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Rudy Takala's Columns

State GOP Chairman, Officers, National Representatives Elected Tomorrow (4.15.2011)

There was a very nice article titled The Republicans Totems at the Thunderbird in Checks and Balances yesterday. Click here to read it. A subscription is required; if you don't want to subscribe, just scroll down to find the text here.
 
Most entertainingly, one candidate can't remember whether he voted for George W. Bush or John Kerry in 2004. That's pretty bad since it was both the first and last election he  ever voted in.
 
Needless to say, Tony Sutton & Michael Brodkorb are going to win re-election as chairman and deputy chairman, respectively.
 
The Checks & Balances article left readers needlessly in the dark on the national committee races. Both our state's national committeeman and national committeewoman will be elected tomorrow.
 
However, it is not the nail-biter the article describes. Tom Emmer & Pat Anderson are running for the two positions; each has opponents.
 
Liberty folks (otherwise known as conservatives or as grassroots people -- different people describe them differently, but it is all the same bloc)  are, for the most part, siding with both Pat & Tom. Establishment folks, liberal Republicans, and RINOs don't like Pat or Tom.
 
At one time, the establishment bloc had the votes to win. Today, the conservative bloc (of which I am a part) constitutes a majority of the delegates. Conservatives hold about seven of the state's ten congressional chairmanships, and at least for tomorrow's meeting, they will dominate.
 
The question is not who will win; it is whether it will be Pat or Tom who wins by the largest margin. I am not certain, but we can be fairly certain that they will both win.
 
That all said, here is the text of the Checks & Balances article:
________________________________
 
We at Checks & Balances pride ourselves on the coverage we give to internal political party activity. This weekend Republican Central Committee members will gather at the Thunderbird Hotel to select the party leadership for 2011-12.
 
Chairman Tony Sutton is unopposed in his reelection. Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb is being challenged by party newcomer Sheldon Beilke. Three past endorsed candidates are seeking positions on the Republican National Committee. 2010 Gubernatorial endorsee Tom Emmer and 2006 Attorney General endorsee Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson is a heated battle for National Committeeman as is 2010 State Auditor Endorsee Pat Anderson is in a four-way race against Janet BeihofferMary Igo and Pamela Punt.
 
The National Committee races are drawing the most attention specifically the fight between Emmer and Johnson. The result should be known on the first ballot, but insiders are unable to say who the eventual victor will be. Emmer has his detractors who feel he blew his race and dragged down the entire ticket of Constitutional Officers in a clear Republican year. If he fails to win this race some believe it signals the end of his political career.  Johnson is fighting hard for the seat and by most accounts is gaining support. Saturday will show whose political star is on the rise.
 
In the National Committeewoman race Anderson is seen as the favorite, but Beihoffer’s credentials for working in the trenches are evident from her statewide support. A first ballot victory for Anderson is not out of the question, but a multi-ballot election is a benefit for her because of the drop rules. Igo’s supporters are expected to move Anderson’s way and Punt’s are thought to head to Beihoffer. The question is who has the larger block of votes to move.
 
There are some interesting issues cropping up in the Deputy Chair’s race. We spoke with Sheldon Beilke and left the conversation wondering why he is even a credible candidate for the position. His Republican credentials are virtually non-existent. He is 26 years of age and the first and only time he voted was when he was 18 in 2004. We asked him who he voted between President George W. Bush or Sen. John Kerry and he said, “I can’t remember.” We found that odd since your first election is usually a memorable event.  
 
Since he has not voted in six years, he is not even a current registered voter in Minnesota. He has never even attended a Republican Precinct Caucus. The only time he has been to a Republican meeting was when he started running for Deputy Chair. After talking with Sheldon he did not offer, nor is there any evidence that he has ever knocked on a door, put up a lawn sign, donated money, or done anything for a Republican candidate before he started running for Deputy Chair. His candidacy will actually be a serious financial burden on the party because he will seek to be paid an undisclosed amount for the position.  His campaign manager/relative Tim Utz has communicated via e-mail that Sheldon "would need an appropriate compensation package from the State Republican Party."
 
Basically, Beilke is an inexperienced, uninvolved person seeking high profile party office lacking any credible foundation for his bid. With these realities, Brodkorb is expected to be reelected.

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