Did Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty just drop off John McCain’s hypothetical short list of vice presidential picks? Read:
The Minnesota House voted to override Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto Monday of the $6.7 billion transportation bill.
In a 91-41 vote, the House garnered the two-thirds majority needed to override Pawlenty’s veto.
Six House Republicans broke party lines to support the override and send the bill to the Senate for further action.
That can’t make Pawlenty look very strong as a governor or a candidate. Or can it? Read on:
“This is probably one of the most important bills we can pass, but this bill is not that bill,” he said. “There is a bunch of pork in this bill.”
The transportation bill includes a gas tax increase which will be the state’s first in 20 years. The initial two cents go into effect the day after enactment, and another three cents will be added Oct. 1.
The bill authorizes counties in the metropolitan area to impose the 0.25 percent transportation sales tax without referendum.
Fighting pork makes Pawlenty seem like an even better fit with McCain. And vetoing a gas tax increase can’t suck too badly when gas is already selling for three bucks a gallon. It also seems likely that worried consumers won’t be too offending at keeping the power to authorize any sales tax increases.
Still, a veto override never makes an executive look strong. And the Republicans will need Minnesota (and Wisconsin, too) to make up for the likely loss of Ohio in the fall.
THAT REMINDS ME: It’s about time to start Wargaming the Electoral College again.