Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A rural GOP mutiny?

Apparently, McLeod County Republicans are not satisfied with Senator Coleman.

The past month or so, multiple stories and op ed pieces have been covered in the McLeod Chronicle.

At the Glencoe caucus.
"I'm disappointed the Republican Party is becoming too liberal," Krueger said. He pointed to the elections of Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman and the fact that former state Rep. Scott Newman was "left out to dry" in the last judicial election as proof the party has changed.

"I can't go on holding my nose," Krueger said as Arizona Sen. John McCain has surged in the polls for Republican candidate for president.

"John McCain is a liberal," Krueger lashed out. "There's no difference between (Barack) Obama, (Hillary) Clinton and McCain," he added. He pointed to the media bias as having brainwashed Republicans about McCain.

The McLeod County Convention in Silver Lake
"Your voting record is disappointing to say the least," the letter stated. "Reviewing some of your votes within the last month, we wonder if you have forgotten that you are a Republican and not a Democrat."

The letter stated Coleman's support of the "Dream Act," which allows illegal immigrants access to federal money for student loans and gives a fast-track to citizenship to millions "is a sellout to millions of taxpayers in the United States who will have to pay for 'lawbreakers' to go to school" and will bring millions more of illegals into the country.

Also, the local GOPers were critical of Coleman's support for a "hate crimes bill," that will enhance punishment for crimes against homosexuals and transgender people.

"Why do you feel that a homosexual or a transgender person should be given special treatment? All crimes are hate crimes," the letter stated.

Coleman's support for a bill to spend $35 billion on healthcare for children and his intention to override the president's veto also drew criticism.

"Of course, we all want children to be healthy! But having the federal government manage the program will never work and will only lead to failed socialized medical care and cost taxpayers in America billions of dollars."

Fourth, Coleman's support of $65 million for the Northstar Corridor Rail and another $35 million for the Central Corridor Rail line at a time when the country is trillions of dollars in debt drew the ire of the local Republicans. "What is the sense in this?"

The local party board members wrote to state leaders and to Coleman that they elected the leadership; "However, there is also a responsibility on your part to support our party principles to the best of your ability.

"We don't see you are doing that; therefore, we have decided not to support you (Coleman) if you are endorsed next spring," the letter stated.

Wow, McLeod County Republican leadership will not support Senator Coleman?

The mutiny LTE: They don't like RINO's much in this neck of the woods...
This county "problem" brings to light the greater national Republican "problem." Now that the Democrats have moved from a liberalist to a socialist platform, the Republican machine thinks it is in their best interest to slide left and take up some of the liberal void left behind, all in hopes of capturing a few votes from the "other side.

"Let us tell you, those few votes aren't even going to come close to the votes you are going to leave behind. We, who make up the core of the party, are not going to slide left with you. We have reached our moral "line in the sand." We are tired of voting against someone rather than for someone.

Senator Coleman responds!
"I represent Minnesota, not just the conservatives," Coleman responded. He said his aim is to do what is right in the end on the main things important to the state.

As to the Dream Act, he said some of these immigrants have served in the armed forces, while others "are here due to the sins of their parents (born in the U.S.). Should they be punished for that?"

He said if the immigrants grew up in the U.S., they should be allowed to attend schools in the U.S.

As to the hate crimes legislation, Coleman said he recognizes the concerns of the conservatives in the party, but what is proposed on the federal level "is already Minnesota law."

He said if the federal bill oppresses folks' religious beliefs, "I'd oppose it."

He said he has spoken to a lot of conservatives who are worried about their Christian values being attacked, but he said there is no evidence that is happening "or I would have opposed it."

As to county criticism by conservatives, Coleman said the same thing is happening on the federal level with conservatives having a tough time supporting Arizona Sen. John McCain as the Republican nominee for president.

But Coleman said, "I think the talk radio" attacks on McCain, "are a death wish for the party."

He asked Minnesota conservatives if they want Al Franken as their next U.S. Senator. "That's a judgment people have to make. Or do you want Hillary or Obama there (in the presidency)?"

He said voting for McCain "is not the less-of-two-evils choice. The choices are so clear."

While Coleman said he disagrees with McCain on some issues, "he's there on life, 2nd Amendments, national security (issues)."

Coleman said he often uses an old saying from former New York Mayor Ed Koch. "If you agree with me 100 percent, you need a psychiatrist. If you agree with me 80 percent, then support me."

Ah, the DREAM Act.

In 2006, we had an actual debate in Hutchinson at Ridgewater College. Congressional candidates, State Senate and House candidates were in attendance.

The subject of the DREAM Act came up. Out of the 7 people on stage, I was the only one who knew what the DREAM Act really was about. I was the only one on stage that could actually explain the Minnesota legislation.

Michael Barrett was crazy on this subject! Senator Dille responded by saying, "It seems like Hal knows a lot more about this subject than any of us up here. I'll have to take a look at this."

After the debate, Barrett supporters in McLeod County told me I would lose the election over my support of the DREAM Act.

Damn, had I just not supported this fair piece of legislation...

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