Day 2 - the man of the hour
Governor Pawlenty's nomination was supposed to have taken place today, however, it had to be moved so that the Governor could attend the funeral of one of our fallen heros.
He started off with the DFL barber joke (if you have heard the Governor speak lately you know the joke, if you haven't....here is the readers digest version - a guy goes to his barber (a DFLer) and told him about his pending Italian vacation and the barber told him "oh you shouldn't go...it's too expensive, it's too far away, the people aren't friendly etc" and when the client gets back he tells the barber it was the best vacation of his life, that he got an audience with the Pope and that the Pope commented on his horrible haircut!) The gist of it is that "people who are good at complaining are good at little else".
He went on to remind the delegates of all the good things that have happened in the last 4 years - Profiles of Learning abolished, $4billion deficit turned to a surplus, Women's Right to Know passed, government more accountable and a better value for the taxpayers dollars, conceal carry reform passed, 100k new jobs, welfare reform and eminent domaine reform passed! He reminded us that the last 12 months do not fully represent the entire term.
He "bragged" about how incarceration has gone up in his administration, saying that "crime is not a societal disease to be understood, but an evil to be confronted!" YOW!!!!!
He pulled out a timely piece from the Star Tribune that showed that our tax ranking had tumbled (in the Strib's point of view) to 16th place in the highest taxed rankings (we were number 4) and reminded us that the DFL had intentions during the last session of making us the highest taxed state in the Union (something I wrote about here) and that the heart and soul of the DFL agenda was tax increases! He also went on to address those that say that property taxes went up under his administration by reminding them that property taxes are controlled by the cities and the counties and that the cities and counties need to practice the same kind of fiscal restraint that the state is practicing rather than just pass the price on to the users! He also reminded us that the increases in property taxes was much higher than the cuts in Local Government Aid were! He said that the solution to that was to cities and counties just as accountable to the taxpayers as the state and the federal governments are or to cap property tax increases!
He went on to lay out the path that he wants to lead the state down with this Ronald Reagan quote (everyone quoted Reagan this weekend!) "If you're afraid of the future...if you're afraid of the future, get out of the way. Move aside for the people are ready to move again'...the people of Minnesota are ready to move again!"
He said we need to protect the traditional family - that the breakdown of the traditional family is the root cause of a lot of our social ills. "Government programs can not replace family." School reform and accountability needs to continue moving forward. "Nothing damages our children more than setting low expectations for them."
He took on immigration reform next, stating that it must be "legal & reasonable". He called our current system chaotic and unacceptable - that sanctuary laws (such as in Minneapolis and St. Paul) needed to be struck down, that non-citizens should not be eligible for in state tuition in our colleges and that employers need to be held accountable once we have an untamperable federal ID card.
He said that there were areas where government does supply a need - maintaining roads and infrastructure, but we need to hold government accountable to the defined mission and that it needs to be paid for hitting it's goals!
He then quoted JFK's (a tax cutting, pro-life, pro-military Democrat) comments that values are one generation away from extinction - that kids need to be taught the values that we need to better our state and our society.
He closed by reaching out to the base that is very upset with him because of the stadium deals and the tobacco tax/fee. He said "I know I have not done everything perfectly - that I have disappointed some of you, but we are making progress and we simply can not go back to where we came from."
All in all, it was the speech that he absolutely needed to give to the base - the one that will help him get re-elected in November.
Video at Residual Forces.