Sen. Don Betzold, DFL-Fridley, told City Pages’ Matt Snyders on Thursday that Gov. Tim Pawlenty has diverted funds from the “Support Our Troops” license plate program to his Governor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, an office that works to connect religious organizations with state funds.
Betzold says that $30,000 from the license plate program was supposed to go to the Department of Military Affairs and the Department of Veterans Affairs, but instead paid for a position at the faith-based office which is part of the Pawlenty’s office. The funds, writes Snyders, “by law, were supposed to go to the Department of Military Affairs and the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
“The money helped pay for someone’s salary in the governor’s office who coordinates faith-based initiatives,” Betzold told Snyders on Thursday. “When I bought my license plate, I was thinking I was helping veterans and servicemen. I certainly didn’t think it was going to that.”
But so what? He’s the kind of handsome, sun-chapped prairie guy you’d like to have a beer with.