Its no secret that I can’t stand Marty Seifert and his antics. I haven’t tried to hide it because I think he displays everything that is wrong with politicians and is not worthy of holding let alone seeking public office. Before the convention in Rochester, I thought he was one of the most selfish candidates around who was willing to do and say anything to help himself no matter the effects on the Republican Party. After Rochester, I feel 150% proven right that Marty Seifert is a Despicable Republican.
After his 2010 endorsement loss, Seifert disappeared for the next 3 years. He only popped up again when his 2014 campaign needed to get started. His dishonest entry into the 2013 State Central Committee straw poll was just the beginning. He organized a write in campaign but claimed he had nothing to do with it. The hints of the same old Marty were clear to people like me.
As the 2014 endorsing campaign dragged out, the same old Seifert was back. Sure he claimed he was a new man and his old tactics were behind him. He blamed his 2010 negative campaign tactics on consultants and his absence from Party politics was due to his job. But he was still spreading lies and misleading Delegates about his opponents and his absence was clearly more about not bothering to help since his name wasn’t on the ballot in 2010 or 2012. His selfishness consumes him.
After witnessing Seifert’s 2014 campaign up to this convention, all of my reservations towards Seifert were confirmed and I still couldn’t stand him or imagine him as the endorsed Republican candidate for Governor. But somehow Seifert managed to make me hate him even more with what he did at the end of the convention.
I went into the convention a supporter of Dave Thompson and Michelle Benson. We fought a long and hard race over the last year. After the 3rd ballot it was clear that it could be a long day and we could have dragged it out so that there wouldn’t be an endorsement. But Team Thompson knew that was not going to be good for the party. We needed an endorsement and Jeff Johnson was worthy of it.
If you heard Sen. Osmek describe the back room happenings while waiting for the 3rd ballot results on Up and At ‘Em this morning, there was a roar in the Thompson War Room, and then Dave emerged with tears in his eyes. I was in that room. We cheered and thanked Dave, Michelle, and their families for fighting a good fight, but for also doing what was right for the party.
I immediately went up to a friend of mine on the Johnson campaign and said, “OK, get me a red shirt.” His eyes nearly popped out of his head and he barged into their war room and dug through boxes to find one for me. I threw it on and went out onto the floor as Dave Thompson took the stage. My headset off, tears in my eyes, it was now time for us to unite behind Johnson. It was time to do what was right for the party.
Dave Thompson gave a concession speech that made me realize that I had been helping the right guy to this point because in the end of the day it was never about Dave or Michelle, it was about us as a party. Thompson withdrew and endorsed Jeff Johnson.
But then Marty Seifert did something despicable.
On the third ballot, Seifert had about 27 percent of the vote. Instead of withdrawing as Thompson did, Seifert told the crowd he would be competing in the primary.
He also said his delegates were free to go home.
“Instead of dragging things out, taking your time, keeping you here, I am going to decide that my delegates can be released to go home and go get your sleep,” Seifert said.
Critics said the tactic was meant to shut down the convention without an endorsement.
“Out of respect for you, the delegates, I’m here to say, ‘that was uncalled for,’” said party chair Keith Downey minutes after Seifert made his speech.
Seifert did try to block the endorsement by telling his people to leave. I has Seifert staffers pass by me telling their supporters not to vote and to leave. You see, if the total number of ballots cast fell short of a certain number, even if Johnson did get 60% on the vote, it may have meant the endorsement wouldn’t stand.
Marty Seifert showed his true colors this weekend. Unlike the selfishness of Kurt Zellers and Scott Honour who didn’t even try to run an endorsement campaign and participate in the convention, Seifert did. For reasons I can’t imagine, some Delegates and local party leaders like him and remain loyal to him. Seifert’s ego and self absorption were at war with the Republican Party of Minnesota. Marty Seifert embodies everything that is wrong with politicians.
The selfish act of telling his supporters to leave and dragging out his speech to give them time to depart in an attempt to block the endorsement of Johnson was one of the most selfish and destructive things I’ve seen in my decade of party activity.
Well, Marty Seifert you lost and proved all of your critics right. Jeff Johnson is endorsed. All resources of the Party are now at his disposal, and in my opinion that includes local officers and events. Seifert’s selfish act raises serious concerns and problems that could result in divisions that could cost us Legislative and CD elections. Will he continue his selfish drive to make it all about himself risking the CD7 Race, picking up State House seats, and electing Mike McFadden over Franken by telling his supporters not to help the party? I’ve already heard he made a threat before the convention that if he didn’t win, he was going to prevent his volunteers from helping the party locally.
I shot this video of Sefiert at a BPOU meeting in April. Seifert tells local Party leaders what to do should he not receive the endorsement. Was he being honest or saying what they wanted to hear?