MN: Sue Jeffers is too fiscally conservative for GOP leadership

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It looks like Sue Jeffers has ceased being a thorn in the side for the Minnesota GOP establishment; she’s now becoming a serious threat. Jeffers won the Libertarian Party nomination to run for governor in the state, but is holding out on accepting that nomination as she plans to defeat incumbent Governor Tim Pawlenty at the Minnesota Republican convention. From MPR:

“I think Tim Pawlenty is ripe for the picking,” Jeffers says. “And I think once you throw in this stadium bill, if he signs for the Twins stadium, I think the voters are so irritated that they will throw him out of office.”

Jeffers has never run for office before, but has often been in the news as a leader in the fight against the Hennepin County smoking ban. Jeffers says Pawlenty signed a no-new-taxes pledge, but he hasn’t kept his promise.

“Tim Pawlenty is a very nice man. He is not a fiscal conservative,” Jeffers claims. “A fiscal conservative doesn’t raise $559 million in fees last year, doesn’t put up almost a billion-dollar bonding bill this year, and I think the voters know better than that.”

Jeffers wants to challenge Pawlenty for the GOP endorsement at the party’s state convention in June. But party officials say Jeffers identifies herself as a Libertarian, and the party’s convention is reserved for Republicans only.

It looks like the big tent is getting much smaller these days, as the Republican leadership seems committed to ensuring they don’t have an economic conservative represented at their convention.

Party spokesman Mark Drake says Jeffers would make a mockery of the GOP endorsement process.

“I think this whole thing is a publicity stunt, where she would attempt to use our delegates as campaign props,” says Drake.

As a former Republican, I’ll suggest that the typical GOP endorsement process is already a mockery of the delegates. Instead of a coronation, Jeffers offers them a choice. I’m not up-to-speed on Minnesota election code and wonder if there is ground for legal action if Jeffers is denied a spot at the GOP convention.

They are already denying Jeffers delegate lists. They are trying to prohibit any competition. This isn’t stopping Jeffers, though. A local blogger reports that Jeffers will be at a press conference at the State Capitol Rotunda at noon today, where she “will officially announce her bid for the endorsement of the Minnesota Repubican Party.”

  1. I hope she gets the GOP nomination… smart strategy on her part.

    Can she change her party affiliation to “Libertarian” once elcted?

  2. Either way, would it really matter? There are no laws restricting what people associate *with you.*

    Even the court-orders for felons on parole aren’t laws, and they cannot prevent a group of people identified solely by idiology from associating with them.

  3. Is the Republican Liberty Caucus aware of this? Perhaps they could put out a press release supporting Jeffers’ participation in the endorsement process…

  4. The last Story I read about her DID mention the RLC rep by name as supporting her and IIRC had a quote from him. So the RLC is certainly aware. I dont know if the story was here, thirdpartyWatch, or somewhere else because I read all these different blogs and they all pretty much have the same stories.

  5. “Andy Lindberg, of south Minneapolis, said Jeffers’ affiliation with Libertarians, who are in tune with Republicans on fiscal issues, shouldn’t be held against her. Lindberg is chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, which he describes as “a bunch of Libertarian-minded Republicans.”

    linked from the 4/22 story here.

  6. Thats awesome, I didnt know that the RLC was backing her. Perhaps they could make their voices heard even more (letters to the editors, etc)? This is a perfect time when they could advance the cause of liberty within the GOP.

  7. Support for Jeffers in the republican party is definately growing. The delegates want to hear what she has to say, and vote in a fair endorsement competition. There are two key points involved in this. One, The GOP has no endorsed candidate for governor yet, and two, Pawlenty hasn’t even officially announced that he’s seeking reelection at all. It’s all so strange.

  8. Nothing peaks the interst of Republican activists like leadership saying “she can’t contact you.” The MNGOP is playing right into her hands.

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