WASHINGTON — As essential workers risked their health on the front lines of the pandemic this week, Minnesota Senate Republicans blocked the confirmation of the state Commissioner of Labor and Industry in a last-minute vote. Despite the fact that Governor Tim Walz appointed Nancy Leppink to the position a year and a half ago, the GOP decided that the middle of the coronavirus crisis was the perfect time to oust the person overseeing occupational health and safety.
“Minnesota Republicans have once again ignored the best interests of their constituents so they could prioritize their agenda and gamble with people’s lives,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “To remove the labor commissioner while frontline workers struggle to adapt to the pandemic, keep themselves safe, and protect the health of their families is irresponsible, callous, and petty. Minnesotans deserve better.”
Republicans didn’t even attempt to hide their glee at forcing Leppink out of her crucial position in the middle of the pandemic. The Republican House minority leader tweeted, “Looks like the [S]enate is executing a prisoner today,” in yet another example of Republicans making light of a life-or-death situation.
Democrats need to flip only two seats in the Minnesota Senate to take the majority and form another Democratic trifecta. Minnesota is a top target state in the DLCC’s $50 million Flip Everything campaign to win legislative majorities across the country. Since Trump’s election, the DLCC and state Democrats have flipped more than 450 seats and 10 legislative chambers from red to blue.