Tim Pawlenty now denying his state money in order to run for President

The Minnesota governor will refuse to accept federal sex-ed and healthcare grants, because he wants to be president

By Alex Pareene
September 1, 2010 2:01AM (UTC)
main article image
Gov. Tim Pawlenty addresses a news conference after the Legislature passed a budget bill Monday, May 17, 2010 in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) (AP)

On his way out of the Minnesota governor's mansion, Tim Pawlenty is determined to please potential 2012 Republican presidential primary voters while screwing over the residents of the state he is still actually in charge of.

First, it was reported that Pawlenty is refusing free federal money for comprehensive sex education for Minnesota schools. But he is accepting federal grants for abstinence-only education that require a matching contribution from the state. In other words, he's not only imposing his discredited right-wing religious philosophy on students, but doing so in a way that will cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars. (And he's running on being a slasher of wasteful spending!)


Why would anyone, in the words of the Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenting "turn down almost a million dollars for youth programs that require no match, but take funding for failed programs that require a 75 percent match?” Easy: To prove that while he may have Romney's height and head-shape, he's got Huckabee's God.

Then Pawlenty went all-out and announced this was just part of his plan to make Minnesota opt out of the federal health insurance overhaul. Of course, all he can actually opt out of is the bits where Minnesota gets money, for healthcare. He will issue executive orders requiring state agencies to not seek federal grants for anything healthcare related, because of the constitution.

Mark Halperin -- "leaving aside now the substantive merits of the Minnesota governor's executive order," he says, hilariously -- thinks this is genius, which means it is plainly idiotic.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

MORE FROM Alex PareeneFOLLOW pareene

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2012 Elections Healthcare Reform Sex Education War Room