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Minnesota: was the cost of wrecking an ATV a gift?

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: Gov. Tim Pawlenty violated the state gift-ban law when he used an all-terrain vehicle owned by Polaris Industries while at a state ATV convention last month, Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, charged Friday.

Pawlenty's vehicle struck a tree during the ride near Hill City, Minn., in early May, causing an estimated $2,500 in damage to the $7,000 machine. Polaris indicated then that it would cover the cost of repairs because it owned the ATV.

Under state law, Marty said, both Polaris and the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota, which sponsored the convention, are banned from giving Pawlenty a gift, and he is prohibited from accepting one.

In this case, Marty said unless Pawlenty paid rent for the machine under terms and conditions available to others, a violation occurred. In addition, he said if Pawlenty was not renting the machine under a contract that included collision damage coverage, the $2,500 repair paid by Polaris would be prohibited. -- Duluth News Tribune | 06/11/2005 | Pawlenty's ATV ride violated ethics law, state senator charges