Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 23, 2011
(This is the first edition of the Guide. The most recent edition is here.)
As the current Brodkorbian-Kochian phase of the Fall of the House of Sutton unfolds, I thought it might be useful to take a stab at detailing what most local Establishment media journalists, who are either ignorant as paint or fearful of losing their precious access to GOP powerbrokers, have neglected to explain: The existence of the factions that have for years been jockeying for control of the Republican Party of Minnesota and the politicians running under their banners.
This refusal to delineate the factions and agendas of the Minnesota GOP’s most prominent players and their conservative fellow travelers makes for incoherent (as well as flat-out wrong) reporting on the key issues that affect Minnesota. For example as Sally Jo Sorensen of Bluestem Prairie explains, when Tony Sutton claimed in his farewell letter as RPM Chair that shifting responsibility for the recount from the gubernatorial campaign to the party was what the RPM gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer had wanted and not Sutton, no local establishment journalist dared contradict him even though the evidence undermining Sutton’s claims was so obvious Stevie Wonder could have seen it. Ms. Sorensen isn’t afraid to mention who is allied to whom (and who hates whom) here. Understanding this helps to understand Minnesota Republican politics, where the bigwigs in the factions carry more weight than do their stooges in the legislature.
The two main factions in the Minnesota Republican Party are the Sutton/Brodkorb/Seifert faction, and the Emmer/Tea Party/TheoCon faction. There are other, smaller groups that make or break alliances as the need arises, but the Sutton and Emmer factions are the main two to be reckoned with. 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.
The Sutton faction is the one that is representative of the party establishment and which is generally backed by the Mr. Burns of Minnesota Republican politics, the Cooper family whose billions come from the TCF financial empire; they also (at least until last week) generally have the backing of the top Republican Senators known to Republican detractors like Sue Jeffers as the “Gang of Four”: Dave Senjem, David Hann, Geoff Michel, and Chris Gerlach. The Emmer faction has among it such marginally-electable Bible-banger folks as Minnesota’s own answer to Rick Santorum, Allen Quist.
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: factions, Marty Seifert, Michael Brodkorb, Republican Party of Minnesota, Tom Emmer, Tony Sutton | 5 Comments »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 4, 2011
Comrade Emmer courtesy of Tildology.com
If, after Tom Emmer’s War on the Waitstaff last year, there was any doubt in anybody’s mind that the Republican Party of Minnesota does not encourage among its ranks any sort of empathy for the average Minnesotan who isn’t a Mr. or Ms. Gotrocks, state legislator and ALEC member Mary Kiffmeyer has erased that doubt quite efficiently:
Minnesota’s liberal-to-progressive blogosphere was aghast today at reading a comment made by Representative Mary Kiffmeyer (R- Smallpond) in the St. Cloud Times:
But Kiffmeyer is skeptical about Dayton’s push for revenue; she believes it’s motivated chiefly by Dayton’s desire to hike taxes on the wealthy.
“It’s not about revenue,” Kiffmeyer said. “It’s about a tax increase, because they want to go after those who’ve actually worked hard.”
No further comment; none needed.
(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)
Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League | Tagged: Mary Kiffmeyer, rich people, taxes, Tom Emmer, war on the waitstaff | 2 Comments »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 20, 2011
For the record: John Hugh Gilmore is not an employee of Andrew Breitbart. While he is a conservative blogger (of the Minnesota Conservatives blog), he does have some standards.
Gilmore lives in St. Paul, and is a pretty big wheel in Minnesota Republican politics, being in tight with the Marty Seifert and Ben Golnik/Gregg Peppin crowd as well as being a prominent Republican Party of Minnesota functionary in State Senate District 65 and a state central committee member. He backed Seifert in the 2010 Republican race for the gubernatorial nomination, but dutifully (albeit reluctantly) climbed onto the wildly careening Emmer bandwagon once Emmer’s nomination was a done deal.
He also happens to be the person who was arrested last Thursday night for getting drunk and harassing two Muslim women of Middle Eastern descent. This is the incident that triggered a flash mob protest on Saturday’s session of Right Online, and accounted for some of the passion with which Andrew Breitbart’s attempt to disrupt Netroots Nation 2011 was met. Here’s Sue Wilson’s account:
.The story started the night before when two women ventured into the streets of Minneapolis wearing the traditional Hijab (headscarf.) They were approached by John Hugh Gilmore, a 52 year attorney and self described Conservative who blogs for “Minnesota Conservatives.” According to police, he asked the women what they thought of Ayaan Hersi Ali, a Somali who is a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who decries Muslims. The women told him they weren’t exactly fans. The inebriated Gilmore then became upset and started harassing the pair, asking what right they had to be in this country, until 60 onlookers intervened. Police were called and arrested Gilmore, but not until Gilmore tried to reach Andrew Breitbart on his phone.
Mind you, this is one of the persons who makes up the ‘respectable’ wing of the local GOP, capable of doing semi-credible defenses of Democrats like Terri Bonoff on invocations — though he muffs it when he attacks her for backing nondenominational ones only: “Invoking Jesus or Yahweh does not violate the separation of church and state. This misses the point entirely but then again MC has not found democrats to be well versed in either religion or the constitution.” Sorry, that’s not what the Fourth Circuit found.
This guy is, underneath his Brooks Brothers suit, a raging Islamophobe of the Bradlee Dean variety, and he shows it in his writings and now in his actions.
UPDATE: Well, whaddaya know — the local rocking-chair media actually have deigned to notice this story. Good on you, MPR!
Posted in Islam, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | Tagged: harassment, hijab, John Hugh Gilmore, Marty Seifert, Minneapolis, Muslim women, Netroots Nation 2011, RightOnline, Tom Emmer | 2 Comments »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 7, 2011
A mashup of Tildology.com's great renderings of Tony Sutton and Tom Emmer.
File this one under “If The DFL Did This It’d Be The #1 Topic In The Twin Cities Media”. Glad to see that the Post-Bulletin (via BSP) is on the case:
A Red Wing Republican senator is offering to donate money to help the Republican Party of Minnesota pay bills owed to several counties for last fall’s gubernatorial recount.
Sen. John Howe said it is time for the party to pay back these bills. In a letter he sent to members of the Republican caucus obtained by the Post-Bulletin, he wrote “ This is embarrassing and painfully indefensible. This damages us not just on the local level, but statewide as well. It is spreading through the political blogs, and must be a reason for much head shaking in water cooler conversations.” [emphasis added]
Asked about the letter, Howe said he never intended for it to be public.
Ah, but it gets better:
It appears that former GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer is also working to get the bills paid. Houston County Auditor Char Meiners said she was pleasantly surprised to get a call from Emmer on Monday asking for a copy of the bill telling her he was going to try and get it paid. The party owes Houston County $1,067. Emmer did not return a phone call seeking comment on Monday.
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton said there is no need for Emmer or Howe to chip in. [emphasis added] He said the party sent out payments to eight counties last week. He said of the 87 counties in Minnesota, the party still owes money to 20 of them for a total of just under $20,000. Olmsted, Dodge and Mower counties are among those that have been paid back. He said the party plans to finish paying back counties shortly.
Uh-huh. Sure you do, Tony. You’ll do it with that wondrous talent with money of yours, the one that’s made such headlines for you as Republican Party of Minnesota treasurer and co-owner of Baja Sol.
(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)
Posted in Minnesota, Republicans | Tagged: John Howe, Tom Emmer, Tony Sutton, unpaid bills | 3 Comments »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 28, 2011
All you have to do is to vote for him here: http://www.democracyforamerica.com/netroots_nation_scholarships/1358-robert-erickson
Who is Robert Erickson? He’s the guy that, in between pranking Tea Party gatherings, came up with the most visually memorable political action in Minnesota last year — the penny dump that kept Tom Emmer out of the Governor’s Mansion.
What is Netroots Nation 11? It’s the 2011 gathering of progressive activists from all over America — and from much of the rest of the world as well — and it’s being held in Minneapolis this year. Or, as the folks behind Netroots Nation say:
Netroots Nation amplifies progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate. Through our annual convention and a series of regional salons held throughout the year, we strengthen our community, inspire action and serve as an incubator for ideas that challenge the status quo and ultimately affect change in the public sphere.
Why Robert Erickson should go: See above.
Why you should go: You might bump into Al Gore, or hear from Nancy Pelosi, You will get to see and hear Russ Feingold, learn about how the right-wingers “work the refs” of the media to spin things their way (and how we can fight back), find out how progressives rallied in Wisconsin, and why the nuts-and-bolts of politics matter. All this in a four-day weekend.
Hell, you might even see me. Though I’d never tell.
(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)
Posted in Minnesota | Tagged: activism, immigration, Netroots Nation 11, pennies, Robert Erickson, Tom Emmer, war on the waitstaff | 1 Comment »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 7, 2010
After the Minnesota Supreme Court shot down Emmer’s last gambit earlier today, it was inevitable that he would concede. The pleasant surprise here is that he faced reality as quick as he did:
Tom Emmer to concede #mnrecount
and Gov’s race to Dayton tomorrow at 10:30 am in Delano says @KSTP
. MNSUPCO opinion sunk Emmer. #stribpol
Our first Democratic governor in over two decades — and he’s a real Democrat, too.
Posted in 2010, Uncategorized | Tagged: Mark Dayton, Minnesota, mn-gov, Tom Emmer | 4 Comments »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 4, 2010
Here they are:
Thanks, Mark Ritchie, for allowing us to see what a jerk Tom Emmer is being.
Posted in 2010, Minnesota | Tagged: Mark Dayton, Mark Dayton recount, mn-gov, Tom Emmer | 3 Comments »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 1, 2010
As many of my Minnesotan readers may know, Republican Party of Minnesota Chair and failed taco king Tony Sutton and his minion in the Emmer camp Tony Trimble each had a bit of a hissy fit directed at long-suffering Hennepin County elections manager Rachel Smith, I’m guessing in part because she dared notice that Republican recount volunteers were being told to challenge more ballots.
But part of me has to wonder: Was this done in part to try and take attention away from the burgeoning Jeremy Giefer pardon and sex abuse scandal currently enveloping Tim Pawlenty?
If the goal of the Republicans is to drag out the count, by frivolous ballot challenges or frivolous lawsuits, so that Pawlenty can remain governor come January, the last thing they’d want to see is a nasty lingering scandal wrapped around him. That would make the public less amenable to their grandstandings.
It’s in their interest to drown out the news of Pawlenty — who had said he’d never pardon a sex offender — having pardoned a sex offender so said sex offender’s wife/first(?) victim could open a daycare even as he was raping his own daughter and cheating on his child bride with another woman.
(By the way: Help out Sally Jo Sorensen by throwing a few coins her way. Journalism isn’t cheap, especially the kind of her quality.)
Posted in 2010, Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty | Tagged: Jeremy Giefer, Mark Dayton recount, Tom Emmer, Tony Sutton, Tony Trimble | Comments Off
Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 1, 2010
File this under “Things that Don’t Surprise Me One Bit”:
Hennepin County Elections Manager Rachel Smith says she has heard Republican recount leaders urging their workers to challenge more ballots in Minnesota’s Gubernatorial recount. She says the challenges made by Republican Tom Emmer’s campaign have been “a bit unnecessary”. Over the past two days in Hennepin County alone there have been close to 1,000 ballot challenges that were ruled “frivolous”. All but a handful of those frivolous challenges were made by the Emmer campaign. She showed the press some of those challenged ballots which included one with a fully filled in oval for Mark Dayton. The Emmer campaign challenged the ballot questioning the “voter intent”.
Watch the video at The UpTake.
Posted in 2010, Minnesota | Tagged: Mark Dayton, Mark Dayton recount, Tom Emmer | Comments Off
Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 29, 2010
Before this morning, Tom Emmer had put on his Boy Scout uniform and sworn to be thrifty, brave, clean, reverent, and to respect the will of the people once the recount was done.
Of course, as Sally Jo Sorensen points out at Bluestem Prairie, that lasted, oh, maybe half a nanosecond once the recount actually started.
At nine o’clock am CST today, Emmer and Company promptly ditched the Boy Scout uniform to reveal their Sith robes underneath, and started making frivolous challenges at an insanely fast clip. As The UpTake would Tweet this afternoon, referencing Dayton recount director Ken Martin: “98% of all frivolous challenges and 90% of all challenges have come from Emmer.”
And what has been accomplished by all of these frivolous challenges, other than to slow down the vote recount? Not very much, if you’re an Emmer fan. Again, per Ken Martin via The UpTake: “21% of votes in state have been counted with a net gain of 37 votes for Dayton: (Dayton receiving 88, Emmer receiving 51)”.
Give it up, Tommy.
Posted in 2010, Minnesota | Tagged: Mark Dayton, mn-gov, Tom Emmer | 4 Comments »