At the end of a Rochester Post Bulletin "Political Notebook" column by staff writer Heather Carlson, there's this:
Bills, Quist to court Tea Party voters
Two Republicans eager to bump off Democratic incumbents will speak to members of the Rochester Tea Party Patriots on Thursday night.
U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills and U.S. House candidate Allen Quist are scheduled to attend the group's meeting. Bills is running against Klobuchar, and Quist is challenging Walz. The group says it invited Klobuchar and Walz to attend.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Rochester's Ramada Hotel, 1517 16th St. S.W.
Over at the group's calendar, there's a slightly different story as the nature of the event seems to be evolving. It's not just a meeting any more, but a debate, on September 20:
The Rochester Tea Party Patriots is sponsoring a debate between political candidates Allen Quist and Tim Walz AND Kurt Bills and Amy Klobuchar THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 at the Ramada. Come early to register at 6:00 pm! Mingle with fellow Patriots and guests.
Public is welcome to attend.
We will have a SPECIAL SESSION on Thursday, September 14 @ 7:00 pm at the Ramada. Allen Quist, Tim Walz, Kurt Bills, and Amy Klobuchar will be on the docket to discuss what they plan to do for Minnesota if elected. Q&A will be part of the format. Currently, Quist and Bills have confirmed to attend.
Registration will begin at 6:00 pm. Come early to reserve a good seat and allow time to mingle
So what's the problem? On September 20, Congressman Walz will be in Washington D.C., doing the job he was elected to do: representing the citizens of Minnesota's First Congressional District while the House is in session.
At the top of this entry, Bluestem has posted a jpg of September's calendar from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's webpage. No votes are scheduled for today and tomorrow since it's Rosh Hashanah. But the House takes up its business again on late Wednesday through Friday.
The expectation that Walz will be in Washington is that "representation" thing that the original Tea Party was all about. But it looks like these folks are more interested in turning this into some partisan "gotcha" style politics than bothering to check the House's calendar.
Or maybe they did know about the calendar and plan some bogus "empty chair" theatrics for Quist? That would be a "SPECIAL SESSION."
Whatever the case, the group is undermining whatever claims it has to act as a sponsor of debates. Walz and Quist will meet for debates held by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce on September 27 at the Somerby Golf course in Byron at 11:30 a.m., and a Debate Minnesota forum at Mankato State University in October. They will also participate in a televised debate.
These are genuine non-partisan events. The Rochester Tea Party Patriots? They're so SPECIAL that their ambush event is more important than the people's business.
Looks like they're after vexation without representation.
Photos: Screenshot of Cantor's calendar and the Rochester Tea Party Patriot's post.