Minnesota’s Governor Pawlenty criticized Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak for the recent rise in violent crimes. When I heard him I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry given that Governor Tim Pawlenty has cut funding for Safety and the Police in previous years by at least a third. As far back as 2003 local government officials across the state were concerned withTim’s budget proposals that lead to major cuts in public safety.
Pawlenty’s policies of managing by budget cuts squarely puts the lion’s share of blame for any lack of protection and safety in our communities on the Governor’s shoulders.
Minneapolis laid off a third of their police, battered women’s shelters were shut down, crime victim assistance grants that fund victims of battering, sexual assault, general crime, and child abuse was slashed by a third, and law enforcement along with community grants that are used to support crime prevention programs were gutted by 1.3 million. To be fair, yes some of the funding has been restored but not to the same level and many of these programs have to now rebuild both resources, contacts and experience.
It’s no wonder Pawlenty is currently trailing in the polls to announced Democratic candidates by 5-6 points, with only 40% pledging to re-elect him. Even Republicans know that violence isn’t partisan.