Tough response from Walz world after Senate Republicans dump labor commissioner

    Photo courtesy of Minnesota History Center.

    Senate Republicans fed some red meat to the restive base Wednesday by declining to confirm Labor Commissioner Nancy Leppink. Unable to muster the votes to overturn Walz’s emergency powers in the House, this is the only leverage they have. They’ve only confirmed two Walz commissioners, so they can keep doing this. Max Nesterak reporting. They say Leppink has been too confrontational with business. 

    A senior administration official sent me this quote about Senate Majority Paul Gazelka: 

    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.

    I mean, wow. 

    A funny little sideline, when House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said the quiet part out loud (“Looks like the Senate is executing a hostage today”) he was scolded by his (let me check my notes here) Sunday school teacher, who said it was her great regret that he didn’t learn kindness. Here’s his response:  

    I’m actually a very kind person.  There was a young mom and her daughter in front of me at Walmart a couple weeks ago who’s card was declined and while she was scrambling to figure out what to do I paid $60 for her groceries.

    OK. Maybe just put the phone down next time.

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    J. Patrick Coolican
    J. Patrick Coolican is Editor-in-Chief of Minnesota Reformer. Previously, he was a Capitol reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five years, after a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and time at the Las Vegas Sun, Seattle Times and a few other stops along the way. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and toddler son.