Former Gov. Carlson: Unelected GOP Chair Shouldn’t Call Legislative Shots

Former Governor Arne Carlson says there is no Minnesota budget agreement because Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton has been making the decisions on the budget, not elected legislators. The fact that Sutton and other Republican Party officials are dictating to legislators what their positions should be “is very, very frightening” says Carlson.

There is no love lost between Carlson and the far right elements that the former Governor says have taken over the Republican party. Carlson says he can’t recall the last time he was invited to speak to a Republican group and they openly call him a traitor.

Carlson told a packed house at the Southdale library that it’s good to see that all of the Republican Presidential candidates are flexible… so flexible that they have all reversed their stand on climate change he joked. But on a serious note Carlson said it is worrisome that all of the Republicans have changed their stance, turning what is a documented scientific problem into a “controversy” that can be falsely debated. “Someone is pulling the chains” said Carlson “we don’t know who”. Although he later suggested that Republican operative Karl Rove may one of those chain pullers.

Repeating what he told a national audience on MSNBC recently, Carlson was very critical of former Minnesota Governor and now Republican Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty. Carlson says he has been “demonized” for telling the truth about how Pawlenty borrowed money to pay the state’s bills instead of cutting spending or raising revenue. He called Pawlenty’s actions “tragic”. He said Pawlenty raised taxes “in the most inefficient way possible” by cutting aid to local governments forcing them to raise their property taxes. That cause Moody’s to downgrade Minnesota’s bond rating. Carlson reminded people that Moody’s is staunchly conservative both fiscally and politically.

He said Pawlenty “failed the test of leadership” because he didn’t have the “courage to do what was right”.

Carlson pointed out that the two worst states for using “one time money” such as accounting shifts, delaying payments or taking federal bailout money were Minnesota and Alaska… and both of their former Governors were now running for President.

Below: Question and answer session:

More quips and quotes from Governor Carlson in our twitter log of this live event:
Twitter log of speech
Gov Carlson: All GOP prez candidates have shown they are flexible. They’ve all reversed their positions. Live at #mnleg

Frmr Gov Carlson: When party platforms get specific, they ultimately lose elections. Live at #mnleg #stribpol

Gov Carlson: Budget impasse is Gov Dayton vs GOP Chair Sutton. Unelected Sutton shouldn’t have that power. Live #mnleg

Former Gov Carlson: GOP Party officials dictating to legislators “is very, very frightening.” Shouldn’t happen. #mnleg

Fmr Gov. Carlson: Gov’t is not a business. It is about safety nets. It can’t cut costs when economy is going bad. Live:

Carlson on shifts and borrowing during Pawlenty reign: “Tragic”. 2 worst states on 1 time money was MN & AK. Both Govs now running for Prez.

Carlson: MN Care was “remarkable achievement” “durable & simple”, GOP budget killed it. 85K people now w/o health care.

Former Gov Carlson suggested #mnleg impose the $3K deductible proposed for MN Care on selves B4 they imposed it on MN.

Carlson: I write about how Pawlenty borrowed so much, which is true, and I get demonized. Why is truth now controversy?

Fmr Gov Carlson: When 1 small wing of a political party can imply it talks to a higher deity, that’s troublesome.

Fmr Gov Carlson: Much to their credit, 3 GOP #mnleg bolted on #antigay marriage amendment. Live #stribpol

Fmr Gov Carlson: Most political leaders who say “jobs, jobs, jobs” haven’t been in biz. Co’s more concerned about talent pool than taxes.

Gov. Carlson: Under Pawlenty taxes went up in most inefficient manner possible. Even non-liberal Moody’s downgraded MN Bond rating. #mnleg

Carlson: Pawlenty failed the test of leadership. He didn’t have the courage to do what was right. #mnleg #stribpol Live:

Gov. Carlson:GOP Prez candidates backtracking on climate change- Someone is pulling chains and we don’t know who. #mnleg

Fmr Gov Carlson: “The reason the GOP has gone so far to the right is the Democratic party has been asleep so long”

Fmr Gov Carlson: McCarthyism gave birth to an “ugly” part of the GOP that has never quite died. #stribpol #mnleg

Carlson: Worst vote ever. Making #mnleg annual sessions. Prevented many professionals – Drs, Lawyers from participating.

Carlson: We should repeal Sen. Marty’s ethics laws. Good intent, but legislators need to socialize to break down political barriers. #mnleg

Q: How do GOP groups respond to you? Carlson: I can’t recall the last time I was invited to speak to GOP. They call me a traitor. #stribpol

Fmr Gov. Carlson: MN faces a choice- higher property taxes or higher tax on top 2% of MN #stribpol #mnleg

Carlson on 2012 GOP Prez- Tea Party could take Iowa. Bachmann is “much more legitimate” than people are giving her credit. #mnleg #stribpol

Carlson: Bothered by Koch Bros & $ purchasing public policy. B4 America preaches democracy it should look at itself 1st. #stribpol #mnleg

Will GOP return to center? Carlson: I hope so. Catering to Tea Party will get Romney nowhere. Give me Harry Truman anytime. #stribpol

On demand video replay of Former Gov Carlson on MN budget impass now available at #mnleg #stribpol