Tim Pawlenty casts Legislature in "Friday the 13th"

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Welcome to the Legislature

So here we are, with the clock ticking down on the legislative session and the state's books facing a monster budget shortfall. The Republican governor characterizes the conundrum as a horror movie franchise. A leading Democrat says Republicans have devolved into a cult.

We all got a free ticket to this lousy show after the Minnesota Supreme Court last week ruled that the governor overstepped his authority when he decided to do an end-run around the Legislature last year and balance the state's budget himself.

The ruling set the stage for the Legislature last week to vote down the cuts that Pawlenty had originally tried to make on his own. Then yesterday, it set about passing a $2.8 billion package of program cuts, fancy bookkeeping and tax increases to balance the budget.

"The DFL's proposed tax increase is like Jason in 'Friday the 13th,'" Tim Pawlenty said yesterday via Twitter. "it's scary and it keeps coming back. I look forward to vetoing it."

The no-new-taxes Republican mantra prompted DFL Rep. Steve Simon of St. Louis Park to suggest his opponents had lost their minds.

"This isn't a religious cult. This is a legislature," Simon said. "It's about time we start listening to reason."

But the script is written. The actors have blocked out their positions. Next comes the scene today with Pawlenty inking a veto of package, and then the projectionist in the booth rewinds the film and it starts all over again.

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