TOAST OF THE TOWN
If Tim “Plenty of Bullshit” Pawlenty joins Mutt on the GOP ticket he’ll bring one big piece of baggage that gives conservatives heartburn.
When he was governor of Minnesota, Pawlenty backed a “health impact fee” — 75 cents per pack on cigarettes!
It caused the biggest clash of his governorship, shutting down the state government. Pawlenty never called it a tax increase, but his critics certainly did.
Some wacked conservatives are still uncomfortable with Pawlenty’s break with conservative orthodoxy on this issue, even though it seems unlikely to cost him much political capital in the veepstakes.
Republicans in Minnesota and tax critics believe Pawlenty broke his no tax increases pledge, and called the cigarette hike a “fee” as an end run around the pledge.
Yet even Grover Norquist, the king of anti-tax movement (and the clown who came up with the pledge idea for GOP hardliners) who fought the cigarette tax at the time, now seems forgiving of Pawlenty.
Right now Pawlenty is the Toast of the Town with Republicans.