MNGOP Chair Sutton won
On the , with 100 percent of precincts now reporting, Mark Dayton leads Tom Emmer in the race for governor by 8,775 votes. On a percentage of total votes basis, it’s 43.63 to 43.21 percent, or a margin of 0.42. By law, a margin of 0.5 percent or less triggers an automatic recount. Dems should not be blaming Repubs for the recount. Unless there are changes when the figures are rechecked that create a larger margin, the recount will proceed, at public expense.
If at a Swarovski Jewelry ny point, the Repubs appear to be stalling to intentionally extend Gov. Pawlenty’s hold on the office and create a period when he and the new Repub majority in the Legislature could rush through actions that would otherwise be vetoed by Dayton, that will be another and much more serious and questionable matter.
Leading the recount charge at the moment is the voluble Minnesota Repub Chair Tony Sutton, who can alternate four or five times within a single sentence between the reasonable argument (it’s mandated by law, there’s a process to be followed and make sure no mistakes were made) and the less reasonable and far more questionable implication that the election has been stolen by fraud.
“I don’t know if I’m suggesting fraud or incompetence,” Sutton said yesterday at a media event covered by MinnPost’s Jay Weiner. At the same event, he called the Minnesota election system a “disgrace,” although neutral observers generally find it to be one of the best, if not the best, in the country.
“I don’t want to fall for the Lake Wobegon syndrome that everything’s great in Minnesota,” Sutton told me just now on the phone. Fine. Not every Swarovski Jewelry thing’s great in Minnesota (and I would have to say that a proper description of the Lake Wobegon syndrome would be that everything’s “pretty good” in Minnesota. Lake Wobegon doesn’t cotton to people who consider themselves great).
But one thing that Sutton keeps saying every time he gets wound up on the subject bugs me because it is illogical or unmathematical or mostly just ahistorical. Every time he says that something “doesn’t smell right” about the current state of the Dayton lead over Emmer (and he did it again when we just spoke) he points out that the Repubs just took control of both houses of the Legislature, knocked off longtime Dem Congressman Jim Oberstar in the forever DFL leaning 8th District and it just doesn’t seem possible that on such a night, the DFL candidate for guv could beat the Repub.
Here’s the problem (I suspect you can see it coming): It’s absolutely normal in Minnesota for at least the prevailing plurality of voters to divide power between a governor of one party and a Legislature of the other party.
The Minnesota Senate was under DFL control continuously since 1973, during which period Republicans won the governorship five times. Did the results of those guv races smell funny to Sutton? Control of the Minnesota House has jumped around more than control of the Senate has, but not in any way that would tend to support Sutton’s insistence that it’s strange, bordering on suspicious, for the Minnesota electorate not to install the same party in control of the legislative and executive branches.
The last time a gubernatorial election coincided with an election involving every seat in the Legislature was 1990, when the voters installed a new Republican governor (Arne Carlson) while returning the DFL to majorities in both houses. Anything fishy there?
Sutton also makes much of the fact that Mark Ritchie, whom he considers a very partisan and far left DFLer, was secretary of state this year when the state (tentatively may have) mysteriously divided power between a DFL governor and a Repub legislative majority by a very narrow margin. Funny thing though, in the last race for guv, the Republican (Tim Pawlenty) won by a less then 1 percentage point margin, even as the state simultaneously voted the Repub majority out of power in the House. Does Sutton suppose that this result was engineered by the (some would say) highly partisan far right Republican secretary of state at the time Mary Kiffmeyer? (If so, it would be strange that Kiffmeyer didn’t engineer herself a new term, since she lost that year to Ritchie.)
Anyhow, I know I’ve gotten carried away. Once I started looking this stuff up, I couldn’t stop (but I will now). I’m just kinda biased toward history, logic and consistency, and the claim of an inexplicable/suspicious (but really Swarovski Jewelry quite normal) divided result of an election started bothering me right away on Tuesday when I first heard Sutton make it. So now I’m sure he’ll cut it out.
To steal a play from the Tea Party playbook.
Tony Sutton’s comments simply go to show that he is out of touch with ordinary Minnesota values and ideals. To degrade our election system and question its validity and fairness shows his total disregard for Minnesota Exceptionalism. Mr. Sutton’s vile and heartless comments belittle the decades of work that Minnesota residents, on both sides of the aisle, have strived to achieve in conducting fair and honest elections. We are the envy of the country and Mr. Sutton’s cynicism only serves to give strength and comfort to places like Florida and Ohio.
It’s clear that Mr. Sutton just doesn’t understand Minnesota or our exceptional place in electoral politics. I must ask, has anyone seen Tony’s birth certificate? How do we really know he’s one of us?
On every elementary school playground in the world they have a phrase for the pathetically immature and spoiled childish behavior being displayed by Mr. Sutton (which is, I believe, very embarrassing to all the “strong” women “good looking” men and above average children of Minnesota).
Mr. Sutton is a “sore loser.” Nothing more, nothing less. He needs to grow up, stop whining, and let the excellent Minnesota Canvassing process work itself out as well as the recount (if necessary).
If Mr. Emmer loses any necessary recount, but then “contests” the election (as did Norm Coleman, et al) we will become the very pinnacle and epitome of sore loserdom.
Too bad these men are not anything close to as honorable nor brave as Al Gore who despite the questionable nature of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bush V. Gore, accepted it with grace and style (and didn’t run around for the rest of his life whining about how the election was stolen the way so many of our right wing friends are still doing about Norm Coleman’s legitimate and VERY well documented loss).
I always wonder if politicos/hacks truly believe the spin they spout off, or if they feel the end justifies the means.
Sutton could be up at the podium, talking about the “smell” of things, but at the same time thinking, “Yeah, this is pretty weak, but I have to position my party for victory, and if this helps, I’ll do what I have to do.” Or maybe he really believes the spin, which, at the very least, seems a bit more honorable (in a loose definition of the word).
Or maybe I’m just a naive fool who likes to ponder such things. Yeah, that sounds about right.
Regardless, it’s this kind of stuff that makes me want to live off the grid somewhere. How can you have political conversations when the conclusions are dictating (or ignoring) the evidence? How can you have a productive dialogue with a birther?
Tony Su Swarovski Jewelry tton might be bad at math too. House races too.
If anything, Emmer appears to have performed BETTER than the other statewide or congressional Republican candidates (partially attributable to the lack of an incumbent in the guv race).
And despite what appears to be an overwhelming victory in legislature seats, Republican state house candidates beat their Democratic counterparts by less than 2% overall, and less than 1% for the state senate. The “Republican wave” was fairly tame and predominantly local in Minnesota this year.
Eric, about this statement, “Dems should not be blaming Repubs for the recount”, who on the DFL side has suggested there shouldn’t be a recount? Obviously we’d rather have a win over the recount threshold, but I’ve heard no one suggest not having the recount. Unlike Coleman when he led by a few hundred votes, no DFLer I’ve heard has suggested Emmer drop out. If you’ve heard otherwise, a reference would be good.
To provide another answer to Tony Sutton’s question of how the GOP could take the legislature and the DFL flip governor, I suggest it’s a matter of DFL votes being heavily concentrated in the Twin Cities. It means winning urban districts by massive amounts, and maybe when all votes are in and tallied, it will turn out as many people voted for DFL legislators as Republicans. That being the case, it should be no surprise the DFL wins statewide races. Unlike legislative races, a vote in a heavily partisan district is as good as a vote in a swing district. It’s really no mystery.
//I’m just kinda biased toward history, logic and consistency, and the claim of an inexplicable/suspicious (but really quite normal) divided result of an election started bothering me right away on Tuesday when I first heard Sutton make it.