Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Urdahl moves up

Thou shalt not go against our Republican Governor.

Courage has left Minnesota's Republican party. Cronyism is alive and well. Great job Marty Seifert!

I guess that was the lesson doled out to 6 GOP legislators who supported a landmark transportation bill on Monday.
"We expect Republicans to follow other Republicans, and there is obviously a mixed message with what happened yesterday," Seifert said at a news conference Tuesday. "We're not taking anyone's secretary away. I'm not throwing their computers down the Capitol steps. I'm not severing their phone lines."

No, he just removed them from any leadership positions.
• Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, replaced by Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, in the Agriculture, Rural Economies & Veterans Affairs Committee.

• Rep. Kathy Tingelstad, R-Andover, replaced by Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, in the Capital Investment Committee.

• Rep. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, replaced by Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, in the Health Care and Human Services Committee.

Heidgerken, R-Freeport, replaced by Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, in the K-12 Finance Committee.

Erhardt, R-Edina, replaced by Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, in the Property Tax Relief & Local Sales Taxes Committee.

• In addition, Rep. Neil Peterson, R-Bloomington, was removed as an assistant minority whip and replaced by Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington.

Punish courage, reward cowardice. Good work!

While Rep Urdahl was quick to report "threats", it would appear he was a bit slower to report that he would be "promoted" for toeing the GOP party line, while at the same time, throwing his constituents under the bus.

Anyone ever read Wright County Republican?

Why did Drew Emmer remove the name of a legislator who supposedly "threatened" Rep Urdahl? Yesterday morning, he specifically named a legislator in his smear job. Now, the name is suddenly removed, although Urdahl was still "threatened".


So, having the courage to buck one's party and vote in line with one's constituents gets you removed from leadership positions.

The SC Times has an opinion on this as well today.
Most troubling, though, are the aftershocks emanating from the Republican Party and Pawlenty.

Within hours of the override, it became clear the party expects to punish Heidgerken and the other five House members for breaking ranks with the party and instead voting for what they believed was best for their constituents and all Minnesotans.

Heidgerken said he will lose his post as lead Republican on the House K-12 Finance Committee. News reports indicate other consequences could include others resigning similar posts, losing staff and research services, or not getting party support in re-election bids.

The Pioneer Press quoted Pawlenty as follows on this issue: "If you are going to be a team, you know, then there are going to be some team rules and team expectations, and I'll leave that up to the caucus leaders how they are going to address this further."

We expected a lot of things in the wake of this transportation bill passing — safer bridges, higher taxes and, yes, some Election Day changes. We didn't expect our governor and his political party to take such a low road in response to six votes cast for Team Minnesota, for once, instead of Team GOP.

Well said...I agree.

1 comment:

eric zaetsch said...

Isn't this basically Pawlenty's doing? A Stalinist purge after a super dumb veto?

He got heat on the cigarette tax hike a few years back from Bachmann in the State Senate back then, with Bachmann then for her own ambitions being intent on toeing the Taxpayer League line, and in retaliation she was removed from leadership similar to the Stalinist-like purges now reported in the GOP tent.

At least this GOP purge is bloodless. Yet, Stalin IS being followed in that the purge has parallel "show" purposes.

There's no other reason.

Sure, Stalin had a firmer grip on power then than Pawlenty holds here and there were executions in the 1930's. But we don't do things that extreme in Minnesota. It's not nice.

However, the difference is only one of scale. It is identical in intent. Terrorize the survivors in the party against future straying from the party line - advance the careers of the loyalists toads.

Bottom line though, no veto, no forced confrontation and no follow-up GOP dog and pony show. No retaliation.

If McCain does pick Pawlenty for the Veep spot, he will find he joins the household bringing all those pesky confrontational fleas.

I expect, either way it could have ultimately gone, once the veto was cast the thing was unimpressive to the McCain people. They have their own concerns and don't need T-Paw unless all he brings is a younger presentable face for the ticket, without major baggage.

But with all this stuff, plus the fallen bridge on his watch - and not sacking Molnau, his true disposition is too apparent for McCain to risk. Or that's how it looks from the outside.

It will be interesting to see Pawlenty's spin doctoring. The press has always tolerated an incredible degree of spin doctoring from the man. Will the free ride cease?