The headline of the Minnesota’s Republican Party’s Second Congressional District convention in Red Wing on March 20 that the delegates came within two votes of supporting a resolution supporting what state party chair Tony Sutton described as “the right of states to secede from the union,” one had to wonder what the First District convention would reveal.
Afterall, there were four strong candidates … and with Steve King (R-IA) as the featured speaker, there had to be lively discussions.
Mr. King asked the delegates to provide reinforcements when Democratic Congressman Tim Walz comes up for re-election on Nov. 2.
“I don’t have a personal problem with him. That part’s pretty good,” King said, adding that the problem is Walz’s support for various pieces of legislation including the Troubled Assets Relief Program.
Oops ! Mr. King must have confused Minnesota’s First District with the Second District. Congressman Walz actually voted against the TARP program, a proposal by President George W. Bush aimed at keeping large financial institutions from failing in the fall of 2008; but John Kline (R-MN-02) followed orders and voted per President Bush’s instructions.
Then it was on to speeches and balloting. Allen Quist told the convention that Democrats were purposefully destroying the private sector as part of a conscious plan to place the United States under the control of a world government and ending America’s long history as an independent, sovereign nation. Jim Engstrand of Pine Island — repeatedly spoke of “tyranny” in reference to actions by Democrats in Washington and promised to preserve “liberty and freedom” while “pushing back the tyranny of Tim Walz.”
One alternate commented to the Mankato Free Press that
“We’re seeing some of the things happening that led to Hitler taking over Germany.”
Between them, Quist and Engstrand won the support of more than 50 percent of the delegates on the fifth and sixth rounds of the endorsement battle. Eventually, on the eighth round, Randy Demmer won the endorsement.
Whether the concerns of secedation and Hitler are typical of the MN-GOP will be for voters to decide, but the best accessment was attributed to Mike Triggs, former Executive Director of the Minnesota Republican Party, on Politics in Minnesota’s blog :
It does say something about the state of the Republican Party in Minnesota that it would take eight ballots to get the job done.