He has three other competitors in the race for the endorsement but the main one, business woman Darlene Miller, has said she will not abide by it but will compete in the primary. This is what a candidate manufactured by a desperate establishment does.
Miller's campaign is staffed largely with Kline people and her first forays into the public arena have been painful and clumsy. She had to be dragged into the race by the establishment and it shows at every turn.
Clearly she's a candidate of necessity for the donor class. She has money but zero political ability. Think Chamber of Commerce. Think Jeb Bush. Please clap.
Miller will easily lose in the general election to far left DFL candidate Angie Craig but the right people will make money as she does so. This explains most of Minnesota republican politics.
A week out from the March 1st republican caucus, the Star Tribune hilariously ran several hit pieces that it thought would damage Lewis by taking comments made on air and in his 2011 book, which is a sustained argument about how the federal government must enforce civil rights, grossly out of context.
The hit mob seriously expects voters in CD 2 to believe that Lewis countenances slavery or that twenty something women shouldn't vote. These sorts of hyper-manufactured attacks simply don't work anymore. A rump Twitter group echoes them, claiming that "one word destroys campaigns." They don't possess the self-awareness to be embarrassed for themselves.
Several serious issues, however, have been generated by this bought and paid for establishment hit.
The Star Tribune Investigates
The Star Tribune has a mixed reputation at best in Minnesota. I know most of its political reporters in some way, often being sought out for background. Most reporters are decent people trying to do their job although the more honest ones freely admit the demonstrable leftwing-bias that infuses the newspaper at every level.
Still, the paper tries to adhere to the minimum of so called journalistic ethics and standards, if for no other reason than marginal self-respect. Consequently, the breathless hit piece that said Lewis replied "it's kinda of hard to say" when asked whether the civil war was worth fighting for, is shown to be rank dishonesty.
Here's the full exchange:
"TheDC: Well so do you think that the Civil War was a war worth fighting?
JL: Well there are those who advocated, at the time, for emancipated compensation. And that was the idea — and this had happened in other countries across that globe — where, “alright, we want to eradicate slavery, it’s a horrific institution, nobody disputes that, but, do we really wanna shed six hundred thousand lives in America?” So the idea was, let’s pay the Southern slave owners money to give up the slaves, and they would end the institution, and that would be it. Now, people say, “that’s a little bit odious, you’re paying people to do the right thing.” Well is it really more odious than six hundred thousand lives? Lincoln actually presented it to his cabinet late in the war, but they rejected it, and Lincoln had the opportunity to go, move forward on it earlier in the war, but he never did, so it’s kinda hard to say. As I said, it was a bit of a Hobson’s choice for Lincoln, he didn’t want to be the president to preside over the breaking up of the union."
To the question above, the Star Tribune only quoted as Lewis' answer: "so it's kind of hard to say."
If you argue this wasn't intentionally malicious, you have a heavy burden of proof.
This deliberate misrepresentation by the Star Tribune was brought to its attention by John R. Lott, Jr., Ph.D., President, Crime Prevention Research Center who wrote the introduction to Lewis' book.
No less than Dennis J. McGrath, Star Tribune Deputy Digital Editor, thanked Mr. Lott for pointing this out on February 22nd, saying "Thanks, John. This is helpful. I’ll look into it and get back to you."
As Special Correspondent to Minnesota Conservatives, I will keep readers posted as to the course of the investigation into this disturbing unethical matter. We can only hope the Star Tribune issues a correction and an apology so that it salvages what's left of its journalistic integrity.
MNGOP Deputy Chair Chris Fields & NRCC Collusion
Rank and file republicans were shocked when they read comments by Chris Fields that gratuitously piled on the false and sleazy Jason Lewis hit job currently under investigation by Star Tribune management. His comments violated clear rules and bylaws that forbid state officers from speaking for or against any candidate pre-endorsement.
What I have learned, however, is that Fields has been attempting to coordinate with the National Republican Congressional Campaign, the entity that attempts to increase republican membership in the U.S. House of Representatives. The NRCC is a tool of the establishment which advances the interests of its donors while steadfastly ignoring concerns of its citizen base. It supports Kline's handpicked candidate Darlene Miller while strongly opposing the change agent Jason Lewis.
My understanding is that the NRCC would support Chris Fields in his hopeless attempt to become the next Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, going so far as to arranging funds that would eliminate most or all of the party's debt. Fields would be a wholly owned tool of the NRCC in exchange. His comments to the invented Star Tribune story was part of this arrangement.
The backlash to his comments has been swift and severe. Fields would likely never have succeeded to Chair given how poorly he's viewed by the base, from what I'm told. Now, however, that path seems likely foreclosed for good.
Darlene Miller's Crony Capitalism
Miller is "CEO and president of Permac Industries, a Burnsville precision parts manufacturing company that received federal stimulus funds under President Obama and took advantage of tax incentives under President George W. Bush," reports Maya Rao of the Star Tribune.
Establishment candidates are precisely like this: sucking on the government teet while telling their want to be base that they are on their side. Miller isn't just inauthentic, she's a certifiable fraud.
There's no evidence that Miller was interested in politics before being recruited by GOPe. In Rao's story, she hid from the reporter's questions, sending out her campaign manager instead (full disclosure: a friend of mine, a good guy).
A strong, confident candidate would be at ease with questions, not hiding from them. Now, eat the dog food.
The establishment has done its best to try to damage Lewis but, like all things inauthentic in this age of Trump, it has failed miserably. CD 2 voters, like all voters, simply are not stupid no matter how much Lewis' opponents and detractors might want them to be. The idea that he is retrograde, bigoted, or backward is simply, to use an expression from my friends in the South, a dog that won't hunt.
He responded forcefully in a piece published yesterday and pretty much put an end to this silliness. His response can be read by clicking here. This story is over but surely, look for more. Dog, hunt.
The world is on fire, America is in decline as a matter of choice, the middle class is being decimated, wars abroad have been proven demonstrable follies and Minnesota CD2 establishment republicans and their dishonest media allies continue to care only about feathering their own nests.
No wonder Lewis threatens them.