Dirty GOP Tricks in Minnesota

sue_podium.jpgAs indicated earlier today, I called the Sue Jeffers campaign to obtain an update about her status with respect to the Minnesota GOP convention. In typical fashion, she (as opposed to a campaign staffer) promptly returned my call. I’ll note at this time that I called Governor Pawlenty’s campaign a few weeks ago for their perspective on this ongoing issue, but they’ve still not returned the call.
At issue is whether the Minnesota Libertarian Party nominated gubernatorial candidate will be allowed to appear at and be nominated by the the Minnesota GOP State Convention. While various Republican groups want Jeffers in the race, the power players in the state seem to be pulling out all the stops to ensure Jeffers won’t be the GOP candidate. They seem pretty scared of her small gub’mint thang.
To begin, let’s talk about table space. According to Jeffers, her campaign has been trying to purchase table space (around $300) for a few weeks. They were finally able get through to someone and he said that while the deadline (of last Saturday) had passed (it hadn’t when they first started the contact procedure), he could slip then in through the cracks. That is until he found out it was the Jeffer’s campaign, at which point the the buck was passed to a higher-up in the GOP pecking order. The higher-up reportedly told the Jeffers campaign that they were too late and could not get a table for the convention.
The standard procedure in Minnesota is for potential candidates to be screened by the GOP candidate nominating committee. I believe they meet tomorrow evening. With the approval of the nominating committee, Jeffers gets thirty minutes of floor time to present her case to the convention. If she doesn’t get it, I’m sure a lot of people will be looking any money, jobs, influence, etc. passing between the committee members and Minnesota GOP power players.
If she doesn’t get the nod from the committee, the historical next step would have been for someone to nominate her from the floor. However, they’ve been playing with the rules in Minnesota to prevent this; they recently passed a rule barring floor nominations for the express purpose of locking Jeffers out of the race.
This sort of reminds me of Republican politics in my home state. The state GOP is controlled by the people who promoted the largest proposed tax increase in Alabama history. If polling numbers are accurate, tax-loving incumbent Republican governor Bob Riley will win the state GOP primary on June 6. With Judge Roy Moore as Riley’s Republican competition and ballot access restrictions (as well as Myron Thompson’s recent decision) making it virtually impossible for a Libertarian to get on the ballot, the Republicans are forcing Alabamians to vote for a big government Republican or a big government Democrat this year.
While it may take a U.S. Supreme Court case to get a small government candidate on the ticket in Alabama, Minnesotans may still have another option. It’s not likely that each primary delegate will show at the Minnesota GOP convention — especially from the outlying parts of the state from which Jeffers enjoys the greatest level of support. If you’re an alternate delegate, please show at the convention. If your not a delegate or alternate, please contact the Jeffers campaign to see what you can do to help. The convention is this weekend.