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Closed Minnesota Shutdown Puts Pawlenty in Spotlight Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Minnesota Shutdown Puts Pawlenty in Spotlight

The Minnesota government shutdown may get former Gov. Tim Pawlenty the attention he's been seeking in his presidential bid, but possibly not the right kind. The Pawlenty campaign is hoping the shutdown will allow him to bolster his reputation as a fiscal conservative who was able to balance the budget without raising taxes. But his opponents are arguing that Pawlenty managed the budget using gimmicks and short-term fixes, like patching deficits using stimulus money, shifting education-funding responsibilities to local government, and cashing out a tobacco settlement fund. It's not just Democrats who are blaming Pawlenty for the crisis. “Of course it's his fault,” said former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson. “He would be the classic example of kicking the can to the future.

July 2, 2011 7:19 AM