I have noted Sen. David Hann’s incompetence over the years. From botching simple tasks like dumping a nominee to demonstrating his mastery of failed messaging to boasting he increased spending (doesn’t the MNGOP want to reduce it?) to leading the fight against marriage equality, his reputation is becoming legendary.
And that’s setting aside his corruption. He works for the health insurance industry and is the ranking Republican on the Senate committee that oversees the industry.
As Senate Minority leader in the Minnesota Legislature, he gets to hire a staff to help him. His new hire may cement his incompetence as legendary. Even his fellow conservatives are not impressed with his hires.
Yesterday Republican Senate minority leader Sen. David Hann told staff and fellow senators that he had hired as Director of Research Bill Walsh. Together with the current Communications Director, Brad Biers, he will be responsible for the republican senate caucus messaging.
The cumulative effect of Sen. Hann employing these two men, who simply do not know what they’re doing, is akin to hiring Captain Smith to be at the helm of the Olympic had he survived the voyage of the Titanic. Smith’s a known quantity, to be sure, but what on earth would be the substantive case on the merits for bringing him aboard? Apparently in the republican senate and house caucuses, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt but a job offer, no matter how mediocre or outright incompetent the friend. Super.
But, really … how bad could hiring Bill Walsh be?
- His mentor, Tom Mason, was the genius in the 1990 Senate race who came up with having Rudy Boschwitz invent and play the “I’m more Jewish” than Paul Wellstone card because Rudy’s kids were raised Jewish, Paul’s Christian. That worked out well because not only do most Minnesotans actually not know any Jews, they don’t much care for religious so-called divisions to be used as a decisive factor in electing one of them to federal office. No one who knows Boschwitz believes him to be a jerk but Mason’s infamous “Jewish letter” made him out to be one. Boschwitz was the only incumbent senator not reelected that cycle, showing just how good we Minnesota republicans are at being screw ups. Mason’s role in promoting Walsh simply cannot be overstated.
- Walsh came up with the ill-fated “tip credit” issue when he worked on the Tom Emmer gubernatorial campaign in 2010. No amount of alarm or panic could dissuade this tone deaf communications “guru” that the issue was killing our candidate. When the not very political person on the street knows about the goofy guy who thinks restaurant and bar servers make $100,000, you know the cause is lost. Unless you’re Bill Walsh. To be fair, the inner circle of the Emmer campaign was as message-incompetent as he was. Perversely, they currently all, in one way or another, now seek to be rewarded. Whatever happened to failure having consequences?
- On top of the tip credit idea came the “town forum” harebrained scheme which resulted in a lovely, endless, video loop of the man who would be governor being showered in bright shiny pennies by some leftist loon activist. Emmer practiced his method acting by being a server in a Mexican restaurant, kind-of sorta undercover but with the campaign taking grainy, faux cinéma vérité video. We won’t even go into when Walsh, as Executive Director of the Republican Party, left sensitive party documents at Moscow-on-the-Hill, a Russian restaurant in St. Paul, the last time anything interesting happened there because its food was and is abysmal.
Okay. That’s pretty bad.