The big tobacco companies call Pawlenty out.....The tobacco case begins today. The tobacco companies aim to settle what Minnesotans already suspect.....that the tobacco health impact fee, recently enacted after special session earlier this year, is really a tax. It may seem like semantics to the average disinterested individual, or paid spokesman for Nicoderm, which includes American Lung, American Cancer, Non-Smokers's Rights etc., but for those who follow politics and law this is an interesting case.
Pawlenty argued that even if former Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III did agree to waive the state's lawmaking power in the settlement, he overstepped his authority.
If the settlement by the acting Attorney General at the time was based upon the fact that the state could not enact any further "health impact fees" then I'd have to think the state of Minnesota is wrong in this case. The solution of course is relatively simple........Pawlenty could take the legislation back to lawmakers and get it rewritten as a tax.........but then a promise is a promise.........."read my lips Minnesota ....no new taxes". History will remind us that a former President made and broke a similar pledge and paid a serious political price. The spotlight is on you Governor........what will you do?