Minneapolis Column: Pawlenty’s Time In DC Spent “Pimping for Wall Street”
As Tim Pawlenty continues to mull over whether another gubernatorial bid is worth the effort, a new column from City Pages, a Twin Cities weekly newspaper, highlights all the challenges he might face. The whole thing is a doozy, and well-worth your time, but below are some highlights:
1. Pawlenty rewrote his official portrait plaque to hide his failures, and his nascent lobbying career
This would not do. Pawlenty complained, and the plaque was rewritten to polish his ego. Gone was the governor who violated the constitution by rewriting the budget to yank $2 billion from schools and social services. In his place stood one who once chaired the esteemed National Governors Association, and who really loved the troops.
In truth, the original text was too kind.
Pawlenty’s rewrite went beyond his term in office. He also insisted the plaque read that, since 2012, he’s worked as the chief executive officer for “an advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.” To learn which one, you’d need to see the original plaque: “The Financial Services Roundtable, a major Wall Street lobbying group.”
2. Through 2015, the latest year available, Pawlenty took home $7 million – more than 25% of the Financial Services Roundtable’s total lobbying during his tenure.
In the past five years, the Roundtable expensed about $27 million for lobbying. Almost $7 million of that went to Pawlenty, and that’s just through 2015, the last year with tax records available.
3. Once in his new hometown, Washington D.C., Pawlenty quickly got to work fighting against any commonsense protections for consumers, including but not limited to: killing legislation to end taxpayer bailouts, allowing banks to generate income over exorbitant overdraft fees, and fighting regulations designed to bring transparency to financial advice and conflicts of interest.
In short, Pawlenty’s job was to essentially lobby against any idea that might save people from getting screwed. Upon the election of Donald Trump, the Roundtable pushed its screwing into overdrive.
4. Pawlenty has the stench of “The Swamp” all over him.
In 2011, when he briefly ran for president, Pawlenty positioned himself as an outsider from both D.C. and Wall Street, which needed to “get its nose out of the trough.” Before he announces his run for governor, the least he could do is wipe off his face.
Read the whole story here.