Were it not for the inherent hilarity of the Allen Quist--Emo Senator Mike Parry duel for GOP endorsement in Minnesota's First Congressional District, the denizens of Bluestem Prairie would be bereft at the departure of Tony Sutton from the ranks of leadership of the Republican Party of Minnesota.
That, and the mirth provided by the pratfalls buried in Sutton's exit note and former deputy chair Brodkorb's multiple meltdowns--and the impending revelations that will come as more details emerge about the Count Them All Properly Inc Slush Fund.
While BSP is no fan of Tom Emmer--who just signed on as Minnesota's point man for Abramoff shell gamesman Ralph Reed in the coming culture war by proxy--the finger pointing at the Delano barrister as the source of the party's financial woes by Sutton and Brodkorb is as entertaining as it is essentially unchallenged by the Twin Cities twitterific political press corps.
They still love them some Brodkorb, and with the Minnesota legislative session opening in a few months, who can fault them? Were they to question Mike's narrative of the financial fall, they might lose that precious access to Republican Senators he gatekeeps for titular Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, and they'd actually have to work for their leads.
In these days of meager media budgets, that's enough to make Baby Jesus cry.
But Bluestem digresses. A few observations on the skids marks left as Sutton and Brodkorb threw Tom Emmer under the bus. First, the roots of the MNGOP's financial woes burrow back before 2010 convention delegates picked Emmer in the second ballot. Indeed, as Bluestem noted in Sutton was treasurer: failed burrito baron's MNGOP fined $170K for shifting party funds,the recent FEC fine covers oopsies made during Sutton's tenure as treasurer in the mid aughties. If Tom Emmer contemplated running a run for governor at the time, it was but a gleam in his eye--and we seriously don't want to know more.
Second, Sutton claims in his farewell letter that shifting responsibility for the recount from the gubernatorial campaign to the party was something Tom Emmer avidly sought. Upon reviewing memory and available media via Mr. Google and Nexis, this claim seems a bit dicey, since Sutton staged a press conference on the morning after the election during which he raged on like "a drunk baby," as one charming young friend described it.
Sutton was eager to press claims of ballot box malfeasance, to a degree that prompted articles like Jay Weiner's GOP's saber-rattling Tony Sutton vows aggressive recount fight at MinnPost. A week had barely past when Sutton and Brodkorb installed Emmer adversary Ben Golnik as head of the party's recount effort, which was heavy with Seifert allies as well as the fiance (now husband)of Annette Meek's mole on the Emmer campaign staff. It didn't look like an operation Tom Emmer craved--and it still doesn't, regardless of how Sutton spins it.
Perhaps an enterprising journo might interview those who were in the MNGOP war room that night to see if all share Sutton's recollection.
Similar circumstances operate in the creation of Count Them Properly, which is chaired by Mary Igo. Igo had endorsed Seifert for Governor prior to the convention. Moreover, the slush fund was set up on December 3, 2010, which makes one wonder how Sutton was managing the legal invoices and other recount-related paperwork prior to its formation. Details, details.
Perhaps we'll learn them if the fund ceases to exist, AKA goes bankrupt. Given the looming debt, there's always that possibility.
One final note: CTAP registered agent Daniel G. Puhl, head of Cardinal FEC Compliance and perennial feeder at the post-event trough of the 2008 Republican National Convention, has moved on to the Republican National Committee along with running buddy Jeff Larson. Bluestem wishes them all well.
Perhaps--far removed from the financial acumen that Sutton brought to both Baja Sol and the MNGOP--they'll both do just fine. If not, they'll still have Tom Emmer to kick around.