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Posts Tagged ‘Republican Party of Minnesota’

“Fiscally Prudent” MN GOP Not Paying Rent On HQ, Served Eviction Notice

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 23, 2012

Time for a bake sale, perhaps?

The debt-plagued Republican Party of Minnesota is getting kicked out of its party headquarters near the state Capitol.

Massachusetts-based Hub Properties Trust filed paperwork in Ramsey County on Wednesday to evict the state GOP for failing to pay more than $96,000 in rent over the last year.

Funny how all the Republican patrons that are so eager to write big checks for Republican candidates haven’t been rushing to save the Republican Party of Minnesota from the effects of the actions of its former chair, the disgraced Tony Sutton.

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Wingnut-Welfare Recipient And Ayn Rand Fan Craig Westover Lectures Us On Self-Reliance, Morals

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 8, 2012

In the course of his StarTribune missive seeking to enhance the right wing’s desire to demonize Saul Alinsky and any and all other lefties who have effectively fought against Westover and his fellow one-percenters, sings the praises of Ayn Rand, who of course taught that the one-percenters like Westover were so far above we mere mortals in the 99% class because they’re so much stronger and self-reliant and unhindered by things like morality and conscience and compassion.

Westover, in fact, is one of the Minnesota right wing’s leading recipients of wingnut welfare, having for many years drawn a paycheck at the Minnesota Free Market Institute (he’s still there in an unpaid capacity as a “Senior Fellow”), a notorious sheltered workshop for otherwise-unemployable conservatives, before going on to be the paid mouthpiece for the incompetent and crazy Pat Awada Anderson and was hired last year by disgraced former RPM Chair Tony Sutton to be the the Republican Party of Minnesota’s Communications Director.

As for whether Ayn Rand is more moral than Saul Alinsky, well — Guess who based the male heroes of several novels on a vicious punk of a serial killer named William Hickman? (Hint: Her name rhymes with “Mine Bland”, and she herself became what she scathingly called a “moocher” in later life, turning to Social Security benefits when her conservative buddies refused to significantly assist her and her ailing husband.)

I think I’ll take the guy who improved the lives of millions of Americans over the woman who spun turgid tales for the elites in order to provide comfy justifications for their own amorality and sociopathy.

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Amy Koch: My Dimmesdale’s No Longer A Senate Staffer

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 26, 2012

Former Minnesota State Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, who resigned that post after admitting to an “inappropriate relationship” with a male Senate staffer widely suspected to be Michael Brodkorb, dropped a small hint earlier this week as to her Dimmesdale’s identity:

She [Amy Koch] said that for legal reasons she won’t name the staffer, who has since left his job at the Capitol.

Anyone care to divine how many male Senate staffers became ex-Senate staffers during the period starting December 16th, 2011 and ending January 23, the date of the interview that forms the basis for the KARE story on Senator Koch?

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ALEC Cutting Back On 2012 Election-Year Spending? Yes, In Minnesota

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 23, 2012

Why it’s a good idea to check out Bluestem Prairie every so often — stories like this one:

The financial erosion of the Republican Party of Minnesota under the management of Tony Sutton (who brought Baja Sol to the brink with his lovely wife Bridget) appears to have altered the river of cash that waters the broader conservative valley in the North Star State, and this brings Bluestem to the second news item mentioned in the lede.

The conservative megablog True North reports that Two Major Minnesota Conservative Think Tanks Join Forces.

Upon reviewing the press release, our conclusion is that the wedding of the Center of the American Experiment and the Minnesota Free Market Institute isn’t a merger, but rather a consolidation at a moment of coming austerity and ambition on the part of those big donors who’ve been funding the Republican Party (MPR reports that the party received only $255 from small donors in 2010). ALEC’s think tank division, the State Policy Network, lists both organizations in its directory entry for Minnesota.

Go read the whole thing, and you’ll also see how Primera bigwig and hardcore Fundie Robert Cummins has bought himself several prize political plums in a cronyism orgy.

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Pat “The Fixer” Shortridge, Dick Armey Buddy, Is The New Tony Sutton

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 31, 2011

I had to edit my second edition of the RPM Field Guide yet again to note the selection of Pat Shortridge, Enron lobbyist, Dick Armey buddy at FreedomWorks, and political fixer for the campaigns of Marco Rubio and Dino Rossi, as the new RPM Chair.

Don’t blink, there may be more changes coming soon.

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Know Your RPMs: A Field Guide To Minnesota Republican Factionalism

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 »

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The Fall Of The House Of Sutton: The Brodkorb-Koch Angle

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 17, 2011

Michael Brodkorb channels his inner Hugh Hefner

It’s been a busy few days in the North Star State, as a whole battalion of chickens have come home to roost at the Republican Party of Minnesota.

First, there was the mysterious stepping-down of Amy Koch on Thursday morning from her Majority Leader post in the State Senate; she gave no real reason why she was stepping down, and also said that while she wasn’t going to run for re-election, she would retain her state Senate seat until her term expired.

That apparently wasn’t good enough for the state party leadership, because on Friday morning, it was announced that she’d been forced out over an “inappropriate relationship” with a male Senate staffer whose name was not mentioned.

Then, well after the deadlines for the six o’clock and even the nine and ten o’clock evening newscasts, it was announced that Koch’s nominal underling, Michael Brodkorb — Tony Sutton’s right-hand man and a guy who until October of this year had been the Deputy Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party and its communications boss — had resigned his job at the state Senate. (See also Tild’s lovely graphic above, which may also be found here.)

My, my.

The jockeying to replace Brodkorb’s sock puppet as Majority Leader has begun, with inspid right-wing talk-show host and freshman Senate Republican Dave Thompson already expressing interest in the gig. (Be careful what you wish for, Dave: The RPM powerbrokers, especially the Sutton-Brodkorb crew, would love to see you nominally presiding over the state Senate GOP caucus when the Republicans lose control of it next year. They’ll blame the loss on you and use it to try and vault back into power, hoping that nobody notices that their fingerprints will be all over that loss.)

Pass. The. Popcorn.

UPDATE: And now we find out that Brodkorb has resigned from the campaign of Mike Parry, who is competing with Allen Quist for the right to get a butt-kicking from Tim Walz next November. Yeah, I think we can safely say that the circumstantial evidence is piling up here.

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Minnesota GOP Finally Dumps Walking Scandal Machine Tony Sutton

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 3, 2011

In what may be the ultimate Friday News Dump for the North Star State, it was announced late this afternoon that Tony Sutton is no longer the chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota:

Amid mounting evidence of party disarray and financial difficulties, Republican State Party Chairman Tony Sutton announced his resignation Friday.

“I have decided to resign as State Chair effective 5PM today. I have enjoyed being State Chair, but feel it is best for my family to move on,” he said on Twitter.

Well, well, well.

This is a guy who presided over the ALEC-fueled legislative takeover of 2010, ALEC’s juice nearly sufficing to overcome the major deficiencies of Tom Emmer and bringing him to within sight of the Governor’s Mansion — and yet he, barely a year after that historic coup, is no longer in place. (Neither, by the way, is his right-hand man, former Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb, who left his post in October. Hmmmm.)

That may seem surprising, but a review of his history (a history that up to now has been largely soft-focused by the Republican-tilted local establishment media; only City Pages and the blogs have deigned to cover it in depth or in detail) will likely make the reader what took the local GOP so long to realize the guy was a 350-plus-pound radioactive boat anchor.

Follow me past the jump for a by-no-means-complete synopsis of Tony Sutton’s most memorable career and life experiences: Read the rest of this entry »

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MNGOP, City Mouse and Country Mouse

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 1, 2011

As ably documented by Sally Jo Sorensen of Bluestem Prairie over the last few months, the Minnesota Republican Party has been trying to pit rural and urban parts of the state against each other, using the topic of LGA, or Local Government Aid, as the weapon.

As it turns out, the pitting of Country Mouse against City Mouse was based on a lie — namely, the idea that the Republican Party of Minnesota was going to continue LGA at current levels to Greater Minnesota cities. Their June 30 budget proposal, which Governor Dayton felt compelled to adopt after he asked for the addition of stimulus money and the removal of their anti-union and other social-agenda legislation, freezes LGA to both big cities and small towns across the state at 2010 levels, forcing these municipalities to jack up their property and other taxes to compensate.

Having destroyed their favorite wedge-issue tool of the past few legislative sessions, the state GOP will have to rely on demagoguing gay rights or brown people, I guess.

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The “Mike Brodkorb Bill”: Curbs Politicking On State Of Minnesota’s Dime

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 20, 2011

Former “independent blogger” Michael Brodkorb wears two hats: he is the Deputy Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, and he is an employee of the Minnesota State Legislature as the Republican Senate caucus’ communications director, and puppeteer of executive assistant to Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch.

He has trouble keeping those two roles separate — in fact, one might think, judging from his actions, that he really doesn’t even try to keep the two roles separate. Witness his series of Tweets last night, of which this is a typical example:

This immediately attracted the notice of various other Twitterers who were online at time, and who were eager to inform him of the error of his ways, as shown here:

Fortunately for Mr. Brodkorb, some helpful legislators introduced a bill yesterday that, if adopted, would end his confusion permanently — by making him choose which job he’d rather keep:

Winkler; Greiling; Hansen; Melin; Murphy, E.; Gauthier and Davnie introduced:

H. F. No. 16, A bill for an act relating to state government; prohibiting officers of major political parties from being employed by the legislature; amending Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 3.07.

The bill was read for the first time.

Of course, the Republicans controlling both houses of the state legislature won’t approve of this. They need Brodkorb to tell them how to blow their noses.

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