Last week, we discussed Verified Twitter Accounts – specifically, that Minnesota Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson had one, and we were looking at his re-election Campaign Finance Reports. And we are; stay tuned for what’s turned up! While doing so, we also took a look at two of the other candidates for re-election to the Supreme Court – Justice David Stras, who also had a Twitter Verified Account, and Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, who didn’t. Something stuck out while going through Chief Justice Gildea’s reports – by omission.

Everybody these days has a campaign web site; candidates for State Supreme Court being no different. And as anybody that’s ever set one up knows, they cost dough. Pick a domain name, register it, build the website, host it… Well, picking the name is free. Registration and building a website and hosting it? Not so much. The image, above, is from 2007, back when Pawlenty Appointee Justice Gildea first ran for re-election; the domain for the website is

A review of Justice Gildea’s Campaign Finance Reports for 2007 does not show an expenditure nor an in-kind donation for any of that. Nor does her 2008 Report. Clearly it’s there; registered 09 Feb 07.

Fast forward to February 2012, and the image to the right. It’s the “Who Is” Domain Registration ( information for the Pawlenty appointed Gildea, who is now running for re-election for Chief State Supreme Court Justice.

On Chief Justice’s campaign website, the disclaimer on the bottom reads “Prepared and paid for by Minnesotans for Chief Justice Gildea, P.O. Box…”

Yet again, a review of Chief Justice Gildea’s Campaign Finance Reports for 2012 does not show an expenditure nor an in-kind donation for the new campaign website domain. Nor for building a new website, nor for hosting a website.

If there is anyone who’s campaign finance reports should be squeaky clean and transparent, it’s a judge running for re-election – especially the judge running to retain the seat for Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court.

An email and phone call for an explanation to the Campaign Treasurer for both campaigns have not been returned.

(cross posted at; comments welcome there)

About Those Twitter “Verified Accounts”

On November 23, 2012, in Candidates, Justice, by tommy

Regular Readers will probably remember yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, had media credentials for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. And we had a LOT of fun covering Charlotte 2012, beginning with finding fake lemons in the tree outside of failed Veep Candidate Paul Ryan’s WI Office. While in the media area of Charlotte 2012, I happened across the Twitter Office of, well, Twitter – picture to the right.

So I stopped to talk to the nice people at Twitter, and asked ‘em how yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, could get one o’ those elusive, but coveted, blue checkmarks for my Twitter account – signifying a Twitter “Verified Account”. There’s a screenshot, below, on what these check marks look like.

Here’s what Twitter says about ‘em:

What kinds of accounts get verified?

Twitter proactively verifies accounts on an ongoing basis to make it easier for users to find who they’re looking for. We concentrate on highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, advertising, business, and other key interest areas. We verify business partners from time to time and individuals at high risk of impersonation.

We do not accept requests for verification from the general public. If you fall under one of the above categories and your Twitter account meets our qualifications for verification, we may reach out to you in the future.(emphasis added)

I figured it’d be a slam dunker; there I was with the media credentials, and I already had worked with Twitter to get a few nasty fake twitter accounts (stuff)-canned that had been causing problems for yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter.

So when I asked the nice person at Twitter, in the media area, at Charlotte 2012 about it, the nice person handed me off to another nice person working for Twitter – in sales.

Yes, “sales.” And here’s what I was told:

For most folks, it takes dough to get one of those elusive, but coveted, blue check marks that indicate a “verified account;” a blue check mark like you see to the right on a screen shot of Minnesota Supreme Court G. Barry Anderson’s Twitter account.

How much dough, I asked. $15,000.00 was the answer; but not necessarily all at once – it could be spread out over a couple of months. I explained I had read the Twitter “Verified Account” policy; it seemed I qualified for a freebee for two reasons (as outlined above). Reply? Nope. Cash. Well, it was also explained that if someone who was already spending dough on Twitter ads and promoted tweets, etc already had one, Twitter often gave one o’ those elusive but coveted check marks to a friend/associate/whatever of one of said spenders as a comp.

I checked around with a few media types in the media areas while in Charlotte, and heard in essence: yep, that’s how the “Verified Account” game was played. Did a little digging on google too. No biggie; if that’s the way the game was played and since I didn’t have – let alone plan on spending – $15 biggies, no blue check mark for yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter.

Fast forward to October 8th, 2012, and a story by Strib Reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger: “Promoted Justice On Twitter”. Rachel writes about the blue “verified account” check mark that’s shown on the screen shot you see just a little bit above on the Twitter Account of G. Barry Anderson, running for re-election for his seat on the bench on Minnesota’s Supreme Court.

Here’s Rachel’s lede:

Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson may be making history, 140-characters at a time.

The justice, first appointed to the high court by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2004, is using promoted tweets to advance his campaign to stay on the court. He is among the first prominent Minnesota politicians to use promotion, Twitter’s version of online advertising, in his campaign. (emphasis added)

Rachel also noted that Justice Anderson’s Digital Director is the Justice’s son, Grant Anderson. Noted now is that Justice Anderson’s campaign web page is credited, on the web page, to Election Energy.

Didn’t think much of Rachel’s story, at the time. And pretty much forgot about it, until I saw and retweeted the tweet to the right. OK, a lot has been said by a lot of people about Michael Brodkorb – including by me – for, ahem, “a variety of reasons.”

One thing a lot of people that have said a lot about Michael Brodkorb also say is that when it comes down to political skills and instincts, it pays to pay attention to Michael Brodkorb. So if Michael thought “the campaign spending & contribution report” of Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson was “interesting” – well, yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, pays attention.

And said report is indeed interesting – and we’ll get to what yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter has found.

So – stay tuned!!!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

Erik Paulsen, R=TargetCorp, first door knocked me back somewhere around 1994. Didn’t like his politics then; dam sure don’t like ‘em now. And I was really surprised to find out about a Town Hall last night at the Mound High School – usually, they’re announced late at inconvenient times at inconvenient if not unaccessible places.

So when I pulled into the parking lot an saw a lot of cars, I figured there was a lot o’ folk there for the Town Hall. I figured wrong; there was a football game across the lot. Wonder how many wanted to be at both places?

Anyway, Paulsen pulled his “gosh, shucks, gee whiz – I’m really a moderate” schtick throughout the whole Town Hall; it’s an act he’s been practicing for years. He started out calling for civility – and for the most part, it was a civil affair.

“Most part.” Seems the #RWNJ acting the most obnoxiously – IMNSHO – in the crowd was none other than Joe Arwood, the little-known St. Bonifacious City Council Member who announced he’s going to oppose Klobuchar and make a run for the Senate. I shoulda kept the ol’ video camera on THIS guy!

Highlight of the Town Hall was during the Q & A – and I have to give a LOT of credit for Paulsen on the Q&A. Paulsen only talked for about 20 minutes, and then opened the floor for questions.

And for 40 minutes, Paulsen took all questions; for 40 minutes, those that raised their hands got to ask. No pre-screening; no taking of only “friendly” questions. Gotta give credit on this one!

Back to the highlight – Paulsen talked about the long time it takes for a manufacturer to get FDA approval for devices; that because of this, manufacturers were going to Europe to speed up taking new product to market.

So this guy gets the microphone, and basically says: “Hey! I’m in the medical device industry, and the reason it takes so long is the FDA is shorthanded. How about we hire some more workers to speed the process up?”

“Um, gosh, shucks, the graphs; ummm… well, I, ah…..”

Got that one on tape!

Anyway, here’s some tweets – and a few comments. One of ‘em has to do with a question by former GOP State Senator Ed Oliver

Happy happy joy joy! I’m the first sign-in for #RWNJ #ErikPaulsen’s #TownHall in Mound! #StribPol
13 hours ago

Got there around 6:00 pm, and there was no one but me. A Paulsen Staffer was kind enough to shoot the picture….

Interesting – 2 Sheriff’s Deputies doing a security sweep of #Paulsen’s #TownHall venue. So far no one here but staffers & the ol’ TwoPutter
13 hours ago

I’m thinking that the Gabrielle Giffords shooting might have a bit to do with the security sweep, and said Deputies sticking around for the whole show. But that’s just a guess….

Of course, there’s quite a few folk across the parking lot watching a football game…
13 hours ago

20 minutes to #Paulsen’s #TownHall and there is exactly one – ONE – person in the venue #StribPol
13 hours ago

There’s like 16 people here. Wait! Make that 18…. #Paulsen #TownHall #StribPol
13 hours ago

Last minute rush! I count 36…
13 hours ago

#Paulsen calling for “civility” – maybe he should be talking to @agsutton, @mbrodkorb, et al. #StribPol
13 hours ago

Of course, I’m referring to MnGOP Boss Tony Sutton calling 13 former GOP State Senators and Representatives “quislings.” For more info, go to “Sutton’s Quisling Comment: There’s A Pattern, Here “

#Paulsen claims he met w/Obama asking for help on medical devices; wants to work w/ AKlo too – #RWNJ talking like a #RINO! StribPol
13 hours ago

I’m guessing Paulsen’s polling is showing that the 3rd isn’t as “red” as Paulsen would like, so he’s continuing his “I’m a moderate in the mold of Frenzel & Ramstad” act.

#Paulsen: no state budget problems in OK nor NDak; China drilling off of #Cuba. Drill baby drill! #StribPol
12 hours ago

Simply begging for a fat-check….

#Paulsen – #Medicare insolvent in 2024. Seems like he’s running as an outsider rather than the #CareerPolitician he is #StribPol
12 hours ago

#RWNJ ripping #Paulsen over Deficit ceiling vote. Well, “civilly” ripping Paulsen. It’s really rather tame here… #StribPol
12 hours ago

Most of the questions were from the proverbial “left” side o’ the aisle; the questions from the wingnut side were almost all platitudes rather than questions. Except this one. There really are a LOT of RWNJ that wanted the raising the debt ceiling vote to fail – and this was one of ‘em…

#Paulsen says nice stuff about #MPR, says he’s a member. Ruh ROH!!! He better hope #RWNJ don’t find out!!! #StribPol
12 hours ago

Coulda been a COMMERCIAL for Minnesota Public Radio….

“what is gov’t doing to protect American jobs?” #Paulsen “thats a good question.” #StribPol
12 hours ago


Ed Oliver: Congress approval in single digits. #Paulsen: Need to work together, civilly. Didn’t @agsutton call Oliver #quisling? StribPol
12 hours ago

OK, this one surprised me – Paulsen starts out decrying the incivility going around today – and to be quite frank, the worst of the worst is from guys like Tom Emmer: “I don’t think you can call yourself a freedom-loving American and be a Democrat.”

As noted before, Ed Oliver is a former State Senator, and a veteran. He and 12 GOPer former state legislators came out “for” IP{ Candidate for Governor Tom Horner in the last election, for this, GOPer Party Boss about those 13: “There’s a special place in hell for these quislings.”

Sutton later kinda backed off; claiming “quisling” was synonymous with “traitor.” Never one to miss a chance for incivility, Sutton explained: “It would be like saying someone’s a Benedict Arnold.”

Way to go, Tony!!!

That’s about as incivil as you can get, especially as 2 of the 13 served in wars; George Pillsbury WW! and Bill Belanger in the Korean War.

Anyway, Oliver’s question got the predictable “gosh, shucks, gee whiz – I’m really a moderate” schtick and the “hey – I don’t do that” response.

True – Paulsen doesn’t throw bombs; he doesn’t HAVE to.

He’s got Brodkorb’s Blog and Sutton around to do it for him.

***Follow the ol’ TwoPutter on Twitter!

(cross posted from; comments welcome there)

Tagged with:

It’s a shame doesn’t regularly factcheck local rightwingnut newspaper columnists; Katherine Kersten would be a sure bet to give Michele Bachmann a run for the money.

Earlier today, Katie posted this:

“DFLers’ second complaint is that business groups relied on below-the-belt negative advertising. This rings hollow. In 2010, the left threw the first and dirtiest mud ball.

On July 6, Alliance for a Better Minnesota (ABM) — an independent, DFL-allied group funded primarily by public unions and Dayton’s family — launched what was probably the earliest attack ad in Minnesota campaign history, …” (emphasis added)(

Wrong-o, Katie-o!!!

“I’ll take dirty politics for $200, Alex.”
by: TwoPuttTommy
Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 21:35:02 PM CDT

“Here’s the answer: In 2009, they ran the first negative ad for the 2010 Minnesota elections.”

“Who are FEC Tony and MudSlingerMike?”

“You are correct!”

Smart money was betting that with the election of Tony Sutton and Michael Brodkorb, the GOP was going down and dirtier. So far, those bets look like winners. Over 15 months out, and Sutton and Broadkorb seem bound and determined to make the 2010 elections the nastiest ever. (

Points to whoever can differentiate between that GOPer liar from the 6th district, and that GOPer liar on the Strib Editorial Page.

Bonus points to the first who can name who MudSlingerMike and FEC Tony tossed that first “mud ball” at, back in July of 2009.


(cross posted from; comments welcome there)

…what do you do, and how do you square it with the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court Case?

Reason I ask, is I saw the following tweet from the current stooge running the cut ‘n paster over at Brodkorb’s Blog:

@LukeHellier It’s refreshing to see a group endorse candidates from both partied while @ABetterMN, EDMinn, & the rest stick to DFLers. Thanks @MNForward
34 minutes ago via UberTwitter


(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

As regular readers know, I’ve been following the sordid story of the GOP Endorsed Eden Prairie Mayor, Phil Young. And – NOT to my surprise – local GOPers have been defending fellow GOPer Phil Young for falsifying reimbursement forms by filling out for meetings he never attended. Make no mistake, Young – in his interview with Police – admitted he knew when he filled out the forms what he was putting down was not true.

The local GOPers defending GOPer Young include GOP State Rep Jenifer Loon’s Campaign Manager (Gary Stevens) and a GOP SD42 Vice Chair (Kevin Schultz). Schultz claimed he was speaking only for himself; yeah – “right.”

Yet yesterday, FEC Tony (GOP Chair Tony Sutton) and his side-kick MudSlingerMike (GOP Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb) took a cheap shot (hey, they’re GOPers; whaddya expect?) at State Auditor Rebecca Otto.

Which, of course, is “Today’s Example Of GOPers Care About Protecting Public Funds (Except When They Don’t)”

So I’ll be talking with Rebecca Otto today on Quick On The Uptake – I’m sitting in for Host Mike McIntee!

Now, State Auditor Otto probably can’t say much; as required by state law her office was notified early on about GOPer Young dippin’ into the ol’ Taxpayer Till. But I’m sure she’ll have plenty to say about the cheap shot the GOPers took at her!

I’ll also be talking with John Van Hecke from about a report from economic policy fellow Lee Egerstrom that looks at how Northern European countries have heavily influenced the Minnesota economy and its social safety net systems; fellow blogger Dave Mindeman, and State Rep Frank Hornstein, who just got back from the Gulf – we’ll talk about how the BP Oil Spill and how it might affect Minnesota’s migratory birds.

The call-in number is 952-946-6205 to join in the conversation!

So tune in your radio today to AM-950 KTNF, or listen live on your computer, here!

(cross posted from; comments welcome there)

I went to the GOP Press Conference yesterday; the GOP wouldn’t let me observe because the presser was “for members of the Capitol Press Corps only.” No problem; I figured it was probably a joke anyway. And apparently, I was correct!

From The Pioneer Press reporters’ “Political Animal”:

Republicans run health ads in 1st and 7th; we publicize them
By Bill Salisbury on August 11, 2009 11:46 AM | 3 Comments

I hate it when I get sucked in on a publicity stunt, but that’s what you’re going to read about here. (

Want to read more? Read it, here. And check out the comments — especially the third comment!

And remember, yesterday’s “stunt” by the GOP is simply another example of why reasonable people cannot reasonbly expect the GOP to tell the truth.

(crossposted from MnProgressiveProject)

Tagged with:

“Here’s the answer: In 2009, they ran the first negative ad for the 2010 Minnesota elections.”

“Who are FEC Tony and MudSlingerMike?”

“You are correct!”

Smart money was betting that with the election of Tony Sutton and Michael Brodkorb, the GOP was going down and dirtier. So far, those bets look like winners. Over 15 months out, and Sutton and Broadkorb seem bound and determined to make the 2010 elections the nastiest ever.

(crossposted from MnProgressiveProject)

So, I see the tweet, from MudSlingerMike:

mbrodkorb The bad press continues for Congressman Collin Peterson;; #mngop #mn2010

So, I link on the tinyurl, and read this:

But Republicans on Tuesday saw the gaffe as an opportunity to make headway in Peterson’s conservative Seventh Congressional District, which he has securely held for many years. In 2008, he won 72 percent of the vote.

Got that? Less than a year ago, DFLer Colin Peterson won 72% of the vote.

So, what does the intrepid Deputy Chair of the GreedOverPrinciples Party say about Colin Peterson?

“This has really I think energized activists in the area and is going to lend [itself] to a first-tier candidate coming forward to run against him next year,” said Minnesota GOP deputy chair Michael Brodkorb, adding that there has been an “absolute explosion” of interest in the seat in the past 24 hours.” (Strib)

Say, Brodkorb? An “absolute explosion” of interest in taking on a guy that just won with 72 percent of the vote??!?

Yeah, “right.”

And a “first tier” candidate to boot? Not gonna happen – no “first tier” candidates remain in today’s GreedOverPrinciples party. T-baggers and “birthers”? You got pawlenty. “First tier”? Not so much.

Oh, noticed this tweet, from MudSlingerMike, too:

RT @MinnPostRSS: Minnesota GOP ready to launch ad campaign against Peterson remarks:

Say, Mikey? Good luck with that “ad buy” you’re tryin’ to sell. When you say “five figure ad buy” that really means “$999.99 or less” – yes?

Although personally, I wish the GOPers would dump a coupla hundred thousand into the 7th, between now and the new year….

(crossposted from MnProgressiveProject)

Tagged with:

Last Friday, we reviewed an investigation into the dirty politics of John Kline, R=GreedOverPrinciples. The story focused on “transparency” – more specifically, lack thereof – and “accessibility” – and again, lack thereof – and John Kline.

And as disgusting as John Kline and his paid staff’s actions were, Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul actually acts worse. Yes indeed, Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul set a new low in the dirty tricks department last week.

For the very first time (that I’m aware of), an elected Republican official – Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul – actually did the dirty deed himself. And not only did Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul stage the ambush attack himself, he did it inside the office of his target.

As pathetic and disgusting as it was for someone on the John Kline gravy train to stand outside a Coleen Rowley campaign event and yell racial slurs – Mike Osskopp – or crash a Steve Sarvi campaign event and badger the candidate – Diana Bratlie – at least John Kline could maintain some kind of plausible (cough, cough) deniability: “Hey, it was just some staffers.”

Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul went lower than that: he did the deed himself, and he did it in Congressman Tim Walz’ offices.

Let’s look at the YouTube Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul shot, and then analyze exactly how UNtransparent Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul was.

Now, before we talk about how Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul’s attack was completely UNtransparent, it’s important to note that GOPers tried to SwiftBoat Tim Walz’ military record in his 2006 race against Gil Gutknecht AND in 2008 against Brian Davis. “tried” – as in failed, because the smear didn’t work.

Blue Man wrote about this just two days ago:

The attacks on Congressman Walz have started again. This time, a tool named Thul is attacking the Congressman on his military record, saying that Walz did not serve “in support of” Operation Enduring Freedom.

Yep, we went through this stuff back in 2006 too…and the response is the same. (Blue man in a Red District)

And Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul’s allegation regarding the picture is just as bogus, as I (tried) to explain to Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul last week; the sign does NOT read “Enduring Freedom Veterans” followed by “for Kerry” – the sign reas “Enduring Freedom” followed by “Veterans for Kerry.”

This discussion came up due to my investigation into Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul’s use of a email account for political purposes; a subject to be addressed in the coming days…stay tuned! For a quick background on the origins of this issue, link here.

At any rate, Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul is as wrong about the picture as he is about Tim Walz’ record. That said, let’s look at Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul’s ambush attack at the Mankato offices of Congressman Tim Walz:

OK, let’s reveiw how and when Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul identifies himself during his ambush attack:

Start: I’m Dave Thul, …

0:32, I’m Dave Thul …

0:47, I’m Dave Thul, …

5:23. “I’m also a blogger…”

OK, remember at the beginning of that investigation of John Kline? You know, “transparency”? Was Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul transparent?

No (cheney)in’ way was Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul anywhere close to “transparent.”

Not once does Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul identify himself to Walz’s staff as an elected GOP official (Co-Chair of the Steele County Republican Party) even though there are four chances for him to do so in that 5 1/2 minute film.

Four chances, and not once – NOT ONCE – does Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul disclose his partisan party position.

That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is dirty politics – laying a political ambush and lying by omission – and even John Kline hasn’t stooped that low.

There’s more to this story, and it has to do with what Steele County Republican Party Co-Chair Dave Thul said at the 3:15 mark: “…we’re both National Guardsman ourselves…”

Stay tuned!

(crossposted from MnProgressiveProject)