Monday, May 24, 2010

Is Tim Pawlenty The Bridge To a GOP Win?

I continue to be amazed that the Wisconsin GOP brought to its convention last weekend as the keynoter Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Not surprisingly, he won the convention's 2012 presidential nomination straw poll.

So this is the guy? Does the GOP have collective memory loss?

Pawlenty was Minnesota Governor when the I-35W bridge collapsed; Not just that it happened on his watch, but media noted that Pawlenty had earlier twice vetoed tax increases to pay for state transportation needs.

How on earth could Pawlenty campaign with footage of the collapsed bridge and stories about motorists' deaths popping up in coverage, and opponents' TV spots?

Sounds like a campaign bridge to nowhere.


Matt said...

You're dead-ass wrong on this one Jim. I-35 collapsed because of a design error/improper loads, not improper maintenance.

Anon Jim said...

As you know Matt, James is like almost all Dems in that they are all about politicizing anything, anytime.

Especially if the facts do not back up their spin.

James Rowen said...

Pawlenty vetoed what would have been increases for all phases of transportation spending.

His ideologically-based "no tax increase" policy flew in the face of what was were significant public needs - - aggressive inspection included.

James Rowen said...

And Matt; Thanks for the link, which I read. You focused only on the design.

My original posting talked about transportation - - a far more general term.

The NTSB report you cite is hardly a ringing endorsement of both federal and state operations, inspection and maintenance practices...

"The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the inadequate load capacity, due to a design error by Sverdrup & Parcel and Associates, Inc., of the gusset plates at the U10 nodes, which failed under a combination of (1) substantial increases in the weight of the bridge, which resulted from previous bridge modifications, and (2) the traffic and concentrated construction loads on the bridge on the day of the collapse. Contributing to the design error was the failure of Sverdrup & Parcel’s quality control procedures to ensure that the appropriate main truss gusset plate calculations were performed for the I-35W bridge and the inadequate design review by Federal and State transportation officials. Contributing to the accident was the generally accepted practice among Federal and State transportation officials of giving inadequate attention to gusset plates during inspections for conditions of distortion, such as bowing, and of excluding gusset plates in load rating analyses."

Anon Jim said...

Maybe just maybe the I-35W bridge issues would have been properly addressed before it collapsed if Minnesota had not spent all the time, energy, and money on the still heavily taxpayer subsidized billion dollar Hiawatha Line light rail.