During her first campaign for #MNGOP state chair, I supported Jennifer Carnahan. It wasn’t a slam-dunk – Keith Downey was very capable. I thought she told a good story, and had a good plan.
The vote made sense at the time.
But a lot has changed during Carnahan’s administration.
I left activism in 2018 – but heard the stories about the goings on at the GOP HQ. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt – and politics tends to draw big egos and hair-trigger tempers (much like radio) – so like a lot of grassroots voters, I paid them little mind.
But the tsunami of stories this past two weeks hasn’t left a lot of room for rational doubt. It’s time for Carnahan to go.
It’s not even really about the allegations about Tony Lazzaro, awful as they are. I think it’s entirely plausible Carnahan didn’t know that her close friend, guest at her small wedding, and primary campaign donor was involved in the activities for which he now faces Federal criminal charges; it’s not like sex traffickers advertise it in polite company.
I said plausible. But while rumors abound that Lazzaro’s side hustle was an open secret in inner party circles about (including from Andy Aplikowski’s letter this morning), let’s just leave that, noxious as it is, to the FBI and the DOJ.
The allegations against Carnahan and her staff, though? It’s impossible to read the credible, against-interest allegations of sexual harassment on the parts of various staffers and not get outraged at the “bro” culture that seems to have erupted in *our* party’s HQ.
As a conservative, a Republican and a father and grandfather of young women, I see these stories (none of them *completely* news to me, even outside the party) and wonder, not just why any woman would *work* there, but why they’d vote for the GOP?
Are they merely allegations, not court verdicts? Sure.
So what about when the “allegation” go to court? With discovery, testimony under oath? Imagine the anger every parent will feel at a party that’d foster that kind of depravity, when allegation turns to judgment? When that revulsion goes to vote?
Do you, loyal GOPer, feel lucky?
As to the allegations about Carnahan’s HR style, and her staff’s dubious HR practices, and the allegations four former Executive Directors made? Those just bounced the rubble.
It’s time for Carnahan to go.
And maybe others are reaching that conclusion:
And if Carnahan doesn’t? The Executive Committee must relieve her of her duties.
And if for whatever reason they don’t? The State Central needs to do it. Not just because the alternative is electoral disaster – although it is. No – because either way it’s the right thing to do.
It should go without saying – the GOP needs an independent investigation of the HR and financial allegations, including the out of control spending and tens of thousands in hush money purportedly paid to departing staffers.
Minnesota Republicans – the heart and brains of this state – may nor may not “deserve better”, but we had best demand better.