MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The coming year that is 2012 should be a banner one for Republicans. But in Minnesota the party faithful have to be reeling, wondering how their leaders could have let them down at so many levels.
The shocking revelation that Majority Leader Sen. Amy Koch stepped down from her leadership position because of an “inappropriate relationship” with a staffer is made even worse because Koch in her initial statements suggested she was making the move for family reasons.
Then came the arrest this week of Brandon Sawalich, the heir apparent to head the state GOP party. The airport police have since said Sawalich deserved only a ticket, not an arrest, for his expired tabs, but he has still stepped out of the race for GOP Chair. Sawalich was considered the favorite to replace Chairman Tony Sutton who resigned just weeks ago amidst internal concerns over the party’s $500,000 in debts.
Also this week came the report that Joe Arwood, one of the candidates hoping to run against Sen. Amy Klobuchar, has a conviction from 2005 for bringing a loaded gun to the MSP airport.
Minnesota Republicans swept to legislative control of the House and Senate in 2010 because of a disciplined campaign that identified and turned out every possible GOP voter. But the bungling from the top down will need some quick fixes if the GOP hopes to retain legislative control in 2012.
With a shaky economy and the President’s declining popularity, a lot of people figured the only way Republicans could lose in 2012 is if they beat themselves. In Minnesota, at a lot of levels, they are doing a good job trying.