This is a guest opinion piece written by Alex Kharam
Gov. Mark Dayton shocked no one when he appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Flint Smith to replace the disgraced sexual predator Democrat Sen. Al Franken.
Smith has previously served as Governor Dayton’s Chief of Staff before replacing Yvonne Prettner Solon as the Lieutenant Governor. The world was laughing when Prime Minister Medvedev and President Putin would appoint each other to leadership roles in Russia. Now people can laugh at Minnesota Democrats for not even attempting to find a qualified person.
My friend and Alpha News Sunday Columnist John Gilmore took a somber approach that next year Minnesota will be stuck with a do-nothing senator Amy Klobuchar and the head of the Minnesota Democrat Party machine Tina Smith representing them in US Senate. We all should appreciate unfiltered discussion and analysis. While I often find myself in agreement with John, I am much more optimistic about Minnesota’s chances.
Let’s start with Amy Klobuchar. Fake liberal astroturf groups like “Indivisible” have been harassing Freshman Congressman Jason Lewis for not giving them enough time to yell at him. They are even going to his private residence. They must have forgotten that for over a decade Amy Klobuchar has not even attempted to hold a major public forum in Minnesota.
In a time where terrorist groups are committing and inspiring violent massacres, Minnesotan’s want a little more out of their Senator then sharing the latest hotdish recipe. With no explanation, the Minnesota Mainstream Media has labeled Klobuchar “moderate.” This label is laughable since her lifetime voting record is more liberal than Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Minnesotan’s showed that while Hilary Clinton barely won Minnesota, they sent a clear message that the Amy Klobuchar/Hilary Clinton “I don’t have a strong opinion on any particular issue” politician is not our cup of tea anymore.
Minnesotans have a long history of splitting ballots. Let’s take a suburban city like Edina. They elected Republican State Rep Dario Anselmo, Democrat State Senator Melisa Franzen, Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen, and voted for Democrat Hilary Clinton. Additionally, Minnesota is one of the few states to have rejected both parties by electing Jesse Ventura.
Every candidate will have positives and negatives. It’s true that if Governor Pawlenty runs for elected office again, including for US Senate, he will need to answer questions about his work in DC, as well assure the Trump base that he is an acceptable choice.
However, Tim Pawlenty has a record as an executive, is well versed on the issues, and has built enough coalitions to win two statewide elections in three-way races. He is rightfully considered the most conservative Minnesota Governor in Minnesota’s recent history.
Same with State Senator Karin Housley. While she is not currently a candidate, she does have a record that she has to defend as a state senator. However, both of these people are vastly more qualified then Tina Smith.
Karin Housley has built an incredibly successful real estate career, is a published author and built a reputation as a tireless and outgoing person when it comes to constituent services. Tina Smith has none of those characteristics.
In fact, unlike Pawlenty and Karin Housley, Tina Smith has nothing to showcase as voters begin to learn about her.
Tina Smith’s most significant accomplishment was being the VP of Planned Parenthood. That job mostly consisted of figuring out ways to bring in taxpayer money to accomplish its primary mission of providing abortion services. Even many people who are sympathetic to abortion rights will find Tina Smith’s rigid support for taxpayer funding of even late-term abortion problematic.
Additionally, she has been very quiet on the issues except to promote bizarre taxes on the middle class like an increase in the sales and gas tax.
A far left activist might like the fact that she was a campaign manager for Walter Mondale, but in a time where approval of the Federal Legislature is at an all-time low, this provides a perfect opportunity to contrast new leadership vs. a leftist political staffer.
Republicans have a chance to be aggressive and take advantage of the political realignment that Donald Trump’s campaign created. This is not about running fancy TV ads, but instead educating the public directly on how Democrats Amy Klobuchar and appointed US Senator Tina Smith are more focused on embarrassing Trump and winning an election in a swing US district then actually accomplishing anything of note for Minnesota residents.
Its all hands on deck, but Republicans would be very wrong to waste this opportunity to send a new voice to US Senate.
Alex Kharam is the executive director of the Freedom Club (MakeMNRed) and also serves on the board of Alpha News