The problems facing the Republican Party after last week’s election were analyzed Monday by former politicians Tim Penny and Steve Sviggum.
Speaking at a Rochester forum, Penny, a former DFL congressman who ran for governor on the Independence Party ticket, and Sviggum, a former GOP speaker of the House, listed many reasons for the election results, says the Rochester Post-Bulletin.
Sviggum, now the communications director for the state Senate Republicans, cited more spending for DFL candidates and effective attack ads as factors in the election. But he also gave credit to the DFL for hard work and strong candidates.
The push for constitutional amendments on social issues hurt, too, he said.
“When Republicans get off our message of budget management, priorities, tax/spend, the meat and potatoes of government, that is when we get into trouble,” Sviggum said.
Penny said the amendments and impressions about the Republican Party, particularly after the Amy Koch scandal and the party’s financial problems, made a difference.
“It comes down to this: You have to practice what you preach. If you are going to put the marriage amendment on the ballot, it’s not particularly good to have a high-ranking official of your party accused of marital infidelity,” Penny said.
And Sviggum, the Republican, said he’s worried about what will happen with a DFL governor and the party’s control of both houses:
“We now have two years of liberal control of the Legislature and governor unchecked. That’s not Minnesotan. They like balance. They like balance in their government.”