Minnesota GOP leaders attacked conservative organization Action 4 Liberty during a recent meeting, suggesting that people associated with the group should be purged from the Republican Party.
Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said there are groups that pretend to be “supporting Republicans, but really they divide us,” according to a recording obtained by Alpha News of a recent party meeting in Senate District 54 .
These organizations “make money off of attacking other Republicans,” according to Carnahan.
Because of these groups that “divide,” Carnahan said, the Minnesota GOP tries “to make sure to educate people — so they understand what these groups are — and discourage contributing to them, supporting them, because they do significant harm to our party.”
She said to “stop paying attention to these people” because that gives them “power.”
“They need to go away,” she continued.
While Carnahan did not explicitly name Action 4 Liberty, she was asked which groups divide the party, and someone called out “Action 4 Liberty,” to which laughter ensued.
“They spend all their money targeting Republicans, they pick like five to seven Republicans every year that they target,” Carnahan claimed.
She said the organization’s “talking points” are that certain elected officials are not “conservative enough,” “pro-life enough,” or don’t support the Second Amendment.
“Pick a hot issue that people get passionate about,” she said, explaining the group’s alleged tactics.
Rep. Keith Franke, R-St. Paul Park, jumped in to add that Republicans must win the majority, otherwise “there is nothing we can do anyways.”
“You can talk all you want, you can be as conservative as you want to be, but you are going to allow them to move us further left if we do not maintain or increase the majority, bottom line,” Franke said.
He went on to claim that “half of [Action 4 Liberty’s] money comes from the DFL, secretly, because it has to.”
“The crap that they do to divide us, to pick off the more moderate members. We need those members, we need members like me because we do not come from hard red districts,” Franke said.
Carnahan then implied that people should vote out party leaders who are affiliated with “these groups.”
“Part of the challenge that we face is when you have certain party officers that were elected that are very tightly connected with these groups, and they sit on our executive board and make decisions and take inside information back, that’s problematic, right?” she said.
“But they got elected and we just need to make sure that people understand that the majority of us are trying to do the right thing and the people that are in these positions as party officers or leaders, and they’re actively working against our mission and agenda, should they be party officers and leaders? That’s a question for the people that elect them.”
In a statement to Alpha News, Action 4 Liberty President Jake Duesenberg called these opinions “unfortunate” and said, “Carnahan and Franke make it crystal clear that they would like the Republican Party to be more moderate and left leaning, instead of more conservative and pro-liberty. That leaves Minnesota with two bad choices come election time.”
Action 4 Liberty’s mission is to “protect liberty for the next generation.” Duesenberg contested the allegation that his group spends most of its resources on attacking other Republicans, noting that it has knocked on over 40,000 doors and made over 55,000 phone calls to end Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency powers this year.
“Now we have to pass Rep. Erik Mortensen’s Never Again Bill to stop Walz from ever shutting down our state again,” he said. “If Carnahan and Franke want no part of this powerful movement, I’m afraid Gov. Walz and his left-wing allies at the Capitol will prevail again in 2022. It’s time for [Carnahan and Franke] to embrace this growing liberty movement in the state.”
Tyler Dunn, communications manager for the Minnesota GOP, originally told Alpha News he believed Carnahan’s comments were taken out of context.
When provided with the full recording, Dunn said in a statement that “Republicans should unite to fight and defeat the radical Democrat politicians at the ballot box,” as Carnahan has consistently said, according to Dunn.
“Mean-spirited Republican-on-Republican attacks do not further our cause. Internal disagreements are expected, and can often be healthy, but we always need to compete within the GOP in a manner that preserves our general election opportunities,” Dunn said.
The “destructiveness” within the Minnesota GOP comes from “profit-seeking groups that far too often try to exploit the Republican Party and cause division,” Dunn noted.
He said that Carnahan is certain elected Republican officials will focus on preserving “conservative principles” and “defeating the Democrats in 2022.”
Alpha News also reached out to Franke for comment but did not receive a response.