The Club For Growth, the big-money conservative group that advocates right-wing economic views -- and has pushed some serious primaries against GOP incumbents along the way -- came out Tuesday with its latest "White Paper" on a GOP presidential candidate, this time taking a look at Tim Pawlenty. Their verdict: "We struggle to identify the real Tim Pawlenty."
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The Club issued a review last week of Newt Gingrich, that was positive overall but cautioned that he "has a few doozies in his record." They will have more white papers on the other candidates in the weeks and months ahead.
The Club notes Pawlenty's history of favoring tax cuts, and his vetoes of various tax increases proposed by his state's Democratic legislature. But on the other hand, they criticize him for having endorsed a local referendum to raise property taxes in his home school district, supporting a cigarette tax increase, his support for state biofuel mandates, and for not taking a public position on the Minnesota "Legacy Amendment" approved by the voters in 2008, which raised sales taxes by 3/8 of a percent for environmental and cultural preservation. And they also criticize his past support for cap-and-trade, which Pawlenty himself has recanted.