Apparently its open season in Minnesota:
In a dramatic display of the new Republican order, Minnesota’s state GOP banished 18 prominent party members including two former governors and a retired U.S. senator as punishment for supporting a third-party candidate for governor.
The stunning purge, narrowly passed by the state Republican central committee last weekend, suggests more than just a fit of pique: by banning some of the state’s leading moderates, the Minnesota GOP moved toward extinguishing a dying species of Republican in one of its last habitats.
It ought to be obvious that in order to win a gubernatorial race or a senate seat as a Republican, a politician had to have a lot of supporters inside the party, as well as appeal among centrists. Do the hardliners think that by expelling center right politicians, they'll somehow eliminate the people who once voted for them?
Those exiled warned that the measure, which bans the 18 former members from participating in party activities for two years and bars them from attending the 2012 Republican National Convention, may provoke a backlash that undercuts the party’s competitiveness in a state that’s voted for the GOP presidential nominee just once in the past half century.