Former Republican state Rep. Dave Bishop is one of 18 Republicans banned for 2 years from state party activities. Minnesota Public Radio reported this weekend that the Republican Party State Central Committee voted 55 to 59 to ban these Republicans who supported IP gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner from being Republican delegates and attending the Republican National Convention in 2012.
So what does Bishop think of the ban?
"I find it amusing and liberating," he said.
Bishop said when he served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1983 to 2002 he had trouble being accepted by party members then because he was pro-choice.
"It was circle the wagons and don't let any liberal Republicans or progressive Republicans in our power structure," he said.
Bishop said he still considers himself a Republican and is very supportive of the work the GOP is doing in Congress. On the state level he said the ban "shows the narrowmindedness of the local Republican power."
Other Republicans banned include former Gov. Al Quie and former U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger.
Bishop has never been afraid to speak out against the party. Besides endorsing Horner, he also backed DFL Sen. Ann Lynch of Rochester arguing he expected the DFL would remain in the majority and he wanted Rochester to have a representative in the majority party. Of course, the GOP ended up making history this election cycle reclaiming the Senate after a 38-year drought. He also supported Republican Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem.
Bishop said he probably wouldn't want to be a delegate anyway given the current party philosophy.
"As far as the local republican party is concerned, they are saving me money. I used to be a strong contributor and I raised a lot of money locally," Bishop said.