Pawlenty's expensive dinner rakes in the cash


About 300 people ate with Pawlenty last night -- for the bargain price of $1,000 a plate.

The dinner, held at the Minneapolis Hilton, was the kick-off for his Freedom First PAC, the committee started to raise money to fly Pawlenty around the country so he can test the political waters for a potential presidential run. The Star Tribune's Rachel Stassen-Berger has the details of the swanky night. Pawlenty is still not saying whether he'll run--but for months now, he's been giving all the signals that a presidential bid is likely.

Actors Jon Voight and John Ratzenberger joined some prominent Minnesota Republicans, Stassen-Berger reports:

Among the fundraiser's chairs was Bill Cooper, TCF Financial Corp. CEO and a former chair of the state Republican party; Tom Stauber the owner of Edwards Sales building-supply company and his wife, Karen, who have contributed more than $150,000 to Republican causes, and Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel, who, with his wife, Denise, made more than $75,000 in political donations last year.