The MinnPost gave Cyndy Brucato, former Republican sycophant news reader at Hubbardistan and now Republican sycophant media flak at Brucato and Halliday, a chance to interview hockey dad and candidate for governor, Tom Emmer.
One of the best parts of the interview was this:
Emmer gave a nod to Cullen Sheehan, campaign manager by his side during the interview. "I've learned from people who've been doing this for a long time to maybe be more disciplined," he said. "But I also know who I am and I think what I've learned over the past several months is the personality that I have — that's the thing I have to be more disciplined about so my personality doesn't overwhelm somebody before they receive and process the message."
During the interview, Sheehan nervously fingered the button on the remote control for the shock collar that Emmer was wearing.
Yes, they’re learning to keep the outer Emmer under wraps!
You see, people are turned off by Emmer the bully before they can process Emmer the lightweight.
Brucato, um, reports:
Behind the scenes at the Minnesota Legislature, Emmer gets generally high marks from lobbyists who seem bemused at Emmer's Papa Grizzly image.
I’m sure the MCCL and guys like Tom Pritchard love him. His fellow legislators? Well, maybe not so much:
Former Republican state Rep. Ron Erhardt was working in his office in the Minnesota state Capitol in 2008 when fellow GOP Rep. Tom Emmer and several others walked in. Erhardt had a good idea why they were there: He was one of the Republicans who were likely to vote with the DFL majority to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto of a $6.6 billion transportation bill that included a nickel-a-gallon gas tax increase. Erhardt helped draft the legislation.
Emmer, at the time a rising star in the party and a deputy minority leader, sat across from the nine-term lawmaker and took the lead. He told Erhardt that if he voted with the DFL, life “wouldn’t be easy” and he would lose his privileges from the House Republican caucus, Erhardt recalled. At that point, Erhardt got upset.
“I asked him, ‘What are you going to do about my secretary? Are you going to take her away too?’” he said. “Then I told him to get the hell out of my office and put that in writing.” That same day, Emmer paid a visit to the other five Republican House members who ultimately helped Democrats override the veto, Erhardt said. Many received similar threats.
Emmer, now the GOP nominee for governor of Minnesota, has earned a reputation over his three terms at the Legislature as an abrasive lawmaker, even with members of his own caucus. Neil Peterson, a former GOP House representative who also voted with Democrats on the transportation bill, remembers a similar meeting with Emmer, calling him “the enforcer.”
“He is the hockey defenseman who likes to check people on the boards and crack them, Republican or not,” Peterson said.
Those are the opening grafs of a recent post at Politics in Minnesota. As PIM reports, though, Mark Buesgens really likes him for his style. That’s probably why Cullen Sheehan is Emmer’s campaign manager, with his finger on the button, and not Buesgens.
Emmer tells Brucato that he would be bi-partisan as a governor. Please. Emmer can’t even get along with the people in his own caucus. He’d be a catastrophic bully as governor; here’s more from PIM:
The divide between Emmer’s group [after Emmer resigned as deputy minority leader] and the rest of the caucus only grew wider. On the House floor, Emmer and his allies were sometimes openly combative toward moves by the leadership, a Republican caucus member said, and would offer amendments to bills that went against the “mainstream” of the group. “He lost and so he kind of just took his toys and left,” the representative said. “He stormed out of the caucus and stopped helping out the team.”
In the Brucato interview, Emmer also claims to get good marks for his legislative acumen. That seems pretty silly, in view of the PIM article.
And as we have also documented many times here, Emmer has tried to take a legislative axe to federalism on several occasions, on health care, light bulbs, the application of federal law in the first instance, depriving Minnesota citizens of access to the federal courts, guns, and the list goes on.
Each of these bills, a frontal attack on legal doctrine in most cases two hundred years old, is one or two pages long. Very thoughtful, eh? His playing Baghdad Bob on the budget issue is also well known.
But perhaps the most important question of all is this: who let Cyndy Brucato interview Tom Emmer for MinnPost?
Post Script: Tom Emmer wasn’t really wearing a shock collar at the interview with Cyndy; not a physical one, anyway. I made that up. But you can be sure Cullen Sheehan had his finger on some kind of button.
Politics in Minnesota photo from the linked article