Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fact Check: Norm Coleman and Porker commentary

Fact Check: Norm Coleman and Fiscal Responsibility
Barkley Campaign: Coleman Playing 'Hide-the-Ball with the Facts'

For Immediate Release
Contact: Christopher Truscott

PLYMOUTH—While campaigning yesterday (Monday) in Brainerd, Sen. Norm Coleman noted that Dean Barkley was named "porker of the month" by Citizens Against Government Waste and that Gov. Jesse Ventura left office with the state facing a $4.5 billion budget shortfall.

Here's the full story:

In November 2002, Citizens Against Government Waste named Barkley the "porker of the month" based on a comment he made about securing long-overdue funding for Minnesota transportation projects shortly after he was appointed to fill out the remainder of the late-Sen. Paul Wellstone's term.[1]

Ultimately, however, Barkley did not have a chance to work on transportation funding during the lame-duck session, but did distinguish himself by helping pass legislation that created the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, securing congressional support for the construction of the Paul and Shelia Wellstone Center in St. Paul and getting a waiver from the Bush Administration so Minnesota could continue its successful Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program free from new federal regulations.

In January 2003, Gov. Ventura left office with the state facing a $4.5 billion budget shortfall. But in 2002, Ventura did propose substantive budget fixes that were nixed by DFLer Roger Moe and Republican Tim Pawlenty, both legislative leaders of their respective parties and 2002 gubernatorial hopefuls. Ventura then vetoed the Legislature's budget because it drew down budget reserves without replenishing them, but his veto was overridden.[2]

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Barkley Campaign Statement:

"It's clear Norm Coleman is trying to play hide-the-ball with the facts because the truth hurts," said Barkley campaign spokesman Christopher Truscott. "Under Sen. Coleman's watch the national debt has increased by trillions, in large part due to his willingness to give the Bush Administration a blank check on Iraq and his unwillingness to responsibly oversee Wall Street's actions. If Sen. Coleman spent as much time doing his job as he does obscuring his own record he'd be one of the most effective senators in Washington."

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Barkley, a 58-year-old Minnesota native, served as the director of the Minnesota Office of Strategic and Long Range Planning under Gov. Jesse Ventura. In November 2002, Ventura appointed Barkley to fill the final two months of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone's term.

The former governor said recently that Barkley is "measured minute by minute … the most effective U.S. senator in Minnesota history."

More information is available online at

[1] Available online at:
[2] Available online at: and

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