In response to National Commiteewoman Pat Anderson taking on a position as a lobbyist for a racino at Canterbury Park, the Congressional District 8 (CD8) Republican board of Minnesota approved a letter calling on her resign. The letter is available in whole at Look True North; I will quote the relevant portions here.
In part, the letter, authored by Ted Lovdahl, chairman of the 8th Congressional Republicans, read, "The Minnesota State GOP Executive Committee must take purposeful and expeditious action to request that Ms. Anderson resign from the honored position of GOP National Committeewoman."
Amazingly enough, the same individual -- Mr. Lovdahl -- had his board approve -- also unanimously -- the same letter in 2008... Only it called on me to step down as chairman of the Pine County Republicans. If I refused to step down, the letter declared, I should be removed by my board. "We hope that you make the right decision," it ominously portended. "The 8th Congressional District will have no other choice but to expedite what action the 8th Congressional District must do" to get rid of me, the poorly-written letter read.
I have posted an image of the letter for anyone to view at http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5717628102.
My board rejected the letter, and the county's delegates re-elected me as chairman twice after by margins of 60 and 70 percent. Not a peep was heard from Mr. Lovdahl thereafter. That is the rest of the story. Firm credit for the letter could not even be attributed to anyone after its dismissal; Mr. Lovdahl claimed that someone else wrote it for him and affixed his signature to it without his permission. At first he claimed it was Michael Cummins, another member of Mr. Lovdahl's congressional board. Mr. Cummins shifted credit to another individual, who then shifted it back to Mr. Lovdahl. The letter's origins were never clearly identified.
The ordeal was a bemusing fiasco that ultimately led to nothing of significance. However, the assertions used in both letters displaying Mr. Lovdahl's signatures are ironic given the circumstances.
In the Anderson letter, it is written that Ms. Anderson caused "unacceptable and irretrievable harm to this Congressional District organization in the form of negative publicity." In the letter written about me, it was stated, "As Republicans we need to support the party and not work against it."
How, I would wonder, does Mr. Lovdahl perceive himself as living up to his own standards? Certainly he is not working with other members of the party; his board launches assaults on other party members too often to be considered a strong force for unity. Whether it is right or wrong, it is undeniable that he "works against" those with whom he disagrees. It certainly does nothing to promote positive media for the GOP.
In fact, in the nearly five years that I have spent as a Republican chairman under Mr. Lovdahl's reign as the congressional chairman, I have not seen much positive media come from his organization at all. In 2007, his board unanimously voted to prohibit anyone from attending their meetings -- even Republican chairs in the district. Mr. Lovdahl has not proven to be an exceptionally charismatic leader who is good at promoting positive press. Some would even say he has generated negative press.
In short, I realize that there is a controversy surrounding Ms. Anderson and her affairs. However, that is not what I find to be the most fascinating story of the week. The part that I find to be the most interesting story is that a board that has been used to cause so much division and arguably damage to the Republican Party claims to operate according to principles of "unity." Nothing could be further from the truth.