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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Cooper Jr. Baja Sol’

TCF Coopers Cast Off The Last Sutton

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 8, 2011

It’s been confirmed: Less than two months after her husband Tony’s severing of his Baja Sol ties became public knowledge, Bridget (Cronin) Sutton is also no longer with the company.

Sally Jo Sorensen has the scoop over at Bluestem Prairie — and she also has this thumbnail history of the Suttons’ involvement with Baja Sol and its popularity with Minnesota conservatives and Republicans:

Sutton and her husband, Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Tony Sutton, first entered the  faux Mexican fast casual restaurant business in 2004, when they opened a Tortilla Grill in downtown Minneapolis; by 2006, they purchased the chain with TCF powerhouse and former Republican Chair Bill Cooper, with aggressive plans to expand the chain. The enterprise drew other high-powered Republican money-men, including former chair Ron Carey.  One listing for a Baja Sol Cantina franchise at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office lists the same address as the Wigley Family Foundation, (aka Michael Wigley, founder of the Minnesota Taxpayers League).

These plans failed, and the chain is down to 11 Tortilla Grills in Minnesota, after restaurants in Illinois and Ohio closed, and the sit-down cantina restaurants were shuttered last year. 

Yowza.

Posted in Minnesota, Silver Spoon Squad | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Buh-Bye, Tony!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 1, 2011

Looks like, after watching him fail as a Republican Party treasurer and as a businessman, the Coopers have decided to stop trusting Tony Sutton with their money:

While Sutton was at the helm of the Republican resurgence, the Baja Sol restaurant chain he ran as CEO was adrift. It shrunk to 10 restaurants from 23 as its revenues took a beating in the recession. Immigrant rights protesters outside its doors can’t have helped build a positive image, either.

So Sutton announced yesterday [January 17] he was handing day-to-day operations of the company to Bridget Sutton, his wife and the firm’s president, and he was moving on to a position with Minneapolis-based P.R. firm Public Affairs Co.

The position? Sounds rather nebulous to me:

Public Affairs Co. announced Monday it is launching a joint venture with longtime Republican strategist Tony Sutton and his new Winning Strategies consulting firm.

[…]

Sutton recently founded Winning Strategies to serve as a grassroots advocacy firm. The firm’s offerings include issue campaigns, message development, media relations, business communications, ballot initiatives and government affairs.

Two things here:

1) I think he spells “grassroots” A-S-T-R-O-T-U-R-F. Or perhaps K-O-C-H. Or even maybe C-O-O-P-E-R, if the TCF father and son team haven’t totally soured on him.

2) Note that he’s not in a position where he has to deal with anybody’s money, aside from whatever paychecks, if any, he himself is getting.

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