State Republicans criticize GOP Rep. Steve Smith voting record, union campaign funds

The Republican Party of Minnesota, which has long felt that state Rep. Steve Smith hasn’t been conservative enough for its taste, takes another shot today at the veteran GOP lawmaker.

In an email, state party Chairman Pat Shortridge attacked Smith for a delay in submitting a finance report.

“There is serious concern about Steve Smith’s priorities and voting record in St. Paul. Instead of fighting for our conservative principles, Smith’s voting record has gained the backing of union bosses. That’s not surprising given that, according to a new non-partisan study, Smith voted in the interest of taxpayers barely half the time,” Shortridge said.

Smith, an 11-term veteran from Mound, is being challenged in Tuesday’s GOP District 33B primary by Cindy Pugh of Chanhassen, who has the party’s endorsement. She’s a founder of the Southwest Metro Tea Party.

Last winter there was speculation that Smith might switch parties, after he said he was forced out of a House committee chairmanship by the party powers.

The Star Tribune’s editorial board urged voters to give Smith the chance to return to St. Paul, calling him a much-needed maverick. But the board also said:

“Had Smith sought our counsel before filing for office, we might have advised him to run as an independent or switch parties. His maverick act has worn thin, not only with Republican activists, but also with his House GOP colleagues.”

Indeed, Shortridge notes that Smith has become comfortable with some unions and other liberal factions:

“He has received $500 from SEIU, $500 from Laborers District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota, and $500 from Minneapolis Municipal Retirement Association, a clear sign that union bosses in St. Paul are trying to buy the Republican primary for their handpicked candidate.”

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by John Rollings on 08/09/2012 - 12:09 pm.

    Minnesota Republican Party

    The Minnesota Republican Party openly and in writing criticizes one of its own elected officials for finding common ground and compromising with the DFL in the legislature. This email from their chairman trumpets even louder their silence when it comes to commenting on the trash dripping from the mouths of Bachmann and Perry, two of their congressional candidates. These above comments and their silence on the other two say a lot about the Minnesota Republican Party.

  2. Submitted by Tommy Johnson on 08/09/2012 - 02:01 pm.

    That’s not all that MnGOP’s Party Chair said

    “While Smith has ignored the law and refused to file his Campaign Finance Report, which costs him $50 per day in late filing fees and could trigger future civil penalties, …” – Pat Shortridge

    Simply incredible. A Party that didn’t pay rent on it’s Party HQ and almost got evicted; a Party that had to ask for a payment plan for it’s State Campaign Finance Board fine; a party that had to make payments on it’s Federal Election Commission fine; a party that is facing “future civil penalties” due to complaints to the FEC on it’s continuing Cooked Books Saga — takes aim at one of it’s own for some of the same stuff it has done.

    The GOP demands accountability (of others).

  3. Submitted by Logan Foreman on 08/09/2012 - 02:55 pm.

    Wow glad to hear

    Freedom of expression is alive and well in the republican party. What next? Truth squads?

  4. Submitted by William Reichert on 08/11/2012 - 08:13 pm.

    Steve Smith is Violating Campaign Finance Rules

    Steve Smith has failed to file his Pre Primary Reports of Receipts and Expenditures.
    As a Lawyer & former Legislator, Smith knows the law, and has sworn to uphold it.
    What is Smith hiding from the Voters of 33B & the Campaign Finance Board?

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