2012: A New Website For Tim Pawlenty

The new year brings a redesigned political action committee Web site for Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. It's notable for the folks who've designed it:  Terra Eclipse, which helped Ron Paul raise gobs of money through its "money bomb" techniques in 2007 and 2008 and helped Paul's ReLOVEution organize rallies and campaign events.  The new website will highlight Pawlenty's national theme for the first half of 2010: fiscal responsibility and stewardship.  His state needs stewardship: it faces a $1.2 billion budget shortfall and is dealing with a court order to that could turn out his unilateral reallocation of about  $1.8 billion in education funding, forcing school districts to borrow the money.

Pawlenty won't raise taxes under any scenario, which leaves him with few options. He wants a special legislative session to hash out some compromise. He's said that his budget cuts won't spare anything but veterans payments and public safety. In December, Pawlenty told New Hampshire Republicans that he favored a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, foreshadowing a possible early presidential campaign theme. A favored metaphor of late is: "The bathtub is overflowing onto the floor, and the first thing we need to do is shut off the faucet." Pawlenty advisers have promised to build a top-notch Internet-based campaign infrastructure. What Pawlenty needs now is supporters to harness, and, with solid social conservative credentials in hand, he's making a play for the anti-tax, Club for Growth types.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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