Minnesota hardball

Minnesota’s senate Democrats have stalled and disparaged the two most prominent appointees of Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty to his cabinet, acting Commissioner of Education Cheri Yecke and acting Commissioner of Transportation (and Lt. Governor) Carol Molnau. Their offenses consist of little more than advocacy of Governor Pawlenty’s positions and implementation of his campaign promises.
Today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune covers the story in “Confirmation hearings are heating up.” The Democrats’ obstructionism is unprecedented:

“I can’t find anything quite like this in my records and notes over the years,” said Hy Berman, one of the state’s leading political historians. “It’s seldom if ever been used on this many appointees at once.” Since 1976, the Senate has voted not to confirm seven executive appointees, but only one at the cabinet level has been removed [as a result of his failure to be confirmed].

The story’s key quote comes from the governor’s chief of staff: “It’s unrealistic to think that [DFL senators] will get new commissioners who agree with them.”
Echoing the party line, the Star Tribune yesterday sought to provide cover for the Democrats in a lengthy editorial of characteristic dishonesty: “Yecke & Molnau/Outside the mainstream.” Our friend Margaret Martin at the Our House blog has given the Star Tribune editorial the royal fisking it deserves.

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