Tim Pawlenty has been known in St. Paul as Governor No for a while now. And he's proud of the title, and the 299 bills he vetoed while in office.
So proud, in fact, that he's now turned over his "veto pen" -- a really, really over-sized pen designed for dramatic purposes -- to the Minnesota Historical Society.
Three of those vetoes especially caught our attention:[jump]
Three of those vetoes especially caught our attention:
Grant Stevensen, the pastor at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in St. Paul, hammered Pawlenty for vetoing the General Assistance Medical Care program for low-income adults. Stevenson was particularly irked at Pawlenty's selective reliance on the Bible for his public policy guidance.
"Please stop lecturing us about God. It's offensive," Stevenson said. "The only God we're aware of is the one who says 'If you want to follow me, you'll look our for the widows, and the orphans, for the fatherless, for the poorest in the land.' Please stop talking to us about God. It's offensive. We can't take it.
In May, he ruled that bong water is still a controlled illegal substance in Minnesota, after the Legislature passed a bill declaring that the weight of bong water can't be counted as part of the weight of a controlled substance in a drug prosecution case.
"The bill waters down current criminal justice practices and standards related to the weight of controlled substances found in water pipes," Pawlenty said, by way of justification.
In a move likely to burnish his presidential prospects among social conservatives, Pawlenty vetoed a bill that granted same-sex couples the same end-of-life rights as married couples that same month.
"Marriage - defined as between a man and woman - should remain elevated in our society at a special level, as it traditionally has been. I oppose efforts to treat domestic relationships as the equivalent of traditional marriage. Accordingly, I am opposed to this bill," he said.
Here's the full list of Pawlenty's vetoes for 2010, with links to each veto message.
- Chapter 182: General assistance medical care (GAMC) program and MinnesotaCare provisions modifications.
- Chapter 189:Omnibus bonding bill line-item veto.
- Chapter 284: Transfer of credits regulated within institutions belonging to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
- Chapter 291: Coercion against potential political candidates prohibition.
- Chapter 312: Employees of city-owned or county-owned hospital exempt from certain reporting requirements.
- Chapter 322: Public employees insurance program school districts employee health insurance coverage purchase requirement.
- Chapter 335: Juvenile records provisions modifications.
- Chapter 340: The Budget Balancing Bill.
- Chapter 341: Mt. Simon-Hinckley aquifer water appropriation prohibitions expanded.
- Chapter 345: State employees additional whistleblower protection; classified employees expectations as nonpartisan resources to all decision makers.
- Chapter 347: Omnibus employment and economic development policy bill.
- Chapter 353: Publicly owned nursing facilities rate increase authorized, and local share required for nonfederal medical assistance costs.
- Chapter 355: Wrongful death actions by domestic partners authorization; right to control deceased persons remains expansion to domestic partners (Final Wishes).
- Chapter 360: Omnibus health and human services bill.
- Chapter 361: Omnibus environment, energy and natural resources policy and finance bill; outdoor heritage appropriations.
- Chapter 362: Line-item veto.
- Chapter 367: Controlled substance mixture definition modification; controlled substance possession offenses modifications.
- Chapter 381: Criminal records expungement law provisions expansion and modifications.
- Chapter 386: Motor vehicle definition clarification.
- Chapter 387: Motor carrier transportation contracts indemnity provision prohibition.
- Chapter 389: Omnibus tax bill.
- Chapter 390: Omnibus natural resources policy bill.
- Chapter 398: Minnesota Innovation and Research Council
Democrat Mark Dayton is set to take over the reins from Pawlenty on Jan. 3, and set about finding a way forward with a Republican-controlled House and Senate, and we suspect he's shopping for his own veto pen right now.