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Minnesota republicans flirt with secession

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Robert O'Connor
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Minnesota was one of the last states admitted to the union before the Civil War began. It was also, thanks to its then-governor Alexander Ramsey (a Republican), the first to commit troops during that war. Memorials to Union generals William Colvill and John B. Sanborn stand in the rotunda of the Minnesota State Capitol.

And over the last month, the Republican party at the state and local level has felt more at home with the Confederacy than with the Union.

On March 25th, a Constitutional amendment was introduced in the house, where a portrait of Abe Lincoln hangs, saying that federal law only applies in the state with a two-thirds approval in both legislative chambers and a governor's signature. An identical amendment was introduced last week in the senate.

Several states have passed resolutions reaffirming the powers delegated to the states under the Constitution in the tenth amendment. But these resolutions are just that, and they demand that the government stop excercising power beyond the powers given to it in the constitution (Kentucky's resolution is an example).

And two weeks ago, at their nominating convention, Republicans in Minnesota's 5th congressional district approved a resolution that the Republican Party of Minnesota supported secession as an option with dealing with the federal government. The day after it passed, Tony Sutton, the chair of the state Republican Party, said he didn't support it.

This comes from a party that tried seperating itself from the corruption of Watergate and the racism of the former Dixiecrats by changing its name in 1975 to the "Independent-Republican Party." They changed it back in 1995. Moderates like David Durenberger and Arne Carlson have since left, and the likes of Michelle Bachmann and Joel Demos have taken their place.

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Robert O'Connor is a journalist from St. Paul, Minnesota. His work has been published by the Chi-Town Daily News, Newcity Chicago, The New Indian Express, the Twin Cities Daily Planet and others. He's also worked in radio at Radio K (University of (more...)
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