Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The sudden announcement by GOP Chair Tony Sutton that he is resigning sheds light on the embarrassing financial picture of the party.
State Republicans, who like to tout themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility, have at least $500,000 in unpaid bills. When Sutton took office in 2009, the party had a $1 million surplus.
Sutton deserves the credit for engineering the stunning GOP takeover of the Minnesota House and Senate. The DFL was left flat-footed and shocked by the loss of both houses. But Sutton’s leadership since has been lackluster at best.
The GOP’s failure to put up any significant opponent to Sen. Amy Klobuchar is one example. Even more embarrassing were Sutton’s announcements that he would work on getting former Gov. Tim Pawlenty to run against Klobuchar. Pawlenty quickly said he had no interest in running against the Senator.
The undisciplined tenure of Tony Sutton had its triumph in the GOP legislative sweep of 2010, but the hangover of excessive spending and a failure to recruit even a token opponent for the U.S. Senate race will be a lasting part of his legacy.
Eleven months before a critical election, the state GOP is broke and leaderless. Not a great place to be.