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Tim Pawlenty wants to eliminate funding for Minnesota Public Radio

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Last week, MPR's Tom Scheck shed a spotlight on faith leaders ripping Tim Pawlenty for cutting funds to a state program that helps poor people get health care, while at the same time parading around the country saying God's in charge on everything.

Sounds like T-Paw's playing God with Scheck's employer. As part of his revised proposal for balancing the state's budget, Pawlenty wants to pull the plug on $2.015 million in general-fund appropriations for public broadcasting through 2013, David Brauer reports in MinnPost.

The hit extends past MPR, as well, to six public television stations, other public radio outlets and some regional cable operators.

Public broadcasters are in a tough position arguing against draconian cuts when hospitals are set to take a 77 percent reimbursement hit for indigent coverage under General Assistance Medical Care. Another sympathy-sapper: the nonprofit media just received a windfall from the Legacy Amendment, which has funneled new sales-tax millions into arts, cultural and historical programming. Still, the DFL-controlled Senate, unsurprisingly, wants to undo almost all of the Republican governor's plan.

Folks in Ely, Hinckley and International Falls who thought they might finally have a better connection to reality than Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity may want to call their state legislators. If T-Paw has his way, MPR will have to nix its plans to build new stations in those three locations.