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Comments on Light Rail

April 08, 2008 By Minnesota 2020 Readers
Our governor should visit cities like Denver and Portland for an example of what light rail should look like. Both these cities expanded their systems quickly and with great success. Cut taxes? You get what you pay for. He is in the process of destroying the Minnesota Miracle.
David McKay

Our governor is very short-sighted and has been for a very long time. I don't know why the people of Minnesota can't see that he does not have their best interests at heart. He turns down so many worthwhile projects, like the funding for light rail (which will kill federal funding) but continues to support corn-based ethanol, which will raise food prices and take lots of energy to produce. I think he just DOES NOT get it!
Jeanne Larson
Sturgeon Lake

This activity has to stop, I think I miss Jesse. smile  Minneapolis is so far behind many cities that we would normally snub our nose at when it comes to transit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, St. Louis, Dallas, Houston...if we are the progressive state we have advertised to the world than we need to follow through. That said we are still recovering from Pawlenty's nickel and diming of the Hiawatha corridor, limited parking, limit to two car trains, slower speed. Pawlenty needs to see for himself what improved transit has done for Portland, Dallas, etc.  Hopefully a streetcar line from downtown to uptown is in the works!
Adam Auxier

Governor Pawlenty has his political future and Minnesota priorities in the wrong order. Cutting the funding for light rail is inexcusable with the transportation problems we face in this state.  Cutting the funding for the Como Zoo shows his lack of empathy and compassion for the animals we have in our keep.  I am so tired of the politicians and "their" future, "their" goals.  While the states, and country they represent are second to their power and ambition.  I'm at a loss as to what to do anymore.
Patricia McClary

An efficient public transit system is definitely more important than highway expansion to the future well being of the Metro area and the state of Minnesota.
Paul Jacobs

Gov. Pawlenty continues to do the most harebrained, shortsighted moves for the state he allegedly governs. One visits New York, London, San Francisco...even my hometown of old rust belt Pittsburgh..and finds light rail connecting commuters and visitors with key locations. Not in Minnesota.  Pawlenty apparently likes it just fine that he can be driven from the burbs to work in his big honking gas-guzzling SUV, without thinking about the future for the rest of the state's commuters.
Trilby Busch

I think it is a shame, that the Governor veteod the money for light rail. What is even worse is that the Democrats let him do it. They should have made the hard decisions and cut the bonding bill to 825 million and not left it up to the Governor. They were too busy playing politics, and trying to make the Governor look bad for cutting projects.

Now all of us will have to pay for this immaturity by State Government. I expect this from a Governor whose only economic policy is No New Taxes, but my expectations were higher from the Democrats.
Jim Weygand

I don't know what Governor Pawlenty is thinking.  Maybe he thinks he can get his way by forcing the Legislature to fund his pet projects.

The very fact that he vetoed every bonding issue for the City of St. Paul tells me its out of pure spite.  Maybe for increasing the gas tax.  The fact that he would veto a project he supported shows he is willing to continue to destroy Minnesota for his own political gain.

But we voters decided that we didn't want change 18 months ago.  We now have to live in a cold Mississippi.
Mike Fratto
St. Paul

The governor is a bully who wields lots of power. He is playing high stakes poker. I wish he had greater leadership ability and a stronger ethical grounding. We can only wish!
Mary Kowalski
Mendota Heights

We need light rail between the cities and even more places.  I don't understand where the governor is coming from unless he is trying to ruin our metro area.
Arthur Hogenson

Light rail needs to happen! Once a critical mass of people start using it it will become more and more popular. Light rail is the future of transportation for urban Minnesota.
Kurt Schroeder

It is obvious that Gov. Pawlenty cares a great deal more about running for Vice President than he does about the future of transportation in Minnesota.  This may be good for Pawlenty's politics but it is a disaster for the Twin Cities.
Lyle Krueth

Once again thank goodness for the governor. To all of you kool aide drinkers inside the 494/694 loop listen up. We do not need a train from Minneapolis to Duluth, and we most certainly don't need a light rail corridor, the busses along University Ave. work just fine. What we do need is fiscal responsibility. You simply cannot tax your way to prosperity.
Bernie Bauhof

This funding was critical.  With this veto, Pawlenty revealed his true stand on public transportation in MN.  It comes as no surprise, however.  This is the kind of short-sightedness we can expect from him.
Jesse Petersen

Perhaps Pawlenty could line item veto this Corridor work because he knows that we MUST have more options for light rail in our state and that we will fight to make it happen.  I do hope there is a way.  I'm sick of my car!
Beth Waterhouse

It is terrible that Gov. Pawlenty vetoed light-rail funding, and he needs to pay a serious political price for this action.  Let me know what is being done, and I will support it.
Audrey Warrus

I have never seen a more blatant piece of political retribution as the line item vetos.  I have never been more disappointed in Tim Pawlenty.  I do not trust his judgment to govern this state.
S Robin

Light rail is an essential sevice that needs to be expanded statewide.  Give us the Light!
Lynn Pierce
Sauk Rapids

We must override this veto & pass funding for light rail & gain the federal funding.
Marc Gaida

Governor Pawlenty always likes to refer to himself as someone who sees the potential of growth in Minnesota.  Light rail in Minneapolis as been appluaded and appreciated as a viable means of transportation to and from the Dome the Airport and the MOA. Is the Governor so blind sided by his feelings over the transportation tax to jepordize the future of MN?  We need to invest all our resources in alternative and sustainable forms of transportation.  We need to promote growth and prosperity in our State by exploring our potential.
Kathy Steinhauer

Pawlenty's line item vetos on the bonding bill certainly sends a message and reveals, once again, a Governor who will not set his ego and the vindictive elements of his character aside on behalf of what is  needed for MN's future - this time it's light rail, and all the benefits thereof. A very polished yet small minded and mean-spirited little man.
Amelia Kroeger
Maple Plain

I would like to see these enacted: rescind the governor's power to line item veto.  And impeach Gov Pwlenty ASAP.
John Milton

With his Veto pen in hand I think and feel that our governor is trying to  make our wonderful state a place that people run from not run to.
Sue Castro
Brooklyn Park

Governor Plawlenty fails to look beyond the next election.  His history of being the hole in the road to posperity for this state, comes thru again.
Jeff Strand

It is hard to believe the governor's choices of line item veto projects is not "personal."  Saint Paul took the brunt of his pen-Union Station, Como Zoo, AND Central Corridor.  Tim Pawlenty, apparently, dislikes funding polar bears & tigers, reduced traffic, and preserving a piece of Saint Paul transportation history.  This governor is a disgrace.  Worse than Ventura.
Mark Bannick
St. Paul

Pawlenty seems to be focussing his budget cuts on St. Paul where he gets a minority of support and  votes. He's playing politics, protecting his future and not acting like a governor of the entire state.  That's nothing new with him.  I think cutting light rail funding is a terrible blow for the future of the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area.
Jane Wichmann

It is unfortunate that the light rail will be derailed for now.  Despite not being a Pawlenty fan, at some point in time we as a nation have to suck it up and quit spending money.  The state of MM is a billion in the hole and the Federal Government is approaching 10 trillion in deficit.  Some things just have to wait for better financial times.
Mike Erickson

Pawlenty's line-item vetoes of the transit provisions of the budget show an embarrassing lack of understanding of how to run government in a business-like way.  No business capable of surviving, let alone thriving, would pass up investing $70M in order to realize $500M.  It`s an INVESSTMENT in part of the infrastructure a state absolutely needs in order to attract well-educated citizens and the business/educational/cultural growth both political parties claim to champion. The competition we face domestically and internationally will, of course, applaud our bowing out of contention.  We as victimized citizens can only blame ourselves (those of us who are aware of the dynamics of it) and lament the lack of quality leadership on both sides of the aisle that has placed us where we are; on the bench. I guess we get the kind of government we deserve.  One can only hope that Pawlenty will be "promoted" up the Republican Party line of "leadeship" where his "skills" can be employed to further weaken an increasingly shrill, vengeful and self-destructive cabal.  One can only hope Minnesota will not be damaged too much more as he and they flame out.
Jeff Hazen

At a time when people are loosing their jobs, Global Warming threatens all of us, and the metro region is jammed with polluting single occupant cars, the Governor chooses to cut funding to a project that effectively addresses all three issues. He cuts $70 million and thus denies the state $500 million from other funding: for each $1.00 cut, we loose $7.14. But then, what can you expect from a Governor who does not believe in Government?  At what point do the freeloading Republicans with their small government, no taxes, rich-eat-the-poor dogma get thrown on the trash heap of history? Their killing us, literally!
Les Phillips

What a disaster to lose that half billion dollars.  Where is his brain?
Bev Bales

Mass transit is critical to the prosperity and progress in our community.  This line is an important link and should have priority.
David Buran

Wow that's a great idea with rising fuel costs and global warming.  Real Smart.  Pawlenty is a terrible Gov.  We are all doomed if this clown gets the VP nod.
Michael Carlson

It's so sad to see the principles of our Gov. that affect the lives of the People of St. Paul and for that matter the people of Minn. Recognizing that the inability to address infrastructure of our state and the impact it will have for years to come is shear ignorance.  To turn away the federal $ that would assist light rail is beyond my understanding.
Dean Norman

What can we do? This is awful.
Linda Alter
St. Paul

Our Governor has a blank space in his head.  Put peopls to work--they pay taxes, instead of drawing unemployment. Pawlenty, in my book, is a zero!
Roger Graham
Belle Plaine

I think that Pawlenty is doing just what I expected when he was elected, acting like a little bully on the playground, do it my way or you'll be sorry.
Donita Scharber

My observation is that Tim Pawlenty is not serving the people. Is there some obligation for a governor to do what is right for the state? Seems as though there may be a hurt ego after his veto was overridden so he's showing us his power.You'd think his obviously self serving decisions would embaress him... if he cared about what Minnesotans think.
Dianne Broman

With respect specifically to the harmful "Central Corridor" - this may be the only good action taken by Pawlenty in his tenure as Gov.

The line is designed to benefit politicians, construction cos and real-estate developers, not riders or drivers.  It will be slowed by traffic, unlike Hiawatha.  Losers will include the elderly, the ill, the infirm and disabled, and, yes, the inebriated, who will not be picked up at the curb by LRT.  And even if the Feds paid the entire cost, we can't afford it - we lose much of the value of Univ. Av.

Although much more expensive, an elevated LRT would be fast, safe, and not wreck Univ. Av.  Cheaper than LRT would be CONVERSION of our diesel buses to Trolley Buses, (electric, not oil) retaining the rider-friendly features.  Did you notice that Trolley Buses were never mentioned (even negatively)?
George Tiers
St. Paul

This veto is irresponsibly short-sighted.  The metro needs the Central Corridor line.  With interest rates so low, and with federal dollars hanging in the balance, this is the time to go for bonding for the line.
Eric Klinger

I am hoping the State Legislature will override this veto.  It is absolutely critical that light rail become a reality in order to reduce the number of cars on the road and to conserve gasoline to lessen our dependence on foreign oil - not to mention the need to take advantage of federal funding to help cover the cost of light rail.

I would like to have the ability to take advantage of rail transportation from Rochester to the Twim Cities and eventually to Moorhead sometime in the future.

Right now the only option for mass transportation from Rochester to Moorhead is by bus.  If I were to take the bus, I would have a couple of hours of lay over in Minneapolis, followed by another couple of hours lay over in St. Paul.  The combined lay over time in the Twin Cities would equal close to or very possible as much or more time than traveling by car to Moorhead (my home town).  In addition the cost of the bus tickets is even more than the gas to take the car.  I know light rail is not and may never be an option for me to get to and from Moorhead, but if I were in the Twin Cities and had a chance to use light rail rather than driving to and from work in rush hour traffic, I would jump at the chance to use that option.
Barbara Baker

Short sighted, as usual. If it isn't in the "Edina Model" it simple fails to register. He's the Jesse Ventura of the suburbs!
John G. White
Clara City

I can't believe Pawlenty could be so short-sighted.  Someone tell us what we can do to get this overturned!  What can we do to woo the Republican legislators that helped overturn his last veto?
Lois Braun
St. Paul

Who does Pawlenty get  his advice from? Almost every one recognizes the need.  The business community knows that the entire transportation network in the twin cities needs upgrading and anyone who drives in rush hour also knows.  It is so shortsighted.  The argument of not wanting to subsidize light rail does not hold water.  There is as much or more subsidy in highways (no one expects the freeways to pay for themselves!).
Steve Hanson
St. Anthony

This act by Pawlenty is absolutely insane!!  He is just like Bush,  destroying everything in his path!
Robin Lindberg

Because, I own a business and we keep very late hours so, I am unable to use public transportation. But, when I have a day off and need to go downtown I always use the light rail. I park my car and take the rail into downtown to my doctor's appts. and I have used it several times to attend events downtown. I moved here from the Chicago area over 27 yrs. ago and I still miss the ease of commuter trains.
Denise Arambadjis

What is the Governor thinking, vetoing the light rail funding?  After St. Paul, Minneapolis, the University all made changes in the plan to conform to his requirements?  And with traffic between the cities gridlocked even in the middle of the day?  This is crazy!   Is it just political maneuvering?  We are all being held hostage to his political ambitions.  And the bill is being passed to the next generation.
Paula DeCosse

I never write to these things, but I'm so angry at Pawlenty's partisan hack behavior, his no-tax, transit trashing ignorance.  I hope he's chosen as McCain's running mate and they get soundly defeated.
Paul Johnston
St. Paul

I think MN deperately needs a high-speed rail connecting Minneapolis and Rochester. When it comes time to expand Mpls. airport.. there is no more room.. but if Roch. airport was connected and could handle the freight with MPLS handling passengers. I believe it would be far less expensive then constructing a new airport as well as aiding the economy of MPLS and ROCH.
Lloyd Klefstad
Prior Lake

As a TV producer, I remember learning that in only one other metropolitan area in the US has traffic increased as much as in our Twin Cities in the past 5 or 10? years.  If Governor Pawlenty wants to keep business strong here, he can't do this w/out a good transportation system.  The public is VERY excited about light rail, and this decision, I hope, can be "revisited" as it will hurt our economy, greatly worsen our air quality, and drive some/many to move to other areas.  As a person w/ a chronic lung disease, I am personally very disappointed in his decision on this.  Please ask him to re-consider!!
Mary Hanson

A solution to congestion and unnecessary energy use, light rail can't be beat!  Except by veto...
Paul Hoffinger

I am furious about this. Pawlenty does not care about the future of our state, only his own political future.
Patricia Kent
St. Paul

We need to keep repeating, as loudly as possible, that EVERY form of transit is subsidized, and that freeways are the most subsidized transit of all.  We need to keep reminding anyone who drives a car that freeways have never been self-sustaining,they have ALWAYS required taxes to build and maintain.  We need to never stop telling everyone that light rail and public transportation cost far less than freeways and highways.  Then we will get enough people to vote against the MN Taxpayer's League candidates and for intelligent leaders who understand that investments payoff, while refusing to even maintain what you have pays nothing and always costs more when the time comes that you finally must rebuild what you have allowed to decay.
Bruce D Chambers

Vote Governor Fee off the tracks: Include his lightweight appointees and partisan bed fellows too. Problem: We should, if we are to be good citizens, elect/volunteer better citizens to replace them. Both nature and society seem to abhor vacuums. Electing partisans who favor some of us, usually at the expense of the rest of us, is quite short of the obligations part of good citizenship, as in citizen. Honor, privilege, duty, obligation. In Florida, creatures that insist on eating us out of house and home are known as termites. As such they are regarded quite differently.
Dick Coad
St. Paul

The Democrats can blame Pawlenty, but their failure to shape the debate and take the fight to the people is obvious.  The DFL leadership runs scared and has been ineffective in reframimg the question to one of progress, rebuilding infrastructure, creating jobs and increasing tax revenue.  The Democrats have not been able to let the voters know that we have a regressive tax system which is grossly unfair to the middle and lower income family, thus a 1 or 2% tax increase on those earning over $300000 is entirely justified. 

Until the Democrats learn how to communicate with the public in terms that we understand, there can be no progress.  Pawlenty and his ilk will keep on sticking it to us.

Health care reform is also being sidelined with bills like Linda Berglin's, which adds another layer of insurance company control, and punishes doctors and patients.  The Dems simply roll-over for Pawlenty and try to shape their agenda to meet his approval.
Bob Schmitz

Pawlenty is destroying the potential for Minnesota to recover some of it's former greatness, Who has benefited from his  years in office?  I can think of nothing about MInnesota that has improved.   As for the light rail, city after city in the US have been investing in mass transit, recognizing the benefits in terms of envrionment, access for those who cannot afford private transportation, and curbing out-of-control urban sprawl.  Why would Pawlenty believe that our cities need less?   His lack of vision for a future for Minnesota is appaling, and I fear it will take Minnesota years to recover from the damage being done.
Arthur Dorman
St. Paul

Once again he proves that his long-term interests do not lie in Minnesota.  Unbelievable!
Cathy Clouse
St. Paul

Pawlenty is once again protecting the profits of big corporations who would lose from light rail. Corporations like ethanol, oil, autos are laughing at the middle class who would benefit hugely from light rail.
Neal Lesmeister

Cannot be seen as too green while running for VP for the flat-earth folks.
Stephanie Owen Lyons

For a person who wants to be seen as a national leader, our governor sure thinks small. I respect his fiscal conservatism and do think the Democrats spend money wastefully. There is plenty of pork in the H380 bonding barrel. But, true leadership continues to build for the future by leveraging the resources available. Wasting the opportunity to take advantage of matching federal funding at a time when our state's transportation infrastructure is woefully underfunded does not demonstrate responsible leadership.
Karl Ruser
Chisago Lakes Township

Shortsighted, out of touch with present and future needs, ann incredibly frustrating. I wish he'd change his mind!
Shirley Jackson
Arden Hills

Sould we be suprised at the Gov's attempts at pulling the plug on light rail expansion? I think not. He shows himself to be both vengful and mean spirited. Life is simple. You get what you pay for. If you don't want to spend the money your not going to have the joy that comes with the investment. My therapist refers to this sort of behavior as "depression mentality." Only if the man didn't need to work so hard to find joy in life maybe we'd all be better in this state  rather than sinking further into the bottom of the pack. The man lacks imagination.
Joe Musich

I do not understand why we do not move to impeach this man who has done so much damage to Minnesota.  Bridges, light rail, it goes on and on.  What are we waiting for?
Steven Arnold

This comes as a disappointment to many young people who see the critical future of mass transit in the Twin Cities metro area.  Unless we are planning on building more parking garages and roads, there is no possible way to sustain the growing commuter population.  This poor decision comes at a time when gas consumption and carbon emissons are vital issues for the future of our country.  Instead of the Twin Cities leading this nation as a beacon of innovation and smart design, we will be clumsily trying to catch up as long as decisions like this continue to be made.
John Simkins
St. Paul

He's a real piece of work. It's small thinking like this that continues to keep the Twin Cities from creating the necessary mass transit infrastructure that will  enable the area to continue to have a healthy business economy and a world class transportation system. The decision to build a world class mass transit system should have been made decades ago.
Robert Sunderlin

I am disappointed in the governor who seems to have a vendetta against the legislature. He has such an air of superiority in his statements about spending within our means as though he is the sole voice of reason regarding the budget. I do not understand the thinking behind not funding the Veterans Home which seems a highly worthy cause. Was the legislature trying to stick it to the governor?  My general feeling is that it would be much better for all parties to hash out these hostilities at the conference table rather than in front of the cameras.My final thought is that light rail in the central corridor is essential and the veto of this borders on the absurd.
Charlie Greenman

Another example of this politician (I can't call him Governor as he doesn't do any governing, only obstruction) pandering to the tax payers league, who don't represent a majority of the citizens of Minnesota.  I would have thought a neglected bridge collapsing on his watch would have made him realize he has ignored the important infrastructure on Minnesota long enough.
David Nutter

Tim Pawlenty is showing the McCain Campaign that his is a rough and tumble conservative at the expense of Minnesotans.
Tim Larson

Governor Pawlenty is single handedly ruining what has made Minnesota so great. I believe he is part of the systemic problem in our country but the good news is that he is being short-sigted and his kind of politics will soon be gone because people in this country are tired of it so I'm positive that things will change soon.
Vera Snow

I am responding to the writer who notes that his progressive friends do not use the bus or light rail even though they support it. There are obvious reasons why a proponent of public transportation doesn't use it: they do not live or work near a light rail or bus line and/or work irregular hours. But many of us who are not able to use the bus or rail are grateful for those who can and do use it.  It appears that the author's main point is to defend Pawlenty's egregious act in setting the clock back decades on a green and efficient transportation system.
LaDonna Meinecke

As usual, Gov Timmy Just doesn't get it.  In order to make Minnesota grow we need to invest public dollars in public infrastructure, roads, bridges and yes transit.  The Central Corridor is a key link in an integrated public transportation system that we are 30 years behind in developing.  If Minnesota loses its competitive edge we can thank Gov Timmy and the Repubs for the lack of investment all in the name of making sure that their big $ buds don`t have to pay their fair share of investing in MN.
Mike Nelson
Coon Rapids

Veto pen?  How about Neanderthal with a club. We're 100 years behind in our public transportation system in the 11-county metro area already. If he's trying to look like a fiscal conservative for his D.C. clan, it's to late. He looks more like an irresponsible elected official bent on self promotion and face saving. Bridges fall, roads crumble, populations need transportation for economic growth. Reality can be an ugly mirror.
Roland Sigurdson

I do not view money spent for light rail (or similar transport) as an expense, but rather as an investment. When $70M of state money is used to achieve a a $1B system, I would say a great investment... that in time pay for itself.
George Gorbatenko

He must have someone else's interest at heart.  I wonder which big business it is?
Eleanor Ferril

With the great success of the Hiawatha Line and the rising gas prices hurting those who can least afford to pay extra for transportation, I am shocked and dismayed with Gov. Pawlenty's veto of the Central Corridor Light Rail line. This is wrong in so many ways. I can boil all my thoughts & opinion down the this; I am disgusted with the Pawlenty Administration and this LRT veto must be overturned. We have got to invest in our state's infrastructure. Gov. Pawlenty's transportation motto must be "Gasoline Forever!"
Alan Farnham
Little Canada

Enough politics with funding public transportation!  We are woefully behind the nation in investing in our public transportation infrastructure.
Nancy Houlton
St. Paul

The Governor's decision shows his short sightedness yet again.
Tamara Schmitz
Columbia Heights

Pathetic! How so many Minnesotans could vote for such an ideologue, who obviously cares nothing for the future of Minnesota, boggles the mind.
David Coats

This was a very bad move by the governor.  Funding for the Central light rail corridor is critical to move forward with good public transportation in the Twin Cities.  I'd like the legislature to go to the governor again this session with another bonding bill for light rail.

Also, how about a challenge go out to the public to contribute part or all of their rebate (from the supposed economic stimulus package) to go to light rail and/or public transportation.
Audrey Kingstrom

Once again, I believe Tim takes the easy out.  I do not believe he has worked to build concensus of any kind on any topic.  Att his point I would be happy for MN if he would leave to pursue the VP post.
Tom Proepper
Apple Valley

Light rail is smart. Obviously this administration isn't. Minnesota's transportation system is pathetic and obsolete.
David Engdahl
North Mankato

This is big bad news for Minnesota.  I can't help but suspect our governor is more interested in looking like "the conservative" to fit the VP contest than to serve MN's best interests.
Joan Campbell

This is an unbelievably destructive act for the future of the twin cities.  The Governor is trying to please the right wing anti public investment crowd to join McCain on his doomed ticket.
James Taylor
St. Paul

Why sould anyone be surprised at what Pawlenty will do to get attention as a McCain appointee? He and McCain deserve to be put out to pasture and wait for another year or another generation. Thank God they are both so out of touch.
Jack Sheedy

Our Governor is very very short sighted and vindictive. So much work, so much effort, so many people, government levels, business concerns,  have made commitments to this project with the goal of improving the life of the community. And he destroys it? That is so wrong.
Sandra Baines

Pawlenty has never supported public transit and is using his budget concerns to cut it out of the budget. It is very short sighted.
Kate Christopher

I don't think the Governor really understands the importance of the light rail system, needless to say the loss of Federal dollars, without which it cannot go forward.
Bruce Mitchell
White Bear Lake

Light rail is a must!!!!  I am extremely disappointed with the Governor's veto.  He has done this state a disservice.
Debra Madden-Peterson

Somehow seems true to form.   I am in awe of how well the Republicans can talk a good game and never seem to get "in trouble" for doing the opposite when legislation is happening.
Al Fiene

Minnesota's future is likely to be more productive and enjoyable for everyone if Minnesota's citizens aren't increasingly forced to waste their precious time and expensive gas sitting in gridlock on Minnesota's roadways.  Light rail will help us all, whether we ride it or not.
Gigi Lambrecht
Brooklyn Park

The governor has been talking about global warming, but as we can see it is only talk. Here was his opportunity to actually do something that will reduce greenhouse emissions and help us reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and once again he is moving us backward. This needs to be over-ridden.
Kip Peltoniemi
St. Paul

Bravo, Governor Pawlenty! The DFL side was warned and again tried to pass extravagant spending on some frivolous items, that were not transit-related. I read the Governor's letter, and the DFL leadership should be ashamed. What do these items have to do with transit:

Example 1: 400,000 towards a brass band music lending library.

2: 3,000,000 for a National Volleyball Center in Rochester.

3: 11,000,000 for polar bear and gorilla exhibit renovation.

What are the DFL's priorities? More government wasteful spending, then blaming Pawlenty when he calls them on it. Your MN 20/20 vision seems blurred.
Nancy LaRoche

Gov Pawlenty defines short sighted and reckless politicians.  His inability to make necessary investments in the future will be his legacy.  Its obvious he has no concern for his children or his grandchildren to come, as his fiscal policy is defined by "I have already received all the benefit of my forefathers, and I am so selfish that I refuse to allow any future generations to understand what commitment to the future means.  I have mine and I refuse to let you or the next generation have any"  I am ashamed to believe that I am of the same generation of selfish and foolish citizens.
Richard Groonwald
Apple Valley

Disgusting! Is how I describe Governor Palwenty and his veto of $70 mil that could have and should have been used to support Central Corridor Light Rail.
Mary Handt

It is regrettable that the governor is unable to provide leadership for the next generation of commuters. His inability to see the larger picture is quite sad. Leaders have a vision for the future -- and work with many to bring this vision to fruition. Leaders. Our governor is not a leader. There is no vision other than to make decisions based upon the impact of a few very vocal consevative factions. Where is the leadership? Missing. And so is the next generation of commuter visioning. We are stagnating under this administration. Look at the roads, instrastructure, schools, and healthcare -- all lead to a slow, gaping wound festering and stagnating. Someone call 9-1-1.
Ruth Obersaat
North St. Paul

Governor Pawlenty certainly is not listening to the will of the people in Minnesota, and not just once, but over and over.  Mass transit is vital to our economic future.  I'm only just sorry I lost my T-shirt that said, "Got troubles?  I got Pawlenty!!!"
Linda Varvel

We need the light rails, especially now that the prices of gas are increasing.  Car pooling, light rail, etc. are the best way to transport a large group of people from one place to another in comfort, i.e. like the trains transporting the soldiers during WWII.  We need better travel accomodations than automobiles and airplanes.
Albert D. Coffin

Pawlenty and Dems seem to be all about winning battles for party sake while Minnesota citizens lose because no one is capable on agreeing on a good and equitable public policy that can enhance people's lives. Serious public problems loom yet Pawlenty and the Dems crab at each other. A pox on both their houses. They are not worthy of the bother.
Jon Lund
Little Canada

The governor's actions of vetoing this and effectively killing funding for another light rail line makes no sense.  Why wait and postpone it, when we will in the future be building the line anyways, but at an increased expense, just like the oft delayed Northstar Line.

Any public transit like this will take the load off of the roads.  I for one take the Hiawatha line every day to and from work and if it were not there, I'd be another single passenger vehicle on the road.
Don Zart

Gov. Pawlenty has never known much about transportation and how to best serve the Minnesota public int hat regard.  Slashing the budget for the light rail is almost a poor a decision as not including mass transit tracks in the design for the new 35 W. bridge.  We need a new Governor who will stop reallocating taxes to the general population through property taxes while claiming to not raise taxes for public services. 
D Cooper

I think the governor only cares about those who would never ride the train..they might want him to be vice president.  I can't believe he came from South St. Paul.
Robert Vilt

The "numbers" show that light rail is needed and wanted. Light rail is the Twin Cities ride into a bright future. I had been told our Governor was intelligent, but stubbornly political. The stunning vetoes tell me the political part is re- confirmed, but the intelligent part is now questionable.I am hopeful the legislature can intelligently override some or all of the Gov.'s line-item vetoes - especially restoration of light rail.
Marty Rossmann
St. Paul

Line item veto of the Light Rail - again passing today's transportation problems  on to our children. Aw! its not our money today let them foot the bill tomorrow. Better them than us!
William Tradewell

Is it really all that surprising that he vetoed light rail? It is just hard ball politics, that is what his party is all about. The over ride my veto, I am going to get them back It is really sad.
Joseph Mish
Pine Island

It is once again time for real leadership in this state -- I ask the state legislature to overturn this veto and restore funding for Central Corridor light rail.  Governor Pawlenty's veto is unconscionable, but not incontrovertible.  Real leaders in the state legislature, stand up and be counted in a vote to override this veto and keep Minnesota on the right track -- the light rail track.
James Blum

We need light rail to stay competitive in outstate Minnesota and with other states.  High gas prices and a stale job market will make light rail even more of a necessity.  Please find out why our Governor is not protecting our future.
Sandra Newbauer

I can not believe it! With the high costs of gasoline, conjested roads and the great need for public transportation how could the governor veto this important project AND lose Federal funds? We do not want more collapsing bridges!!!
Marilyn Wegscheider
Mounds View

Gov. Pawlenty's line-item veto of the light rail central corridor is absolutely unconscionable. Workers like my husband with impaired vision rely on public transpotation to get to their jobs. We have been counting on the central corridor line for more convenient transport not only for work but also for SHOPPING.  Buses clog up the streets and add to gridlock during times of heavy traffic [rush hour, blizzards, bridge collapes, etc.]  Comeon, folks, let's get the central corridor going!  It will help individuals who use it and help clear out some of the car traffic for those who don't.  I feel really upset and angry at this turn of events.
Roseann Lloyd

Anyone who has spent an hour on the freeway during rush hour, traveling a distance that would take ten minutes in an off-peak period, should recognize how badly the Twin Cities needs mass transit. Not only that, but our addiction to the automobile is one of the chief reasons our young people are dying in Iraq. We need to wean ourselves from the addiction to the automobile. Walk, bike, or take mass transit--they all make cities more liveable.
David Brunet

We NEED the Central Corridor. Gov. Pawlenty's veto was wrong to include this essential omission; connected to the Federal dollars, the light rail connection between our "twin" cities is vital.  He should reconsider.
Anna Barker

The legislature showed its priorities when it over rode the Governor on the gas tax. The legislature knew that it had exceeded the Governor's target budget by 200 million or so which forced the governor to accept, veto total or line item. Now it is up to the legislature to again put up and either over-ride the veto, or swap one project for another.  What the governor has done is put the burden on those who believe that all the projects from the mass transit to the Bell Museum are worth spending 70-> 200+ million over the target set by the Governor. Time to stand up and be counted. Time for the public to tell the legislature that it wants to have the citizens and their children on the line for another 200 million, or at least 70 million more. It's in the hands of the citizen and their elected representatives and so says the Governor.
Tom Abeles

Tim, you are an unbelievable bully.  Your personal needs come above all others the need for ever increasing power.  It is very apparant your care for Minnesota and it's citizens is very secondary.  Without mass transit we can not compete, but you will be flying Air Force One with John McCain, so what the heck. Except my grandchilren's future is affected by your ambition. 
Evelyn Carey
St. Paul

I am beginning to think that TPaw has a personal grudge against light rail and will do everything in his power to stop it, even if it makes no sense at all.  Or is this his passive aggresive controling way to get back at the legislators and people who over rode his veto.
Josephine Vaughn

I try to take public transportation as much as possible (to work at least 2x a week and on weekend excursions with my elementary age children).  I have been encouraged by the talk of expanded rail and bus service and a reduction in the diesel fumes I breathe waiting for my bus on University Ave.  I am disgusted with Gov. Pawlenty for not supporting a healthy future with reduced emissions and greater transportation access for more people.  Tax me and give me good public transportation and education.
Sandra Muellner

This is not the time to start another light rail project. The taxes continue to rise while wages are not keeping up with inflation. To call the light rail a success while it loses money and doesn't police riders as to paying fares, is hopeful at best.
Patrick Sullivan

I have have been working as a volunteer to plan the station areas along University in St. Paul for growth that LRT will spawn.  This this south-end of a north-bound mule has thrown all that effort away.
Raymond Bryan
St. Paul

Thank you Gov!  You finally did the right thing and got this boondoogle off our backs!  Pawlenty for VP!!!!
Alex Hamilton

We have to get rid of this Governor. Anyone spending the usual inordinate amount of time on the freeways and in commuting knows building more highway lanes will never do the job. We need rail transit. The Central corridor is an essential element.
Jim Lavoie

Here we go again, if we follow our gov

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