Tim Pawlenty stands alone on opposition to phthalate ban

Thanks to our governor, this little tyke still has the right to play with toxic toys

Thanks to our governor, this little tyke still has the right to play with toxic toys

Now that Tim Pawlenty's bid for vice president is dead in the water, his recent decisions as governor, or lack thereof, might just come back to bite him in his not-so politically savvy ass.

Remember how he vetoed a bill that would ban toxic chemicals from children's toys? Recently, President Bush happily signed into law similar legislation, points out Ken Bradley, executive director for Clean Water Action in Minneapolis, which lobbied for the phthalate ban that the state Legislature passed in May.

"That's a real strange place for the governor to be," says Bradley. "When the most unpopular president ever passes it and you don't even agree with your state Legislature, or the federal Congress, Republicans and Democrats in overwhelming numbers.... Well, put it this way, it will be interesting to see what happens to Tim Pawlenty." —Beth Walton

St. Paul no longer fears Khrushchev

The St. Paul City Council took a trip down Cold War memory lane last Wednesday, revising outdated city code to accurately reflect today's modern world, where the threat of terrorists has replaced the red scare.

In one amendment regarding the succession of elected officials during a time of crisis, the council struck out the phrase, "In the event of a nuclear attack or natural disaster..." and inserted the more drab, "In the event of an emergency...."

"It was pretty specific to nuclear attack and not to just general emergencies, so we decided we needed a more general term," says Ellen Biales, legislative aid for City Council President Kathy Lantry.

"There were some things that were outdated. Some had been on the books for a long time."

We're not sure what's more disconcerting: that up until last week, the St. Paul City Council was still worrying about an impending nuclear attack, or that the emergency code hadn't been revised post-9/11. "The language hasn't been revisited, but the city has been doing ongoing emergency training," Biales assures us. "It's just the specific code." —Beth Walton