Sue Jeffers to Challenge Pawlenty in Primary

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This is the release from the Jeffers Campaign:

Minneapolis, Minnesota – Just two days before the start of the Minnesota Republican State Convention, Party officials had finally relented and scheduled an appointment for Sue Jeffers with the convention’s Nominating Committee. Wasting no time with formalities, the committee’s first question was about ties with the Libertarian Party. Jeffers explained that her first contacts were with the Republican Party and she had continued to be in contact with party officials up until a month ago. The Committee’s questioning of Sue Jeffers also focused on where she had obtained access to the Republican delegates’ list. “You mean the four copies I’ve received?” Jeffers asked the stunned committee. Jeffers refused to name names.

In the end, the committee decided (not unexpectedly) not to find Jeffers, “qualified.” Qualified is a new language twist in the convention endorsement rules this year.

Jeffers still maintains she is a qualified candidate, first and foremost by being a citizen of Minnesota. “Our Founding Fathers had a vision of a citizen-legislature – ordinary folks doing our civic duty and then stepping aside. Public service is not something only for the rich, well connected or an incumbent who has strayed from conservative principles,” Jeffers said.

While Jeffers was appearing before the committee, the convention was already getting underway. A motion to seat alternates was made unexpectedly, ahead of the scheduled itinerary. Chaos had ensued, as Party Officials had removed the registration rolls from the Congressional District tables, and alternates were unable to determine if they were seated or not. Senate District Chairs worked feverishly to seat their alternates, while voting of the proposed rules of the convention carried on. Half of the convention’s voting strength was in the hall, unable to vote or offer discussion.

A group of delegates, sympathetic to Jeffers’ right to speak at the convention were determined to strike certain new language from the convention rules, which forbids nominations from the floor. A dozen of them were prepared to make motions and offer discussion on the rules, but never had the opportunity to address the chair on the issue. Procedural tricks were used to prevent the issue being raised.

Many delegates expressed confusion, and then anger at the process. “They really rammed that though,” said Dave Shegstad, a delegate who ran for Minneapolis City Council last year. “This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. Why are they so afraid to hear another voice?” he mused.

Endorsement proceedings for the gubernatorial candidate were unexpectedly moved from the scheduled time on Saturday to Friday afternoon. This schedule change disrupted plans by a delegate caucus opposed to the new Twins ballpark that had planned to voice their concerns.

After Pawlenty’s gubernatorial candidate speech, without a motion to endorse for governor being made, seconded, discussed or voted on, a co-chair approached the podium to call for a vote. While Pawlenty’s speech was being applauded, the co-chair said, “Seeing that there is only one candidate, all in favor of endorsing Tim Pawlenty say aye.” Applause continued, but many delegates remained seated and silent. The gavel was banged, and Tim Pawlenty gave an immediate acceptance speech followed by a balloon drop and a music and light show.

Attendance was very low for the convention. Some out-state delegates said the cost was prohibitive. Others cited a lackluster agenda and no competition without Jeffers speaking. At one point it was questioned whether a quorum was present and on Friday, there was doubt enough delegates were present to achieve the 60% threshold required for an endorsement.

“This entire convention was just a show,” said delegate Dave Rasmus, “they work on the platform as a pacifier, so delegates think they have a say, but the candidates the leadership pushes through don’t even follow half of the platform. It’s just a big show.”

For her part, Sue Jeffers wasn’t discouraged. “It went pretty much how I expected,” she said. She plans to continue the race, mounting a primary challenge for the Republican spot on the ballot. “I’m taking my case straight to the people, and the powers that be in the party can’t shut me up anymore.”

posted by Stephen Gordon
  • Wes

    Grounds for a lawsuit? Conspiracy to prevent a lawful vote?

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    Hell, Jeffers needs to thank the party leadership. Had she been allowed to speak, she would have had her say, convention delegates would have nominated Pawlenty anyway, and that would have been the end of it.

    Instead the leadership pissed off a lot of delegates and gave Jeffers a strong issue to hammer away at Pawlenty in the primary.

  • Paul Pace

    Why is the Republican leadership afraid of conservatism?

  • Mitchell Port

    Because if the votes see that there is an alternative to big government Republicans, they will lose a lot of their power.

  • Brian S

    This is a graphic example of Robert’s Rules of Order and their real use. Robert’s Rules are a bunch of picky minutiae that enable the handful of people who really know them to exercise power over a much greater number of people. Any organization that really wants to get something done needs to jettison that arcane BS.

    That would be an LP reform I could support wholeheartedly.

  • http://minnnesotamiddle.blogspot.com/ mike grimes

    While Sue is better at being a Republican then Pawlenty, she is not ready for prime time. When challanged on the Gopher Stadium it’s easy to see she is a complete fraud She is in this race for one reason and one reason only, to promote her bar, otherwise she would take the race to November as a libertarian as the Republican party has clearly left her.

  • Devious David

    LOL. Dumb Republicans. Why is she so insistent on being affiliated with them. Or any other Republican. No, those complaining Republicans are just going to pout and take it up the ass no matter what. The powers that be are the ones that are really in charge and they aren’t going to let anything like The People get in the way. But this is too hard to figure out for a Republican.

  • http://alwaysrightusuallycorrect.blogspot.com Tony

    “too hard to figure out for a Republican”

    Actually I figured it out and left the party. Many recognize it but put their party loyalties above any principles they have.

    As I have dubbed, the two parties have a “We’re bad, but the other guys are worse.”

    My take…vote out any incumbent unless they proved their worthiness in the most recent term.

  • Stuart Richards

    She wants to run as a Republican to get the inertia votes of people who are like “well my dad’s a Republican so I’ll be a Republican.”

  • TerryP

    Mike,

    the party leadership has obviously left her, but that doesn’t mean the general voter has. She is going to need far more than just libertarians voting for her to have any chance of winning. The best way is to keep media attention on her by continuing to butt heads with the republican leadership. If she drops out of the republican contest what media attention is she going to get. Virtually none and her chances as a libertarian candidate will have gone down the toilet. She will still likely lose the republican nomination but she will keep attention on her campaign and indirectly on the libertarian party and its principles. In the final race this attention may bring enough republican, independents, and possibly some democrats to her side and give her a win and the libertarian party a win.

  • TerryP

    Tony,

    Watch out DD thinks that you are the enemy and need to be purged from the party. We can’t have any of those former republicans/conservatives in the party because they will corrupt us. You are to stupid and stubborn to change. (DD must of have been a conservative in a former life, because he has to be one of the most stubborn people that blogs here)

    I happen to think that you are exactly the type of voter the party needs to reach out to. We also need to reach out to the same type of voter on the democratic side without compromising our principles.

    On another note, even if Jeffers and Weld and others like them are not 100% libertarian they are at least bringing attention to our party. That is something that has been sorely missing. Hopefully we can use this attention to sell our principles, promote liberty, help other LP candidates, and bring voters to our side in this election as well as future elections.

  • http://www.thirdpartywatch.com Austin Cassidy

    Why no calls of treason here? If Bill Weld should be burned at the stake for losing, then surely Sue Jeffers deserves a similar fate… no?

    Of course I’m kidding, this is a smart move for Jeffers and I wish her the very best of luck. It would have been hard for her to get anywhere in the crowded 3-way contest come November.

  • Gordy H

    Well, not to say that this wasn’t expected, knowing Sue, but I truly hope that you all are supporting her in any way you can. Good comments, letters to the editor, donations to the campaign, etc. She would be a fantastic governor, but the campaign can always use help and encouragement in any way.

    I was at the convention. I witnessed the pandemonium. Now, I don’t consider myself an expert on Robert’s Rules of Order, but I do know that every motion (ie- the motion to endorse Pawlenty) gets a chance for ayes and nays. That didn’t happen–it was just one big media stunt.

    Another curious point.. Maybe a Jeffers’ campaign person can help me out here, but was it just me, or did a lot of the points from Pawlenty’s speech come almost directly off of the literature that I received from some of her staffers earlier that morning? Almost to a T…I don’t know. Maybe send a copy of that literature to Mr. Gordon, and compare it to a transcript of Pawlenty’s speech.

    Just my three cents

  • http://alwaysrightusuallycorrect.blogspot.com Tony

    Pawlenty is an incumbent career politician…he takes the points from whereever so he can say whatever to get the support he needs to continue his career.

  • http://minnnesotamiddle.blogspot.com/ mike grimes

    If a third party candidate says anything that sounds good these Republicans steal it before anyone can figure out who had said it first. Mark Kennedy has been stealing from Robert Fitzgerald for over a year, Pawlenty is stealing from both Sue Jeffers and Peter Hutchinson.

  • IanC

    Gordy — better yet, send said copies, without analysis, to the local media outlets… boob-toob & dead-tree alike.

  • http://www.smokeoutgary.org Dan McGrath

    Gordy – Yes. We made the same observation. The problem is, Pawlenty can say the right things all day, but we all know what he actually DOES. Different story.

  • D.R.

    I will work inside the republican party to nominate real conservative cadidates, but will vote only for the real conservatives in the general. Also there are others in the party that need support to stand up to the liberal republicans.

    P.S. Thank you Dan for all your efforts

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