Pawlenty forming PAC; possible step toward 2012

Gov. Tim Pawlenty is preparing to launch a federal political action committee committee to support Republican candidates and groups across the country.

Pawlenty is widely considered a potential candidate for president in 2012, and a political committee to help fund other candidates campaigns could be the next step in the process.

Pawlenty's informal adviser, Alex Conant, said Pawlenty plans to file the official paperwork to set up the PAC in a few weeks. Conant said Pawlenty isn't concerned with 2012 but does want to build the Republican Party nationally.

"This PAC is a logical next step to help other Republicans," Conant said. "It's going to allow him to travel the country and contribute to other Republican candidates."

Hari Sevugan, with the Democratic National Committee, said Pawlenty's decision to form a PAC shows he's more concerned about national politics than finishing his term.

"What I think this shows is that Governor Pawlenty is not only willing to say one thing and do another," Sevugan said. "He has become a part-time governor who cares [more] about his national political ambitions than maintaining his word and his promise to the people of Minnesota."

Pawlenty's first fundraiser for the PAC is scheduled for Nov. 4, in Minneapolis.