Last Thursday I had a chance to sit down with Scott Honour who is running for Governor. I will say that in the one on one setting he is much more impressive than his performance at the #mngovforum. But, at this point in the game, I am not sold on him being the best Republicanto go up against Dayton as “our” candidate.
I have struggled with writing this post. I have only met Mr. Honour this one time, but I think his right hand campaign man, Pat Shortridge is one of the smartest operatives in Republican politics and his stamp of approval on a candidate is more trustworthy than anyone else in Minnesota. But I think he got this one wrong. Its not that Honour isn’t a great successful guy. Its not personal, this is business.
I feel it would be a failure on my part not to opine about the drought stricken grassroots of the MNGOP and the urgency members need to have in saving the party, movement, and state. I have been trying to leave public criticism to others, but I guess I was inspired to start “caring” enough to speak up publicly again.
My general concerns about the race in general can be found in a post I wrote in January. “Where Is That Army of Davids? The Era of Hyphenated Republicans”
Here are a couple of the items I took away from my sit down with Honour.
On “abiding by the endorsement” Honour is still not sure and will assess that at a later date. I asked him that if one of his current competitors (Johnson, Thompson, or Zellers) won the endorsement if he’d feel compelled to go to the Primary. He responded that he got in the race because of the rumored candidates he didn’t see someone he could get behind so he jumped in. He did mention he would consider them all for running mates.
One big thing I was curious about was about a possible heated exchange with a BPOU on gun rights. I’d heard that Honour supported restrictions on gun rights and it didn’t sit well with a GOP group. That is not true, it was US Senate candidate Mike MacFadden. Honour is a member of the NRA.
On the donation to Al Gore: Honour said that he did that for a friend, but he also pointed out that he gave twice as much to George W. Bush. Yes, everyone makes mistakes I guess.
One glaring thing that was clear to me was the self-proclaimed benefit of being inexperienced is actually a huge problem for Honour. If he says “If it makes sense…” he may not actually know anything about the issue. I’m not sure it would be ‘on the job training’ for Honour, but he doesn’t seem to have done the homework on what ails the state of Minnesota enough to speak to the details. That is something you have to do to get elected.
Does that mean he is not smart enough to understand the problems? Not at all. But speaking as someone who has been in the trenches of the conservative movement for years and years, I am concerned he is only now rolling up his sleeves and may not have the full view of how bad things are.
One example is when I asked him about rail transit. After some discussion, I honed in on one of my pet peeves -Northstar, and asked if he would cut funding to kill something that is losing tens of millions a year just to operate? It was almost as if he had never heard of Northstar or how big a failure it was. He said he needed to be sure my numbers weren’t rhetoric and he’d have to look and see if it makes sense.
An answer like this is pretty much a disqualifier for me. I don’t know how you can run for Minnesota Governor as someone who wants to fix things, and not already know about one glaring example of failure that MNDOT and Metro Transit are. Billions and billions wasted, no vision, and no accountability.
In my opinion, the Republican candidate for Governor can’t be timid and overly calculating to the point that they fail to capitalize on the campaign spotlight to educate Minnesotans on the failures of the Nannystate DFL approach. Honour failed to prove to me that he has already looked into the widely published failure of Northstar and LRT is the perfect example.
We don’t need someone who “will look into” what we on the right are concerned with stopping, it if he gets elected. People have already looked into the DFL mess and not just MNDOT and rail. Education, health care, regulatory, the green energy ponzi schemes, and so on – have all been looked into. Conservative think tanks and interest groups have done the research, been in the trenches fighting against the liberal agenda.
Another item that
Honour and his campaign chief Shortridge pointed to as a way to impress folks is that he headed up the Romney campaign in Minnesota last year. In my head I say, “what campaign?” How’d the National Delegate thing go? Where was the state operation until the national plan fell apart and we got the last minute barrage of radio and TV ads and an airport rally? Unless I was not privy to the details during my time as CD6 GOTV Coordinator, I didn’t see any sign of a Minnesota based Romney campaign so I am not so sure I would brag.
Here is a website they pointed out: MinnesotaMitt.com
Neither Scott nor I talked about his heading the Romney campaign.
There’s a growing fear of many, both high and low level activists, in the Republican Party that think being a real conservative is bad. You hear the term “electable” being thrown out in the Governor’s race. Like maybe we just need someone not so conservative, but electable, which to me means ‘not so willing to fight for our shared principles’. Because there is no need to say electable conservative if you truly are a conservative. Electability and conservative are 2 different measures of a candidate
They think, and are good at convincing activists of this, that the reason we lost the last couple statewide elections is that we just had a bad candidate at the top of the ticket, or that they were just too conservative. Again, the left in Minnesota will attack anyone with an “R” behind their name on a ballot. Its what they do. Its high time we stop being afraid of what we really stand for.
Honour has an impressive private sector resume and if all I wanted was a guy to look through the state books and either make some recommendations or unilaterally slash and cut, he’d be a great choice. But that’s not how this works. This isn’t venture capitalism, this isn’t buying and selling a company. This business is politics. There are countless people who would be great Governors, but few can get elected.
This post was not intended to disqualify Scott Honour from being Governor, so for those of you in the print media reading this, you’ll have to get your talking points from Alida Messenger again.
Scott Honour has a pulse and his philosophy appears to align closer to me than Dayton and the DFL from what little I can tell. He is a virtual unknown and new to politics, so there isn’t a record to prove or disprove his stances. He may sit well with you that he hasn’t been a member in the Legislature or on talk radio, but to me, that also means he has never had to prove what he says he believes.
If he is the Republican candidate, then he will be my candidate. But we aren’t there yet.