Tim Pawlenty’s Message: Minnesota Made-Not Good Enough

I’ve been harping on buying local and buying American for years.  I don’t have hard numbers for proof, but I know it makes our economy stronger when we buy locally.  The dollars kept in Minnesota continue to turn in Minnesota.

As a family, we don’t just talk about it, we live that way because it is good for us.  This Christmas we gave gift bags that included honey from a farmer here in Farmington, maple syrup from Three Rivers Farm in Elko, pancake mix from Red Wing, jams made with Minnesota grown fruit, Woodbury’s Snappy Dog Salsa and St. Paul’s El Burrito Mercado tortilla chips.

Last year we gave goat milk soap from McCann Farm in Milaca, chocolates from Chocolat Celeste and Minnesota blue cheeses from Shepherd’s Way Farms down by Northfield. 

It isn’t just the holidays, we always lean toward local products in our daily lives like Holy Land hummus and pitas, Old Home products, a lot of Kowalski’s products, Bongard’s cheese and Schell’s beers to name a few that came quickly to mind.

It isn’t that I have extra money to forgo store brands to buy more expensive local products, (by the way they are not necessarily more expensive) I buy local and I buy quality, something the companies listed above are both.  I also recognize that a few cents extra for a local product, as opposed to a cheaper national conglomerate produced product is better for me and my community.

Good for my community.  Good for my state.  Good for my local economy.  Good for me.  The point is it is good for us.  That is why I get annoyed when people like Tim Pawlenty whose job it is to promote the good things in our state and its great resources chooses not to.

I recall him recently buying his hunting necessities from Nebraska based Cabella’s instead of a locally owned shop like Joe’s Sporting Goods.  Recently Tim Pawlenty chose an out of state artist named Rossin to paint his portrait at the Capital.  In my opinion, it is further proof that Tim Pawlenty is a politician more for his ego and the attention than for his accomplishment here in Minnesota or for the promotion of our state.  I know that is a giant step with a single choice he made, but there are hundreds of great artists in Minnesota who would have taken that $25,000 payment and spent it here in the state.  Rossin is a highly acclaimed portrait artist known mainly for his expensive portraits of CEOs, but has well known works of Lincoln both Bush presidents and other politicians.

To me it seems like an ego thing to be included with those paintings.  Oh well, Good riddance T-Paw.  It is too bad the state elected another group of self-serving attention seekers to the legislature to replace you.  My hope is that in the near future we elect a group of politicians who look at this state as a place that needs a higher quality of life and superior education to attract people to our area like the politicians a couple of generations ago did.  Mark Dayton might be one, but we need more Don Fraziers and even Arne Carlsons who place a higher emphasis on our community and future than on shortsighted ego-driven bucket lists.

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7 Comments

Filed under 2010 Governor Race, Mark Dayton, Tim Pawlenty

7 responses to “Tim Pawlenty’s Message: Minnesota Made-Not Good Enough

  1. I just don’t understand the partisan complaiing. We love it when Minnesota companies like 3M and Best Buy are able to export products to other states and even other countries but then whine because Pawlenty’s buying sporting goods from a retailer that borders our own state and employs hundreds of Minnesotans? That’s getting really, really nitpicky.

    Seriously, we have far more important battles to pick. This one just doesn’t register on the list of things that matter.

    • Steve

      What is the most important thing to you? To me it is my family, and I will do everything I can to support them the best I can. I’m guessing based on the few things I know about you, you would say the same thing. What should be the most important thing to a governor? I say the people of the state and supporting them the best way they can.

      It might seem “nitpicky” to you, but it is important to me. It isn’t partisan, I talk about it all the time. I talk about it in underserved and poor communities here and I talk about it in Africa. Make it local and support it and it will be successful. There were communities during the Great Depression that felt it less because in a way they were able to be support each other. Why can’t the leader of our state do the same thing?

      I love going to Cabella’s (which is based in Nebraska, not a border state) and am thankful that they provide hundreds of decent paying jobs. The point isn’t that nobody should shop there, but when Tim Pawlenty makes a public appearance with media in attendance talking about where he is, he should be promoting the state. In fact, I believe one of the MOST important jobs of the governor is to promote Minnesota and promote Minnesota businesses. And despite another accusation from you about how partisan I am, I don’t attack Republicans. I write about people who are not acting in a manner that fit with values that I think make our community better. A few politicians who I specifically disagree with tend to concentrate on partisan behaviors and act in partisan ways that hurt our communitt. Everything Tim Pawlenty does appears to be partisan. I don’t see that from other politicians.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the artist were selected because he is a Republican. Based on his history, that seams like a way Tim Pawlenty might narrow a choice. So maybe I shouldn’t be so “nitpicky” because in effect he is keeping it within his community. I guess my community is my neighbor and his maybe is his party. What should be more important to a Governor of a state? The citizens of the state or their party?

      • Yeah, I’m an idiot, my geography brain went on shut-down mode. Cabela’s is a former customer of mine in my last job and I’ve been to their headquarters a couple of times, which really only adds to my idiocy…

        I just don’t get why the portrait is an issue. I don’t know how much say Pawlenty has in who paints it and I don’t understand why it’s not a Minnesotan either, but it’s not an issue to me. Pawlenty just seems like a pretty authentic guy to me. As he’s positioned himself for a presidential run I haven’t liked some of the things I’ve seen, particularly all of the out-of-state travel. I don’t know if I’d support him. I just don’t think the painter he chooses is an issue of ego.

        Philosophically I’m not convinced that a strictly “buy local” mentality is valuable. Maybe I’m just selective in how I practice it. I prefer to eat at local restaurants, for example, and if Cub Foods has meat from Cannon Falls next to meat from Nebraska, all things being equal I’d choose the Cannon Falls meat. But I also see so much value in a regional and even global economy. I’ve had conversations with my dad where he laments the lack of manufacturing in some regions. I don’t see that as threatening to manufacturing as a whole. Some cities will have a predominantly medical industry, such as Rochester, while Michigan may have towns that are predominantly manufacturing. Washington, D.C., is largely government services. I don’t think the lack of diverse industries in these regions is a problem so long as the necessary services are available to be imported.

        Anyway, I can see your point regarding the governor’s job being an ambassador of the state and in that sense, he should support MN businesses. I’m just not sure I see a pattern based on the couple of examples given. And I think it’s a bit ridiculous that politicians running for office routinely trade in their Toyotas for Chevys to avoid it becoming a campaign issue. My philosophy is more along the lines of: may the best product win!

      • Steve

        Not an idiot, just a lapse. It is caused by kids…

        It is always the best product wins. I don’t care if it is local if it is bad or if it is too expensive. I come from a Ford family, and by Ford family, I mean a St. Paul Ford Plant family. I’ve never owned a foreign car, nor had my parents or grandparents. But when we got a minivan five or six years ago, we narrowed it down to the Toyota and a Honda based on safety and quality. We bought a Honda and have been nothing but happy. I can’t say the same for our friends who bought a Caravan and friends who bought a Chevy van around the same time. I’m a Buick guy by the way much to the dismay of some in my family. I don’t want a lot, but a new Lacrosse would make me very happy…

      • So the issue is kids…awesome, I’m only 10 months into this so I’m still figuring out which parts of my brain remain intact and which are gone forever.

        But going back to the partisan thing, where you said I’ve wrongly accused you of being partisan, I guess my perspective is based on a few things. The first is experience. I was a campaign manager for a congressional race. A huge part of my job was opposition research, telling the voters why the incumbent was bad. Problem was I couldn’t find much, so the candidate I was working for decided to grasp at straws and went low. I left the campaign, thankfully before it got really ugly (and it got ugly – VERY ugly). So I saw the partisanship that happens in the context of a campaign. I also see the “Democrat” label on the blog and the fact that you’ve run under the Democratic banner and I guess that cements partisanship in my head, whether or not that’s fair. I realize partisan politics is really the only option in America, I just hate it.

        I voted for 3 different parties this fall, all in competitive races. Voting with my head instead of a party probably wouldn’t win me any points if I did want to run for office one day, but I feel better about where my votes are going.

  2. Gosh, I don’t know precisely what Mr. Pawlenty was looking for, but if it was outdoors-related items, why not visit Battle Lake Outdoors in Clarissa MN, or Duluth Pack in Duluth MN ? If he was looking for some fishing products, how about Turboset Fishing in Bloomington MN ? These are not just Minnesota businesses selling products in Minnesota, these are products made in Minnesota.

    Which poses the question : Is it a failure of Mr. Pawlenty not to promote these Minnesota businesses; or the inability of Mr. Pawlenty to attract these type of businesses to Minnesota ?

    In many ways, Mr. Pawlenty has moved to the “loony” side of the political spectrum … as such, I suggest that he visit Loon Tune which makes s spinning toy that mimics the cry of the Common Loon … and is produced with assistance from ABC Inc., a non-profit that provides jobs for people with disabilities in Southern Minnesota.

    I think it’s fair to ask Minnesota politicians why they promote so many out-of-state businesses … heck I vomited when I read his story about vomiting … but not for Pawlenty’s boyhood story, but because it was from Tyndale House Publishers of Carol Stream, Illinois … heck there are only 265 book publishers in Minnesota … and Capstone Press just made news by donating $5 million dollars in books to South Africa … some of these publishers promote more than just authors.

    Mr. Pawlenty is alone in selecting non-Minnesota companies … Mr. Kline (the Congressman assigned to represent Minnesota’s Second District) has given over $135,000 in printing jobs to Citizens Dialog LLC out of Virginia … once again, doesn’t he know of any printing businesses in Minnesota ? … Heck, I drive by them all the time … but Mr. Kline seems to
    respond to Washington DC based businesses then ours.

    For more products Made in America, and with a little searching Minnesota companies are listed, visit Still Made in USA.

  3. Gosh, I don’t know precisely what Mr. Pawlenty was looking for, but if it was outdoors-related items, why not visit Battle Lake Outdoors in Clarissa MN, or Duluth Pack in Duluth MN ? If he was looking for some fishing products, how about Turboset Fishing in Bloomington MN ? These are not just Minnesota businesses selling products in Minnesota, these are products made in Minnesota.

    Which poses the question : Is it a failure of Mr. Pawlenty not to promote these Minnesota businesses; or the inability of Mr. Pawlenty to attract businesses to Minnesota ?

    In many ways, Mr. Pawlenty has moved to the “loony” side of the political spectrum … as such, I suggest that he visit Loon Tune which makes s spinning toy that mimics the cry of the Common Loon … and is produced with assistance from ABC Inc., a non-profit that provides jobs for people with disabilities in Southern Minnesota.

    I think it’s fair to ask Minnesota politicians why they promote so many out-of-state businesses … heck I

    vomited when I read his story about vomiting … but not for Pawlenty’s boyhood story, but because it was from Tyndale House Publishers of Carol Stream, Illinois … heck there are only

    265 book publishers in Minnesota … and Capstone Press just made news by donating $5 million dollars in books to South Africa … some of these publishers promote more than just authors.

    For more products Made in America, and with a little searching Minnesota companies are listed, visit Still Made in USA.