to 900 parking spaces. I've written quite a bit on this subject already, but this incredible veto is a new twist.

There's no relief, however. The City of St. Paul still engages in notorious and abusive towing practices, and I'm hoping to make my way out to their impound lot in the very near future to document some horror stories. So the fact the light rail project is delayed doesn't mean relief from a nightmare, only relief from an even-worse-nightmare.

And I feel bad the project was vetoed. I love the light rail and ride it several times a week to places like Mall of America. I was hoping the light rail would expand. (Gee, what happens to all the developers who have poured millions of dollars into property along the proposed route?)

Exclusive Towing Utopia Scuttlebutt, Rumor, Wild Theory And Dark Innuendo

Right now, political thinkers in Minnesota are going nuts to figure out why Governor Pawlenty came down so hard on St. Paul. According to the Pioneer Press, "(Alice) Hausman, chairwoman of the House Capital Investment Committee and chief sponsor of the bill, was the peacemaker who tried to broker a deal between Pawlentry [...] and Senate Democrats."

Pawlenty came down like a ton of bricks on St. Paul with his line-item vetoes, and yet he didn't go after the "pet projects" of his "fiercest antagonist," Senator Keith Langseth. The democrats in state government are asking why, why, why?

Simple: the City of St. Paul will be host to the Republican National Convention in 2008. And right now, St. Paul's leadership has shown little indication of a willingness to "crack down hard" on the unruliness promised by tens of thousands of demonstrators, who will be pouring in from all over the country, trying to create a "Battle In Seattle" situation by their own public statements a full year in advance of the actual event.

My theory is Pawlenty--who shows every indication of being a vice-presidential candidate for John McCain, is using the St. Paul projects as a "bargaining chip" to force action and promises from St. Paul to crack down hard on the demonstrators who promise to disrupt RNC 2008 in a big way.

That's my theory. Got a better one?

No comments: