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Is the Tea Party changing its tune on Mike McFadden?

MinnPost file photo by Brian Halliday
GOP-endorsed candidate Mike McFadden is facing state representative Jim Abeler and St. Paul teacher David Carlson in the August 12 primary.

The Minnesota Tea Party Alliance is warming to Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden. Or at the very least, its leaders are no longer actively opposing him, as they did during the GOP endorsement process.

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Some history: After McFadden appeared at a Tea Party event in May, Jake Dusenberg, executive director of the Tea Party Alliance, took to Facebook to warn his followers: “Folks, Mike McFadden is bad news. He has dodged the tea party and conservative base. He’s flip-flopped on multiple issues. And he is the establishment’s choice for the Senate.” 

But in a recent email fundraising message, Tea Party Alliance president Jack Rogers opened the door (a crack) with regard to supporting McFadden. The email asks for contributions to defeat incumbent Democrat Al Franken, labeling him, “a radical 60s-style liberal.”  

Does that mean that Rogers, who supported Chris Dahlberg for the GOP endorsement and was openly dismissive of McFadden during the state Republican convention in May, has changed his mind?

“I am not for or against Michael,” he said. “But I don’t know what he stands for — or his principles — and that makes it hard for me to make a personal decision.”  

Rogers then added, “Let me make it perfectly clear: There are three men running for that office [in the primary]. Whichever one wins is the one I’m going to support and help to victory in November.”

GOP-endorsed candidate McFadden is facing state representative Jim Abeler and St. Paul teacher David Carlson in the August 12 primary. 

Rogers said the Minnesota Tea Party Alliance will not weigh in on the Senate race until after the primary. “The primary battle for the Senate is less important for us than the gubernatorial,” he said.  In that race, the Tea Party is backing endorsed candidate Jeff Johnson.  “One thing – Johnson is abiding by endorsement,” Rogers said.  “That’s the fine line of difference with McFadden.”

The MN Tea Party PAC reports just over $1,000 in cash on hand as of the end of May.  But money isn’t everything, Rogers points out.  

“We have no big money,” he said, though the group does boast an active membership of 4,500 statewide, most of them active in social media, and Rogers said he believes Tea Party support will make a critical difference in both the Senate and governor’s races.

Comments (14)

  1. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/22/2014 - 09:38 am.

    More proof, where none was needed

    Once again, the tea party shows that it is not animated by any principle other than “we hate liberals.” Is it any wonder the public holds them in such low esteem?

  2. Submitted by Dell Aiken-Payne on 07/22/2014 - 11:40 am.

    Cyndy Brucato is impressive on the GOP beat.

    Hey Minnpost,

    Just a shout out of appreciation for Cyndy. She provides Minnpost concise and objective reporting on local right wing politics. She uses her many years of experience there to provide a fair look at the horse race without editorializing or schilling which is not a common commodity.

  3. Submitted by jason myron on 07/22/2014 - 11:35 am.

    “a radical 60s-style liberal.”

    Yeah…Franken is the second coming of Abbie Hoffman. There’s no better comedy than reading press releases from these conservative wonks.

  4. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 07/22/2014 - 04:05 pm.

    @#$@# Investment Banker *&%#$

    The Tea Party traces it roots to a backlash against the fiscal policies that led to the 2009 economic crisis. And now they are warming up to an investment banker candidate whose entire career centered on all of the things that made the Tea Partiers crazy in the first place. McFadden will rubber stamp everyone of Wall Street’s wishes and desires while Franken is viewed as an unfriendly, nosy obstacle to Wall Street. Makes no matter though, ideology trumps fact for these folks. How else can you get to a situation where a likely Gov. Candidate, Scott Honour, and the Senate candidate are both investment bankers who now seek to transform their wealth, gained through everything the Tea Party stands against, into political office.

  5. Submitted by Arthur Horowitz on 07/22/2014 - 04:23 pm.

    McFadden and the Tea Party

    “I am not for or against Michael,” he said. “But I don’t know what he stands for — or his principles — and that makes it hard for me to make a personal decision.”

    I agree, no one knows what McFadden is for, just for what he is against. (Women’s rights, gay rights, poor people, protecting the environment, taxes, public education, Obamacare –you know the rest.)

    These all were issues he had to make a stand against to get the Republican convention to endorse him.

    You mean that this doesn’t align him favorably with the Minnesota Tea Party? Perhaps he should come out loudly for the renewed manufacture and sale of incandescent light bulbs in lockstep with Michelle Bachman. Although incandescents make more heat than light, this is Minnesota and it might lower your natural gas, heating oil or propane bill on a cold winter’s night.

    What has happened to the GOP of Eisenhower and even (choke) Nixon?

    • Submitted by E Gamauf on 09/12/2014 - 06:24 am.

      Exactly right on the UNKNOWN!

      Thanks for your clarity.
      If a candidate cannot bring himself to say what he really thinks – then you have to measure him by other means.

      You can’t trust ANYTHING he says, because everything is geared to convincing people
      to vote for him – for 6 long years. Which time is REAL?

      McF doesn’t have a record to run on.
      Therefore he has to create a fiction about himself.

      His background gives me zero reason to think my priorities would matter to him, because they have little to do with governance & fairness on a societal level, from what I see. He’s never had to deal with that.

  6. Submitted by Richard Owens on 07/23/2014 - 08:00 am.

    4,500 members and $1,000 on hand?

    That’s twenty two cents per member.

    Hey Jake, you better order a Koch.

    Will your candidate have the fiscal skills of the debt-ridden MN Republicans?

    Will you be lecturing Minnesota voters on austerity and GDP growth at the same time?

    just wondering…

  7. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 07/23/2014 - 09:22 am.

    It’d probably be a good idea to know a smidgeon of factual truth about topics one wishes to comment on.

    The TEA Party is an acronym for “Taxed Enough Already”. Most members #1 priority is lowering our crippling national debt through spending cuts, ’cause, see, we’re taxed enough already….get it?

    I don’t know anyone who is against investment banking, just the idea that private enterprise should be bailed out by taxpayers.

    Everyone agrees that Franken has to go. It’s true that his handlers have kept him under control since then, but no one forgets that he cast the deciding vote for Obamacare.

    Even Al hasn’t forgotten, which is why he’s skeered to appear at the MPR debate.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 07/23/2014 - 12:04 pm.

      For someone complaining about lack of truth

      you sure didn’t touch on any yourself.
      You can hide behind your TEA acronym if it makes you feel better, but a long list of actions, emails and statements have blown the cover off your merry band of xenophobic, theocrats a long time ago. And when are you going to get over this ridiculous “deciding vote” meme? His vote was no more crucial than any other senator that voted for it. As for “skeered”, I can only assume that you meant the word “scared”…but that would only be an assumption as I’m not fluent in hillbilly or whatever else passes for a communicative skill set in South Carolina.

    • Submitted by William Gleason on 07/23/2014 - 01:46 pm.

      “Everyone agrees that Franken has to go”

      Are you talking about everyone in South Carolina, where you live Mr. Swift, or about Minnesota?

      I haven’t seen a poll yet where anyone is ahead of Mr. Franken, have you?

      Rest assured that the more people get to know about Mr. Franken’s likely opponent, Mr. McFadden, the further behind he gets. Mr. Black’s sincere and continued efforts to get straight answers out of Mr. McFadden clearly indicate that McFadden has not done his homework and he has had plenty of time to do it. Perhaps he is spending too much time on football coaching?

      Maybe once Mr. McFadden has some actual positions, Mr. Franken might agree to debate him?

      How about: “Resolved that we should raise the age for Medicare eligibility?”

      I’ll bet the Tea Party would love that one.

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/23/2014 - 04:20 pm.

      The only issue with a Swift Post

      is whether it will take Google over or under 5 seconds to disprove his assertion. In this case it was easily “under”.

      Go to the Tea Party in Wikipedia (their citations hold up). Virtually every story on the etymology of the Party refers to the 2008 meltdown.

      That’s what ya gotta love about Swifty, the facts never get in the way of his ideology.

    • Submitted by E Gamauf on 08/24/2014 - 08:20 am.

      Dear Mr “Everyone Agrees” & “Factual Truth”

      You DO know that Senator Franken holds an 8% lead per the latest polls.

      Cuts your asserted “everybody agrees” right off at the knees, don’t it.

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