BEST GADFLY - 2004
Phil Krinkie doesn't want to spend money on anything. Not to build a billion-dollar playpen for a huckster used-car salesman from San Antonio, and not to, um, educate our kids. We may not always agree with the Shoreview Republican's views, but we admire his pit bull approach to spotlighting dubious government spending. When Gov. Tim Pawlenty unveiled his asinine proposal to build two new pro-sports stadiums at a cost of $1 billion (justifying his support by explaining that it's a cold state and "we've got to have some stuff for people to do"), the supposedly fiscally conservative Republicans were conspicuously quiet. Except for Krinkie. He lashed into the governor with the same bilious zeal that he's hurled at politicians of all stripes throughout the last decade of stadium dust-ups. Our favorite Krinkie-ism of the last year was his take on whether any stadium-funding proposal should be put to the voters. "If you're going to fleece the taxpayers," he noted, "then you should at least ask them if they want to be fleeced for this purpose."