Timothy James “Tim” Pawlenty is a former Governor of Minnesota and by all appearances is taking a shot at the U.S. Presidency in the 2012 election. But after CPAC 2011, many were left wondering, just who is Tim Pawlenty?
Tim put his Law degree to use in his early career by becoming a labor law attorney at the firm of Rider Bentley. TimPawlenty.com holds a conflicting report that he started his legal career as a criminal attorney.
After his early law practice, Tim ventured into the software-as-a-service company, Wizmo as a Vice President.
In 1988, Pawlenty was appointed to the Eagan, MN city planning Commission by then mayor Vic Ellison. One year later he was elected to the City Council.
Pawlenty was elected as a Minnesota state Representative (district 38B) in 1992 and served six consecutive terms in that position. In 1998 he was selected to be the House Majority Leader when Republicans took control that year.
Pawlenty ran for an was elected Governor of Minnesota in 2002. His path to the Governor’s seat was not a straight one. When party leaders made it clear that they favored Brian Sullivan for the State’s lead executive, Pawlenty changed tacks to a U.S. Senate bid. V.P. Dick Cheney asked him to not run so that Norm Coleman could run without GOP nomination opposition. This reset Pawlenty to the goal of becoming Governor which he achieved and was re-elected in 2006.
In his 2010 State of the State address, Gov. Pawlenty made clear his view on individual and corporate taxation.
Minnesota’s business tax climate is the 8th worst in the nation. That means 42 other states have a competitive edge on Minnesota.
Pawlenty named pro-life attorney Eric Magnuson as the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. His pro-life record also includes campaign promise to institute a 24 hours waiting period on abortions.
The Governor’s energy policy seems to line up with the “all of the above” line. In a 2008 CNN Late Edition interview with Wolf Blitzer, made the case for domestic drilling in ANWR and tax incentives for renewable energy research.
Q: What do you think about the Saudis increased oil production?
A: Well, it’s relatively good news. We have a supply and demand problem, so the more supply we can get into the market, the better. But we also need to realize we can’t just continue to rely on that approach for our future.
Q: But what about the addiction to imported oil?
A: Well, we have to diversify and Americanize our energy supply. Pres. Bush made the case for going ahead and drilling in ANWR. Listen to the president.
Q: But what do you do about the addiction to imported oil?
A: Well, we have to diversify and Americanize our energy supply. But we need to do it in a way that’s environmentally sensitive and friendly
Governor Pawlenty earned a score of 66% from CATO on it’s Fiscal Policy Report Card, in 2010.
Pawlenty signed a law in 2005 that would raise the minimum mandated mixture of gasoline and ethanol to 20%.
Pawlenty said, “The individual mandate in Obamacare is a page right out of the Jimmy Carter playbook. The left simply doesn’t understand. The individual mandate reflects completely backwards thinking. They, the bureaucrats, don’t tell us what to do. We, the people, tell the government what to do!”
Pawlenty said, “If you have a country that’s based on the rule of law and the rule of law gets knowingly cast aside and we allow illegal behavior to continue then the rule of law is diminished and one of the cornerstones of our country gets eroded in a pretty pronounced way..”
According to OnTheIssues.com. Pawlenty required the electronic verification of immigration status for state employment.
According to a National Review post, Tim Pawlenty signed into law “one of the best concealed-carry laws in t he nation” and was rated an “A” or very pro-gun by the NRA.
Skeletons in the Closet
In 2008, Governor Pawlenty pardoned sex offender, Jeremy Giefer who was later indicted for sexually abusing another girl from when she was 9 until she was 16. Much of the abuse in this second case occurred before Geifer’s first incarceration, but he continued it once he was pardoned.
The pardon was originally issued by a 3-member panel that included Pawlenty and was given only because Giefer later married the girl he had been convicted of having sex with when she was underage.
Pawlenty appointed Jon Grunseth’s former wife Vicky Tigwell to the MSP airport board. Pawlenty had been a campaign advisor for Mr. Grunseth’s 1990 losing bid for Minnesota governor.
2012 Presidential Bid
On Jan 13,2011 at a speech at the National Press Club, Pawlenty said he was considering a run, had not yet made his decision.
Gov. Pawlenty’s style has been called “wonky” but consistent. Time/CNN put it nicely:
Pawlenty’s problem is that few voters outside of Minnesota know about him, and even fewer Republican activists find themselves bedazzled by his mild-mannered Midwestern charms. Despite numerous visits to Iowa and New Hampshire and a heavily promoted publicity jaunt for his book Courage to Stand, Pawlenty lacks the visibility of some of his opponents, including Palin and Romney. Fewer than 40% of Americans recognized his name in a January Gallup poll, and only 13% held a favorable view of the Republican.
At CPAC 2011, he gave a fiery, hard-line Conservative speech that seemed out-of-character and may be the best indicator yet that he’s going to make the run.
Tim Pawlenty’s CPAC speech:
Here’s some video of Gov. Pawlenty at a CPAC blogger sit-down.