Now that Tom Bakk and David Tomassoni have made it official that they’re leaving the DFL, I can finally write about the move. The article opened by saying “In a startling political development, two longtime Minnesota DFL senators announced Wednesday they are leaving the Minnesota Senate DFL Caucus to form a new ‘Independent Caucus.'”

The article continues, saying “Sen. Tom Bakk of Cook, a senator since 2003 and former DFL candidate for governor and former DFL Senate Majority leader, and Sen. Dave Tomassoni of Chisholm, a senator since 2001, say their move is designed to become more bipartisan and moderate.” This move isn’t unpredictable. When the DFL ran pro-mining Erik Simonson out in the primary by a 73%-27% margin, the DFL sent the unmistakable signal that pro-mining legislators weren’t welcome in the DFL anymore.

Shortly after that, 5 formerly Iron Range DFL mayors endorsed President Trump. Eventually 9 former DFL mayors endorsed him. In the general election, Sen. Bakk won with only 55% of the vote, the tightest race of his career. At that point, Bakk and Tomassoni didn’t have a reason to stick with the DFL. The DFL rejected the Iron Range’s way of life, which meant their cities couldn’t support themselves anymore.

Imagine being told that being a loyal soldier for 20 years just wasn’t enough, that your constituents’ way of life had to be shut down. Tom Bakk and David Tomassoni don’t have to imagine that. That’s what just happened to them. This segment captured things perfectly:

Now it appears there was much more to that move because both Bakk and Tomassoni will get committee chairmanships. Those positions can only be appointed by Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka.

In an update Wednesday morning, Gazelka stated, “Being a graduate of high school in Virginia, MN, I have a natural connection to the Range. I’ve worked across the aisle with Senators Bakk and Tomassoni for 10 years. I welcome their announcement and the stronger alignment we will have as a result. We share the same vision of a prosperous Iron Range and will continue to work with them to fight for jobs on the Range.”

This hurts the DFL immensely because it didn’t happen in a vacuum. These defections follow Collin Peterson getting thrashed by Michelle Fischbach in CD-7. When it comes to CD-7, Peterson was the DFL’s entire bench. The DFL isn’t getting Peterson’s seat back in the next decade, at minimum. It’s becoming clear that the DFL is the urban party. Further, the DFL can’t escape the fact that they’re the extremist party.

The DFL mayor of Minneapolis let his city get destroyed by rioters. The DFL Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. Last week, that same City Council voted 7-6 to spend $500,000 through the end of the year on extra policing to protect against the violent crime that, predictably, skyrocketed after the dismantling vote. That outcome was predictable because officers retired, left or took medical leave after the riots.

The DFL has lots of things to figure out before the next election. If they don’t figure things out, 1 of 2 things will happen. Either Tim Walz will fight with a unified GOP legislature or a Republican governor will work with a unified GOP legislature to restore sanity to the state.

3 Responses to “Putting the Tom Bakk-David Tomassoni switch into perspective”

  • J. Ewing says:

    The one other thing that has to happen is that we have to reform our election laws and force everybody to actually follow them. Getting rid of Ellison and Simon won’t help because the damage they will do to the 2022 elections will already be done, and they probably will engineer their own win with their corruption.

  • Gary Gross says:

    I’ll have more on election reform soon. This is something that we must prioritize ASAP!!!

  • eric z says:

    Gary, we await. Do not leave a rock unturned; especially at the level of spending allowed to happen; how the money is raised and where the money goes then; the strings attached; and who has the knives and forks on the table, wanting to feast, in DC big law firms and smaller media boutiques, each owning a share. The creepy ads; the ominous toned voiceovers; the entire BS industry.

    Security of the ballot box is well downstream from that more basic perspective of what it’s allowed to be about.

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