The Minnesota Republican Party's official candidate to succeed Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is looking ahead to a 2012 run for President, is a staunch conservative well to Pawlenty's right who has a long history of "Tentherism," the attempts by the far right-wing to invoke the Tenth Amendment and nullify federal laws on various liberal initiatives. He has even proposed a state constitutional amendment that would allow federal laws to operate in Minnesota only if they were consented to by super-majorities of the state legislature.
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State Rep. Tom Emmer picked up the official Republican endorsement at the party's convention this weekend, and he also walked away with the backing of Pawlenty himself. "We don't have any doubt about what Tom Emmer stands for or what his values are," Pawlenty said at the convention. "He is strong. He is steadfast. He is clear. ... He is going to be the next governor of the state of Minnesota." Emmer also has the support of Sarah Palin, who praised him just before the convention got underway as a "hockey dad" who once played for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks --Â a move that may have been a tipping point, according to the Star-Tribune.
Emmer was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2004. Just this past March, he was a co-author of a proposed state constitutional amendment that would, to borrow the words of Nigel Tufnel, turn the Tenth Amendment all the way up to 11, with Minnesota preemptively nullifying all federal laws unless aÂ state supermajority consents to them. Here is the key quote from the amendment's text: "A federal law does not apply in Minnesota unless that law is approved by a two-thirds vote of the members of each house of the legislature and is signed by the governor. Before voting to approve a federal law, each legislator must individually affirm that the legislator has read the federal law and understands it."