Pat Shortridge, MNGOP Chair (
by Steve Timmer
Oct 22, 2012, 8:30 PM

Stamping out pockets of resistance

No siree! We ain’t goin’ dere. Won’t be endorsin’ no judicial candidates!

That was the Republican state convention in May. Tick tock tick tock . . .

But now, Pat “Twenty Points” Shortridge is dealing with insurrectionists:

In May, our state GOP convention expressly decided not to endorse any statewide judicial candidate in 2012,” Chairman Pat Shortridge wrote in an email. “Some in our party continue to refuse to accept this fact, a source of growing frustration for us and the members of the State Executive Committee.”

Shortridge was responding to another email, from Bonn Clayton, who sent a link to an online voters’ guide that Shortridge said implied Republican support for some judicial candidates. The official party voters’ guide includes candidates’ resumes and short statements, but does not take sides.

The Republican platform indicates that the party supports endorsing candidates, but delegates opted against that this year.

Who is Bonn Clayton? Well, among the people he is not is the “Convener, Judicial District Republican Chairs, Republican Party of Minnesota,” as he claims.

There are good reasons for parties not to endorse judicial candidates. It invites a partisan free for all (like Texas or Wisconsin) for a position, that above all others, should not be partisan.

The DFL platform does not advocate the endorsement of judges, nor has the DFL ever done it. Its previous chair, Brian Melendez, was dead set against it, and I suspect that Ken Martin, the current chair, is, too, although I haven’t spoken to him directly about it.

But Pat, I’m sorry to say you missed one in your efforts to stamp out the pockets of resistance. Here’s part of the MNGOP District 42B sample ballot:

To help you find it, Pat, here’s District 42B.

The funny thing is that the endorsements are for two fringe candidates running against two Pawlenty appointees. How did this happen? Did the 42B convention really endorse Tinglestad (who runs every election) and Griffith? How did this escape the attention of Shortridge? Did 42B sue for free agency?

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