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Minnesota GOP to stand with Ron Paul in Tampa

Local, national news sites and bloggers focus on GOP; WaPost looks at stadium subsidy; Milwaukee paper standing with Walker; and more.

The (Ron) Paulites’ takeover of the state GOP gets lots of interest.

For MPR, Mark Zdechlik writes:The strong showing for Paul shows there is still dissatisfaction within the state’s GOP about making Mitt Romney their nominee. Republican Party Chairman Pat Shortridge said the party still believes in the same [principles]. ‘I think we are largely unified behind some very consistent, common sense message of cutting spending, reducing regulations that are cutting off jobs, defending people’s freedoms, defending our values from a growing government in Washington, D.C.,’ Shortridge said.  [Kevin] Erickson, a pastor from Virginia, Minn., is one of the Paul delegates. ‘In the national race, what we’ve seen is about a third of the party supports Mitt Romney and about two-thirds of the party is looking for somebody, anybody else,’ Erickson said. ‘And so I think that’s what reflected in this as far as a rebellion against the authority.’ “

Don Davis’ story for the Forum papers says: “Paulites tend to support his libertarian ideals, such as giving Americans more personal freedom. His often are at odds with traditional Republicans, although in St. Cloud there were few of the arguments that produced strong disputes at other states’ GOP conventions. Craig Westover, one of the Paul delegates and a former state party official, said that ‘Republicans are not energized by accepting the lesser of two evils.’ In favoring the Paulites, delegates turned down candidacies by some long-time GOP leaders such as Mike Vekich, who has helped the party in its current financial crisis.”

At The Christian Science Monitor, Brad Knickerbocker writes: “Paul wants several things to be included in the GOP platform at Tampa: A proposal for stricter oversight of the Federal Reserve, a ban on indefinite detention of American citizens, and a provision advocating greater freedom on the Internet. ‘The ball is in the court of the Republican Party and the court of Mitt Romney,’ Jesse Benton, national chairman of Paul’s campaign, told reporters this past week. ‘We’re bringing forward an attitude of respect, and we’re also bringing forward some very specific things that we believe in. If our people are treated with respect, if our ideas, their ideas are embraced and treated seriously and treated with respect, I think the Republican Party will have a very good chance to pick up a substantial number of our votes.’ ‘On the flip side’, Benton warned, ‘if they’re treated like they were in 2008, a lot of people are going to stay home and a lot of people are going to sit on their hands.’ Benton also said that it’s unlikely that Paul will endorse Romney — something Romney’s last-standing major rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have done.”

The Politico team of Maggie Haberman and Emily Schultheis says: “All of this raises the question: How can Paul, whose interests are believed to lie not just with his small-government message but with his son Sen. Rand Paul’s national ambitions, keep his supporters engaged, without unleashing them on Romney? ‘We have been trying to make clear to them and all Republican candidates,’ said a Paul campaign source, that his main concern is how his rivals ‘approach a long-term effort to win the battles of ideas.’ ” Somehow I don’t think this crowd is so naive they’ll accept being bought off with platform language.

John Hugh Gilmore at “Minnesota Conservatives” is not amused: “What to make of what has just happened to the Republican Party of Minnesota? It depends on whether one is in the old (elected) guard trying to ride what they think is a wave that will fade or whether one is an activist who knows what’s really going on, what the Paul forces truly represent. … Many GOP activists have asked why so many in the House and Senate fell in behind Kurt Bills. Having spoken to many of them, and raising that concern, it was clear that those in each chamber had little understanding of the damage the Paul activists were doing to the Minnesota Republican Party generally. This makes sense; it’s of a piece with their poor decision making when electing party leadership. Having failed so badly at the latter, how to expect more of them with regard to the former? … Amongst many low points of the circus masquerading as a political party convention was RNC man Jeff Johnson’s address to the convention. Channeling his inner Pawlenty, Johnson pretended to leadership by castigating both “sides” of the ongoing dispute which, heads up Jeff, is nothing less than the take over of the MN GOP and its hollowing out from the inside by people who believe there is no difference between Obama and Romney. As Peter Glessing @pgless tweeted: ‘Thanks for the scolding.’ One can see Jeff helping Amy Klobuchar make us all hot tuna noodle casserole and then tucking us into bed for the night.” Good stuff, MC.

We should be so proud. The Washington Post is drawing national attention to our stadium proclivities. Norman Chad writes:“In yet another snub to Couch Slouch’s “No More Stadiums, With or Without Tax Subsidies” Tour, the state of Minnesota — the premiere serial subsidizer of the 21st century is publicly funding much of an almost $1 billion football facility. Touchdown, heathens!!! Here is Minnesota’s updated stadium/arena scorecard: The city of Saint Paul is still trying to pay off $40 million in loans for the construction of the Xcel Energy Center hockey arena in 2000. Then there’s Target Field, the Twins’ baseball stadium opened in 2010, a $522 million project that included $392 million in public subsidies. And now the Vikings will get a football stadium to replace the Metrodome in 2016, with half of the funding coming from Ma and Pa Twin Cities — $348 million in state money, $150 million from Minneapolis. So billionaire Vikings owner Zygi Wilf will receive the largest welfare check in state history, while the state continues to cut social programs. ‘I’m just so surprised we’re tripping over ourselves trying to be the hero of the franchise,’ said state Sen. Warren Limmer. ‘We’ve been struggling with our budgets the last few years. We’re struggling with, ‘How do we take care of little old ladies in nursing homes?’ Here’s the answer — see if those little old ladies have enough money saved for Vikings season tickets. Then they can forget all their troubles eight Sundays a year at a new stadium!” But those little old ladies will not lack for the feeling of being “major league.”

Before you bite into that burger … the AP is saying: “A Minnesota company is recalling about 450 pounds of steakhouse burgers because of misbranding and because they contain allergens that aren’t on the label. The recalls by J&B Group of Pipestone were announced Saturday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The products include 27-ounce packages that contain six 4.5 ounce ‘No Name, Roasted Peppers, Onions and Mozzarella Cheese Steakhouse Burgers’ with a date of March 3, 2012. The USDA alert says the product contains a seasoning mix with hydrolyzed soy and wheat proteins, which isn’t listed on the label.”

At The Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar files a piece on Minnesota’s gay marriage battle: “Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, said dioceses were giving money to support the marriage amendment. ‘We’re going to raise and spend the money we need to get the message out about what marriage is, why it’s important and what the consequences will be if it’s redefined,’ he was quoted as saying. Catholic churches in the state have donated $350,000 to Minnesota for Marriage, Adkins added. Meanwhile, Lutherans in the St. Paul area officially announced their opposition to amending the constitution. The Saint Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America passed a resolution Saturday opposing the measure at its annual meeting in Burnsville.” When I was a kid, we used to take up collections to feed the hungry in Central America.

Our big paper has its taxpayer subsidized stadium thing; The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has Scott Walker. To no one’s surprise, the paper, which endorsed Walker for governor barely 17 months ago, is still liking him in his recall fight. It’s editorial page writes: “We see no reason to remove Walker from office. We recommend him in the June 5 recall election. Walker’s rematch with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was prompted by one issue: Walker’s tough stance with the state’s public-employee unions. It’s inconceivable that the recall election would be occurring absent that. And a disagreement over a single policy is simply not enough to justify a vote against the governor. … And while we think Act 10 — the law that clipped the wings of most public-employee unions in the state — was an overreach of political power, we understand and supported the need to rein in the state’s labor costs. Democrats claim the recall election is about far more than Act 10. The most serious of the charges on their bill of particulars is the ongoing John Doe investigation being conducted by the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office. … Prosecutors have charged three ex-Walker aides and two others; more charges may be coming. … While the investigation surely is troubling, no evidence revealed so far implicates Walker. Overzealous political associates sometimes get in trouble. The John Doe probe doesn’t justify a vote against the governor.” I often wonder if these editorial boards read their own papers.