Pawlenty campaign staff loves light rail that Pawlenty fought

Something caught our eye below the headline yesterday that Tim Pawlenty's soon-to-be campaign staff had leased 5,000 square feet of office space in a swank downtown Minneapolis office building.

They liked the site because of the Hiawatha Line light rail link to Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.

Team T-Paw's finance gurus will be moving into One Financial Plaza, occupying space once leased by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Here's the Journal's Sam Black:

One Financial Plaza: Near light rail.
One Financial Plaza: Near light rail.

In the end, what mattered was downtown's amenities, such as skyways, restaurants and entertainment options. Airport access also was a factor; the building is adjacent to the Hiawatha light rail line.

Wait. Didn't Pawlenty campaign for his first term as governor with a pledge to oppose light rail? Once in office, he tried to gut funding for expanding the Hiawatha Line that is now exceeding its ridership goals. He Scrooged his way around state funding for the Central Corridor line now under construction between Minneapolis and St. Paul. And as House Majority Leader in 2002, he stood squarely in the way of funding for the North Star commuter rail line. He came around on that one, though. Maybe he's coming around again.


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