By 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.

Comments (63)
  1. red says:

    looks like Chaz Bono

    1. GOPSUX says:

      Looks like Jabba the Hut.

    2. The Crux of the Buscuit says:

      The GOP will balance their operating budget as soon as they can find some poor people to : A) Quit feeding, B) Quit giving medical care to or C) Make homeless. Then you watch, all will be well.

      P.S. Who takes the GOP publicity photos, Glamour Shots?

  2. StraycatStrut says:

    Esme: Embarrassing, undisplined, failure, hangover, leaderless…. all words used in your blog on this article…… Ouch…. man you are rough! Gotta like it though…. probably all true in fact. Sooooo what do you have to say about your buddy B. Obama and his leadership? My point is….. is it any better?

    1. Me says:

      Apples and Oranges. One was a party role the other is POTUS. One is state; one is nation.

    2. molly says:

      My same thoughts when reading your blog Esme……how about your great Obama….where has his ‘leadership’ skills put us after 3 yrs??? talk about ‘failure’,,,,you need look no further than what we have in the White House. Pres. Obama and his cronies have destroyed our America. Can’t wait til hes gone!!!!!

      1. Won't be says:

        ’til 2016. Sorry.

      2. Well that's too bad says:

        Molly you have to quit watching Fox News. Everyone else’s America is doing just fine.

        Rightwing propaganda is too just too easy a racket these days. That’s why it draws such weak employees.

        1. Jen says:

          A “RACKET!” I’d call the mainstream media a “RACKET”. They are so heavy to the left it isn’t funny. If they were REAL news media and doing REAL reporting, they’d be more equitable in reporting both sides of the issue. FOX wouldn’t even have to exist if not for that.

          1. Like I said says:

            Way too easy.

  3. lookaroundyou says:

    Isn’t that the way GOPs operate turning a surplus into a deficit?? too bad they haven’t learned that when applied to themselves it could hurt them….believing their own words can be dangerous.

    1. I'm calling you a liar says:

      Are you a paid poster to mislead and misdirect? It was the democrats that spent 5 billion this state did not have by overriding a veto by then governor Pawlenty, but apparetnly facts do not matter to you. Note we were expected to have a billion dollar deficit again and due to bettter than expected employment numbers , we now have a surplus. So who exactly do you credit for this state surplus, since the republicans wrote the current budget?

      1. back at you liar says:

        The only veto ever overrode under Pawlenty’s was a gas tax. This was done just after the bridge fell down.

        1. Back at you liars liar says:

          apparently Wcco misrepresented or lied when Large Marge crammed the democrat budget deal down this states collective throat by over riding Governor Pawlenty’s veto. Imagine that, WCCO is as bad as Fox….

          1. gopigs as rocks says:

            Dumb as a box of rocks.Check your facts. The only time a pawlenty veto was over ridden was the gas tax. Like many gop backers you can’t handle the truth. Pawlenty triet to balance the budget by signing it and then ubnallocating, a maneuver deemed uncontitutional. Why do you guyshave so much trouble remembering facts?

      2. bs says:

        Surplus…, how much have you stolen from the schools in your ‘responsible’ budget again?

        1. I'm calling you a liar says:

          I neever called any govermnet budget responsible. Are we down to putting words in other peoples mouths so we can call them liars?

      3. Uhhhh says:

        The bulk of the surplus comes from savings as a result of Federal contributions to social service, especially health care. And it’s just for the current biennium.

        In the next biennium (2014-2015) there’s a looming $2 billion charge back in K-12 school aid payment shifts. Where did these come from?

        Ha!! That’s how Timmy balanced the budget in the last biennium. He kicked the can down down the road, so to speak, But at least he could say he balanced the budget!!

      4. The facts don't lie says:

        Under Governor Pawlenty, the democrats passed a balanced budget. Pawlenty then line item vetoed the funding but left in the spending – not surprising we later had a huge deficit. Ironically, the courts later ruled that Pawlenty’s actions were not legal.

  4. Richard says:

    You’re such a joke on your blog. Leave your partisanship at the door when you are reporting the news even if in your blog. Had the story been about your Progressive Party you would have put a positive spin on it. Be objective just once.

    1. LibIVever says:

      Facts are facts……

      1. Joe Jakubik says:

        Except on Faux News.

    2. Alan says:

      Richard, you’re such a joke in your comment. Leave your partisanship at the door when you’re reading a blog. Be objective just once.

  5. Scott Funk says:

    red, Esme Murphy looks nothing like the he/she Bono. If you don’t like what she’s reporting, make a massive donation to the Minnesota Republicans. What’s that? You’re broke like the rest of us? Why, fancy that! Wonder who’s been in control of MN lately, could it be the MN Republicans? Still wanna make that contribution, red?

  6. Alberto says:

    So when Sutton took office back in 2009, the MN GOP had a surplus of one million bucks. Then the GOP swept both houses on MN Congress in the 2010 elections and now in 2011, the GOP is broke. Hellooooooooooo Esme!!!!!!!!!!! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a good chunk of that money went to achieve the GOP’s victory. Couldn’t you figure that out Esme? Do your research before sticking your foot in your mouth.

    1. D'uh says:

      Wow, settle down there, Alberto. Of course Esme understands that. That’s kind of her point of this blog article.

    2. Not Just Broke says:

      The elections were over a year ago, and they’re still a half million in debt. Poor fund-raising? Poor financial management? Combination?

      Long and short is the state GOP is huge trouble for 2012. Absolutely huge.

    3. Paul Solinger says:

      Alberto, if they went in debt and have been unable to climb out of debt, why are we supposed to trust them with our tax dollars?

      1. Gregg says:

        Why are we suppose to trust them with our tax dollars? You shouldn’t trust anyone with your tax dollars, but at least the elected Republicans are not trying to throw your money down the toilet.

  7. Daryl says:

    Oh Esme, you bleeding heart Liberal… It takes dollars to beat the Dems, it will be replenisfed in a hurry, and it will happen again in 2012, Thanks to You! The liberal democrats eventuall figure out you can’t spen more than you make.
    Alberto is right on…

    1. Yeah!! says:

      And maybe Daryl will get spell-check for Christmas.

      1. marlis says:

        Yeah,thats funny!!!! Its amazing how so many people who comment have such poor grammer & spelling skills.

  8. Whitey Fjord says:

    I think the main problem here is that people expect Esme to have some kind of integrity. You have to remember she’s just a TV reporter, not a journalist. She doesn’t have to worry about facts or being impartial because it’s the sensationalism that she’s selling, not the facts. I’m not upset about this because I don’t take her or anyone else from the CC and O serious. They’re all a bunch of faces on the TV, no substance.

    1. Pina Colada says:

      But yet you’re here, reading ‘CCO.

    2. arejustthefactsthefacts says:

      Hey isn’t it a fact that your porcine little friend has spent you into debt?? denial, denial, denial…..

    3. Paul Solinger says:

      So, Whitey, exactly what did Esme say that was not factual? Unless you can answer that question, your entire post is baseless.

  9. gtV says:

    Regardless of the innuendo, name calling, and snide remarks regarding Tony Sutton and the MN GOP/T-Bag party just look at the end result. Yes, the ersatz GOP controls the MN Legislature but what have they accomplished–gridlock and political floundering of the legislative process.

    Are these the folks who promised a balanced workable state budget when their political party can’t keep their budget in check? Tony Sutton’s proverbial “falling on his sword” should be telling us something about the disarray and shambles the MN GOP is in. Where is the T-Party support now to support the GOP coattails they hitched a politic ride on?

    The MN GOP should reform itself and focus getting back to core traditional Republican political ideology and core Republican values. Yes, MN GOP has a history of being a maverick in mainstream GOP national politics. At present the present MN GOP is floundering in the political seas of extremism and skewed focus. What happens next remains to be seen.

  10. Michele says:

    gtV, I agree with your points. I’m a liberal, but it seems to me that when you count on the support of people who want something for nothing, you’re going to get, well, nothing.

    And the extremism scares me, on both sides. It’s important to remember that democracy can’t flourish in a one-party system.

    My problem with Sutton, is that he would speak in front of the cameras on MN House and Senate issues, with the GOP members standing behind him. He wasn’t an elected official. It just didn’t seem appropriate to me. Also, he just seemed mean.

    1. gtV says:

      Yes, Sutton would appear in front of the cameras with the usual elected GOP’ers behind him, however, having Sutton speak on their behalf looking ‘mean’ is MN political theatrics in motion. I guess the MN GOP doesn’t want to be portrayed as caring or benevolent. Remember, the majority gets who they vote for.

      As for political extremism in MN politics, this was bound to happen when the mood of the country/state became self-serving and greedy. Several notable historical and literary figures have stated, “Anarchy/Chaos prevails when good [folks] men do nothing.” You have only to look at history to see this point prevail in a civilization’s time.

      Part of Minnesota’s problem is that we lacked astute dynamic political leadership that looks beyond the present with a vision toward the future. Otherwise, shallow unfocused political governance, which deals only with present calamities or financial distresses, will never rise above the mundane and troubles we are now facing.

      The two party system really works when then the opposing sides earnestly and honestly come to a consensus the old fashioned way with lively expedient compromise, debate, discourse, and constituent input [in a timely manner] regarding legislation and tough issues. When the time comes to vote, especially on the difficult issues, stand firm, vote, and move on.

      The Governor is like the Captain of a capitol ship. He is in charge [command] of providing leadership and direction to his ship. If the opposing officers [Legislature] have some misgivings etc. about the state of the ship it’s their mandated duty to say so. The Captain takes this under advisement, makes his command decision with this information, and the ship moves on. If the Captain makes his decision against the advise of his officers [veto] then the beauty of the ship’s [state] Constitution supersedes if invoked [override]. Unfortunately, Minnesota isn’t politically or governing working that way.

      Party Chairpersons should be only administrators of their political parties not just, on camera, spokespersons for the elected political leadership positions. That’s the way forthright political leadership should function.

      What has happened to the MN GOP and the way they operate is a good example of supposedly Republican politicians forgetting what it means to be truly a traditional classical Republican without the extremism which permeates American Politics. Sutton, by default and administration, fell victim to this American political malady.

      1. Sally says:

        They just don’t get union dues or things would be fine.

  11. TL the alligator says:

    the REPUBLICAN party owes all this money?….well then everybody EXPECTS that the party will honor their debts and pay them promptly because they are all about money and honor and integrity……..RIGHT?

  12. Rush says:

    Broke and leaderless… Are we talking about the GOP or are we talking about WCCO? Balanced facts only please Esmay.

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      Think about it! WCCO is just the messenger delivering the bad news. How do you balance facts when the MN political scene is in such a dismal shambles? Does anyone in the know really know what is happening? Do you? If you don’t get in front of the camera and tell us wise political guru!

      1. Rusher says:

        Cco has been in dire straits for three or so years. Two years the hired a reorg/legal team. The internet has hury them and other news outlets, especially in the midwest. You won’t see any of their higher paid news readers (Shelby) or anyone with a large contract (the weather guy Paul). Those day’s are gone. Now it’s survival. Look who’s reading the news now. A 90% cut in news reader salaries.

  13. cas says:

    The headline says it all…

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      DITTO!–“cas” right on!

  14. Bob 2 says:

    The current GOPEE situation mirrors 8 years of T-Pawnomics..It’s another
    example of trickle down enonomics (down your leg). Guess they have to
    tax the big donors…

  15. It's always the case says:

    I think the MARKET has sent a major message to the GOP. God bless the MARKET. The MARKET always is omnicient.

  16. Jake says:

    I’ll bet that esme is breaking out the champagne right now, couldn’t have received a better Christmas (OOOPS, I mean holiday) present. Enjoy it while you can esme, including the hangover.

  17. A Voter says:

    If I didn’t know better I would say Ali was in office, Obama is the Greatest!
    He’s far better than George W. Bush Jr. who got us into this mess to begin with.
    Bush didn’t learn a thing from his communist buddies in Russia who went broke fighting a war in the middle east, and his will break us if we don’t end it soon.

    1. Gregg says:

      Didn’t Obama shoot one of Ali’s defenders in the face? Didn’t Bush liberate an entire country in the Middle East?

    2. Gregg says:

      Doesn’t Obama have Communist advisors in the White House? How many Czars are world renown Socialist? If your going to vote for one side or the other at least know which side is promoting Socialism and which is supporting Capitalism.

    3. Gregg says:

      Excercise for you: How much did Bush spend on wars? How much has Obama spent on wars? Now subtract the cost of the wars and ask how much more has Obama spent/wasted (or given to his rich donors) than all the presidents before him combined?

  18. tan pup says:

    Oh, people, can’t you see, he ate all the money. E-gads what a hunka hunka buring GOP love! What a joke he is; “Oh, my incompetence broke the GOP”, now I will run away like a scared little rat B patsy. Jump ship when it gets tough! Yes, he should resign (or slightly slither away) and while he is at it, get a hold of Jenny Craig, she needs a new spoksperson or if he gets bored, have him go on the Biggest Loser. OMG wouldn’t that be great – a entire season of the Biggest Loser – Polititians – it would be the greatest reality show EVER. All these fat ex-politians competing to be the Biggest Loser! I can’t stop laughing thinking about it.

  19. Deep Thinker says:

    I would still trust Tony Sutton over the prior Republican chairperson (Ron Carey) Carey was ineffective and a pathetic liar, but he sure had a nice tan, I guess you can do that when you don’t spend much of your time in Minnesota, even if you are the Republican Chairperson….Goodbye Tony Sutton, I wish you well…..Ron Carey, I hope you choke on your completely undeserved ego

  20. Sue J says:

    Esme, Wow never thought you would go this far to the left. Are the ratings still dropping at WCCO so you had to write this? Where are you standards?

    1. larry says:

      Esme has always been a far left liberal and it is one of the big reasons for CCO’s drop in ratings. viewers take her liberal bias reporting/blogs with a heavy ‘grain of salt’ (I do)

  21. ??????? says:

    Kind of funny. Here is the onl mterial fact – a guy resigned. Um do we know he did b/c of any financial issues? nope. we do not – at least not from this story. So anything else is just dicta. Maybe he got a better job. Maybe he was about to get fired for some undisclosed reason totally unrelated to finances. In fact abrupt resignations are common in this scenario. Unless we KNOW, the rest is speculation.

    1. DFL means DumbFukinLibs says:

      Excellent point

      And I only visit this site for the weather… the story headline flashed as I was clicking the weather and got me here…..

      1. Uh huh says:

        Couldn’t have been you clicked the wrong link. Naw!! Yer a rightie! Too smart fer that, eh?

        DumbFukinLibs?? Hyuck. Boy is that not clever or what?

    2. Brucie says:

      He is going to be a glitterer. You can tell by the way he poses.

  22. Don says:

    Pretty simple, he spent all the money on a recount. 18.5 million dollars wasted.

  23. Gregg says:

    Republicans “who like to tout themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility” vs the Democats who would never and could never claim that. WOW, there’s plenty of details missing many of which are still unknown.

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