Monday, September 30, 2013

Tom Emmer's Staggering Lack Of Judgment Redux

An especially astute republican insider once said of Tom Emmer, in connection with his narrow republican endorsement win for the Minnesota governor's race in 2010, that it was "like someone winning the lottery who suddenly thinks he's good at business." As if to leave no doubt and to put the knife further in between the shoulder blades, this adept added: "[U]ltimately nominating the Bill Buckner of Republican politics was probably not, in retrospect, the smartest idea." The insider who made those telling observations was Michael Brodkorb in an interview with MPR's Tom Scheck. The entire article can be read by clicking here.

I interviewed Brodkorb in connection with the MPR article for this blog on December 4, 2011. It's worth re-reading for its trenchant criticism of the embarrassing, pathetic Emmer campaign. Click here.  

Emmer went on to lose to Mark Dayton in a year that produced record republican victories across the upper midwest and the country generally. Emmer never apologized for his spectacularly poor campaign and for letting down the people of Minnesota. Indeed, when reference is made to his campaign's implosion Emmer insists nothing of the kind happened. This is perverse, if not clinical.

In 2011 he ran for National Republican Committeeman but lost to Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson. When the results of the election were announced he stormed out of the state central committee meeting room without so much as a handshake and a forced smile for Johnson. I don't know if he ever got around to doing the right thing and could care less if he did. The reaction that day was Tom Emmer. If you're small, petulant and thin skinned, he's your guy. Emmer's hard core supporters, generally a dim-witted and unsophisticated group, hate it when his conduct is brought up. Bombast and no substance impresses them; they're at a loss as to why it doesn't everyone.

Emmer, having no accomplishments in the Minnesota House of Representatives, went on to sell himself to the highest bidder as best he could. In office he was fiercely opposed to lobbying efforts to restrict certain kinds of oncology practices. As the guy who lost to Mark Dayton (Mark Dayton!), he needed a job and promptly hired himself out as a lobbyist for the forces who wanted government to restrict oncology practices that he had heretofore been steadfastly against. It's impossible to respect such a man.

He sold out to the National Popular Vote, a far-left, George Soros funded attempt to vitiate the Electoral College, even going so far as to "testify" before the Pennsylvania legislature in support of this travesty. Pay Tom money. He performs tricks. There's a word for that but conservative or principled isn't it.

He then went on to co-host a morning drive radio show in the Twin Cities where he repeatedly tore down fellow republicans because of his holier-than-thou complex. Emmer supporters resent it when this is pointed out.

That's it. The whole megillah. Zero accomplishments. Now he wants to force himself on the republicans of Minnesota's Sixth Congressional district. They deserve better and can have it.

Today we learned that Emmer cooperated in an endorsement video for an outfit known as Integrity Exteriors (the "T" in the logo is in the shape of a cross so we have that going on as well). Apparently this firm had done the build out of his current campaign office. Local progressive blogger Sally Jo Sorensen broke the story of this 30 second endorsement running on the CW channel in the Twin Cities. Her story can be read by clicking here. In short order it became a national story with Politico, the New York Times and respected political scientist Larry Sabato all mentioning it on Twitter.

Despite one friendly blogger's rush to judgment that this would be a one day story at best, no less than Roll Call has picked up on it. Roll Call anticipates that a complaint will be filed with the Federal Election Commission and though a severe penalty seems unlikely, the incompetence of Emmer and his hapless handlers shines through again. That's the real point. The Roll Call article can be read by clicking here. In addition, the St. Cloud Times, the Associated Press, the Pioneer Press, Mediaite and the kids at DailyKos all are reporting on the story. The same incompetent people who brought you tip-credit want you to think there's nothing to this latest foolishness. Except there is.

Paul Demko, of Politics in Minnesota, attempted to get an explanation from Emmer for this latest catastrophe but Emmer hates to be held accountable for his incompetence and begged off, claiming he was fundraising til the last minute on this, the last day of the third quarter. Demko's story can be read by clicking here. His campaign put out a statement that Tom simply made a video at the request of the company. That no money, in kind contribution or quid pro quo was involved misses the point entirely: Emmer has neither the judgment nor personal integrity for elected office of any kind.

Republicans in CD 6 should choose Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah: a true leader, one with solid accomplishments in advancing smaller government and lower taxes. Rhonda is thoughtful, not a blowhard. She knows it takes more than preening and surrounding yourself with yes-men to get real things done. Among other things under Rhonda’s leadership the Board has reduced the county property tax levy by 7.43%—the largest reduction of any county in the state and one of only two counties to reduce their levy; reduced county debt by $30 million; repealed the prevailing wage ordinance for projects that are funded exclusively with local property tax dollars; pulled county support for the Northern Lights Passenger Rail to Duluth and reduced lobbying expenditures by $200,000.

In addition, Sivarajah has been selected by the House GOP caucus for inclusion in Project GROW: growing republican opportunities for women. Learn more about this honor by clicking here.

The stale, old, white boy network has gathered around a genial, easily-manipulated, ego-centric mediocrity. Emmer will do as he's told; he's never been his own man. Just ask Linda Runbeck.

If elected, republicans will have to spend money every cycle defending him in what should be a relatively safe seat. If he wins the primary, he could easily lose the general election to a good DFL candidate. Then we'll be treated to another rendition of it wasn't Emmer's fault, nothing ever is. He should be avoided at all costs.

Republican primary voters should select Rhonda Sivarajah because she will make them proud. To learn more about the next republican Congresswoman from Minnesota, please click here.