Rep. Jeremy Munson recently criticized the Minnesota GOP for attacking conservative organizations and handpicking which groups and candidates the party will support.
Munson said that while Minnesota Republicans should be focused on winning the majority, which they are, the party also needs to “have a set of principles” within the legislature.
“I think that you shouldn’t be purging conservatives from the boards of all BPOUs who are critical of their fiscally liberal legislator,” Munson said in a recent episode of his podcast, The Omnibus Podcast. “I think that’s wrong. I think we should also strive to have conservative values present in St. Paul.”
Munson said having “RINOs” at the Capitol should not be the party’s goal.
Munson’s comments reference a recent Senate District 54 meeting in which Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan attacked conservative organization Action 4 Liberty for “dividing” the party. Carnahan suggested that people associated with this group and groups like it should be purged from the Republican Party.
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,” Carnahan explained.
Munson said on his podcast that the party does not allow for criticism of incumbents or anyone the Minnesota GOP supports.
“The party should be neutral,” Munson said. “The party should allow for criticism of an incumbent, otherwise you’re never going to be able to challenge that person” and bring in another candidate who may be better suited for a certain district, Munson added.
Munson explained his own trouble with the party, which cut off his access to voter data during his primary election last year.
The Minnesota GOP deliberately did not help him campaign when he had a legitimate primary challenger, Munson said. People from the party were even door-knocking against him, according to Munson.
“They shut off my data center access, so my access to all the voter data was shut off four days before the primary,” which is against the party’s own rules, Munson noted.
The party granted him access again two days before the election and then kicked him out immediately after, Munson said. The moment he was elected, he lost all support from the party, which focuses too much on protecting incumbents, he said.
Munson claimed he has been attacked by Action 4 Liberty in recent weeks — presumably when Rep. Erik Mortensen was forced out of the caucus Munson is a part of — but he still defends the group because they “have great value in what they’re doing,” he noted.
“They do good work, and they’re principled, and we need them out there,” Munson said. “Without those groups, Republicans will slowly tack to the left.”