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NYT: Vicious GOP Wants To Replace MN Bridge

From the absolutely shameless political hacks at the New York Times:

Bridge Failure Can’t Fend Off Usual Politics


Published: August 16, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 15 — It took all of two weeks for the political unity brought on by a deadly bridge collapse here to fall apart.

Even as divers continued searching the Mississippi River on Wednesday for four people missing since the busy Interstate 35W bridge fell on Aug. 1, political leaders were dueling over plans for a replacement span.

The battle lines extended from disputed plans for light rail to suggestions that Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, was unnecessarily rushing reconstruction to impress Republican Party leaders, who will hold their presidential convention in the Twin Cities in September 2008. Mr. Pawlenty says such talk is nonsense.

“There’s a deep sense of loss for people all over Minnesota,” said Lawrence R. Jacobs, the director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota. “And for them, to see kind of this new — and old — politics flare up like this is unseemly.”

Mr. Pawlenty and his State Department of Transportation have already unveiled broad plans for the new bridge, announcing the names of five possible contractors, and urging that it be open in record time, by the end of next year.

But R. T. Rybak, a Democrat who is mayor of Minneapolis; some Democratic leaders in the State Legislature; and members of the Minneapolis City Council have been loudly critical, questioning the need — and safety, given everything — of rushing to build a bridge.

Some called for provisions to allow light rail along the new span. Some called for a memorial for the victims. Mostly, they demanded: Why the hurry?

Still, Mr. Pawlenty’s fiercest critics said they wondered whether the governor was hoping to turn attention toward a new bridge in the coming months and away from an investigation into why the old bridge failed and whether there were signs missed. Some suggested that Mr. Pawlenty hoped to show progress on a new bridge when the Republicans arrive for the convention.

Minnesota is considered a swing state in presidential elections, and some Republicans here have speculated that Mr. Pawlenty might be running-mate material.

“Politics isn’t rocket science, you know,” said Steve Murphy, a state senator and Democratic leader of the Transportation Committee. “Quite frankly, there’s no reason to rush headlong into building this bridge.” …

Even that holy grail of liberal and tree-huggers — light rail — must be sacrificed if it provides an opportunity to attack Republicans.

And notice how The Times claims that before this grifting Republican Governor tried to push through his pocket-lining light rail system to impress his GOP bosses and get on the national ticket there had not been one political word about the bridge collapse.

Which is undoubtedly true.

That is, apart from the Democrats and their media minions blaming the bridge’s failure on Bush and the rest of the evil, uncaring Republicans and of their tax cuts and global warming policies.

And note too how it is suddenly not so important to put up a new bridge. Why the rush?

The Democrats and their media lackeys haven’t finished milking this disaster yet.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 16th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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