Back in 2002, a couple of unnamed conservatives walked into the State Green Party Convention on a lark, got themselves seated (because “credentials” were, at the time, an authoritarian paternalistic relic of fascism, apparently), and nominated former Marine fighter pilot Ed McGaa – a firebreathing property rights conservative and absolute anti-Green – for governor. Hilarity ensued; McGaa, who was not present at the convention, won the nomination. Afterwards, he got in on the joke, running an extremely tongue-in-cheek campaign while the Greens gradually realized they’d been had, went through a cataclysmic soul-searching, and finally tossed him and ran perennial pest Ken Pentel. McGaa, tongue in cheek or not, might have done better.
It was a joke that got out of hand.
It looks like the joke got paid back this weekend.
While I’m deliriously happy about Eva Ng – a genuine conservative and person with the kind of vision my city needs – running for Mayor of Saint Paul, it’s not all roses.
The Minneapolis GOP has endorsed “Papa” John Kolstad. Kolstad, a DFLer who left the party because “centrism” frustrated him, next ran for the Attorney General slot as a Greenie (note to pretty much anyone; the presence of “Papa” in a political stage name is always always always a bad sign).
And now – since the Greens have lost major-party status – he’s “running as a Republican”.
Kolstad has run for a DFL state senate seat and Atty. General (Green Party endorsed). His reasons for running for Atty General in 2006: http://dailyjam.blogspot.com/2006/06/minnesota-green-party-slate-of-2006.html
First,has said she would bring the National Guard troops home from Iraq. Kolstad would use the attorney general’s office to assist her in that cause.
Second, as a strong supporter of, Kolstad would continue the work Hatch has done in holding insurance company executives’ feet to the fire. He would also fight any legal challenges to Single Payer waged by the insurance companies.
Third, he would use the attorney general’s office to fight on behalf of the environment. If you are creating greenhouse gases by driving a gas guzzler, you should pay for it. He suspects collusion between coal companies and electric companies, and he’d like to investigate that. How can electric companies charge rate-payers to pay farmers not to use wind turbines to generate safe, renewable energy? He’d like to look into that.
Look, the GOP is a big tent, but this is lunacy.
And while I’ve led the Twin Cities’ punditry in trying to welcome the Ron Paul supporters to the party, we have to draw the line at nominating a crypto-maoist like Kolstad. Word has it that it was the Ronulans on the Minneapolis City Committee that pushed the decidedly non-conservative, non-Republican Kolstad through the process.
Rules is rules. Elections go to those who show up. Duly noted.
But it is time for actual Republicans to take their party back in Minneapolis. Somehow we in Saint Paul managed to incorporate the energy and vitality of the Paulbots, without losing our conservative souls. Minneapolis needs to do the same.
Minneapolis Republicans; you need to rise up and condem this theft of your party by – words fail me – enemies of what you believe in.