Who needs a legislature?

Pawlenty would take the legislature’s job drafting the budget to show the nation just how capable he is.

ItâÄôs the stuff a Republican governorâÄôs presidential bid is made of: vetoes, vetoes, unallotment and more vetoes. Gov. Tim Pawlenty exercised his veto power a record 34 times during the 2008 legislative session , while the 2009 legislative session ended with similar Pawlenty repudiations as he vetoed medical marijuana, put a nix on expanding anti-bullying legislation and denied a billion-dollar mix of provisional tax increases intended to ease the stateâÄôs $4.6 billion deficit . These mere vetoes would not suffice for a man with such insatiable ambition. Something much bigger and bolder would be needed to set the stage for a presidential gambit. Cue unallotment. To save our state from the fiscal nightmare do-nothing Democrats left to brood, the governor would rather expand executive powers than expand taxes, and take advantage of the seldom-used statutory process reserved for âÄúunanticipatedâÄù budget shortfalls: unallotment. Though circumstances foreseen months ago are not âÄúunanticipated,âÄù Pawlenty presses on to obtain unilateral power to strike appropriated state spending to balance the budget. Collectively, municipal governments, higher education and health care institutions stand to lose more than $2 billion. This, the third time our governor will take advantage of unalloted fiscal authority, means Pawlenty will have used the controversial tool more than all other Minnesota governors combined. If the circumstances at hand are truly severe enough to justify this executive expansion, surely they first justify a retraction of PawlentyâÄôs strategic promise against a 2009 special legislative session so our elected representatives can fix the budget. Though PawlentyâÄôs cuts could put thousands of health, education and government workers onto unemployment rolls, one personâÄôs career prospects look brighter than ever: his own.