Monday, May 15, 2006

Hell on an Icicle Stick

Hi All!

I never in my wildest imagination supposed that a feller at the Enemy Newspaper would write pretty darned close to what I have been saying about Pogue the Trick Pony. You can shorten the last two words to one and substitute something that rhymes with "trick" to understand the moniker I have coined to describe him.

I learned that I MUST post when I have all the ammo ready to go, researched and verifiable.

In this case, it is more satisfying to see a big time lefty reflect my way of thinking to over 200,000 Strib readers than pissing into the wind on a puny blog.

All I can add to the piece is that I honestly believe the Pogue needs mental health counseling for his Napoleanic personality disorder. Watch him reign over the tax committee on channel 17 and tell me that your skin don't crawl.

Ready? Here be the link - nah, I won't make you work for it, I'll just violate copyright law for you.

Pogemiller makes his mark on stadium issue -- if a squiggly one

Julianne Ortman was set to purchase a Star Tribune on Wednesday. But just as she was to make that wise buy, she jerked her hand from the rack.

Doug Grow, Star Tribune

Julianne Ortman was set to purchase a Star Tribune on Wednesday. But just as she was to make that wise buy, she jerked her hand from the rack.

Right there, in a big photo on the front page of the newspaper, was the most paralyzing sight in Minnesota politics -- Sen. Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, with a microphone in his right hand, some documents in his left.

"I couldn't buy the paper," said Ortman, a Republican senator from Chanhassen.

And she says she likes Pogemiller.

"You have to like him," she said. "He thinks. He reads a lot. He's challenging."

Challenging. That's a diplomatic description. Agonizing, condescending, obnoxious are other adjectives that fit.

Even members of his own caucus roll their eyes at the sight of Pogemiller, a 26-year fixture at the State Capitol, rising to his feet. When Pogey speaks, things get confusing.

"You go out with Larry and the waitress comes up to the table," said Sen. Dean Johnson, the Senate's majority leader and a fellow DFLer. "She says, 'Can I get you a drink?' You say, 'Sure, Bud Light, please.' Larry goes through a whole litany on all different kinds of beer. By the time he's done, the poor waitress doesn't know if he wants a beer or lutefisk."

Go straight to the source.

"Senator Pogemiller, do you ever have a yes or no answer to a question?"

"I've been trying to stay out of the press," Pogemiller responded.

Again this year, Pogemiller has imposed his will -- whatever it is -- on the Legislature. He's head of the tax committee, and his maneuvers have turned straightforward measures for stadiums for the University of Minnesota and the Twins into political mazes. He came up with a memorabilia tax for the university stadium, which opened the door for Sen. Steve Kelly to propose a seven-county tax for stadiums and transit.

Neither pro-stadium nor anti-stadium people know how to take Pogemiller's moves, because it's hard to know what he seeks.

"I think he wants the people of Canada and the governor to pay for the stadiums," said Johnson, tongue in cheek.

Pogemiller says he'd like to see the Twins and Gophers get stadiums, but he wants them paid for in "fair and responsible ways." He also admits he'd like to see Gov. Tim Pawlenty outed from his no-new-taxes closet.

Republicans say Pogemiller has too much influence on Johnson, a notion Johnson rejects.

"You can either cut him out and have him in the parking lot throwing stones at you or keep gnawing away at him," said Johnson. "I prefer the long view."

Besides, Johnson likes Pogey.

"He's a competitor," said Johnson.

Ortman, who as a member of the tax committee has studied Pogey closely, has a different description.

"Hubris," she said. "He doesn't look at the rest of us as peers. He doesn't seem himself as a legislator; he sees himself as a head of state, like the governor."

Remember, she says she likes the guy.

Doug Grow •


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