Pawlenty calls on lawmakers to fight ‘silent coup’ from government unions

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty called Monday for Congress and local governments across the country to join him in stopping the “silent coup” from government-employee unions, arguing that their benefits packages are sucking up vital taxpayer dollars and must be changed.

The Republican governor, who leaves office next month and has been cited as a potential contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination., cited as a triumph his state’s work in cutting future public pension obligations by $2 billion and taking on mass transit employees over their benefits. He suggested other lawmakers follow or face a combined $3 trillion in unfunded benefit liabilities.

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