As we return to another thrilling episode of Emo Senator, Southern Minnesota's most beloved telenovela, fans will be excited to learn that uber-progressive magazine Mother Jones, based in San Francisco, has taken up Ben Golnik's talking points about the electibility of arch Emo foe Allen Quist.
In If You Thought Michele Bachmann Was Out There..., MJ reporter Tim Murphy writes:
Rep. Tim Walz should be in big trouble this November. The Minnesota Democrat's district gave just 51 percent of its vote to Barack Obama in 2008 and the National Republican Congressional Committee is spending big bucks attacking Walz as an out-of-touch lefty.
But Walz has two things going for him. The GOP's April nominating convention ended in a stalemate after 23 ballots, meaning the two top candidates have to spend the next three months preparing for the August primary. That, in turn, means Walz stands a decent chance of facing Allen Quist, a 67-year-old soybean farmer and onetime anti-sodomy crusader who believes that humans and dinosaurs may have coexisted in Southeast Asia as late as the 11th century.
The Mother Jones reporter lazily only took the top google skim about Parry's 2009 tweets to suggest that the Senator from Waseca has his own baggage. Fans of Emo Senator's melodramatic career in Minnesota's upper chamber and the local city council know that there's much, much more luggage accompanying our hero.
But Murphy's focus is on Quist as a freak, rather than as the mainstay of Southern Minnesota that the Quists and company really are. He continues:
Quist's platform and ideology bears a close resemblance to another Minnesota conservative with a huge family and a love-hate relationship with modern science—Rep. Michele Bachmann. That's no coincidence. Beginning in the late 1990s, the duo worked together to take down Minnesota's state curriculum standards, which they considered a gateway to a totalitarian society built on moral relativism. He helped make her rise possible; now he wants to join her in Washington.
That group? The Maple River Education Coalition, which morphed into EdWatch, which evolved into Education Liberty Watch.
Quist declined comment for the article, but de facto Parry campaign manager Ben Golnik jumped right in:
"Quist has not won an election in over 25 years," says Ben Golnik, an adviser to the Parry campaign. "Parry overperformed the Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2010; he's clearly electable."
Lots of candidates outperformed the Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2010, but that's another story.
More interesting? A comment on the Murphy article on Facebook by Gustavus math professor Max Hailperin:
Golnick's claim that Parry outpolled Emmer is a great line to use with national press who likely are unaware that Horner existed. If one just looks at the votes cast for GOP+DFL candidates in SD 26, Parry received 54.33%, whereas Emmer received 54.62%. Last I noticed, 54.33 < 54.62, not the other way around. But of course as a fraction of the total vote (once one includes Horner), Emmer's number drops to a smaller percentage. Or here's another way of saying the same thing: if one looks at absolute numbers of votes cast in SD 26, more were cast for Parry than for Emmer -- but likewise more were cast for Parry's opponent than for Dayton.
If Quist does make it through the primary, though, at least one Minnesota Republican will be supporting the moderate Democrat Walz: Carlson. "When he ran, obviously we looked him up—a very bizarre record. I mean really bizarre," Carlson says, recalling the '94 race.
"Unfortunately," Carlson added, "what was bizarre in the '90s is becoming the centerpiece of this new Republican party."
Carlson and Murphy aren't naming names, but Republican connections to the Maple River Education Coalition and its spawn are legion, underscoring Carlson's notions that Quist's ideas are now at the centerpiece of the new Republican party.
Beloved by the local tea-party and Ron Paul supporters, Quist can fairly be called the godfather of today's Republican Party of Minnesota.
In 2011, MinnPost's education writer Beth Hawkins pointed out in Group that scuttled pre-K initiatives has close Bachmann ties:
The Senate bill to kill the quality ratings system was carried by Lakeville GOP freshman Sen. Dave Thompson, who was a member of EdWatch’s board of directors, and by Sens. Pam Wolf, a teacher from Spring Lake Park, and Roger Chamberlain of Lino Lakes. . . .
Dave Thompson, author of the Right to Work Amendment in the Minnesota Senate, served as a paid consultant to the Republican Party of Minnesota and CD7 congressional candidate Lee Byberg, is not alone in his connections to Maple River and EdWatch.
Party insider Thompson isn't alone in his connection. In 2003, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported in "Anti-Profile group sees victory ahead; Many grass-roots groups lobby; few win. What are the elements of success?":
Republican activist Julie Quist, who serves as vice president of the coalition, said the group is a populist, grass-roots movement that is as opposed to Bush's "No Child Left Behind'' federal education bill as it is to the Profile. New House Rep. Tony Kornish [sic], R-Good Thunder, said Maple River supporters brought the issue to his attention and helped him win a competitive open seat in November.
Renee Doyle, founder of the group and a chief spokeswoman, introduced Kornish [sic] and other anti-Profile, newly elected House and Senate members in the rotunda -- the payoff for four years of organizing and spreading the word.
Given the importance of Maple River/Edwatch/Education Liberty Watch in the Republican Party, fans of Emo Senator will curious to see how the Belle of Waseca County and Golnik leverage this piece in Southern Minnesota. (Doyle, who co-founded Maple River with Julie Quist and Colleen Wogen from her kitchen, once served on the Maple River School District's board; the group isn't simply a Quist franchise).
Will the Republican base--the likely voters--appreciate deeply cherished views about education being portrayed in such a negative light? Stay tuned!
Images: Mike Parry, the Emo Senator, by Tild (above) Allen Quist, by Ken Avidor. Yes, folks, these are the candidates running in the Republican primary in Minnesota's First