Posted: 04/23/14 00:26
by Dave Mindeman
A Tuesday night and its that time of the month....South Metro Tea Party meeting. They had a big agenda tonight...so let me fill you in on what the 40 or so members are up to.
They have this thing at the beginning...something like an open mike night, where they get a minute to just speak their mind or make announcements. In this case, they were discussing the need to get people to school board and city council meetings for reports. Well, a hand in the back shot up and told the gathering that she attends every school board meeting in Farmington....why? Because she is a school board member. Her name is Laura Beem - watch out Farmington, they have infiltrated the board!
Just before the main speaker, a surrogate for Jim Abeler took the mike and proceeded to paint a picture of Jim Abeler that I did not recognize. You would think he has been the epitome of a hard core right wing conservative. Not the somewhat moderate character he pretends to be. No mention of his transportation override vote or human services budgets. Its like he has been transformed.
The main speaker for the evening, however, was GOP governor candidate Jeff Johnson. He opened with a little smiley about how the Alliance For A Better Minnesota couldn't figure out how to attack him, so they called him an extremist because he attended a Tea Party meeting. Well, that got a few chuckles, so he pushed it - he has news for them, he attends LOTS of Tea Party meetings.....which got some semblance of applause.
Johnson proceeded to "speak to the crowd". He called Dayton the "most incompetent governor in the US". Really? You know PA's Tom Corbett is still in office, right? And he called the anti-bullying bill - "social engineering for our kids". Really, again? He tackled Dayton's record by saying....oh yeah, the economy is good now, but Democrats have set us up for failure in the future. Wow....that made sense (not).
Johnson has decided that the primary factor in what makes him the ideal candidate is "demeanor". Yessir...he said that. He said that he passes the likability test. Voters might disagree with him on issues but he is just such a gosh darn nice guy, they will still pull that lever.
Couldn't find much substance there.
We then got a late entry to speak as new Secretary of State Candidate John Howe addressed the room. Howe has an interesting approach - he is going to run for SOS but apparently his issues will have nothing to do with the office he seeks.
First off, he went into, what he says is, his claim to fame - opposition to the Vikings Stadium. Oh yeah...there is an SOS issue.
The the obligatory - "I blame Mark Ritchie for giving us Al Franken." Sure, Mark Ritchie orchestrated the whole Norm Coleman debacle.
Then he goes into campaign finance. Says we have 11 DFL Senators because the DFL cheated on campaign finance. Yeah - better photos make better election outcomes. Started a little campaign slogan - "Can't cheat and keep your seat." Sure - another thing that applies to an SOS race.
Then he pulls a Scott Brown and says that you can tell he is a REAL conservative because he drives an old truck with 140,000 miles on it. OK - I'm convinced.
Then the agenda moved to a general discussion of the GOP Senate candidates. Again, it was like an "open mike night". Anyone could say whatever was on their mind. Judging from the comments, Mike McFadden is not going to get a lot of Tea Party support. To quote one of them -"If McFadden is the candidate, I'll have to hold my nose and vote for Franken." Now that is a ringing endorsement.
Oddly enough, there was a lot of positive things said about Monti Moreno, although everyone called him Marti when speaking. He apparently has a good red meat stump speech that gets them all wound up.
Generally though, Sen. Ortman gets the most positive responses - although one of the Duesenbergs (I forget which one he is) went out of his way to mention that Ortman sponsored a tax hike bill (questionable validity but it was mentioned).
One last item to mention. Soon to be former Rep. Mary Liz Holberg was there (she is running for County Commissioner after she leaves the legislature) and she stood up during one of the discussions and pointed out that she doesn't consider the endorsement to be important. She said, " We have had fatally flawed candidates come through that process" and we need to do better. I thought that was interesting coming from a long time legislator.
They seem to expect a primary battle, but tried to promote the endorsement as a "good thing" anyway. It was tortured logic.
Well, there you have it....another evening with the "Don't Tread On Me' people. It is something to watch.