MNGOP begging Michelle MacDonald to repudiate her endorsement, but she won't do it
In hindsight, this bizarre shot of MacDonald's convention speech foreshadowed her campaign.
After party officials banished her from their State Fair booth last week, the MNGOP put huge pressure on their controversial Supreme Court candidate, Michelle MacDonald, to repudiate her endorsement.
As Michael Brodkorb reports, on Friday night and Saturday morning, Patrick Burns, an MNGOP-affiliated attorney, sent MacDonald 22 text messages and had at least one phone conversation begging her to accept "a formal offer" from the party to repudiate her endorsement before a noon Saturday deadline. During the phone call, the audio of which MacDonald later sent to Brodkorb (listen to it here), Burns, apparently referring to party leadership, says, "They're just gonna squash you like a bug."
"They don't care about your endorsement, they don't care about you, [garbled] scrape you off the sidewalk," Burns continues. "So, the question I have for you: All these storms are coming, why not get the fuck out?... You have the ability to save your reputation and your practice."
But MacDonald refused. She even sent MNGOP Chairman Keith Downey a letter "to inform [him] that I will not repudiate my endorsement by the Republican Party of Minnesota to run for Minnesota Supreme Court, and that the Delegates [who endorsed her] matter."
So in an apparent attempt to "squash her like a bug," Downey sent this email to all MNGOP delegates and party officials. Highlights include him pointing out that MacDonald has raised "just $120 (not a typo)" and characterizing her campaign as "undermining the conservative argument for electing judges and judicial restraint."
With regard to the State Fair debacle, Downey writes, "Our job is to elect Republicans. It was the State Executive Committee's decision that for the good of ALL Republicans' chances, including her own, not having her appear at the booth was preferable."
In sum, if that's the best the MNGOP can do in an attempt to squash somebody, then party officials need to start taking some steroids or something, because that's pretty weak.
The latest developments in the MacDonald mess have some Republican activists asking uncomfortable questions about their party:
-- Nathan M. Hansen (@nathanmhansen) August 25, 2014
Curious what you could offer someone to drop out of a race that would be legal.
-- Jeff Kolb (@jpkolb) August 23, 2014
Meanwhile, MacDonald's candidacy has divided the top of the MNGOP's 2014 ticket. Gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson told MPR he'll continue to support MacDonald -- "I am the leader of our ticket so I'm going to support our endorsed candidates," he said -- but U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden told the Star Tribune he won't vote for MacDonald and instead hopes to cast his ballot for a GOP write-in.
Perhaps the ultimate lesson is this:
It's as if political parties endorsing judicial candidates is a bad idea.
-- Salena (@Salencita) August 21, 2014
The DFL chooses not to endorse judicial candidates, and as a result, party officials have been able to break out the popcorn and enjoy the still-unfolding MacDonald train wreck.
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