Yesterday, The Big E published a blogpost, “David Hann in real trouble over campaign finance violation?”. Good question! A quick internet trip to Minnesota’s Statutes finds a section entitled “Corporate Political Contributions.” Now, I’m not a lawyer, but: this seems pretty clear to me:

Subd. 2. Prohibited contributions. A corporation may not make a contribution or offer or agree to make a contribution directly or indirectly, of any money, property, free service of its officers, employees, or members, or thing of monetary value to a major political party, organization, committee, or individual to promote or defeat the candidacy of an individual for nomination, election, or appointment to a political office.

Why is that important? Well, let’s look at just one Federal Elections Commission filing by an entity called “Senate Victory PAC” – whose Treasurer happens to be Republican State Senator David Hann:

That’s from filing FEC-865022, the Senate Victory PAC’s October 2012 filing.
3M Company PAC = $5,000
Centerpoint Energy, Inc. PAC = $500
Express Scripts Inc. Political Fund = $5,000
Koch Industries Inc PAC – $5,000

Those sure look like corporate contributions to me!

I looked at all the contributions to this “Senate Victory PAC” since it was started in November 2011, totalling $32,950, and they all look like corporate PAC contributions.

On November 18th, Rachel Stassen-Berger reported in the Star Tribune:

Hann said that as a former member of the state House and the state Senate Vandeveer, whom he considers a friend, has a good political sense of the Minnesota electorate. Hann said that he talks to Vandeveer, who did not run for re-election last year, “fairly often” and he has taken on various tasks to prepare Senate Republicans for the 2016 elections.

Why is that important? Because, also in that story, Rachel reported that Vandeveer had been paid out of the Senate Victory PAC – and that PAC’s only source of income appears to have been corporate PAC money.

A call to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board for comment was made and a message left. This one isn’t going away; stay tuned!

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Monday morning, we did a post entitled Attila The Hann’s Comment On His Role In The Pew d’ Etat. Hann’s comment to the Star Tribune about the sacking of Amy Koch was, basically, “no comment.” And there’s a good reason for that, if you’re David Hann: the story he told at the infamous December 2011 Press Conference doesn’t add up (to put it nicely).

How do we know that? Because Monday afternoon, Minnesota Public Radio (“MPR”) did a story – let’s look!

If it smells like a power play…

Posted at 5:01 PM on January 28, 2013 by Bob Collins (9 Comments)
Filed under: Politics

Former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch told WCCO Radio today she’s never watched (or listened to) the December 2011 press conference at which it was announced she’d resigned her leadership post because of an affair with a staffer.

She says she probably won’t ever watch it. That’s too bad, because looking back at it now, coupled with yesterday’s Star Tribune story, her claim that four of her male colleagues were staging a power play gains at least a fair amount of traction.
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Even before Ms. Koch broke her silence with yesterday’s Star Tribune article, there was a stench around the story and timetable the Republican men — Sen. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley, Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester, Sen. Geoff Michel and Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie — painted at the news conference announcing Koch’s resignation.
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Compare that to what Sen. David Hann said when he was asked about the news conference announcing Koch’s resignation. “It’s a total surprise,” Hann told MPR News.

A surprise? It shouldn’t have been. Hann was one of the men who set Koch up at the Minneapolis Club.

The men insisted it was Koch who brought up the idea of resigning. But in her interview with the Star Tribune, that’s not how she remembers it:
(read rest of the story, here)

We know that at that infamous Gang Of Four (Hann, Michel, Gerlach & Senjem) Press Conference in December 2011, Michel clearly smiled at the cameras and proceeded to lie through his teeth.

Now Hann’s role in The Pew d’ Etat – the sacking of Amy Koch and Michael Brodkorb – is becoming clearer, and it sure looks like Hann smiled at the cameras and pulled a Michel.

GOP State Senator David Hann – the GOP’s Minority Leader in the State Senate – is rapidly becoming Minnesota’s most ethically-challenged politician.

Which, as stated in Monday’s post, should make Attila The Hann a shoo-in for the ethically-challenged MnGOP’s endorsement to run for governor in 2014….

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

“No comment.” Well, to be completely accurate, here’s what it says in the Star Tribune story “Amy Koch: Affair gave GOP foes an opportunity; Ex-Senate leader accuses some of her most trusted allies of back-stabbing, lies.”: “Hann declined to comment for the story,…”.

Now, to me, The Sacking Of Amy Koch – a/k/a, “The Pew d’ Etat” – is NOT a scandal about sex, as salacious as sex is. This scandal is about a political power play – The Sacking Of Amy Koch (well, and Michael Brodkorb, too). And the real scandal is the brazen lying, which Koch talks about in the story. And we know there was lying going on; one member of the infamous Gang Of Four – then-GOP State Senator Geoff Michel(Attila David Hann, Chris Gerlach, and Dave Senjem being the other three) – lied to reporters at the December 2011 Press Conference talked about in the Star Tribune story liked to, above. And we know Michel lied; he later admitted it – basically saying “I only lied because I had to.”

So we know that at least one member of The Gang Of Four is an admitted liar. So we know that when Amy Koch alleges there’s some lyin’ goin’ on, well, we already knew that. And we also knew that David Hann, the now-GOP State Senate Minority Leader, was deeply involved involved with this sordid affair of calling the Press to attend a Press Conference where this Gang Of Four might tell some of the truth, but certainly some stuff that wasn’t the truth.

And Hann won’t comment.

Amy Koch has now commented; as has Michael Brodkorb previously.

Since December 2011, David Hann has been deeply involved in this Pew d’ Etat scandal, the infamous Lunch Hour Lit Drop scandal, and his personal conflict of interest scandal.

Which, of course, should make him a shoo-in for the ethically-challenged MnGOP’s endorsement to run for governor in 2014….

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

The scandal plagued Republican State Senator from Eden Prairie, David Hann, was elected by his fellow Senate Republicans to lead their Caucus as Minority Leader. No surprise there! Beginning in January 2011, when the Senate Republicans took over, it has been scandal after scandal after scandal by these Republican scoundrels.

The latest scandal coming from these State Senate Republicans has to do with their newly elected leader, David Hann, and it has to do with a conflict of interest and his perceived cover up of it. Boiled down, it is in essence: who does Hann work for, what does Hann do, and when did Hann start doing it?

And Hann ducked the only major news outlet in the Metro – Tom Lyden of Fox9 News – that picked up on this scandal. To be fair, MinnPost picked up on Fox9 picking the story up. Everybody else? Cue the crickets!

Now, when Hann’s fellow campers in the scandal plagued Republican Senate Caucus elected him, they also sent out a Press Release describing Hann as follows:

“Senator Hann was elected to his fourth term in the Senate earlier this week. He was first elected in 2002. Prior to his service in the Senate, Hann was elected three times to the Eden Prairie School board where he served as clerk and treasurer. He was also employed at E. A. Sween Co. (Deli Express) for 22 years, where he served in several capacities including Director of Forecasting and Logistics.”

What we’ve found since the Hann Scandal first broke is that Hann is now a licensed insurance agent, works for an insurance company (Boys And Tyler), and serves on the Board of Directors of an insurance industry trade group (Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters).

To no surprise, no mention of what has come to light about Hann (not the industry, nor the company, nor his job, nor his trade association position), in the Senate Republican Caucus’ press release, announcing and describing their newly elected fearless leader’s new job – Minority Leader.

During his recent campaign, David Hann clearly demonstrated he did not believe the public deserved to know his source of employment. Based on the press release by the Republican Senate Caucus he now leads, they don’t think so either.

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Photo Credit to Minnesota Public Radio for the image above – which pictures the so-called Gang Of Four at the infamous December 2011 Press Conference.

Previous coverage of Hann’s ongoing scandal follows:

“Republicans pick the most corrupt Senator to lead them, David Hann” — Friday, November 9th, 2012

“More Questions For The List Of Questions David Hann Hasn’t Answered” — Thursday, November 8th, 2012

“GOP State Senator David Hann Endorsed For Re-Election – By His Boss” — Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*** related, but not directly:

“Minnesota Senate Republicans Are Out Of Control” — Friday, November 2nd, 2012

“Brodkorb Fallout: Consider The Source” — Monday, October 15th, 2012

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

To the far right is what the “about” section of GOP State Senator David Hann’s campaign website looked like just the other day.

Then the stories about his conflict of interest began hitting:

“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

What’s a politician from “The Party Of Personal Responsibility” to do, when caught in a scandal of his own making?

Well, scrubbing his website is a good guess, so: let’s look!

What a surprise! This is what Hann’s “about” website looks like now, to the right. What’s the difference between a couple of days ago, and now? Then: “He is now a business process consultant…” Now: “He is now a partnering agent with Boys and Tyler Financial Group Inc.”

OK, that’s a start to a good whitewash; Hann’s now actually admitting who he works for.

But it’s a little incomplete, yes?

“business process consultant” to “partnering agent” – what does that really tell his constituents?

What it tells me is how serious Hann realizes his conflict of interest is.

Hann’s homepage has been scrubbed too; link here to see what it was just a couple of days ago; compare that with the shiny new scrubbed look!

I’ll tell you what you WON’T see on the “shiny new scrubbed look!” that WAS on the “pre-caught” version – this:

We can do better by ensuring that all Minnesotans have choice and control over their health care, and expanding the market for innovative insurance products so it is affordable for all.

Hann needs to come clean, and a quick scrub of his website is clearly not enough.

But it’s a start when you’re a high ranking member of “The Party Of Personal Responsibility” and you’re desperately trying to avoid any “personal responsibility” at all.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

… or, “MnGOP Senate Caucus’ Lunch Hour Lit Drop Update.” In Part 1, we looked at a cardinal rule for politicians dealing with the press: do not – DO NOT – tell ‘em whoppers. Ever. Period. End of story.

Except, that sure looks like that’s EXACTLY what the Mn GOP Senate did; hence, the clowns image on that – and this! – post. Because, when KMSP-TV Investigative Reporter Tom Lyden went to talk to the Senate GOPers, he already had the email they went out to their staffers (and each and every one of their GOP elected Senators, too). And in the original story, aired last Tuesday night, the staffer that sent the email – Maureen Watson – denied there was any electioneering being staged out of that office in the Capitol. And yesterday, GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem doubled down; telling Minnesota Public Radio there was none o’ that stuff going on – “that he was aware of.”

Yeah, “right.” It’s not like this is the first time a GOPer Senate “Leader” has told a whopper to reporters, “right”? But I digress. Let’s take a quick look at a part of the email, dated August 9th, that Lyden had in hand when he first talked to staffer Watson:

Wanted to thank all of you who were able to help out this week with our lunch hour lit dropping and phoning! We had over 40 people out over the three days – so super turn out.

Pretty clear so far, yes?

We have a similar plan in store for next week – going out lit dropping on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Well, not to nitpick, but: I’d call it a “scheme.” Bottom line, so far? “We did it, and we’re gonna do it again.”

If you are new to our Caucus and to our Lunch Hour Lit Drops – please consider joining us. It really helps out our Caucus and it is fun. If you have someone to pair up with great – if not, just show up in 208 about 10:45/11 – and you can join one of the groups.(full email here)

Not to beat it into the ground, but: it’s pretty obvious that THEY knew what THEY were doing. And again, this went out to a whole bunch of staffers and EACH and EVERY elected GOP Senator. Now, what happened at the next regularly scheduled “Lunch Hour Lit Drop” last Tuesday? Well, Shawn Towle of ChecksAndBalances.com was there too, and set up a camera to record the shenanigans. Which was the basis for Reporter Lyden’s story Tuesday night. And one guy that showed up for that “Lunch Hour Lit Drop” – where, according to GOPer Senjem, none o’ that “Lit Drop” was going on, is a guy, sources tell me, by the name of Craig Sondag – let’s look!

OK, so who is Craig Sondag? Well, a quick google search tells us, in a story by The Rochester Democrat Newspaper that Sondag is an “experienced campaign field staffer” former Majority Leader Amy Koch hired in 2010 for that election. And while he’s listed as a Senate Staffer on the Senate’s website as a researcher, he also recently showed up on the Mn GOP Senate Caucus’ (“Senate Victory Fund”) Campaign Finance Board Report as a salaried employee as of June 29th, 2012. So, why would an employee of the GOP’s Caucus’s political arm, the “Senate Victory Fund”, be showing up to a “Lunch Hour Lit Drop” at the Capitol, if it wasn’t to do a “Lunch Hour Lit Drop”? Oh, wait – Senjem says there WASN’T any campaigning at the “Lunch Hour Lit Drops” – that he was aware of….

Yesterday, after Senjem told Minnesota Public Radio that there was none of that campaigning going on at the “Lunch Hour Lit Drop,” DFL Chair Ken Martin held a presser. Tom Lyden did a follow up story, and it’s a must see/must read.

The bottom line?

Just who do these GOPers think they’re fooling??!?

No campaigning going on at continuing events they called “Lunch Hour Lit Drops”?

Don’t believe ‘em – it simply isn’t credible. There’s an email; there’s a video.

The new GOP motto should be: “Who ya gonna believe – us, or yer lyin’ eyes?”

And remember: You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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One of the cardinal rules of dealing with reporters, is do not – DO NOT – tell ‘em whoppers. Period. End of Story.

Except, there’s a breaking story about how that’s EXACTLY what the GOP in the MN Senate did to KMSP-TV Investigative Reporter Tom Lyden. And it has to do with another “do not – DO NOT – do” – campaigning from state property; in this case, the State Capitol.

While you’re watching the following video, you can’t help thinking that the GOPer Staffer Maureen Watson is thinking about saying to Tom Lyden: “Well, who ya gonna believe – me, or your lyin’ eyes?” That’s before she ducks out, not to be seen again…. Let’s look!

(direct link to KMSP-TV story/video)

From that story, by Tom Lyden: “State ethics laws are clear that an employee must not use state time, supplies, or state-owned property and equipment for private interests — including campaigning.”

But, it gets better – or, worse. Shawn Towle of ChecksAndBalances.com, who Lyden interviewed in that video, just put up a post with ALL of the names that email went out to, and it’s quite the list! The electeds include:

“Benson, Michelle” “Chamberlain, Roger” “Daley, Ted” “DeKruif, Al” “Fischbach, Michelle” “Gazelka, Paul” “Gerlach, Chris” “Gimse, Joe” Hall, Dan” “Hann, David” “Hoffman, Gretchen” “Ingebrigtsen, Bill” etc etc etc

Now, not one – NOT ONE – of those brainiacs couldn’t figure out that running this little scheme out of the State Capitol wasn’t such a slick idea? NOT ONE???!

The title of this post — “…we are in this together…” — is from the body of the email that was sent out inviting people to this scheme.

And they ARE all in it together; all of the staffers and all of the GOP incumbents on the ballot this fall.

This appears to be an orchestrated and coordinated scheme; this needs to be investigated.

Quite frankly, the Mn GOP is a cast of clowns, and the last two years they’ve brought nothing but scandals and dishonor to St. Paul. Can’t someone just open a RICO Investigation on ‘em??!?

One key question, so far unanswered: were those people taking those free lunches and going back to their state supplied desks in their state supplied offices and using their state supplied phones for phone calls? Or were they using state supplied cell phones to make those calls?

Stay tuned!

h/t to Shawn Towle, ChecksAndBalances.com

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

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While we’re waiting on career politician Eric Paulsen to announce his latest grifter-esque (shucks and jives like “Opie”; votes like Bachmann) Q2 2012 PAC shakedown fundraising totals, it’s important to remember “Opie” still has some ‘splainin’ to do from LAST quarter’s PAC shakedown fundraising totals.

On June 14th, 2012 the FEC sent Paulsen a letter (“Request For Additional Information”) about what they thought were “excess contributions” from a PAC from McKesson Corporation. Conveniently, for Paulsen, his response isn’t due back to the FEC until July 19th, 2012 – AFTER Paulsen announces his latest PAC shakedown fundraising totals.

And here’s just part of what the Federal Elections Commission is looking at:

Hmmm…. “excessive contributions”….

Hmmm… from McKesson…..

Hmmm… Hey, WAIT! I remember that name!!!

Less than a month ago, on June 19th, MPP Contributor Joe Bodell asked: “Paulsen voting for his own portfolio?” Well, it gets worse: apparently, not only did Paulsen vote on his own portfolio, he accepted campaign contributions from a company in his own portfolio.

Here’s exactly what it looks like: Paulsen owns stock in a company that will profit from the legislation he’s written AND he takes campaign contributions from that very same company.

Hey – works for Paulsen!

Here’s the kicker: Paulsen not only took campaign contributions, he took campaign contributions that might just be – according to the Federal Elections Commission – “excessive.”

Now, I don’t know if that’s illegal (I’ll find out – and if it’s not, it SHOULD be), but it sure looks unethical at best, and downright sleazy at worst.

Which might explain why it took Paulsen so long to sign on to the “Ban Insider Trading” (by Congressmen) bill, yes?

Hmmm…. it it possible there is more?

Stay tuned!!!!

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