The Field Guide to Minnesota Republican Factionalism, Third Edition
Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 25, 2012
Third edition, revised to update Dave Thompson’s and the TCF Coopers’ info.
Follow me past the jump for a chart, by no means complete, of the players, their factions, their relationships, and their desires. Feel free to tell me about any I missed.
Player Faction Friends Enemies Agenda Noted For Tony Sutton Sutton/Seifert Michael Brodkorb, TCF Coopers*, Ben Golnik, Mike Parry Tom Emmer, Allen Quist Whatever enriches Tony Thuggery as RPM Chair, being bad with money (Like, really bad) Bill Cooper Sr. & Jr. (TCF Coopers) Sutton/Seifert Tony Sutton*, Bridget Cronin Sutton*, Michael Brodkorb*, West Metro business types Tom Emmer, Allen Quist, TheoCons in general To dominate in politics and general business as they do in banking (Bill Sr. claims he’s no longer interested in politics, but he’s sung that song before) TCF empire (which is seemingly on the skids now), bankrolling Suttons at Baja Sol, being the longtime 800-pound gorilla of the RPM Michael Brodkorb Sutton/Seifert Tony Sutton, Amy Koch, Mike Parry, Luke Hellier, Ron Carey, Ben Golnik Tom Emmer, Allen Quist Oozing his way to the top “independent” blogger pose, launching smears, mistreating his wife and kids, being Tony Sutton’s deputy chair and communications director, being Amy Koch’s Senate employee Amy Koch Sutton/Seifert Michael Brodkorb, Tony Sutton Tom Emmer, Allen Quist Defending marriage from gay people Getting Majority Leader gig mainly because of RPM’s 2010 dissatisfaction with Senjem as Minority Leader; tool of Sutton and Brodkorb, wrecking her own marriage by dallying with a male Senate employee Annette Meeks, Jack Meeks CAGE/Freedom Foundation/ CAE Tony Sutton, Bridget Cronin Sutton Tom Emmer Opposing gambling Rumors that they’re Minnesota’s own micro Abramoff; Annette was Emmer’s running mate but they did and do NOT get along Michael Wigley Varies; backed Emmer in 2010, but friendly with Sutton/Seifert Tony Sutton, Bridget Cronin Sutton, TCF Coopers, Tom Emmer Anyone wanting to make rich people pay taxes Getting richer through tax dodging and Baja Sol franchise Founded anti-tax Minnesota Taxpayers League, had now-defunct Baja Sol franchise Robert Cummins Emmer/Quist Tom Emmer, Allen Quist Tony Sutton, Michael Brodkorb, gay people Using his Primera money to turn Minnesota into a Evangelical Christian theocracy Dumping tons of money into RPM and anti-gay group coffers Jeff Larson, Daniel Puhl Sutton/Seifert Tony Sutton, Marty Seifert, Ben Golnik, Mary Igo Tom Emmer, Allen Quist Cash on the barrelhead Feeding from the RNC 2008 trough well into 2011, then getting cushy Republican National Committee gigs in DC Ben Golnik Sutton/Seifert Tony Sutton, John Gilmore, Mary Igo, TCF Coopers Tom Emmer (with a passion) Taking money from Emmer’s 2010 campaign and spending it without oversight, “espionage“? Former RPM Executive Director during its last major brush with scandal, founded Count Them All Properly with Tony Sutton, a group ostensibly devoted to pushing Emmer’s campaign in the 2010 recount, but whose accounting remains murky to this day Mary Igo Sutton/Seifert Tony Sutton, Bridget Cronin Sutton, Ben Golnik, TCF Coopers Tom Emmer To run a slush fund with no accountability Involved with Count Them All Properly (see entry for Ben Golnik) Jon Richard Schroeder Unknown; presumed Sutton/Seifert (Presumed) Tony Sutton, Bridget Cronin Sutton, Ben Golnik, TCF Coopers, Mary Igo Unknown; no prior indication of political activity Unknown; is interested in plumbing New CEO of Count Them All Properly (see entry for Ben Golnik) Gregg Peppin Sutton/Seifert Marty Seifert, Tony Sutton, John Gilmore Tom Emmer MNGOP powerbroker, Sutton/Seifert consigliere Running GOP candidate consulting firm P2B Strategies, being married to Joyce Peppin, being a Sutton/Seifert consigliere Andy Brehm Sutton/Seifert Marty Seifert, Tony Sutton, John Gilmore Tom Emmer Sutton/Seifert consigliere Founding the Churchill Society, being a Sutton/Seifert consigliere Jen DeJournett Sutton/Seifert Tony Sutton, Marty Seifert, John Gilmore Tom Emmer, Twila Brase Being a female powerbroker in the RPM Director of conservative women’s group VOICES, backstabbing Twila Brase John Gilmore (aka @shabbosgoy on Twitter) Sutton/Seifert Tony Sutton, Ben Golnik, Gregg Peppin, Jen DeJournett Tom Emmer Powerbroker and leader within RPM Drunken harassment of Muslim women David FitzSimmons Emmer/Quist Tom Emmer Tony Sutton, Michael Brodkorb, breathalyzers Religious Right powerbroker Running Emmer’s gubernatorial campaign, getting busted for drunk driving Bill Walsh Emmer/Quist Tom Emmer, Allen Quist Tony Sutton, Michael Brodkorb, weathervanes Burrowing into state bureaucratic machinery, wrecking Department of Education former RPM executive director, on-again off-again tenure on Emmer’s 2010 campaign Mark Buesgens Emmer/Quist Tom Emmer, Allen Quist Tony Sutton, Michael Brodkorb, breathalyzers Serving as Emmer’s consigliere SD 35 representative, being one of Emmer’s 2010 campaign chiefs, drunken driving Dick Day Emmer/Quist Tom Emmer, Allen Quist Tony Sutton, Michael Brodkorb, Mike Parry (his Senate District 26 successor). Latinos Bringing racino to Minnesota, walking in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s bigoted footsteps Hating Latinos, duking it out with the Seifert-Brodkorb faction Chris Johnson Emmer/Quist Tom Emmer, Allen Quist Tony Sutton, Michael Brodkorb, Ted Boosalis (anti-racino Republican) Bringing racino and other gambling to Minnesota Duking it out with anti-gambling Republicans Dave Senjem Sutton/Seifert (Seifert more than Sutton); Gang of Four Marty Seifert As of 12/14/11: Michael Brodkorb, Amy Koch, and their allies As of 12/19/11: Backing gambling, replacing Koch as Senate Majority Leader Former Minority Leader and current Majority Leader; powerful state Senator from Rochester; lowering the boom on Koch and Brodkorb with fellow Gang of Four members Geoff Michel nominally Sutton/Seifert; Gang of Four Varies; Marty Seifert As of 12/14/11: Michael Brodkorb, Amy Koch, and their allies As of 12/19/11: replacing Koch as Senate Majority Leader (former) Deputy Majority Leader and Acting Leader; powerful state Senator from Edina; lowering the boom on Koch and Brodkorb with fellow Gang of Four members, then lying about it David Hann nominally Sutton/Seifert; Gang of Four Varies; Marty Seifert As of 12/14/11: Michael Brodkorb, Amy Koch, and their allies As of 12/19/11: replacing Koch as Senate Majority Leader Powerful state Senator from Eden Prairie; lowering the boom on Koch and Brodkorb with fellow Gang of Four members Chris Gerlach nominally Emmer/Quist; Gang of Four Varies; Tom Emmer As of 12/14/11: Michael Brodkorb, Amy Koch, and their allies As of 12/19/11: (maybe) replacing Koch as Senate Majority Leader Powerful state Senator from Eden Prairie; lowering the boom on Koch and Brodkorb with fellow Gang of Four members David Thompson His own little world; received lucrative favors from Tony Sutton Varies Sane people, educated people, scientists (apparently especially biologists, as evolutionary theory is the cornerstone of biology), non-greedy people Becoming RPM Chair, which he’s wanted for quite some time Right-wing radio gadfly, formerly of KSTP, now state Senator Pat Shortridge Varies, but has friends in both camps and national connections Dick Armey (via FreedomWorks), Joe and Cindy Westrup, Kurt Daudt, David FitzSimmons, Ted Lovdahl, Phil Krinkie, Ben Golnik, Harry and Jen Niska, Bill Walsh, Linda Runbeck, Rhonda Sivarajah, John Gilmore, Andy Aplikowski, Derek Brigham, Bill Guidera, Mark Kennedy, David Strom, Mike Osskopp, Mark Giga, Tom Emmer, Randy Gilbert, Barbara Malzacher People opposed to the Tea Party agenda (most civilized humans, in other words) To deliver Minnesota into the hands of the TheoCon Dick Armey faction of the Tea Party; helping Republicans nationwide; hoping nobody notices the Enron part of his résumé Enron lobbyist; working for Dino Rossi in Washington state and Marco Rubio in Florida state David Sturrock Who knows? Varies Varies; as of 12/30/11, Tony Sutton, his predecessor as RPM treasurer Being the kingmaker (or at least a kingmaker) CurrentFormer (as of late Friday night, 12/30/11) RPM Secretary-Treasurer (who resigned his post, blaming Sutton, hours after the party’s $ 1.92 million debt was leaked); has ties to national Republicans Sarah Janacek Whoever seems the strongest at any given moment Varies Anyone who tells or values the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth To be the female Brodkorb: To say anything, true or not, and get away with it Co-running Politics in Minnesota mag; using Facebook page as smear conduit; lying about Paul Wellstone’s Williams Arena memorial event and not paying a price for it
*The TCF Coopers, while still being involved in the RPM, appear to have permanently washed their hands of the Suttons and Brodkorb in the wake of the Baja Sol fiasco and the RPM’s debt debacle (hey, Tony! Where did all the money go?).
Originally posted on Mercury Rising 鳯女:
There have been some changes in the statuses of various figures mentioned in the first edition of the Field Guide, so I figured it was time for a new edition.
Some may wonder why I see the Brodkorb-Koch imbroglio as just another phase of the Fall of the House of Sutton. The relationships detailed below — relationships that are seldom if ever openly delineated by most local Establishment media journalists ever fearful of losing their precious access to GOP powerbrokers — should make my position clearer. (Remember, also, that Brodkorb’s fall, like Sutton’s, started well before December rolled around; he left his Deputy RPM Chair job in October; though he continued to exert some influence via his Senate position under Amy Koch and his new job with the Mike Parry campaign, the drop in his power may be measured by the fact that instead of openly ordering around elected officials in a way that national Republican party chairs such as Michael Steele and Reince Priebus can only dream about wistfully, Brodkorb, in an effort to become the unelected power behind a congressional throne, hooked up with Mike Parry — and Parry is dueling with Allen Quist in a no-hoper race to see who loses to Tim Walz next year. And now Brodkorb doesn’t even have that gig.)
As I stated in the first edition of the Guide, the two main factions in the Minnesota Republican Party are the Sutton/Brodkorb/Seifert faction and the Emmer/Tea Party/TheoCon faction, with other, smaller groups that make or break alliances as the need arises. One of the smaller factions, the anti-gambling CAGE faction led by Annette and Jack Meeks, has been at times allied with, and fought against, both of the big factions; conversely, the pro-gambling faction also has ties to both sides. There are individuals, such as Michael Wigley, with a foot in both camps; he backed Emmer for governor in 2010, but he’s also been close enough to the Suttons and Coopers to be given a now-defunct Baja Sol franchise as part of the Sutton-Cooper efforts to turn Baja Sol into a moneymaker turkey farm capable of providing income to Republican operatives and fellow travelers. And of course there’s the powerful group of Twin-City-suburban and Rochester-area state Senators, the Gang of Four, but their agenda is usually more about preservation of the party and its legislative caucus than anything else.
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