GOP activist Repya: ‘Where’s the audit?’

Veteran GOP activist Joe Repya offers his thoughts on what to do with his party in Minnesota. In a Strib commentary, he says: ”The Republican Party of Minnesota must prove to the state’s voters that it is not engaged in a cover-up. Remember, it’s not the act of wrongdoing but the cover-up that always brings you down. The party’s executive board has instead taken the “don’t ask, don’t tell” position, insisting the party is broke and can’t afford a forensic audit. The Campaign Finance Board ruling raises troubling questions: Why is the party really refusing to conduct an audit? Will an audit uncover more alleged civil or criminal wrongdoing? Will it implicate more GOP leaders, including officeholders past and present? Would it expose additional Federal Election Commission violations? Will it expose graft, political payoffs or outright corruption? Will more GOP lobbyists or major donors be implicated?”

Briana Bierschbach at Politics in Minnesota (along with Paul Demko) offers a deeper view of the GOP’s miseries: “RNC Committeewoman Pat Anderson, who was one of the leaders in pushing for an internal financial probe of the party’s books, says new leadership atop the party has cleaned up its mismanaged financial process so these things never happen again, but there’s still a long way to go in retiring all the debts. ‘It’s going to take years to get out of debt,’ she said. ‘I think the party is defunct for several election cycles.’ … Anderson is among a circle of Republicans who want to see Sutton criminally prosecuted. ‘Our hope is that the county attorney does something,’ she said. ‘I think that Tony surrounded himself with people that were incompetent.’ ” That sounds generous.

As familiar as she is with “it,” Our Favorite Congresswoman has really stepped in “it” this time. Reaction, outside the Beck/FoxNews echo chamber, has been universally negative. At The Huffington Post, James Zogby writes: “Even with Huma Abedin’s sterling character, and [Michele] Bachmann’s reckless and irritating penchant for show-boating, it took the challenge from Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in Congress, to force the issue into the open. After all, the letters from Bachmann and company had been released a month ago and had been endorsed by the chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. It was not until Ellison wrote his piece and several writers echoed his concern, prompting television shows to ask questions, that attention was paid to Bachmann’s charges. This moved Senator McCain to act to defend Huma Abedin and to denounce Bachmann. And once McCain spoke, other GOP leaders and editorials in major daily newspapers quickly followed suit. In the end, the loony Members of Congress who co-signed the Bachmann letters were left stripped of supporters — save for crackpot fringe groups and real haters of Arabs and Muslims.”

The Washington Post seized on criticism of Bachmannn by Sen. John McCain and House Speaker John Boehner to immunize itself from making a partisan attack on Bachmann. The paper wrote: “It would be simple to ignore the baseless and paranoid assertions of Ms. Bachmann were she not a member of Congress and an also-ran in the recent race for the Republican presidential nomination. Her status doesn’t confer respectability on her views — Americans are inured to all manner of nonsense from Congress — but it does call for a response, if only to restore a dose of rationality to the public discourse. … Among the co-signers of Ms. Bachmann’s letter are Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, notorious for describing abortion as having done more harm to blacks than slavery; Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, who described then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, as ‘uppity’; and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, known for evidence-free rants about plots involving U.S. passport-bearing ‘terror babies,’ born here and trained overseas to carry out attacks on America.”

The St. Cloud Times editorializes on the matter, saying, “Bachmann faces a simple fact: Immediately either substantiate her accusations or retract them and apologize. To choose any other route, especially silence, is to lose even more of her credibility. … It’s a given Bachmann will ignore her detractors’ requests. However, her elected peers and own adviser are calling her out. Silence won’t do.” She is rarely silent for long.

Did I say “universally negative”? At FrontPageMag.com, Robert Spencer writes: “The only problem with Ellison’s wounded-martyr stance toward Bachmann’s accusations is that what she said is true: Ellison really does have a ‘long record of being associated’ with Hamas-linked CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood. As long ago as 2006, Ellison’s closeness to Nihad Awad, co-founder of Hamas-linked CAIR, was a matter of public record. Awad, who notoriously said in 1994 that he was ‘in support of the Hamas movement,’ spoke at fundraisers for Ellison, raising considerable sums for his first Congressional race. According to investigative journalist Patrick Poole, Ellison has appeared frequently at CAIR events since then, despite the fact that CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department.” The source material on everything Spencer mentions is nearly as deep as he is.

At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff writes: “Andy McCarthy, an expert on the Muslim Brotherhood and a friend of Power Line, has defended Bachmann’s line of inquiry. He argues that there are two legitimate questions to ask about Abedin. First, in light of her family history, is she someone who ought to have a security clearance, particularly one that would give her access to top-secret information about the Brotherhood. Second, is she someone who may be sympathetic to aspects of the Brotherhood’s agenda, such that Americans ought to be concerned that she is helping shape American foreign policy? … I’m glad that Bachmann and her colleagues, Reps. Gohmert, Westmoreland, Franks, and Rooney, are concerned about the tilt in State Department policy in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.”  

Over 30 years, there have been almost 10,000 HIV-AIDS cases in Minnesota. Some stats, via the Strib: “As of December 2011, 7,136 Minnesotans were living with HIV — about half with the virus and half with full-blown AIDS.
• 77 percent are male.
• 81 percent are 35 or older.
• 86 percent of new infections occurred in the metro area, but AIDS has been diagnosed in 90 percent of Minnesota counties.
• 72 percent of new cases among males were reported by men who had sex with men.
• 90-plus percent of new cases among women were attributed to heterosexual contact.
• Minnesota has the nation’s 14th-lowest AIDS rate.”

The Strib’s Thomas Lee has a story about a new mini-Target concept down in Chicago: “Inside 1 State Street, the scene was much more serene. Small groups of Target employees scattered throughout the building, putting the final touches on one of the Minneapolis-based retailer’s boldest ventures in recent years: a smaller store that caters specifically to the urban shopper. Come next Sunday, CityTarget will debut in Chicago, where the chaos of everyday city life will spill into the two-level structure. The store will feature more checkout lanes, two-shelf shopping carts and smaller sizes of goods like toilet paper so that consumers can more easily carry as they walk home, grab a cab, or hop on the ‘L’ train.”

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Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 07/23/2012 - 07:39 am.

    The CAIR claim is inaccurate

    In 2010, a Federal appeals court ruled that “federal prosecutors violated the rights of major American Muslim organizations by including them on a list of “unindicted co-conspirators” in a terror-related case.”

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cair-court-says-government-violated-muslim-groups-rights-108772964.html

    In a distressingly familiar-looking statement, the article goes on to quote the court saying “[A] broadly worded conclusion regarding a party’s ‘association’ with various other entities is not grounded in any legal rule that would give that conclusion substance and boundaries.”

    So “guilt by association” wasn’t good enough for a Federal appeals court in 2010, and the spectre of that same “guilt by association” should not still be getting raised today.

    • Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 07/23/2012 - 01:20 pm.

      Easy for you to say

      You have the facts on your side. Do you have any idea how hard the Islamophobes have to work to perpetuate their anti-Muslim jihad in the face of all evidence to the contrary?

      It’s not easy being a hater. Just ask Congresswoman Bachmann.

  2. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 07/23/2012 - 08:11 am.

    closure by censure?

    If any congressperson demonstrates paranoia, irrational thinking; messianic fantasies intended to harm by word or deed by advocating unwarranted accusations on public issues toward other congressmen…is censure by congress a legitimate path to go before more dangerous harm is contemplated by such an irresponsible individual?

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 07/23/2012 - 08:28 am.

      Consequences

      Actions have consequences. That statement seems to hold true for everyone EXCEPT Rep. Bachmann.

      This needs to change. There need to be consequences, and those consequences need to have teeth.

      Since it appears unlikely that she’ll suffer the “consequence” of not being re-elected, then there need to be some other meaningful consequences enacted on her.

      I was thinking about such things as removal from influential committees and limiting her involvement in any others. I think your idea of censure by Congress might also go on that list of possible consequences (although given Ms. Bachmann’s apparent disdain for that legislative body, “censure” may not carry meaningful enough teeth to have any impact on her actions).

  3. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 07/23/2012 - 08:44 am.

    It will be interesting to see her fundraising numbers

    Why don’t you all interview her constituents. Not the evangelical right, which are her chosen constituents, but her actual constituents she is supposed to serve. My guess, if she polled the sixth, she is as strong as ever and her fundraising will go up!

    Who controls her, and who keeps voting for her, those are the stories. A mad person is not unique. An entire population, the 6th in this case, that follows a mad person is a story. Study them.

    More importantly, a mad person cannot exist without supporting structure propping them up. They are by nature unstable. I would highly suggest you all start researching the scaffolding tht is holding up this mad person.

  4. Submitted by Pat McGee on 07/23/2012 - 08:50 am.

    Don’t tar and feather the entire 6th district population

    Some of us still have to live there and would rather not admit she is “our” congressional representative. And, yes, actively support her opponents.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 07/23/2012 - 11:26 am.

      Ditto the 4th district.

      Betty McCollum `Nuff said.

      • Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 07/23/2012 - 04:38 pm.

        Nice faux equivalency

        Can you cite anything Betty McCollum has ever said that was in any way as offensive or as false as what Bachmann said? Oh, wait — you’re not offended by Bachmann’s comments, are you?

  5. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/23/2012 - 10:42 am.

    why no audit?

    Because they know an audit will not exonerate them of wrongdoing. I still agree with Repya, they should audit, deal with the consequences and move on. But cooking books has apparently become part the Republican DNA be it state or federal budgets, taxes, or their parties finances. Ideological blindness and lack of integrity have turned the party into a magnet for sociopaths and you can’t expect such people to respond to this crises with integrity.

  6. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 07/23/2012 - 11:00 am.

    It is time for an audit.

    The republicans have definitely earned an audit. They were the leaders in the last legislative session so what did their leadership have them work? Not the problems of the state, but pet social engineering projects and sexual escapades. Reckless spending to the point they can’t even pay those they owe money to, which includes the rent on there own headquarters building. They have become the party of “obstruction”. They were elected to serve all the people of Minnesota, not just the special few. They have the same talking points they did when George W. Bush was president. They must have liked what Bush did to the country because they stood silently by while Bush created an “indelible stain” on the country. How do they expect different results this time around? They want to “deregulate” those who stole your 401K money through reckless risk taking. They want to reduce the taxes of those oh so famous “job creators”. Ten years of the Bush tax cuts and still no jobs, how much more tax cut do they need? The word “compromise” has become a foreign language to them. The republicans are bankrupt, absolutely leaderless, have a wrong headed ideology, and inappropriately named themselves fiscal conservatives. It is time for an audit.

  7. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/23/2012 - 04:44 pm.

    Ad hominem thread report

    Mark Gisleson wrote:

    “Do you have any idea how hard the Islamophobes have to work to perpetuate their anti-Muslim jihad in the face of all evidence to the contrary?

    Beryl John-Knudson wrote:

    “If any congressperson demonstrates paranoia, irrational thinking; messianic fantasies intended to harm by word or deed by advocating unwarranted accusations on public issues toward other congressmen…is censure by congress a legitimate path to go before more dangerous harm is contemplated by such an irresponsible individual?”

    Alec Timmerman wrote:

    “More importantly, a mad person cannot exist without supporting structure propping them up. They are by nature unstable. I would highly suggest you all start researching the scaffolding tht is holding up this mad person.”

    Paul Udstrand wrote:

    ” Ideological blindness and lack of integrity have turned the party into a magnet for sociopaths and you can’t expect such people to respond to this crises with integrity.”

    • Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 07/24/2012 - 11:45 am.

      I love how easily

      you lumped my obviously sarcastic reply in with more serious comments.

      Shouldn’t you first examine Congresswoman Bachmann’s comments for ad hominems and specious allegations? Her career seems to be based on them.

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