What timing … on the eve of the MNGOP Second District endorsing convention, the Darlene Miller For Congress campaign issued a press release acknowledging her financial support from Representatives Diane Black (R-TN-06), Susan Brooks (R-IN-05), Tom Cole (R-OK-04), Kristi Noem (R-SD-01), Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), and Mimi Walters (R-CA-45) but also that three current members of the Minnesota legislature have endorsed her.
Obviously, this is good news for a campaign that must have read the Pioneer Press preview of all the candidates prior to the convention … including the assertion that wannabe-Congresswoman Miller would get zero votes
Current residence: Prior Lake
Birthplace: New Prague
Family: Single with partner, two children, four grandchildren.
Work experience: Owner of Permac Industries since 1994.
Political experience: First-time candidate, served as appointee on President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
In her own words: “I’ve always said, if you’re going to complain, you’d better do something about it. … I think it’s imperative that we … get rid of the career politicians.”
Hobbies: Reading, boating, fishing, spending time with grandchildren.
Will she abide by the party’s endorsement? No.
WOW … what timing … and why did it take so long ?
When John Kline announced that he would not seek re-election in September, a number of potential candidates assessed the opportunity … including Republican State Representative Pat Garofalo, of Farmington (58B) who said “I would rather stick a fork in my eye than run for Congress.”
Yesterday, Rep. Garofalo said, “I am proud to endorse Darlene and look forward to her representing us in Congress” … and did not say if he would be providing her a fork.
The field of candidates did emerge … and forums held for the candidates to meet the voters … and then the rumor that there would be another addition to the field.
(Hmmm … apparently the Washington PowerBrokers did not like the candidates and they wanted their own voice.)
Yet, when Darlene Miller officially announced her candidacy in January, that should have been the time for some quick local endorsements … but none came forward.
Heck, John Kline didn’t officially endorse wannabe-Congresswoman Miller until March 8th … and that was after telling the reporting press that he was disappointed in and “concerned” about the fundraising of the field of Republicans running to succeed him. As an aside, MinnPost reported a target for her –“some Republicans say $300,000 at the very least — to demonstrate her viability.”
The actual tally including monies from General Electric CEO and John Kline’s For-Profit Education friends was $206,906.
Hmmm … with the potential of being embarrassed at the endorsing convention with zero votes and underperforming in fundraising, the pressure was rising … so, here comes three legislators to announce their support.
Why didn’t wannabe-Congresswomen get these endorsements earlier … like during the district conventions when they could have influenced who the endorsing convention delegates would be ?
The aforementioned Representative Pat Garofalo, plus Representative Denny McNamara, 54B (Hastings) and Representative Drew Christensen, 56A (Burnsville, Savage) have now officially endorsed Darlene Miller … pleasing the Washington PowerBrokers who want to continue to control Congress.
For those that don’t recognize the name, Drew Christensen was a paid field staffer for John Kline during his 2012 and 2014 election campaigns … so not a big surprise that he would “follow the boss” … yet, why did it take so long to recognize what the Washington Powerbrokers wanted ?
Yet Representative Christensen offered some reasoning for his endorsement saying, “Darlene Miller presents a positive and welcoming conservative voice. Her years as a business leader creating real good-paying jobs for Minnesotans is exactly the experience the hardworking families of the Second District need fighting for them in Washington. I am proud to endorse Darlene.”
As the press release footnotes, wannabe-Congresswoman Miller “is the proud owner of Permac Industries, a high-tech manufacturer located in Burnsville and employing thirty people.”
Actually, the number of employees hasn’t really changed that much over the past few years … and has included her two sons … and the business used government SBA loans and other preferential tax treatments to acquire equipment (including one machining center named for President George W. Bush to acknowledge that it was acquired through his stimulus program).
Since the number of employees really has not grown over the years (and based on her various interviews, actually has likely decreased from the 38 she reported in 2011), the validity of this “job creator” claim needs to be examined.
It would be easy to blame President Obama and his policies … like ObamaCare … but that doesn’t apply to her sized business. Simply put, the number of full-time employees determines whether an organization is a small employer subject to ACA requirements. Smaller firms (under 50) do not have to offer health insurance to their employees. Further, those policies are applied to all similiar businesses … the idea that Darlene Miller has some “job-creating magic” just does not hold up … but it does make a nice soundbyte.
So, with the endorsing convention this weekend, the three legislative endorsements may be more of a reflection that they do not like the other choices.
Somehow it seems that wannabe-Congresswoman Miller is basing her campaign on her business experience … which must be why wannabe-President Donald Trump is measuring the drapes in the Oval Office.