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.

19 thoughts on “Reckoning

  1. I genuinely don’t know, but hasn’t it been difficult in the recent past to find a good MNGOP state chair? I seem to remember some younger guy a few years ago who also left under a cloud. Is there something about that position?

  2. This certainly isn’t a Minnesota GOP problem, it’s a systemic GOP problem. It stems from years of cultivating winning at all cost. From Limbaugh’s drug problems, to Gingrich’s abandoning a sick spouse for a younger model, to RNC Broidy’s 1 million plus payment to a Playboy model (allegedly for an abortion), to Trump’s atrocious treatment of young women, to Matt Gaetz’s current sex trafficking problems, it’s part of the culture. There is no cure because every Republican willing to speak truth is no longer a Republican.

    Carnahan, Lindell, Lazaro. That’s where Trump has led the GOP…

  3. I have to think this hurts Carnahan’s chances of running for lieutenant governor with Mike Lindell the my pillow guy. I could be wrong though.

  4. Might have know that piece of shit Emery would weigh in with his worthless and ignorant spew. You think that your failure of a POTUS and his corrupt cabal, a wife beating jack weed as the state’s AG, as well as all of the lies and unproven allegations by your party are OK, huh, dip shit? Go pound sand, hypocrite.

  5. Nice to see how Emery points fingers at the GOP as if Mr. Biden didn’t have a history of weird groping and a credible assault allegation, as if Mr. Clinton hadn’t forced the country to cover their childrens’ ears, as if Teddy Kennedy and Chris Dodd hadn’t made waitress sandwiches, as if John Edwards hadn’t done the same exact thing as Gingrich, as ……….

    Really, I think the deal here is that there is a certain subset of people who will do just about anything for power, and the big challenge of politics is to limit their freedom. A great portion of this is to limit the amount of money and power that flows through Washington DC and state capitols. A person who will do right is a rare commodity in politics, it seems, and those who love power will do a LOT to hamstring those who do right.

  6. The biggest story still isn’t being talked about. Were Republican donors customer’s of the sexual exploitation of minors?

  7. A vote for Hillary was a vote to knowingly put a credibly accused serial rapist in the White House.

  8. I’m tellin ya folks, ignore the troll and it will go away. Don’t insult it, don’t respond to it, don’t tell it to shut up. Just ignore. And judging by some of your replies its off the meds again. I wouldn’t know, I haven’t read a troll spew for a week and I’m happier for it.

  9. Is anyone going to discuss this blog post? You can ignore my questions, but I’m curious about why this executive of MNGOP is such a difficult problem.

  10. On Tuesday’s Up and At Em podcast, Ben talked at length with Jack about his experiences for the 6 months he served as MnGOP Director of Communication under Carnahan (10/20-4/21). He developed a close enough working relationship with her that he calls her “Jenny” instead of Jennifer. It is an endlessly fascinating episode. After talking about the kind of leader she is and the kind of atmosphere she built in that office, he said one line that stuck with me: “I have 20 stories I could tell about what kind of leader and what kind of person she is. And I could bring in another dozen people who also have 20 stories about her.”

    I know I’ll break my “Max 5 minutes per month” rule of Twitter tonight starting at 6:30 to see what goes on per Gazelka’s tweet.

  11. jdm, you mean about how difficult it is to find a good GOP chair? My thoughts are in my comment at 1:28. I think to a degree, there is some metastasis in the GOP whereby good people are shunted off to the side while power hungry people do what it takes to get the position.

    To Carnahan, and transitively my Congressman, Mr. Hagedorn, I remember when Hagedorn went back on his promise to support Aaron Miller (who is a friend of mine who used to be a member of my church) a few years back. Now whether Hagedorn really had a good reason or not, I’m not sure, but I think the GOP needs better ways of recognizing and eliminating bad actors.

  12. Sorry, bike, but when I saw the lead mentioned the little weasel, I scrolled past. Thanks for your comment.

  13. JDM: it was “TE/DR”–too Emery, didn’t read–right? :^) Dumb mistake on my part.

  14. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 08.19.21 : The Other McCain

  15. This incident is just par for the course within the uni-party. We could fill a 1000 comment thread with sexual degenerates that have risen to prominence in both the Neo-Con GOP and the reprobate Democrat party.

    Dissident political groups tend not to attract these kinds of degenerates, because we provide no cover for them, and our world-view rejects many of the things they hold near and dear.

  16. Call it “resolved” if you want, but to me it smacks of “cancel culture” in spades. Somebody makes an allegation of impropriety, and other charges come screaming out of the woodwork. I thought the GOP was opposed to this overdose of woke, and might learn to defend against it. Legitimate complaints need to be investigated and /appropriate/ action taken, after due consideration.

    There’s a good point to asking whether we can find anybody better.

  17. Wasn’t the guy hauled in for sex trafficking? Seems a bit different than “cancel culture” to me.

  18. “The guy” hid his activities from everybody, so how is “guilt by association” even reasonable in this case? And why should this sudden announcement result in every other long-past transgression suddenly becoming of critical importance? That’s cancel culture.

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