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Questions over ‘quislings’

“A special place in hell for those quislings.” That’s a good rabble-rousing line, and considering the source — state GOP chair, Tony Sutton, referring to 13 party eminences who endorsed Tom Horner, its exactly what you’d expect to hear. But the Strib’s Lori Sturdevant seems a bit taken aback. She writes, “Those are harsh words about 13 people who, to a person, wore the GOP label through multiple terms and served with distinction. The list includes people who were and still are serious practitioners of public policy. At least one of the ‘quislings,’ former Bloomington mayor and state Rep. Neil Peterson, has reason to ask Sutton whether a political party has a duty of loyalty to its longtime standard-bearers. Peterson was denied endorsement and defeated in the GOP primary in 2008 after voting with DFLers and five other Republicans that February to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto of a major transportation funding bill.

The AP gets Sutton on record with even more flame-throwing. “The dictionary definition of ‘quisling’ is a traitor. The word,” says the story, “comes from the name of a Norwegian politician who collaborated with the Nazis and was executed for doing so. On Thursday, Sutton told the AP he used the word as a common term for traitor. ‘It would be like saying someone’s a Benedict Arnold,’ Sutton said, referring to the Revolutionary War traitor. ‘To make it out to be something other than that would be ridiculous.’ ” Almost as ridiculous as a political spokesman, intent on commanding total party discipline, having no sense of the context of “quisling.” Or maybe he did mean to imply the gang of 13 were not loyal Nazis?

Gov. Pawlenty has a bit of a loyalty problem himself. Despite ordering state agencies not to report various information to the federal government under the new health care bill, Elizabeth Stawicki of MPR writes: “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked states to weigh in on creating online marketplaces for consumers to buy insurance, known as exchanges. Pawlenty refused to send the Minnesota Department of Health’s response. The governor opposes health reform.Three groups representing Minnesota health plans, hospitals and doctors acquired the report through a data practices request and submitted it anyway.” It’s a dang “Dawn of the Dead” of quislings!            

Tom Horner’s tax plans get a bit more airing from MPR’s Mark Zedechlik this morning. Expanding from a press conference earlier in the week, Zedechlik writes: “The big item would be clothing, but beyond that Horner isn’t being specific. That could put many personal services on the table, from haircuts and self storage, to shoe repair and horse training. Horner said he can’t nail down specifics without sophisticated economic modeling he would have access to only if he gets elected. Still, Horner often finds himself fielding the ‘What are you going to tax?’ question. ‘I’m not trying to be coy with this,’ he said at a news conference this week. ‘We are going to tax, we’re going to get revenue, from a lot of personal services. I mean that’s the reality of moving more toward a consumption-based tax system.’ ” Zedechlik adds: “Critics say the burden of expanding the sales tax would fall disproportionately on middle- and low-income Minnesotans, giving the wealthy something of a free ride when it comes to the budget fix. That’s a legitimate argument, said David Sjoquist, director of Georgia State University’s Fiscal Research Center. ‘It’s hard to construct any kind of sales tax, regardless of how broad-based it is, that isn’t regressive,’ he said.”                                                       
Amateur psychologists have had a field day with Denny Hecker since his empire melted down. There’s the “pathological sense of entitlement,” as was mentioned Thursday. But what about garden-variety compulsion? I can’t get over the number of times the ex-car dealer and his girlfriend have gotten themselves in deeper … buying cars. There was the girlfriend misrepresenting herself for a loan to buy Denny a Range Rover, Denny’s demand for a used pickup in his “consulting deal” with his old Inver Grove Heights dealership, the girlfriend’s “borrowed Mercedes” and now, as Dee DePass reports in the Strib, $8,500 in cash he supposedly didn’t have for … a dirtbike and a motorcycle?  “He reported spending $18,000 for office rent in Minneapolis; $5,000 on moving fees; $4,300 on dues for the Lafayette Club; $1,200 on the Wayzata Country Club, and $8,500 to Auto Concepts for a dirt bike and motorcycle. Hecker also reported repaying former employee Jim Gustafson a $5,000 loan and spending $2,750 at Manny’s Steakhouse and $1,243 for DirectTV. Hecker paid $4,500 for home repairs and $1,800 for gas in June and July.” What? “Office rent”? And $1,200 for DirecTV? That’s a lot of pay-per-view Denny.

Gov. Pawlenty, who may be running for something, will give up his WCCO radio show next month, reports Rachel Stassen-Berger on the Strib’s “Hot Dish Politics” blog. “Pawlenty’s office said he has told WCCO management of his decision to end the show next month. Pawlenty’s term as governor will end in January 2011, the same month his bio book will appear. The WCCO radio silence likely won’t mean Pawlenty silence in the media. He has said he will announce whether he will run for president in early 2011 but has given every sign the oval office is in his plans.”

“The worst sustained conditions they’ve ever encountered.” Not exactly the quote from health inspectors you’ll see proudly displayed in a restaurant’s front window. The PiPress’s Dave Orrick reports: “After dozens of inspections, city health inspectors recommended the harshest — and rarest — of sanctions for Kim Huoy Chor [Asian Cuisine]: Shut the place down. ‘It’s horrendous’, said Bill Gunther, environmental-health manager for the city. In his 39 years with the city, Gunther said, he could recall only one other restaurant — a fast-food joint more than two decades ago — being recommended for closure. City council members said they were grossed out by photographs taken during numerous inspections that showed rat droppings, dirty dishes piled waist-high on the floor — and on top of food ready to be served — and numerous cockroaches, live and dead.” But how are the spring rolls?

It’s been noted widely in recent days, but the PiPress runs a Washington Post editorial in its “Other Voices” section on the success as in profitability to taxpayers of the TARP program, still being criticized by, uh, some, as a “hand out to big banks.” It notes: “Of the $259 billion that TARP pumped into the banks, $187 billion has been paid back, with interest. Most of the remainder is parked with smaller banks, not Wall Street giants, and the Treasury Department credibly projects turning a $20 billion profit on that effort.” It does add: “Of all the uses of TARP, the only one that has clearly failed is the attempt to channel mortgage relief funds to troubled homeowners. But even in that case, there’s a silver lining: So few people ended up qualifying that TARP has spent hardly any of the $41 billion it set aside for the job.”

It’s Friday, which means chunks of the cities’ interstate system will be shut down. KARE files a report on the north and southbound closure of I-35 at I-694. “Both north and southbound lanes of I-35W will be closed Friday evening as crews paint the newly widened eastbound I-694 bridge crossing I-35W on the border of Arden Hills and New Brighton. Southbound lanes will close at 8 p.m. and northbound I-35W will close at 10 p.m. That portion of I-35W will remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11, at which time I-35W and all ramps and loops will reopen. The southbound interstate will be closed right at I-694 while the northbound interstate will close at Highway 36 with no access north between the interstate and other roads between Highway 36 and I-694.” Got that?

The relentless futility of the Twins competing with the Yankees is frankly too much for any Minnesota fan. But really, how New York is it of the New York Post to run a headline this morning crowing, “Two Easy”?

Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/08/2010 - 10:04 am.

    Say Brian?

    I think the scary smart, reality based community are framing this issue just right, and I’m sure the quislings appreciate Lori Sturdevant’s fiery oration in support.

    But as helpful as all that that may be, someone needs to teach Sutton a lesson about loyalty, and more support may be needed to get the message across to the troops…maybe Wellstone! Action could put a Big Rally together.

    Yeah; A Big Rally.

    With speakers, signs, banners and lots of Wellstone! Action flags. And maybe a march!

    Does anyone know where Nuremberg, MN., is?

  2. Submitted by B Maginnis on 10/08/2010 - 10:36 am.


    Let me get this straight – you upchuck over the astute use of “quisling”, resulting in a smear at Repubs as Nazis, and yet nary a peep about Taxin’ Tarryl’s broadcast obscenity ad?

    Got it.

  3. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/08/2010 - 11:56 am.

    As usual the approach Mr. Swift takes is to make a lot of noise and point elsewhere… Wellstone’s rally. Tom, you really are running out of petrol.

    As to the matter at hand:

    It’s one thing for the talk radio folks to spew venom.

    But the Chairman of the state GOP? To actually say that there is a special place in hell for these quislings?

    Long time GOP members some of whom were veterans of Korea and the Philippines?

    And then to try to weasel out by saying – well, I actually only meant traitors. Mr. Sutton AND Mr. Emmer should immediately apologize.

    But as a practical matter, it may be too late. The damage has already been done… to Emmer’s campaign.

    I notice that Mr. Emmer will not be in Duluth for a gubernatorial debate. Perhaps Horner is right, it is becoming a two person race? The Emmer campaign appears to be completely dysfunctional.

  4. Submitted by Sheila Ehrich on 10/08/2010 - 12:13 pm.

    I’m looking for coverage of the Minnesota Majority’s announcement yesterday of the lengths it (and other organizations) are going to go to to intimidate voters, or as they say, see that our election is “clean” (of color?)

    I heard it last night just before 6:00 on MPR. The ads they are proposing to run are downright intimidating if you are a new citizen or seeking to vote using a utility bill, as is LEGAL, or need a ride to the polls, where they will be happily videotaping your arrival and what success you do or don’t have at voting. curtesy of the challengers they will have posted inside.

    (You won’t probably be bothered by any of this if you live in Minnetonka or Edina. But this will probably be the gauntlet you will have to run if you want to vote in St. Paul or Minneapolis.

    Has anyone at MinnPost covered this?

  5. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/08/2010 - 12:30 pm.

    I’ve have in the past voted for; Quie, Carlson (twice) and Pawlenty (twice). Now I find out from the emotional response from the Grand Pooh Bah of the MN GOP; that the GOP candidates in the past would not be candidates in today’s GOP.

    Is there any wonder why Mr. Sutton is so concerned about GOP voters supporting Tom Horner? Clearly Horner has taken business funding and support from Rep Emmer’s campaign. And he will continue to take GOP voter support as well. With Emmer positioned as the far right ideologue, it’s no wonder those GOP politicians have supported Horner. They haven’t left the party, the party has left them.

    But hey, I’ll leave Mr. Sutton to managing his business of counting votes. He’s doing a bang up job so far….

  6. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/08/2010 - 01:22 pm.

    When a public figure takes it so personally that others have the audacity to express opinions other than his own that he blows his cool, accusing them, in effect, of collaborating with a murderous enemy, and relinquishing them to eternal damnation, it is an expression of the depths of that person’s psychological dysfunctions.

    Healthy people can accept disagreement as a normal part of life, especially political life.

    If there are traitors who call themselves “Republicans,” it seems to me those traitors are the radicals who plotted to, and successfully took over the party beginning in the 1980s, changing it from a party that was socially moderate and fiscally conservative i.e. interested in the well being of the average citizens of the state of Minnesota, but concerned about the most efficient and cost effective ways to maximize that well being, into a party whose only concern is that the richest citizens of the state accumulate as much wealth as possible while paying as few taxes as possible.

    My question is, how long will the REAL Republicans in Minnesota allow the sick, twisted, dysfunctional people such as Tony Sutton, speak for them and sully the name “Republican?”

    Will the majority of Rebublicans in the state ever do what it takes to TAKE BACK their PARTY from the radicals? It will be a mean and nasty fight, but they’re the only ones who can do it.

  7. Submitted by Brad Robinson on 10/08/2010 - 01:54 pm.

    I was beginning to think Emmer was getting smarter in his campaign, esp. after canning his previous staff leaders. Talk about shooting himself in the foot. A lot of people voted for those legislators in their day. Now he’s alienated them.

    In addition, it makes a lot of sense for only former legislators to speak out after what Pawlenty and company did to anyone who breaks out from the rank and file. Those still in office would risk insider hostility. Those outside the system can speak freely.

  8. Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 10/08/2010 - 02:03 pm.


    If I can post it exactly as is at MinnPost, it isn’t obscenity.

    Sadly, I have no control over whatever it is that Mr. Maginnis hears in that video where I and most people only hear a beep.

    Clark pulled the ad but City Pages still has it:

    “Obscenity”? Really?


  9. Submitted by Charles Holtman on 10/08/2010 - 03:39 pm.

    Now wait a minute, Mr Lambert, fair is fair. Quislings earned condemnation by accommodating the Nazis. Mr Sutton’s criticism of folks as quislings positions the GOP in opposition to the Nazis, not as the Nazis, which is what you suggest. Mr Sutton’s words are incriminating enough (i.e., that the GOP’s success is judged by whether it gains and holds power, rather than by whether the state prospers). You don’t need to misstate the analogy.

  10. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/08/2010 - 05:23 pm.

    I see that Mr. Holtman, just like the Emmer campaign, doesn’t get it either…

  11. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/08/2010 - 05:27 pm.

    Sounds to me like we need to apply Godwin’s law to politics, as well. And while I don’t ordinarily cite Wikipedia as a source, nothing could be more appropriate here, for those unfamiliar with the term.'s_law

    As for the use of the word quisling:

    Synonyms: apostate, backstabber, betrayer, double-crosser, double-dealer, Judas, traitor, recreant, serpent, snake, turncoat
    Related Words: accommodationist, collaborationist, collaborator, sellout, subversive, subverter; coconspirator, conspirator, intriguer, plotter, schemer; defector, deserter, renegade; blabbermouth, gossip, gossiper, gossipmonger, informant, informer, rat, rumormonger, snitch, snitcher, squealer, stool pigeon, talebearer, talker, tattler, tattletale, telltale.

    A Norwegian politician who collaborated with the Nazis during the occupation of Norway..

    For my money, an apt use of the word in its general sense. All involved are (were?) Republican politician’s collaborating with the enemy(opposition?).

  12. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/08/2010 - 05:37 pm.

    It may not balance the playing field completely, but I’m sure that there are ways in a modified sales tax can be developed that will have minimal additional impact on lower income Minnesotans.

    Might I suggest:

    Massage other than that prescribed by a medical doctor or chiropractor;

    Courses in “How to Maintain Your Luxury Motor Vehicle”;

    A sales tax surcharge on motor vehicles costing more than $XX,XXX.XX ($40k seems a good starting point to me);

    No sales tax on anything purchased with a government issued EBT card; and

    A 2% premium on all purchases by any person holding poltical office.

  13. Submitted by Lance Groth on 10/08/2010 - 07:44 pm.

    @ #9 – Ah, thanks for the clarification. So it’s Sutton calling independents & dems nazis, and the moderate repubs, or, uh, “RINOs”, if you prefer, nazi collaborators. That’s much better, thank you. Far less over the top.

    The GOP – the party that eats its own. God love ’em.

  14. Submitted by William Pappas on 10/09/2010 - 09:11 am.

    The leaders of the Minnesota Reublican Party over the last eight years have cultivated this sharply honed, crass and derogatory mudslinging to a high art. It matters not if it is thrown at the democrats or those who dare to share a different opinion within their own party. There is really very little choice between Horner and Emmer. Both are very conservative republicans that advocate regressive tax systems that will continue to depress the middle class. Both are supported by corporte donors and have only the interests of big business and large corporations that drive their politics. I think the anst middle class and small business republicans are feeling right now is a symptom of the hopelessness they see if either of their candidates were somehow miraculously elected.

  15. Submitted by Brian Lambert on 10/10/2010 - 09:54 pm.

    Let me diagram my joke about Tony Sutton and the RINO “quislings”: If, (A), Mr. Sutton seems completely unaware of the Nazi connection in calling fellow Republicans “quislings”, then is it possible that(B)he really did mean Ozment, Jennings, et al were not … loyal Nazis? In other words, how ill informed is he?

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