Beating the air for Dario | Steve Timmer photo
by Steve Timmer
Aug 25, 2014, 11:00 AM

Waiting for Dario, question 5

Here’s question number five posed to Dario Anselmo months ago now and still unanswered (you can read some of the others here):

In 2008, then and current local representative, Ron Erhardt, voted to override the governor’s veto of a gasoline tax increase. Would you have done that?

This vote was the last straw for the local Republicans; they threw Rep. Erhardt out of the Republican Party as a result, in favor of all people, Keith Downey. (It was bad enough that Rep. Erhardt was pro-choice.) It didn’t matter to the Republicans than increased transportation funding was (and still is) badly needed.

Downey is the chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, a sinecure he was awarded after he decided to move over to the Minnesota Senate when Geoff Michel, the Deputy, decided not to run for for another term — wisely, I might add — and was drubbed by Melisa Franzen in 2012.

Downey has had a time of it the last couple of years, all right, probably starting when he became Kurt Bill campaign co-chair when Bills was the RPM candidate against Amy Klobuchar last cycle.

It frankly escapes me why the RPM thought thirty-points Downer (eclipsing twenty-points Shortridge) would be a good choice for party chair. But I, for one, am glad they did.

Keith Downey also produced a Republican state convention that just keeps on giving. He orchestrated a gubernatorial endorsement where the best man abandoned the groom at the altar, which left the convention with a dubious quorum to endorse the cash-starved Johnson, while remaining delegates (and perhaps Downey himself) threw and stomped on Seifert signs and muttered dark oaths about him; and if that is not enough, a convention that produced Michelle MacDonald, candidate for Supreme Court.

Downey had done everything except order a hit on on MacDonald — but hey, it’s early — while publicly saying that she is the party’s candidate. The party did make a “formal offer” to MacDonald to resign her endorsement, which Downey initially denied being part of. When she didn’t take it and showed up at the RPM booth at the state fair anyway, she was escorted out by two “conflict resolution experts.” “Conflict resolution expert” is Republican for “goon.”

The laughable reason for barring MacDonald from the RPM booth is the best part, though; according to a new rule a candidate with a pending criminal charge can’t appear. If we performed a forensic analysis on this bill of attainder, Keith Downey’s fingerprints would surely be found.

Let’s hope a visiting Rick Perry, or even maybe a Scott Walker, doesn’t show up!

“Where are the conflict resolution experts?” shouts Downey.

This is admittedly a little far afield from the gas tax. But it has been fun, hasn’t it?

Anyway, the same BPOU that picked the judgment-addled Downer have picked Dario Anselmo as the person they want  to replace Ron Erhardt.


Update: Here’s more about hometown Republican boy-hero answering questions about Michelle McDonald:

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