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Friday, June 02, 2006

Bad Eggs, Veruca Salt, and Sue Jeffers

Local bar owner Sue Jeffers claims to be seeking the Governor's office.

Earlier this year, after denouncing both the Republicans and the Democrats, Jeffers filed to seek the office of governor as a member of Minnesota's Losertatian Party (that's Libertarian Party for those of you in Rio Linda). She has since won the Losertatian endorsement.

But, now she wants the Republican Party's endorsement and is threatening to crash this week's Minnesota Republican State Convention.

What's next? Will she seek the Democrat Party's endorsement when they convene next week?

I suppose getting the nomination from each major party would be a clever way to win an election. But, I don't think winning is Ms. Jeffers' intention.

Jeffers claims to be seeking the Governor's office because Republican leaders have failed to curb the growth of government. But, she fails to acknowledge that politics is political – especially when graduates of the Daschle Institute of Obstructionism are running the DFL controlled Senate.

Ms. Jeffers is acting like the Veruca Salt candidate. No matter what the obstacle, she wants her Wonka Bar and she wants it now. In truth, all of us want our Wonka Bar now. But, most of us recognize that politics is about winning hearts and minds before unwrapping the chocolate.

Swapping governors won't advance the conservative agenda. To do so, we must win more hearts and minds, and more seats in Congress. Sue Jeffers had the opportunity to do just that. She could have entered the Senate race in SD50. This was the only race she had a shot at winning. Moreover, this was the only seat that she could have filled to advance her conservative ideas.

By defeating Satveer Chaudhary in SD50, Jeffers could have given Governor Pawlenty a Republican controlled Senate. Instead, she chose to make a spectacle of herself and risk loosing the hearts and minds of fellow conservatives. If she attempts to crash the Republican State Convention, Jeffers risks the fate of Veruca Salt.

Movie Reference Alert: Veruca Salt was the English brat in "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971). Her motto was “I want it now”. Ultimately, she fell down the “bad egg” chute.


Blogger Right Hook said...

Perhaps in the large scheme of things Sue Jeffers may have been able to better advance the conservative agenda by running for a state senate seat rather than entering the race for Governor, but I fully understand her frustration in with Governor Pawlenty's steady leftward movement and her feeling that something needs to be done about it.

Many conservatives feel they have been abandoned by the Governor (e.g. the stadium deals, the ridiculous hoop-jumping to sell the "Health Impact" tax and then going to the court to re-instate it when a court gave him an out be declaring it unconstitutional, signing the bloated bonding bill, his infatuation with ethanol, his stated intent to sign a state-wide smoking ban, etc.). I don't think it is unreasonable to request that people like Sue Jeffers, a hard working, life-long Republican activist, be cut a little slack by the party leadership for the frustration she is voicing for many conservatives.

Governor Pawlenty has overall done a lot of good, but most accomplishments occurred in the first half of his term. Since then he has veered decidedly to the left and tried too hard to play nice and work with the DFL after they forced the partial government shut down. As usually happens when one reaches out to liberals, he ended up getting stabbed in the back for his efforts. It appears that the Governor has made the political calculation that he can maximize his support on election day by gaining the votes of some RINOs and moderates that will more than offset the lost votes from a small number of conservatives--he knows that most conservatives are not going to vote for "Tax Hike Mike" Hatch.

I wish that the Republican party leaders had treated Ms. Jeffers with a little more dignity at the convention, but what's done is done and it's important that party unification begins. Ms. Jeffers needs to be convinced that it is in the best interest of the conservative agenda to support the Governor rather than running against him as a Libertarian where she could very well draw enough conservative votes to allow the DFL to win the Governor's chair and/or take over the House. This would be nothing short of a disaster for the state that could take years to recover from. It's important that the Governor makes it clear that he understands he cannot win re-election if the conservative base stays home on election day. He needs to demonstrate that in a second term he intends to govern like he did the first half of his current term and that he has abandoned any ideas of compromise with the DFL.

When all is said and done, it is an absolute must that the Republicans at a minimum hold the Governor's seat and the House, with a take-over of the Senate as a tough, but achievable additional goal. The party needs to unite around Pawlenty and the rest of the GOP candidates to accomplish this.

Toward this end, it would be politically healthy to tolerate the release of some steam now while it's still early in the game so we can all come together when it counts.

6/04/2006 12:28 AM  

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