Torchgate’s revenge: While I was out of town visiting Little Trunk, the campaign of Minnesota’s Republican candidate for governor, Tim Pawlenty, melted down. Having agreed to abide by statutory spending limits, Pawlenty’s campaign was found by the state’s campaign finance practices board to have coordinated illegally with the Republican party to circumvent the applicable spending limits. The board’s finding was reported last Friday in a Star Tribune story by Dane Smith, “Pawlenty campaign takes a big hit on ads.” The penalties associated with the violation that has been found have not been imposed yet, but they are being negotiated with the Pawlenty campaign. On Saturday, the Star Tribune reported that the Pawlenty campaign would not contest the campaign practices board ruling. As these stories make clear, the impending financial penalties are staggering. We like Tim, we may be wrong, and we say with absolutely no joy that anyone who can add will deduce that the Pawlenty campaign is dead in the water. Read the linked stories.
Under Minnesota law, the party can substitute candidates in the event that the previously endorsed candidate withdraws, virtually up to the day of the election. In 1990, Arne Carlson waged a successful seven-day campaign for governor after the previously endorsed candidate withdrew. We predict that within the week, Tim will withdraw and our friend Brian Sullivan, who lost the endorsement by a hair to Tim, will be asked to take his place. We emphasize that we convey these predictions as simple deductions from the reports above. We ask you to stay tuned to the Power Line as events unfold. As Matt Drudge says, impacting…
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