Well, it’s finally happened — and leave it to Tony Sutton to wait until 4:21 on a Friday afternoon to announce it:

That’s right, gang: Tony Sutton, whose twisted saga has appeared at both FDL and MyFDL many times over the years, is no longer the Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota. He Tweeted his official letter of resignation at 5:00 pm, the time at which he stepped down from his post.

Why? The opening two sentences/paragraphs of this StarTribune story might give a slight hint (emphases mine):

Amid mounting evidence of party disarray and financial difficulties, Republican State Party Chairman Tony Sutton announced his resignation Friday.

“I have decided to resign as State Chair effective 5PM today. I have enjoyed being State Chair, but feel it is best for my family to move on,” he said on Twitter.

Now, about those words I bolded? I did that because they are a rare indication — and one that didn’t make it into the dead-tree version of the story — of the Strib’s coming close to admitting the depth and severity of the scandals that have for years surrounded Tony Sutton. The Strib might have published the odd story about the odd incident involving Sutton, but very little connecting of dots was done. It was left to others to connect the dots: the well-informed rural bloggers and the dirty hippie bloggers and the well-scrubbed non-hippie bloggers and the alt-media papers, they covered in depth what neither the StarTribune nor any other local establishment media (certainly not the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, a paper so Republican it makes the DJ-Tice-edited Strib look like the Guardian in comparison) would touch in more than a very superficial way.

Here’s a sample of what I’m talking about:

In this Strib story about the aftermath of Sutton’s sudden resignation, we are treated to seeing Sutton ally Michael Brodkorb (who was first limned here at FDL back in 2008 when he was still trying to claim he was an “independent blogger”) attacking 2010 Republican Party gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer and Emmer’s former campaign manager David FitzSimmons and blaming them for the party’s woes. What the story doesn’t mention is that Brodkorb, who himself suddenly resigned from his post as Sutton’s deputy back in October, has been one of Sutton’s closest allies, and with Sutton was held to be influencing if not outright controlling the actions of the leaders of the Republican legislative caucus to a degree unseemly in persons not elected to the legislature. Another thing we see in the story is FitzSimmons’ stating that the next party chair should be someone with business experience; what is not stated is that Tony Sutton himself has business experience — granted, the experience is in running a business into the ground, even with the millions upon millions of the Cooper banking family to back him up. (That reminds me: Even though Brodkorb was known since October of 2005 to be the man behind the local Republican blog “Minnesota Democrats Exposed”, all of the local establishment media, including the StarTribune, refused to admit that he had been outed, much less that he’d outed himself when he made a post by e-mail and published his e-mail address on his post. Only when he outed himself a second time did they admit that he was indeed behind MDE.)

The simple fact is that it was the persistence of the non-establishment media — the blogs both local and national, and the alt-weekly City Pages — that shed the most light on Tony Sutton’s actions. It is because of them that he has resigned in disgrace, leaving behind over $500,000 in debt and a deeply divided party. If not for them, he’d likely still be party chair today.