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PIM has officially endorsed Tony Sutton to be the next chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party.

Let’s be perfectly clear about something: I don’t have an axe to grind with Mr. Sutton. I think he’s done a great job straightening out the mess Ron Carey left him. Tony deserves our thanks for straightening out that mess.

I don’t consider the fact that he’s done a great job straightening out Ron Carey’s mess to be a qualification for being State Party Chairman. After talking with a number of activists about Mr. Sutton, I’m worried that he doesn’t have the requisite communications skills. I haven’t seen proof, either, that Mr. Sutton won’t devote too many resources to top-of-the-ticket candidates.

That’s a major red flag with me!!!

The Carey years produced a top-down mentality. Honest people readily admit that that model put our party years behind the DFL. Nothing I’ve heard about Mr. Sutton suggests that he doesn’t share that mentality. More importantly, nothing suggests that he’d correct that problem. Based on my interview of Mr. Thompson, I’m totally certain that he doesn’t share that top-down mentality. Based on my interview of him, I’m confident that Dave Thompson is committed to correcting those problems.

That’s the biggest reason why I enthusiastically endorsed Dave Thompson.

Another question I have is whether Tony Sutton has the public presence that’s required of state political party chairmen. I DON’T HAVE THAT QUESTION with Dave Thompson. Dave’s got that department down in spades. In fact, that’s another major strength of Mr. Thompson’s.

Put differently, I want Dave Thompson speaking for conservatives, especially when he’s on stage with Brian Melendez. As an activist, I demand that our state party chairman has the obvious gravitas needed to go toe-to-toe with Brian Melendez or to ridicule Margaret Anderson-Kelliher’s policies. I demand a heavyweight in that office.

I know that Dave Thompson fits that description.

Another thing that impressed me about Dave is his commitment to consistently making the best arguments on the most important issues of the day. I’m tired of the daily tit-for-tat noise that passes for MNGOP communications. THAT’S GOTTA STOP ASAP!!!

In my interview with him, Dave Thompson promised that it would end, then offered proof that it would end if he’s elected as the state party chairman. In fact, looking back on the interview, Dave Thompson re-inforced that principle numerous times.

I really take exception to Sarah’s article. Specifically, I take exception to this statement:

Thompson knows nothing of the nuts and bolts work it takes to run a political party and elect candidates.

Based on my extensive interview with him, I’m totally confident Dave Thompson knows what “it takes to run a political party and elect candidates.” During our interview, Dave spoke about the need to stay in contact with the BPOUs throughout the state. Dave spoke about recruiting appealing conservatives for every legislative district in the state. Dave spoke about the need to stay in contact with conservatives on the Iron Range and with conservatives in northwest Minnesota.

I also thought Sarah’s use of this line was a cheap stunt:

I’m betting Thompson drops out shortly, too.

This is the equivalent of a reporter asking a presidential candidate if he’d consider his chief rival as a running mate. It’s a statement that’s intended to tell GOP activists not to take Dave Thompson’s candidacy seriously. It’s an old political tactic that serious conservative activists should instantly and wholeheartedly reject. It’s a statement that Ms. Janacek needs to apologize to Dave Thompson for.

Finally, I’ve gained a reputation for thinking outside the box. It’s a reputation I’m proud of. In my opinion, outside-the-box thinkers connect with people. Next-in-line people don’t. Our presidential ticket was proof of that.

John McCain needed Sarah Palin at his side so there’d be a detectable pulse at his events. If she wouldn’t have been there, he would’ve been written off the day after the convention.

Tony Sutton has loyally served our party. For that, we should thank him. Dave Thompson has the gravitas and the star power to be the best state party chairman in recent history.

Should we vote for the next-in-line candidate or should we vote for the candidate with gravitas and star power? That isn’t a difficult decision.

Voting yes for Dave Thompson is the best way to rebuild the Minnesota Republican Party and restore it to full health.

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