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Pawlenty shocks Democrats

ST. PAUL - Minnesota Democratic legislative leaders thought relations with Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty were going well.

Then he told a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce audience: "You don't celebrate getting out of Weight Watchers by going over to the all-you-can-eat buffet. So our message to the Legislature is: 'Push away from the table. Put your fork down.'"

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, was not laughing. A lot of people "might not be very happy with his analogy," Clark said.

A day before Pawlenty criticized Democrats for wanting to expand too many state programs, he met with legislative leaders in what Clark called "a mid-session temperature taking." She said the meeting was "very cordial."

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.