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Home / On the Campaign Trail / MN GOP bans 18 Republicans who supported Horner
On a 59 to 55 vote, delegates at the Republican Party State Central Committee Saturday approved a 2-year party ban on 18 prominent Republicans who publicly supported Horner in the election. The vote stops the Republicans from being delegates or attending the Republican National Convention.

MN GOP bans 18 Republicans who supported Horner

IP gubernatorial nominee Tom Horner

IP gubernatorial nominee Tom Horner

Republicans were quick to attack Tom Horner after he announced he would seek the Minnesota governor’s office. The  Independence Party candidate was a longtime Republican pundit and strategist, and it was easy to see how he might poach more votes from GOP candidate Tom Emmer than DFL nominee Mark Dayton.

During the campaign season, the list of high-profile Republicans who publicly opted for Horner over Emmer steadily grew, and the Republican Party of Minnesota was quick to attack them, too.

Now, following an a election that Dayton won by fewer than 9,000 votes pending the conclusion of recount proceedings, the GOP is going even further to punish those Republicans who dared to throw their weight behind Horner’s candidacy.

On a 59 to 55 vote, delegates at the Republican Party State Central Committee Saturday approved a two-year party ban on 18 prominent Republicans who publicly supported Horner in the election. The vote stops the Republicans from being delegates or attending the Republican National Convention.

The list includes former U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger, former GOP governors Al Quie and Arne Carlson, and prominent GOP donor George Pillsbury. Their support, some say, could have tipped the scale in Emmer’s favor.

Several days after the close vote, some Republican activists defended the move. Sue Jeffers, a talk show host and former GOP candidate for governor, said she would have supported the measure. For Jeffers, there should be sanctions for those who step away from the party.

“Some people thought, ‘Wait a minute, these guys are totally irrelevant so who cares,’ but there should be sanctions for people who do this,” she said. “If you’re with the party, you’re with the party.”

Former Gov. Quie laughed when he was asked about being banned from the Republican Party.

“You’re a Republican if you believe in the Republican principles,” he said. “You don’t have to be sworn in or voted in, so I’m a member of the party.”

On Monday, DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez released a statement about the motion, saying the GOP was “shrinking” its tent.

“The Republican Party of Minnesota has been changing quite obviously over the past several months, but never has their sharp turn to the right been more direct than in this weekend’s vote to ban 18 moderates from serving in their party processes,” he wrote. “The Republican Party has clearly chosen to represent a narrow fringe of ultra-conservatives and exclude the majority of Minnesotans — first in their policy positions, and now in their internal party processes as well.”

Longtime Republican activist Joe Repya agrees. Repya left the party in 2009 after the election of GOP leadership Tony Sutton and Michael Brodkorb, who he called “childish street bullies and thugs.” Repya made a run for the Independence Party nomination for governor this year.

Repya said the move was a “childish and asinine decision on the part of extremely childish and asinine people.

“They should have kept their mouths shut and reached out to these people to pull them back. You ought to be trying to bring them back into the fold instead of driving them away,” he said. “If they want to be a party that wins elections more than on a fluke wave, they have to embrace and follow Ronald Reagan’s example of building a big tent, not a pup tent.”

Here’s the full list of banned Republicans:

Arne Carlson
Al Quie
George Pillsbury
Peggy Leppik
Neil Peterson
Dennis Ozment
Roger Scherer
David Jennings
Ed Oliver
Lynne Osterman
Dave Bishop
Bill Schreiber
Art Seaberg
Rod Searle
Dave Durenberger
Doug Kelley
Joanell Drystad
Al Olson

(H/T Tom Scheck, MPR)

About Briana Bierschbach

6 comments

  1. These people chose to be with the Independence Party. If you pick a party, you should stick with it.

  2. I fully agree with the banning of these 18 people who are not really Republicans. Arne Carlson has made it clear over the years that he supports the Democrats so why doesn’t he just switch parties? What’s his point? I’m glad he will be banned from attending Republican functions. That goes for Dave Durenberger too.What we have in both parties lately is a bunch of kiss-ups to which way the wind is blowing. The Republicans need to get tough – American has spoken and elected many Republicans in November to show they are fed up with the Democrats and Obama – let the wishy-washy Republicans go over to that side if they want – there is no place for luke warm Republicans in the Party. Thank you Republicans for Banning these 18 – I hope they all lose out in the people’s minds.

  3. As the author points out, “it was easy to see how he (Horner) might poach more votes from GOP candidate Tom Emmer than DFL nominee Mark Dayton. From the ballots I saw during the recount in my county, I’d have to say this is a true statement. If it was easy to see to relative political amateurs, what excuse do these experienced pols have? After all we did see counterfeit Tea Party candidates put forward around the country to siphon off GOP votes.

  4. Seriously – a party purge? Embarrassing. As a Republican, I expect more of this petty party stupidity from the other side of the aisle. Maybe I am too generous to my fellow partisans.

    To poster David Boone – despite early predictions of Horner taking votes from Emmer and your anecdotal experience to the contrary, there was a recent article on PIM (or linked from their morning email) which suggested that in the event Horner had probably taken more votes from Dayton than Emmer.

  5. The current Minnesota Republican leadership is engaged in the blame game in assigning blame for Emmer’s loss to Dayton. In a way, this is a concession by Emmer that he should have conceded instead of insisting upon the recount, a needless expense during a recession.

    The right of the current Minnesota Republican Party leaders to ban individuals from Republican party activities rings hollow since party choice and ballot choice is more a matter of conscience than loyalty to its nominees. Emmer just alientated too many good Republicans and did not seek reconciliation. Emmer and the current Minnesota Republican leaders are sore losers who refuse to learn lessons from their defeat.

  6. Briana Bierschbach is missing the point, the expelled members did not believe in the Party’s Platform and Principles. She can show her political bias and quote the opinions of as many far-left Democrats as she likes, but the bottom line is that these dismissed people are Democrats who, for reasons unknown, dressed as Republicans. It’s a free country; people can believe in what they wish and should join the party with whose principles they agree. However, they do not have the right to infiltrate a Party and impose the policies promulgated by a competing party, in this case the Democrats. It really isn’t too complicated-these folks believe in the same big spending, big Government policies promulgated by members of the Democrat Party. Accordingly, they should become Democrats. It’s about policy choices and not individuals who simply enjoy power and then take positions outside of the ones sanctioned by the Party he or she represents.

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