Wednesday August 5, 2020
| Last update: Tuesday at 8:53 PM

Twin Cities TV attacks Welfare Rights protest

By staff |
March 25, 2010
Read more articles in
Die in at Governor Pawlenty's office
Die in at Governor Pawlenty's office. (Fight Back! News/Kim DeFranco)

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Welfare Rights Committee on the corporate media coverage that followed their March 23 die-in if front of the office of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Some of the critical coverage focused on the participation of students from Southside Family School in Minneapolis.

On March 23, the Welfare Rights Committee organized and held a protest and die-in in front of Governor Pawlenty’s office to highlight the devastating cuts that he is proposing this legislative session. We highlighted the fact that Pawlenty is willing to sacrifice the people of our state for his own political gains. Pawlenty is leading the charge in a war against poor and working people and he doesn’t care how many casualties there are. His cuts, if they are allowed to go through, will bring untold suffering on the most vulnerable in our state, the poor, disabled and elderly.

This is a very serious issue. Pawlenty’s proposed cuts will cut completely eliminate the General Assistance program, leaving over 20,000 poor people with disabilities and unable to work with nothing to live on.

Pawlenty proposes to count hundreds of dollars a month out of the welfare grants for poor families with a disabled family member. Welfare grants for a family of 3 pay a measly $532 a month. Pawlenty’s cut would count the SSI grant of the disabled member against the welfare grant, basically completely eliminating the entire welfare grant as well as food stamps for the remainder of the family. This is illegal and a criminal cut.

Pawlenty further proposes to steal nearly $60 million from the federal block grant intended for poor children and their caregivers and transfer it to spend down the deficit.

Finally, Pawlenty proposes to cut tens of thousands off of health care by gutting the MN Care program.

We organized a die-in to show the results of Pawlenty's cuts. People will die. It is obvious to most that Pawlenty is willing to sacrifice Minnesotans in order to let the wealthiest in this state go untouched. Pawlenty is making the immoral choice to balance the state budget on the backs of poor and working Minnesotans and refuses to make the richest pay even ONE dime for the budget deficit.

The Welfare Rights Committee is outraged by the way the Pawlenty die-in protest on March 23 was reported by both KSTP news and in the KARE blog. Rather than reporting on the reason for the protest and the devastating cuts in Pawlenty’s proposal, they completely let Pawlenty off the hook and instead chose to demonize those participating in the protest. Neither of these media outlets will come forth and challenge Pawlenty on his disastrous actions, instead they attacked those would be affected by his actions. This type of reporting is not only inaccurate, unprofessional, biased and irresponsible, it sets a tone of blaming the victim and fear mongering.

In particular, KSTP and KARE decided to focus on young students protesting instead of the real issues facing low-income people, families and children. Yes, we had up to 50 people, including children and students, who chose to participate. The fact is, most of the victims of Pawlenty’s cuts to welfare will be children.

Public and charter schools are supported by tax dollars; KSTP implied that this particular charter school was doing something wrong with that money. There are many schools that bring students to the capitol to advocate for issues. This day was no different. KSTP and KARE’s reports also insult the students’ intellect. These students are well informed about the issues that are present in their world. It is clear that they are more informed on welfare and the Pawlenty cuts than the reporters that are supposed to be reporting the news. The students vote on what they want to participate in. It's also insulting to all who were there to speak their minds to tell Pawlenty his cuts are wrong.

It is obvious to us that KSTP and KARE should be investigating Pawlenty instead of investigating those who stand up and speak out the truth about his cuts. The fact is, they have done little to nothing to investigate and report on the devastating path he is proposing for Minnesota, nor his political motivations for bashing poor, disabled and working Minnesotans. Pawlenty is using us as political footballs in his quest for national office, and he doesn’t care how many people he destroys or kills for his political gain.

To see their “coverage”:


KARE blogger: