When we last left off in this continuing Cooked Books series, The Party Of Fiscal Irresponsibility had just turned down an offer to pay for a forensic audit of their books.

Seriously.

The “Offer” and “Offer Withdrawn” of an audit that wouldn’t cost the Book Cookers a penny came after – AFTER – Minnesota Campaign Finance Board’s blistering “Findings and Order in the Matter of the Complaint of Common Cause Minnesota regarding the Republican Party of Minnesota and others”, dated 13 July 2012.

From those findings:

To summarize, in 2010 the RPM had a finance director, who was recently promoted from telemarketing and who testified that he knew next to nothing about Campaign Finance Board reports and professed that it was not his job to review the reports in preparation for the treasurer’s signing them. The RPM had a chair who was busy with fundraising and his own business and believed that the finance director and the party unit’s compliance company were responsible for preparation of the reports. The RPM had a compliance company that disavows any responsibility for campaign finance reports other than to put data into a system and print out the reports. And finally, the RPM had a treasurer who placed all of his reliance on these three individuals. Given that situation, it is no surprise that the RPM reports were inaccurate.

Yep! No surprise!!!

Continue reading »

The Natives Are Restless! Or…

On February 8, 2013, in FEC Tony, republiCon, by tommy

…”Money Down The Rathole!”

OK, deeply in debt, The Party Of Cooked Books sent out a tweet: “The MN DFL Chairman bragged that “never before has our party been more powerful.” Fight back! bit.ly/W3GQac #mngop #mnleg #stribpol”. That link in that tweet? Takes folks to the MnGOP’s website (screenshot is to the right), where they’re asking folks for some dough. Except, some folks are not really happy with the MnGOP!

Here’s my favorite comment (so far), by “Larry” —

“Until the conservatives grow some balls, I will not give any more money to put down the rathole!”

Say, Larry? It’s not the lack o’ ‘nads that’s the real problem with today’s MnGOP that makes donating to it a “rathole” – it’s their Cooked Books that makes it a rathole; it’s things like this!

And, that’s just one of many the MnGOP cut to the Feds to pay for their past misdeeds.

That’s just the past; there’s mighty good reason to think that future donations from The Party Faithful will go to paying for past misdeeds yet again!

Today’s MnGOP is indeed a rathole, and it’s for the old-fashioned reason: they EARNED it.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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“Let’s Do The Time Warp Again!”

The call went out, to far and wide (even Facebook!) for The WingNut Faithful to gather at a bar in Arden Hills (where presumably, they didn’t have to tip because Waitrons make $100,000 a year! for a special, heart-searching event: “MnGOP Panel: Where Do We Go From Here? – What went wrong in 2012, and moving forward in 2013″

And what a panel it was! “Moderated” by EXTREME right wingers Mitch Berg and Jeff Johnson, Senator Dave Thompson, Walter Hudson, Andy Parrish, Sarah Janecek, Dan “Dac” Severson, Marianne Stebbins and Mark Westphal were the main draws!

I didn’t go; watching the action on Twitter Hashtags #wdwgfh & #MnGOP13) was entertainment enough for yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter!

And clearly, these assembled party faithful have not a clue.

Which, for a Progressive, is GREAT news! But, the best news, is the apparent formation of a “Draft Emmer” clown car – here’s the tweet that clued me in!!!


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And here’s the photo in that tweet!

YES!!! That’s THE ticket!!!

Dear Tom Emmer – I hear Brad Biers is available! Of course, that might get Brad in a little hot water with his boss….

In all seriousness, I didn’t catch a tweet that got to the nub of what is wrong with today’s scandal-plagued Mn GOP; especially how you couldn’t trust the GOP then, you still can’t now, and tomorrow won’t be any different – “right”, Senator Hann?

For those that are interested in what’s REALLY wrong with today’s GOP, Hamline Professor David Schultz recently penned “The Moral Crisis of the Republican Party”. I highly recommend those reading this, read it.

Obviously, those in attendence last night hadn’t.

Here’s an example of the candidacy of Tom Emmer in 2010, and why those GOPers that are electable are not endorsable (and those GOPers endorsable are not electable) in today’s MnGOP – via YouTube:

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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Who Is Election Energy, And Why It Matters

On November 28, 2012, in Candidates, Justice, by tommy

Last week, we discussed Verified Twitter Accounts – specifically, that Minnesota Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson had one. On Monday, we looked at Chief Justice Lorie Gildea’s expenses on her Campaign Finance Reports (“CFB”) for her campaign website – well, specifically, the lack thereof.

Today, we’re going to look at website expenses for the campaign of Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson – and several other prominent Republicans. We’ll start with one such prominent Republican, the soon-to-be former GOP Senate Caucus Leader Dave Senjem – a screenshot from Senjem’s CFB report is above. On Sen Senjem’s CFB report, you’ll note the expenses of $250 and $12 on 31 July and 17 September 2012 for website related fees to “Election Energy” to a street address in Apple Valley. That street address matches the address listed which was found during a Domain Search for www.ElectionEnergy.com; link to screenshot here.

Justice G. Barry Anderson also used Election Energy as a vendor; on his latest CFB report it’s his largest vendor – accounting for almost 30% of his campaign’s expenditures (almost $19k). Except, on Anderson’s CFB report, there’s a different address for Election Energy; it’s listed as a P. O. Box.

Hmmm…. Time to check property tax records for the address reported by Senjem’s campaign! And what do we find? It seems the address used by Senjem, and NOT used by Anderson, is owned by: “Grant B. and Louise H. Anderson”.

Sources have confirmed the address used by Senjem, but NOT by Anderson, is indeed Justice G. Barry Anderson’s home.

Of course, it’s possible that “Election Energy” – using a business address of State Supreme Court Justice Grant B. Anderson, who goes by “G. Barry Anderson” – isn’t owned by Justice Anderson; it’s possible it’s owned by his son, Grant Anderson, who is acting as Justice Anderson’s digital director.

Better check with the Secretary of State’s Office, and find out who is the registered owner(s) of “Election Energy”!

Hmmmm….. An on-line search, via the Secretary of State’s office reveals: “No results match the criteria entered.”. Hmmm, maybe I’m doing something wrong? No, said the nice person at the Secretary of State’s Business Services Section – they couldn’t find any record of registration either.

Does a website company that’s physically located in Minnesota, has customers in Minnesota, and is soliciting for more business need to be registered? Well, according to the nice person at the Secretary of State’s office, who did NOT know the nature of the people involved – a sitting State Supreme Court justice, for one – said while not an attorney, it appears that under statutes 303 and 331 – the short answer is yes.

To recap: what we appear to have is an unlicensed business being run out of the home of a Supreme Court Justice that has said Justice as a customer. Additional customers include current GOP Senator Senjem, former GOP State Rep Keith Downey, soon-to-be GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, and fellow Supreme Court Justice David Stras, whose campaign sent $5,000 to Election Energy’s P.O. Box.

Here’s what I wrote in the post about Gildea:

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.

Consider that said about Justice G. Barry too. There’s some ‘splainin’ to do….

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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 www.JusticeLorieGildea.com.

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 (www.ChiefJusticeLorieGildea.com) 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 MnProgressiveProject.com; 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)

GOP Senator Hann’s problems started with his involvement in The Gang Of Four; which is a scandal because four Republican State Senators called the media to attend a press conference in December of 2011, smiled at the camera — and one of them, for sure, proceeded to lie through his teeth. As of this date, we don’t know what Hann knew, when he knew it, nor what his role in this scandal is – and he ain’t talking.

We’re going to skip over Hann’s role in the infamous Lunch Hour Lit Drop scandal; suffice it to say that Hann was co-chair of the GOP Senate Caucus re-election effort. If Hann didn’t know what was happening, he should have. See MnGOP State Senate: “…we are in this together…” and MnGOP State Senate: We Are In This Together Part 2.

We’ll skip to late last month, when the story broke about Hann’s apparent concealment of who he works for/what he does. What we know is Hann has a license to sell insurance and works for a company that sells insurance – Boys & Tyler Financial. Fox9 covered this story; that’s where the image to the right came from. It’s a statement Hann sent Fox9; Hann says was “too busy campaigning” to talk to the reporter. Hann’s been ducking reporters ever since.

And here’s something David Hann is probably NOT going to want to talk about either. That facebook image, to the right? That’s Brad Biers’ page. Who is Brad Biers? According to the State Senate HHS website, Biers is the HHS Committee Administrator; a Committee David Hann Chairs. And what does Biers say, in his facebook post?

“All of my political clients won last night! A Sincere Congratulations to Sen. David Hann, Sen. Paul Gazelka, Sen.-elect David Osmek and Rep.-elect Marion O’Neill. These are four of the finest public servants Minnesota has to offer.

Election cycle 2014 begins. Contact me for winning ideas and and strategies anytime.”

RuhRoh… Committee Chair David Hann’s Committee Administrator has David Hann as a political client???

Off to google, where we find Biers is a partner in a company called “Capitol Communications”.

Now we have a name, so it’s off to the Campaign Finance Board to check Hann’s Campaign’s reports. And we do indeed find an expenditure to Capitol Communications.

OK, now we have an address, so let’s look it up! What do we find? It’s owned by Brad Biers.

No doubt about it: a State Senate Staffer – Brad Biers, wages paid by taxpayers – is also doing political work for not only his State Senate Boss, David Hann – he’s also done it for three other elected officials and he’s looking for more.

And not only is he looking for more, he’s looking for more at “anytime.” Let’s look at that facebook post, again:

Election cycle 2014 begins. Contact me for winning ideas and and strategies anytime.

Including the time he’s supposed to be doing the taxpayer’s work??!?

Ladies and Gentlemen, that reeks. Don’t know if it’s illegal, or if it’s against Senate Rules, but I intend to find out.

In the meantime, in addition to all the unanswered questions Hann has regarding his role in The Gang Of Four, The Lunch Hour Lit Drop, his conflict of interest with regards to what he does for a living, Hann can now add the work his staffer did to the list.

Stay tuned!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

Dear Media: Fox News Blames You!

On November 7, 2012, in Candidates, Media, by tommy

To Be Clear: Locally, Fox9News does a pretty good job. This is a quick post about some of the nastiest Republicans in the state of Minnesota – the GOP SD48 – and the National Faux “Fox” News.

It’s the morning after a historic election; locally the ethically challenged Kirk Stensrud got knocked off by Yvonne Selcer in 48-A. Knowing how “classy” the local GOPers are (not), I went to their website – let’s look!

OK, see that on the bottom, middle? “• BIAS ALERT — Five ways the mainstream media tipped the scales in favor of Obama.

That’s “right” – blame the media. That’s the local GOPers excuse for possibly the worst candidate a party has ever put up for President, the “fiercely conservative” – until he got the GOP’s endorsement – “Multiple Positions” Mitt Romney (who even the Salt Lake Tribune couldn’t endorse).

“Blame the media” from the local Party of Personal Responsibility (from OTHERS). Forget Etch-A-Sketch; forget Romney Shambles; forget the non-existent tax returns; forget… well EVERYTHING – it’s the media’s fault.

These local GOPers are the ones that rallied behind disgraced former Mayor Phil Young. The ones that two years later; still vilify former DFL State Representative Maria Ruud. The ones that… well, I could go on and On and ON. The local “leaders” of the Mn GOP SD48 simply are NOT nice nor classy people.

And their very first post on their website, on the day after an election rejecting their candidate for president, saw the DFL take over the House and Senate in St. Paul (including the defeat of their endorsed candidate in SD48-A, Kirk Stensrud), saw the defeat of two State Constitutional Amendment proposals is a link to the National Fox News, whose message is: “blame the media.”

Message to GOP SD48: take some responsibility.

You know, like you’re always demanding, from everybody else.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

Well, and out of touch, too.

That screen shot, to the “far right” (pun intended)? Those are tweets that were fired off last night by Bob Koss – who bills himself as, and this is a quote: “Free thinking conservative. Proud staffer at the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus.” Koss is a Legislative Assistant for Joe Gimse.

The target of Koss’ tirade? Republican State Representative John Kriesel, an Iraq War Veteran. Rep. Kriesel’s offense, to “earn” comments such as “RINO” & “Piece of (stuff)” & “SOB” & “shameless self promoter”?

Kriesel had the audacity to speak his mind on the floor of the House of Representatives and then allow that speech to be included in a television ad advocating a “No” vote on the marriage restriction constitutional amendment.

Predictably, the media picked up on Koss’ WAY out of line attack; KSTP TV reported on it this morning – “Twitter War Breaks Out Between Rep. Kriesel, Staffer Koss” – and City Pages not only wrote about it; they have screen shots of the entire exchange.

This so-called “twitter war” is simply the latest example of an out of control Republican Senate Caucus.

And where are the Republican Senators? Senate Majority “Leader” Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, is in Rochester trying to save his political skin. Asistant Majority “Leader” David Hann, R-Eden Prairie (the alleged co-chair of the Republican Senate Re-Election effort) is, well, who knows where? He’s been ducking the press ever since Fox9 TV ran a story: “What Does Hann Do For A Living?”.

As far as I can tell, it’s understandable the Senate Republican Caucus’ Communications “Director” – Steve Sviggum – couldn’t jump into the fray and stop Koss, a caucus staffer, from committing poltical hari kari on twitter last night – because as far as I can tell, Sviggum – the Communications “Director” – isn’t even ON twitter.

It’s an insult to clown cars to call the scandal plagued Senate Republican Caucus a “clown car.”

Hopefully next Wednesday, they WILL be called “the MINORITY Republican Senate Caucus.”

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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The endorsement came in the form of a Letter To The Editor in the local paper; published 18 October 2012.

Now, that’s a nice letter, talking about the great job (“huge contributions”) Hann is doing – seen by the residents that subscribe to the local paper right before election day. But nowhere does Mr. Tyler, of Boys and Tyler Financial, disclose that there might just be a slight conflict of interest: Hann works for Tyler.

One would think the voters of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka, in Senate District 48, should know that.

Should Hann be re-elected, Hann will go back to the State Capitol, in the Legislature, where he’s the Chair of Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee. Why is that committee important? Because it oversees and writes legislation affecting the health insurance industry; the industry Mr. Tyler’s company (Boys & Tyler Financial) is in, which is the company Hann works for. How convenient – for them.

In the story “Conflict of Interest? David Hann, GOP Health Insurance Salesman” (25 Oct 2012), we posted a picture of “an ‘invitation-only” event hosted by the Republican Health Care Task Force (RHCTF) of the MN GOP at the State Capitol on November 3, 2011.” In the caption above the picture, it’s noted that NOT pictured are John Tyler, and David Hann.

We know by this screen shot that Tyler and Hann were scheduled for another health care forum, on 17 October 2012.

Tyler and his employee, Hann, have been involved in working on health care legislation for at least a year. What we don’t know is how long Hann has been an employee of Tyler. In fact, Tyler’s Letter to the Editor failed to disclose Hann even is an employee.

Hann needs to come clean and clear the air.

Links to previous coverage follows.

“Conflict of Interest? David Hann, GOP Health Insurance Salesman” — 5:00am, Thursday October 25th, 2012

“When is a Conflict of Interest, a Conflict of Interest? You Decide.” — Thursday, October 25th, 2012

“What does Sen. David Hann do for a living?” — 7:55pm, Thursday October 25th

“Fox9 News Scandal Coverage: “What does Sen. David Hann do for a living?” — 10:41am, Friday, October 26th

“TV station sees conflict of interest for Sen. Hann, others” — 2:12pm, Friday, October 26th

BREAKING: David Hann Scrubs His Website, or: “Let The WhiteWash Begin!” — 9:35 pm, Friday, October 26th

BREAKING: David Hann On Board Of Directors For Trade Association He Oversees — Monday, October 29th

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)