Republicans hold a narrow majority in the Minnesota state senate. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka poses only a slight impediment to Governor Tim Walz’s one-man rule, but it is too much for Walz. Yesterday the senate refused to confirm incumbent Labor Commissioner Nancy Leppink and therefore sent her packing, obviously out of frustration with Walz’s continued high-handedness. A senior administration official sent Minnesota Reformer’s Patrick Coolican this ad hominem statement about Senator Gazelka on Governor Walz’s behalf:
Minnesotans will remember Nancy Leppink as a badass woman who fought like hell to protect the health and safety of working people during a pandemic until her final day in office. Minnesotans will remember Paul Gazelka’s final days as Senate majority leader as a crisis of character on public display. A man who prided himself on his principals, a penchant for business and labor, and his prized relationship with the governor, chose to flush it all down the toilet in a manic, brazen attempt to appease a band of angry, mask-less men who couldn’t stand losing the spotlight to actual public servants. At this point, the only living organism voting for Senate Republicans and their flat-earth strategy in November is, in fact, the coronavirus.
This incoherent rant only discredits Governor Walz, who never tires of reminding us of his days as a high school teacher. Despite the huffing and puffing, it doesn’t lay a finger on Senator Gazelka. It’s almost funny that Walz’s flack confuses “principals” with “principles,” or doesn’t know the difference. In its own way, this particular confusion explains a lot.