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MN bipartisan effort overrides Gov. Pawlenty's veto & ousts his transit commissioner



  • skyybahamutskyybahamut Registered User
    edited February 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Ok, so constitutionally we are safe in the previous reguard.

    Thanks for the research btw, as I honestly did not know that. You sir, have enlightened me today.(no sarcasm)

    Even with his hate for the tax raise, Pawlenty has tried to help us with our gas with ethanol.

    Also this tax is signifigantly less than I originally thought. I thought the decimal was to the right one place.

    I'm one of those people that needs a zero in front of those small percentages or I get baffeled.

    Isnt ethanol a total waste of time? Takes about as much as a gallon of gas to make an equal amount of ethanol the way I understand it.
    How Much Energy Does It Take to Make a Gallon of Ethanol?

    David Lorenz and David Morris

    August 1995
    ©1995 Institute for Local-Self Reliance (ILSR)
    Reproduction permitted with attribution to ILSR

    One of the most controversial issues relating to ethanol is the question of what environmentalists call the "net energy" of ethanol production. Simply put, is more energy used to grow and process the raw material into ethanol than is contained in the ethanol itself?

    In 1992, ILSR addressed this question. Our report, based on actual energy consumption data from farmers and ethanol plant operators, was widely disseminated and its methodology has been imitated by a number of other researchers. This paper updates the data in that original report and addresses some of the concerns that some reviewers of the original report expressed.

    Our analysis again concludes that the production of ethanol from corn is a positive net energy generator. Indeed, the numbers look even more attractive now than they did in 1992. More energy is contained in the ethanol and the other by-products of corn processing than is used to grow the corn and convert it into ethanol and by-products. If corn farmers use state-of-the-art, energy efficient farming techniques and ethanol plants integrate state-of-the-art production processes, then the amount of energy contained in a gallon of ethanol and the other by-products is more than twice the energy used to grow the corn and convert it into ethanol.

    As the ethanol industry expands, it may increasingly rely on more abundant and potentially lower-cost cellulosic crops (i.e. fast growing trees, grasses, etc.). When that occurs, the net energy of producing ethanol will become even more attractive.

    Read the article for more info if you wish, and granted it is 13 years old, however I have yet to find anthing that contradicts this information. If someone does present differing info I will consider it and perhaps change my stance, however this report clearly states net energy will be gained.

    skyybahamut on
    This signature is for SCIENCE!
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Hum, "Transit 6" sounds pretty good, but there's also that famous saying "Sic Transit Gloria," or "Thus passes glory."

    They could be the Six Transit Gloria. The Gloria Transit Six?

    ...okay the vicodin is going to my head. I'm going to bed. :oops:

    Stay classy, Minnesota State House Republicans.

    Dracomicron on
    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The pins come down one by one.

    So, the Minnesota legislature proceeded to override Pawlenty's veto to invest $6.6 million in transportation, and then they cleaned house by rejecting the appointment of Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, who was serving as head of MN-Dept. of Transportation. Molnau has no college education to speak of, was an outspoken critic of public financing of transportation prior to being appointed to lead MN-DOT, and has an approval rating of about 25%.

    Interestingly enough, her appointment was opposed in 2004 by the transportation comittee, but the full Senate overruled its recommendation.
    Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau was ousted from her job today by the Minnesota Senate, which voted 44 to 22 not to confirm her.

    Gov. Tim Pawlenty immediately announced that he had appointed Bob McFarlin, Molnau's chief assistant, to be acting commissioner of the state's transportation department.

    Molnau still holds her elected position as lieutenant governor, but the vote ends her stormy career as head of MnDOT, which has been rocked by accusations of poor management, particularly after the collapse of the I-35W bridge in August.

    In a statement, Molnau said that her service as transportation commissioner was "one of the best experiences of my life. It has been my honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Minnesota alongside the dedicated professionals in the department. I am proud of the agency's accomplishments in increasing infrastructure investment, improving efficiency and advancing innovation."

    DFL Senate leaders pledged to move quickly and smoothly with hearings on a new appointee to permanently replace Molnau.

    "I'm hopeful that the person the governor puts forward next will be a real engineer and a true advocate for transportation," said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and one of the leading critics of Molnau's administration.

    Pawlenty said in a statement that MnDOT had completed more road and bridge projects in Molnau's five years as commissioner than in any other comparable period in the state's history, and that several major projects had been accelerated.

    "The DFL's decision to remove the lieutenant governor from her post at MnDOT is disappointing," Pawlenty's statement said. "It also shows they're more interested in partisanship than working together on the important issues facing our state."

    Party line vote

    The vote to remove Molnau fell along strict party lines. During an hour of debate on the Senate floor, Murphy said Molnau's failure to advocate for the department and cost overruns on several key projects necessitated her removal. But Murphy said repeatedly he had never blamed Molnau for the bridge collapse.

    "Do we have the right person in the right place at the right time? I believe we do not," Murphy said.

    Republicans, though, described the confirmation vote as a political attempt to lay fault for the bridge collapse on Molnau and to blame her for decades of failure at properly funding transportation.

    "A 40-year-old design flaw wasn't her fault. Stop passing the buck," said Sen. Betsy Wergin, R-Princeton.Mark Brunswick

    Basically, now that MN-DOT is actually going to get funded, they didn't want this 2nd rate economy hack and Pawlenty stooge with her hands on the checkbook.

    Pawlenty, in hypocricy worthy of George W. Bush, accuses the Democrats of partisanship when all they're looking for is a real engineer and transportation specialist to run the show, and his appointee was the very definition of a partisan selection... his own Lt. Governor, with no experience in the field and a mandate to gut the program in any way possible.

    What's this I'm feeling? Pride? In government? I'm confused...

    Dracomicron on
    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Basically, the GOP is reaping the results of their purge - the doctrinaire conservatives they put in office are being found to be...lacking by the populace, and are getting rejected en masse.

    AngelHedgie on
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Basically, the GOP is reaping the results of their purge - the doctrinaire conservatives they put in office are being found to be...lacking by the populace, and are getting rejected en masse.

    Actually I'm pretty sure that they'd intended to get rid of Molnau after getting the transit bill passed (they've grown to hate her)... the fact that Pawlenty made them override a veto and the retribution on the Transit 6 just made it so that ousting her was their very first order of business afterwards.

    This is the state legislature growing a spine after years of being browbeaten. It's like the House of Representatives blocking the FISA telecom immunity... democracy coming out of the cave and spreading its limbs after a long hibernation.

    God, I'm waxing poetic now, somebody stop me.

    Dracomicron on
    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    See, I was about to mistake MN for Montana, and ask what was in this transportation bill, affordable horseshoes?

    Not Sarastro on
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    See, I was about to mistake MN for Montana, and ask what was in this transportation bill, affordable horseshoes?

    One day Ron Paul will wrest control of Montana and they will need no transportation funding, since everyone will drive zeppelins at a stately pace over the sprawling property of gentleman landowners.

    But no, that fate is denied to Minnesotans, who will have to settle for expanded light rail and streets without massive potholes.

    Just because I enjoy trashing on Carol Molnau, here's some cherry-picked bits of malfeasance from the Star Tribune.
    So far, the governor has publicly expressed nothing but support, saying Molnau is "doing a good job." ["heckuva job, Brownie!" - Drac]

    "Do I look at the bridge inspection reports? No," she said. "I really believe we have professionals trained to do that."

    She's a no-new-taxes farmer without a college degree heading an agency with 4,500 employees and a $2 billion annual budget that hungers constantly for road funding. By her own admission, she's a "not very polished kind of person."

    But those who know her best say she has strength and resilience that could help her survive the political fallout of the bridge tragedy.

    A 5-foot-8, former arm-wrestling champion, Molnau once beat former Gov. Jesse Ventura in a keg-tossing contest. When Ventura once accused her of harassing him by touching him during a TV debate, she laughed it off.

    "She's a very hard worker with a lot of stamina," said state Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, a close friend.

    To save money for road projects, Molnau in 2003 proposed cuts to the agency's workforce and so-called safety issues, such as snowplowing and road striping. One of her first responsibilities -- a reorganization of the department -- resulted in layoffs of more than 160 employees.

    A presentation of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to the Legislature in February said more than 600 MnDOT/AFSCME positions have been eliminated during her tenure.

    Molnau came under heavy criticism for her agency's handling of the Crosstown highway reconstruction, a project that Peter Hutchinson, an Independence Party candidate for governor, once called the most bungled project in Minnesota history. The work was delayed a year when MnDOT asked contractors to front the money for it. Contractors didn't bid on the project.

    Transportation Finance Committee member, Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, said MnDOT employees have covertly contacted legislators about transportation needs because Molnau refuses to be an advocate for funding, instead adhering to a firm no-taxes stand. "They can't ask for money when their boss doesn't allow them to," Hausman said.

    During a committee meeting Molnau attended in May about funding for infrastructure, Sen. Jim Carlson, DFL-Eagan, expressed concern for the state. He said: "What I am hearing here is just really starting to ... make me sad, because I'm seeing Minnesota deteriorate around me."

    Me, too, Jim.

    Dracomicron on
    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
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