Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Governors Suggest Feds Can Learn from States

By Ed O'Keefe

As the nation's governors wrapped up their annual meeting of the National Governors Association, two of them -- Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) and Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) -- offered the federal government some advice on how to change the way it does business.

Both state executives agreed the federal government would operate better with a balanced budget system. Nixon said the approach, "brings a whole level of discipline" to governing, something lacked by the federal government, which adopts the culture of "walking away from problems and pointing their fingers at somebody else."

Pawlenty took a more ominous approach.

"We’re going to have the government debt equivalent of the mortgage crisis down the road, because our federal government, whether when Republicans have been in charge, or Democrats have been in charge, have been on basically an unbroken trajectory of more and more and more debt. You can not forever suspend the laws of gravity by spending more than you can afford, or spending more than you have, and not have that come back and haunt you."

Pawlenty also suggested the federal government could learn valuable lessons from state programs, like Minnesota's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Campaign, designed to reintegrate and support returning members of the military and their families. He cited his administration's work on renewable energy, education and performance pay as other examples.

When asked about the practicality of Obama's calls for greater transparency and accountability, Nixon insisted the federal government can do it.

"It’s a mentality that’s developed in state governments where we’re just far more open with the public," he said.

"I wouldn’t ever want to run for Congress, but if I was up here, I’d rewrite the FOIA. It’s absolutely absurd how long it takes people to get public records. The taxpayers pay for those documents, they pay for the lights in those meetings, they pay for the water in those meetings, they ought to be in them."

Pawlenty concurred: "We really have to maintain that commitment to being transparent and making it Web-enabled so anyone anywhere can get any information any time they want."

During the interview both governors also said they will use most of the federal funding provided to their states by the economic stimulus package on job creation and retention.

"I think the governors -- Democrats and Republicans -- understand we go back with a united mission to try to get people back to work. Some may go about that in different ways. We all have different ways we're going to do that," Nixon said.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 24, 2009; 7:04 AM ET
Categories:  Turf War, Video Report  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Final FAA-Weather Service Decision Delayed Again
Next: Eye Opener: Feb. 24, 2009


These days, please don't use my state, Tennessee, as an example of how to do anything.

We've fallen from our glory days (e.g. the "Tennessee Plan" for gaining statehood ~ a bold and innovative idea that spread to other territories as an example of how to create a state) to a cacophony of infighting and boneheaded schemes to retain and gain power at the Capitol, among other atrocities.

It's embarrassing to be from the jackass state of Tennessee, where 1)our Republicans believe President Obama is a usurper, 2)skinheads include killing kids in their grand plan, 3)men name their newborns Sarah McCain Palin Ciptak behind their wives back, 4) TVA gets to kill the land with hardly an apology, 5)and the list, unfortunately, goes on and on...

Posted by: RepublicanMamaforObama | February 24, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

right now there is a draft appropriations bill being floated around in Congress. I would suggest the Governors address the earmarks to their respective states and refuse those funds as well. Note the monies going to Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and others. The hypocrisy of Alaska to refuse federal dollars is criminal. they get more federal dollars per person than any state out there. So lets have these governors turn down the $30M for an engineering building from U of Alabama, and all the construction and research projects in their respective states. when they do that, I'll respect this political stance they are taking.

Posted by: oknow1 | February 24, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Conservative republicans are desperately searching for a new leader, letting Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty speak about anything is ridiculous.
Pawlenty VETOED a $0.05 increase in fuel tax for infrastructure repair just before I-35 bridge collapsed in the Mississippi River killing 13 people.
True to conservative republican message of No tax increases, government is the problem Pawlenty, Sanford, Palin, Steele are living proof that the GOP is the party of DEAD IDEAS!

Posted by: knjincvc | February 24, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company