Column: Big Tim Pawlenty now the Big Indian Fighter

"[Minnesota Gov. Tim] Pawlenty has become Big Tim, Indian Fighter. It's an old ploy in American politics. And a reprehensible one. It's even beneath the standards of his predecessor, Jesse Ventura.

Jesse's old movie pal, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is also lusting after tribal casino revenues, drawing fire from Jesse: "Didn't the governor promise a balanced budget without raising taxes?" Jesse says in a radio ad aimed at stopping Arnold's raid. "I guess it's OK to rip off Indians."


Jesse's ad is a perfect summary of the situation in Minnesota and helps explain why I have been hearing more and more lately a phrase I never thought I'd hear uttered by mortal man: "I kind of miss Jesse Ventura."

Ventura started off his term as governor with ignorant comments that insulted Indians. But he looks like an ambassador of goodwill compared with the Republican leaders who are heading the anti-Indian shakedown.

One of them, Sen. Dick Day -- no one's idea of a bright bulb -- said this at a news conference Thursday: "Minnesotans want their own casino."

Indians are not Minnesotans?"

Get the Story:
Nick Coleman: Big Tim trots out old, shameful threat (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 10/31)
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