June 1, 2005
Deeply disappointed

After all these years we finally know who Deep Throat is, and I for one am a little disappointed. When the news broke Tuesday that Vanity Fair had actually once and for all found the Washington Post's anonymous source on the Watergate story, much of the newsroom here at MPR (especially Kerri Miller, who loves a big story) was excited about the mystery finally being solved. I found myself hoping for more. I can't exactly put my finger on it. Maybe it has to do with so little being secret anymore. I had thought he would go to his grave without being outed. Now all the fun is gone. Mark Felt. It was Mark Felt. There you go. Move on to the next story.

There's still not much happening at the Capitol. Can the big story really be that Gov. Pawlenty vetoed the bill creating a state poet laureate? The Star Tribune thinks so. It put it on the front page:

In a veto message signed Friday and announced Tuesday, however, Pawlenty said he saw no need for such a position.

"We can benefit from the richness and diversity of all of the poets in Minnesota and recognize and embrace their work as merit and circumstances warrant," he said.

He also suggested that the measure could lead to "requests for a state mime, interpretive dancer or potter."

According to the Library of Congress, about 34 states have established poet laureate positions, although some are vacant.

Rep. Tim Mahoney, DFL-St. Paul, a pipefitter who was a House cosponsor of the vetoed legislation, noted that England has yet to produce a potter laureate. "I found the governor's logic rather contrived," he said Tuesday.

Others offered sharper criticism.

"Mr. Pawlenty seems to think that if you keep from raising taxes, the imagination will cease to be rambunctious," said Bill Holm, a poet and essayist from Minneota, Minn. "He's terrified of the imagination rearing up and giving a good, swift kick to his dead ideas."

Geez, now even the poetry bill is tied to no new taxes. Ouch.

Former DFL Congressman Joseph Karth has died. This is from the obit in the Pioneer Press:

Karth was born in New Brighton in 1921 and studied at the University of Nebraska School of Engineering before leaving to join the Army. After serving in Europe during World War II, Karth returned to Minnesota to work at 3M, in the St. Paul company's tape department.

Shortly thereafter, Karth organized the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW) at 3M and was elected its president, the job that launched his political career. He went on to serve as the OCAW-AFL-CIO's international representative and a DFL Party representative in the Minnesota Legislature before he was elected to Congress in 1958. He represented Minnesota's 4th District for 18 years before a heart attack forced him to retire in 1977. St. Paul DFLer Bruce Vento, who died in 2000, succeeded him.

Those who knew Karth during his time in Congress characterized him as a down-to-earth lawmaker who liked getting his hands dirty.

Gov. Pawlenty is travelling the state today to try to build some support for his education spending plan. DFL Sen. Steve Kelley will officially announce he's running for Pawlenty's job. We'll have more on both throughout the day on the radio and here tomorrow.

Posted by Mike Mulcahy at 6:33 AM