The League of Women Voters sponsored the Mayoral and City Council Debate last Tuesday, at the Eden Prairie City Hall. I, of coure, was there. Suffice it to say the two GOPer Endorsed Candidates – Jon Duckstad for Mayor and Donna Azarian for City Council – regurgitated RightWingNut talking points every time their mic was turned on. There were two other RightWingNuts on display, too: Dan Kitrell and Jeremiah Pilon (if Pilon has a website, I can’t find it). Video of the entire “debate” is here; we’ll bust it up for comparative YouTubes later. Now, a question asked was if political parties should endorse in local races; to no surprise GOPer endorsed Duckstad and Azarian dutifully said yes as did Kitrell (why the GOPers didn’t endorse Kitrell is beyond me; he’s got the wingnut rhetoric down pat and he’s the most articulate of the three).

This is important, because up until the GOP started spouting off that “Permanent Republican Majority” bull(chips), Eden Prairie had never had party endorsements at the local level (to this day, the DFL doesn’t). But, the local GOP “leadership” wanted to be “King Makers” – so they started endorsing. The GOP wanting to be the ones anointing is no surprise; the GOP has always – ALWAYS – been a top-down, get-your-(butt)-in-line organization. Just look at Erik Paulsen, who ran unopposed for the GOP Endorsement to replace retiring Congressman Jim Ramstad. Is anyone seriously going to say that there wasn’t one other up ‘n coming and seriously ambitious GOPer in the 3rd CD that wanted to replace Ramstad when no one – NO ONE – tossed the ol’ hat into the ring to do just that?

However, all that is a digression from the title o’ the post; there are OTHER wanna-be “King Makers” in Eden Prairie, the so-called “Eden Prairie Taxpayers Aliance” – presumably led by the notorious tobacco lobbyist, Tom Briant.

Go below the fold, and read the questions this group – presumably – emailed to all eight candidates; my questions to this “group” after the ol’ TwoPutter was anonymously forwarded said email; and then the response from Paul Wendorf, one o’ the group who wrote this:

“They know who Tom (Briant) and I (Paul Wendorf) are.”

Indeed, we do. And now, gentle readers, so shall you!

The original email, forwarded to me:

From: barney uhlig barney.uhlig@us.army.mil
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 9:08 PM
Subject: Questions for all candidates

To: jonduckstad@xxx.com, nancytyralukens@xxx.com, dazarian1@xxx.net, sherrybutcherwickstrom@xxxl.com, kitrell4EP@xxx.com, kathynelsonforedenprairie@xxx.com, jpilon@xxxl.com, scott.pollino@xxx.com

Cc: Thomas Briant abriant@sprynet.com, Paul Wendorff paulwendorff@attglobal.net, Dan Jorgenson dmjorg@hotmail.com, Brent Halweg bhalweg@comcast.net, Joe Lupo joel@winsted.com, Bob Johnson robert.dakota@yahoo.com, Mike Fahning mfahning@comcast.net

We are a group of neighbors who want to know specific intentions of a city council candidate rather than just the usual clichés. We would like to know how you stand on the following issues. Our votes will be based on your answers, or lack thereof.
Will you commit to introduce legislation, actively work for its passage, and finally vote for irt which would:

1. Bring the city’s top salaries and fringe befits in line with state government or business of similar size? Why does the public works director e.g., having about 20% of the responsibility of the state commissioner of transportation, gets a compensation higher than that of the governor?

2. Review the multiple layers of city management to see if all positions are really necessary.

3. Eliminate the office, including the position of public works director. E.P. is not that big that the city engineer, etc. cannot report directly to the city manager.

4. Eliminate the city public relations department, whatever its name. The city has no business publishing its own news paper or its own TV channel The only task to be continued is the broadcast of council and committee meetings (a part time position).

5. Eliminate any city involvement in the advising of immigrants. This is already done by federal, state, and county offices as well as 49 NGOs.

6. Eliminate the city being a property owner except when such property is directly for the city’s use. The city has no business owning a house leased to a coffee shop.

7. Discontinue the city acquiring, owning and operating buildings for small special interest groups, such as an observatory, an arts center, a bow/arrow range, etc. These facilities should be turned over to the special interest groups and taken off city books.

8. Require the city managers to present three annual budget proposals which shall not reduce public safety, but which otherwise reduce spending by a.) 3%, b.) one that spends the same as last year, and c.) one that contains increases similar to those of the CPI. That would enable the council members to make real choices.

9. Eliminate the city requirement that home owners have to plow city owned side walks.

10. Eliminate the “no-plow zone” which allows the city not to plow at all certain public park and street walkways.

11. Eliminate the upcharges for water usage beyond an amount that the city considers ‘excessive”.

12. With state legislation if necessary, increase water supply from wells or the river to eliminate the permanent water “emergency”.

13. Refund the approx. 100 property owners in the Hillcrest area the $6,000 which the city assessed for street maintenance. The city hadn’t touched these roads in 30 years, and then claimed that they were so deteriorated that an assessment was required.

14. Eliminate the so-called “development fund” or whatever it is called into which revenues from the liquor stores and other city income flows. Every expenditure of the city should go thru the regular budget process. The only possible legitimate purpose for that fund is a “rainy day” source of money, but only to supplement the general fund in a (defined) genuine emergency and not for a project.

15. Instill in, and demand from the city bureaucracy a “miser” mentality as it pertains to spending tax dollars, and base any bonus payments on that. Most top bureaucrats are neither Democrat nor Republican – they are empire builders and indiscriminate spenders unless the council keeps them under control. Tearing out perfectly good asphalt of the Round Lake pedestrian path, replacing it with new, two feet wider asphalt, and then painting lane dividers on this walkway (!) – is an example of a bureaucracy gone wild and swimming in money. The ThreeRrivePark walkways in Minnetonka are quite adequate crushed rock – nothing wrong with that. Why did we need to replace entirely satisfactory wooden city park and building signs with glitzy glass and aluminum signs? Last year, when a number of E.P. home owners had to watch the foreclosure on their homes, the city had no better use for tax money than to tear out the quite serviceable tennis complex at Round Lake park and
replace it completely, base, colored asphalt, and 12’ high fence? We spent more than $100,000 to develop and produce new city, police and fire logos. Why? The examples could go on and on. We need more common sense in city hall.
:

-
Barney U Uhlig, LTC, SF, USAR Ret

# # #

My questions for this “group of neighbors”

From: Two Putt Tommy
To: barney.uhlig@us.army.mil
Cc: jonduckstad@xxx.com, nancytyralukens@xxx.com, dazarian1@xxx.net, sherrybutcherwickstrom@xxxl.com, kitrell4EP@xxx.com, kathynelsonforedenprairie@xxx.com, jpilon@xxxl.com, scott.pollino@xxx.com abriant@sprynet.com ; paulwendorff@attglobal.net ; dmjorg@hotmail.com ; bhalweg@comcast.net ; joel@winsted.com ; robert.dakota@yahoo.com ; mfahning@comcast.net ; editor@edenprairienews.com ; editor@acnpapers.com
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 7:35 PM

Dear Mr. Ullig,

My name is Tommy Johnson; I’m a blogger at www.MnPrgressiveProject.com and a radio personality at Am-950 Radio

I was forwarded the following, and am wondering who – EXACTLY – the “group of neighbors” are? Is it strictly limited to the group in the “cc:” field below, or are there more?

I note that in the “cc:” field is a person identified as “Thomas Briant” – is this the same “Thomas Briant” listed on the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board as a lobbyist?

In your email, below, you state: “Our votes will be based on your answers, or lack thereof.” Did you plan on publicizing the results of the following questionnaire; and if so, how?

Thank you for your prompt reply; based on your response, I may have additional questions.

Sincerely,

Tommy Johnson

And, here’s the email from Paul Wendorf that was the inspiration for this post:

From: paulwendorff@attglobal.net
To: twoputttommy@hotmail.com
CC: abriant@sprynet.com
Subject: Re:
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 20:04:33 -0500

Barney,

Don’t communicate with this “ass”, he is NO good and you’ll get no-where.

A suggestion for you – I would just leave two putt alone. No communication.

And don’t know about Tom Briant, but keep my email address out of it, these dems will send all kinds of crap my way. They know who Tom and I are. (emphasis added)

Paul

Yes, Paul – we know who you are.

And for those reading this far, that want just a little bit more of what these wanna-be king makers think, link here – and read the comments.

I printed one o’ Briant’s emails (verbatim, of course) in those comments; read how “Tobacco Lobbyist Tom” really, Really, REALLY seems to believe in that old adage from Texas:

The definition of an “honest politician” is “once bought, stays bought”.

You can hashtag any tweets about Briant or Wendorf or anyone else from the so-called “Eden Prairie Taxpayers Aliance” as:

#GreedOverPrinciples

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

…the more things change, the more the GOP is indeed the “Greed Over Principles” party.

And it’s important to remember the lessons of history; those that don’t tend to vote GOP. So I present Nixon’s resignation speech, as a reminder of why it’s so important to elect Democrats this November.

Good evening.

This is the 37th time I have spoken to you from this office, where so many decisions have been made that shaped the history of this Nation. Each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter that I believe affected the national interest.

In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Nation. Throughout the long and difficult period of Watergate, I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me.

In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort. As long as there was such a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult process and a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.

But with the disappearance of that base, I now believe that the constitutional purpose has been served, and there is no longer a need for the process to be prolonged.

I would have preferred to carry through to the finish whatever the personal agony it would have involved, and my family unanimously urged me to do so. But the interests of the Nation must always come before any personal considerations.

From the discussions I have had with Congressional and other leaders, I have concluded that because of the Watergate matter I might not have the support of the Congress that I would consider necessary to back the very difficult decisions and carry out the duties of this office in the way the interests of the Nation would require.

I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad.

To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the President and the Congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home.

Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office.

As I recall the high hopes for America with which we began this second term, I feel a great sadness that I will not be here in this office working on your behalf to achieve those hopes in the next 2 1/2 years. But in turning over direction of the Government to Vice President Ford, I know, as I told the Nation when I nominated him for that office 10 months ago, that the leadership of America will be in good hands.

In passing this office to the Vice President, I also do so with the profound sense of the weight of responsibility that will fall on his shoulders tomorrow and, therefore, of the understanding, the patience, the cooperation he will need from all Americans.

As he assumes that responsibility, he will deserve the help and the support of all of us. As we look to the future, the first essential is to begin healing the wounds of this Nation, to put the bitterness and divisions of the recent past behind us, and to rediscover those shared ideals that lie at the heart of our strength and unity as a great and as a free people.

By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of that process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.

I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision. I would say only that if some of my judgments were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the Nation.

To those who have stood with me during these past difficult months, to my family, my friends, to many others who joined in supporting my cause because they believed it was right, I will be eternally grateful for your support.

And to those who have not felt able to give me your support, let me say I leave with no bitterness toward those who have opposed me, because all of us, in the final analysis, have been concerned with the good of the country, however our judgments might differ.

So, let us all now join together in affirming that common commitment and in helping our new President succeed for the benefit of all Americans.

I shall leave this office with regret at not completing my term, but with gratitude for the privilege of serving as your President for the past 5 1/2 years. These years have been a momentous time in the history of our Nation and the world. They have been a time of achievement in which we can all be proud, achievements that represent the shared efforts of the Administration, the Congress, and the people.

But the challenges ahead are equally great, and they, too, will require the support and the efforts of the Congress and the people working in cooperation with the new Administration.

We have ended America’s longest war, but in the work of securing a lasting peace in the world, the goals ahead are even more far-reaching and more difficult. We must complete a structure of peace so that it will be said of this generation, our generation of Americans, by the people of all nations, not only that we ended one war but that we prevented future wars.

We have unlocked the doors that for a quarter of a century stood between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.

We must now ensure that the one quarter of the world’s people who live in the People’s Republic of China will be and remain not our enemies but our friends.

In the Middle East, 100 million people in the Arab countries, many of whom have considered us their enemy for nearly 20 years, now look on us as their friends. We must continue to build on that friendship so that peace can settle at last over the Middle East and so that the cradle of civilization will not become its grave.

Together with the Soviet Union we have made the crucial breakthroughs that have begun the process of limiting nuclear arms. But we must set as our goal not just limiting but reducing and finally destroying these terrible weapons so that they cannot destroy civilization and so that the threat of nuclear war will no longer hang over the world and the people.

We have opened the new relation with the Soviet Union. We must continue to develop and expand that new relationship so that the two strongest nations of the world will live together in cooperation rather than confrontation.

Around the world, in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, in the Middle East, there are millions of people who live in terrible poverty, even starvation. We must keep as our goal turning away from production for war and expanding production for peace so that people everywhere on this earth can at last look forward in their children’s time, if not in our own time, to having the necessities for a decent life.

Here in America, we are fortunate that most of our people have not only the blessings of liberty but also the means to live full and good and, by the world’s standards, even abundant lives. We must press on, however, toward a goal of not only more and better jobs but of full opportunity for every American and of what we are striving so hard right now to achieve, prosperity without inflation.

For more than a quarter of a century in public life I have shared in the turbulent history of this era. I have fought for what I believed in. I have tried to the best of my ability to discharge those duties and meet those responsibilities that were entrusted to me.

Sometimes I have succeeded and sometimes I have failed, but always I have taken heart from what Theodore Roosevelt once said about the man in the arena, “whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievements and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

I pledge to you tonight that as long as I have a breath of life in my body, I shall continue in that spirit. I shall continue to work for the great causes to which I have been dedicated throughout my years as a Congressman, a Senator, a Vice President, and President, the cause of peace not just for America but among all nations, prosperity, justice, and opportunity for all of our people.

There is one cause above all to which I have been devoted and to which I shall always be devoted for as long as I live.

When I first took the oath of office as President 5 1/2 years ago, I made this sacred commitment, to “consecrate my office, my energies, and all the wisdom I can summon to the cause of peace among nations.”

I have done my very best in all the days since to be true to that pledge. As a result of these efforts, I am confident that the world is a safer place today, not only for the people of America but for the people of all nations, and that all of our children have a better chance than before of living in peace rather than dying in war.

This, more than anything, is what I hoped to achieve when I sought the Presidency. This, more than anything, is what I hope will be my legacy to you, to our country, as I leave the Presidency.

To have served in this office is to have felt a very personal sense of kinship with each and every American. In leaving it, I do so with this prayer: May God’s grace be with you in all the days ahead.

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

Tagged with:
 

…”Today’s Example Of Greed Over Principles.”

I’ve been following the continuing Eden Prairie GOPer Mayor Phil Young Scandal; Part 5 (which has links to parts 1, 2, 3 and 4) is here.

And I’d like to reiterate what I told the Eden Prairie City Council on June 15th:

THIS MATTER IS ABOUT A MAYOR THAT FALSELY SIGNED DOCUMENTS FOR AT LEAST 26 MEETINGS – THERE MAY BE MORE.

Yesterday, the Strib published an Editorial regarding Mayor Young. On their webpage, they excerpted one question and answer between Detective Hultgren and Mayor Young. I also submitted a Data Practices Act Request with the Plymouth Police Department, and have read the entire investigation that is public information. The final 4 pages are here (page 45) and here (page 46) and here (page 47) and here (page 48). It starts with Detective Hultgren describing how he was assigned to the case, and the facts he found. Make no mistake — Detective Hultgren found perjury, plain and simple. From page 48:

On 6/11/2010 (City Prosecutor) Renz contacted me and asked that I (Det. Hultgren) again send this case to the County Attorney for possible felony perjury charges. Renz believed this was the most obvious charge after he reviewed the facts.
.
.
.
On 7-12-2010 Renz advised me that his office was declining to charge Mayor Young with a misdemeanor.

OK, so why didn’t City Attorney Renz prosecute Mayor Young under misdemeanor perjury? Because he can’t; perjury by definition is a felony. That explains Renz’ cryptic press release: “…though there may be provable charges at levels or in forums over which Mr. Renz does not have jurisdiction.”

After reading through the whole Plymouth Police Investigation, it’s obvious: Young knew when he filled out all those forms that included the phrase “I declare under penalties of perjury…” the information Young filled in was not true.

And Young did it over and Over and OVER. Just one time – just ONE TIME – is perjury; the Plymouth Police Department clearly proved Young did it over and Over and OVER.

One can easily surmise Young would still be doing just that, had he not been caught. It’s a shame he won’t be prosecuted.

Stay tuned!

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

…”Today’s Example Of Greed Over Principles.”

I’ve been following the continuing Eden Prairie GOPer Mayor Phil Young Scandal; Part 4 (which has links to parts 1, 2, and 3) is here.

Last Tuesday, as noted here, I addressed the Eden Prairie City Council. One thing I said is this:

THIS MATTER IS ABOUT A MAYOR THAT FALSELY SIGNED DOCUMENTS FOR AT LEAST 26 MEETINGS – THERE MAY BE MORE.

And it sure looks like there are!

The City Of Eden Prairie appoints a Council Representative to a local non-profit, the Eden Prairie Foundation. The current Board make-up of that non-profit is here. On that page, you will see the City Council’s appointed Representative is Kathy Nelson – NOT Mayor Phil Young.

And if you link to the January 8th, 2008 City Council Minutes here, you’ll see on Page 5:

J. APPOINTMENT TO EDEN PRAIRIE FOUNDATION

Neal noted the Eden Prairie Foundation is a local philanthropic organization in the City. He said this appointment is approved on an annual basis, and Council Member Nelson is currently serving on the foundation.

Young recommended Council Member Nelson’s reappointment.
(emphasis added)

MOTION: Aho moved, seconded by Butcher, to approve appointment of Council Member Nelson to the Eden Prairie Foundation. Motion carried 5-0.

I you link here to the January 6th, 2009 minutes, you’ll see Council Member Nelson again appointed as City Council Representative to that non-profit – and, again, on a 5-0 vote.

Everybody got that? Council Member Nelson is entitled to receive Meeting Attendance Reimbursement from City taxpayers for attending meetings with this very, Very, VERY worthy non-profit – NOT Mayor Phil Young.

So, what does GOPer Mayor Young do, on February 5th, 2009?

Turn in a handwritten “City Council Meeting Attendance Claim Form” – under the penalty of perjury – for a 27 January 2009 meeting with that non-profit.

And he did it again and Again and AGAIN — claiming reimbursements for allegedly – ALLEGEDLY – attending meetings with that non-profit on 23 February 2009, 20 March 2009, and 29 May 2009.

And I say allegedly, because the meeting room that non-profit almost always meets at (for regular meetings) is located at City Hall, and a Data Practices Request filed with the City reveals the non-profit did NOT meet at the City in their normal room on the dates Young claimed reimbursement for.

Either way, the claims Young filed – and signed under penalty of perjury – appear to be fraudulent. If there actually were meetings with this non-profit that Mayor Young attended, he received compensation he doesn’t appear entitled to because he is NOT the City Council Representative to that non-profit.

Of course, if there weren’t meetings on the dates Young claimed, that just makes Young’s position worse: claiming compensation he wasn’t entitled to, for meetings that didn’t exist.

But, hey! It’s not like Young hasn’t done that before!

E-mails to the non-profit concerning this matter, by people in a position to confirm or deny if there were meetings and if Young attended, have not been returned.

Stay tuned!!!

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

I’ve been following the continuing Eden Prairie GOPer Mayor Phil Young Scandal; Part 4 (which has links to parts 1, 2, and 3) is here.

And as Joe posted earlier, Young is DEFINITELY taking more heat; the 4th – 4th – Strib story on this scandal is here.

There’s an “Open Podium” at 6:30 pm, before tonight’s 7:00 pm Council Meeting. I’m supposed to speak first, as I was the first to sign up, but: GOPer Young turned the gavel over to a fellow GOPer so we’ll see how that works out!

TheUpTake might be streaming it live; go over there around 6:15 and take a look to see if you can watch the ol’ TwoPutter deliver the following remarks!

Prepared Remarks – Open Podium, Eden Prairie City Council Chamber, 15 June 2010

I’M TOMMY JOHNSON I LIVE ON (redacted) I WAS TOLD I HAD 3 MINUTES; THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WANTING TO SPEAK SO I’LL DO IT IN 2. MY FAMILY MOVED TO EDEN PRAIRIE IN 1960. I MOVED BACK TO EDEN PRAIRIE WITH MY WIFE BECAUSE IT’S A WONDERFUL CITY AND THE EXCELLENT SCHOOLS.

THE SCHOOLS WERE EXCELLENT AND THE CITY WONDERFUL BECAUSE OF THE EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP IN BOTH.

LEADERSHIP MATTERS. WORDS AND ACTIONS MATTER. REAL LEADERS – LIKE VIER WOOD, PAUL SHEA, CURT CONNAUGHTY AND OTHERS IN THE SCHOOLS; LIKE DON ROGERS, THE REV. GARY PETERSON, DR. JEAN HARRIS, AND ALL OF THE PREVIOUS MAYORS LEADING THIS CITY – THEY SET THE EXAMPLE FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW.

I’M HERE TONIGHT BECAUSE OF A FAILURE IN LEADERSHIP – SOMEONE WHO TALKED THE TALK BUT DIDN’T WALK THE WALK – MAYOR PHIL YOUNG. IN 2OO6, THEN MAYORIAL CANDIDATE PHIL YOUNG’S WEBSITE PROCLAIMED:

“RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP”

CANDIDATE YOUNG’S WEBSITE READ, AND I QUOTE:

‘I HAVE WORKED WITH OTHER METRO AREA ELECTED LEADERS ON ISSUES OF REGIONAL IMPORTANCE’

UPON BECOMING MAYOR YOUNG STOPPED DOING THAT, AND — UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY –- YOUNG BILLED THE TAXPAYERS FOR MEETINGS HE DID NOT ATTEND. I HAVE HERE FORMS YOUNG SUBMITTED FOR PAYMENT

ONE IS A MISTAKE. TWO IS A COINCIDENCE. 14 MONTHS IN A ROW IS A PATTERN. 26 IS INEXCUSABLE.

THIS MATTER IS NOT ABOUT WHETHER PHIL IS A NICE GUY; HE IS. THIS MATTER IS ABOUT LEADERSHIP. WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE HAS PHIL SET FOR THE CITY’S EMPLOYEES? THE CITY’S VENDORS?

THIS MATTER IS ABOUT A MAYOR THAT FALSELY SIGNED DOCUMENTS FOR AT LEAST 26 MEETINGS – THERE MAY BE MORE. PLYMOUTH POLICE INVESTIGATED THOSE MEETINGS – AND ONLY THOSE MEETINGS. THE PLYMOUTH POLICE FORWARDED THEIR FINDINGS FOR POSSIBLE FELONY PROSECUTION JUST ON THOSE MEETINGS. THE INVESTIGATION NEEDS TO CONTINUE.

PERJURY, FELONY, AND MISDEMEANOR ARE WORDS I NEVER THOUGHT WOULD BE CONNECTED TO AN EDEN PRAIRIE MAYOR’S ACTIONS. ACTIONS MATTER. LEADERSHIP MATTERS. SURE, PHIL’S A NICE GUY — BUT HE NEEDS TO RESIGN.

PLEASE CONVEY MY MESSAGE TO MAYOR YOUNG. THANK YOU.
***

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

…”Today’s Example Of Greed Over Principles.”

Yesterday, the Strib did an update* on Republican Mayor Phil Young’s problems. Most notable was the news that while Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office declined to prosecute for felony charges, Eden Prairie’s Prosecutor sent the case to the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s Prosecuting Attorney due to possible conflict of interest issues. That Prosecutor is considering misdemeanor, or even gross misdemeanor, charges.

Should be a slam-dunker.

As noted in Part 1 and in Part 2 and in Part 3, Eden Prairie Mayor Phil Young is in a whole lotta trouble; trouble of his own making because he filled out meeting reimbursement claim forms – in his own handwriting – for meetings he didn’t attend (26 at the last count, according to the Strib) and then signed them under penalty of perjury. Additionally, “The Mayor Who Would Be Judge” (we’ll get to that in a future post) turned in a mileage claim for attending meetings he never attended — takin’ the ol’ unearned double-dip from the city’s taxpayer-provided coffers. Oh – and again, that double-dip was in his own handwriting, and – again – signed under penalty of perjury.

How’s THAT for a neat little trick by a GOPer with a reputation for watchin’ the Public’s Purse like a hawk?

Phil Young is the perfect example of a GOPer running for office on the platform “You can’t trust gov’t!!!” – and, once in power, proving it.

All the above deals with just the 26 meetings of the Minnesota Regional Council of Mayors GOPer Young claimed he went to, under penalty of perjury, but didn’t. I’ve been taking a closer look at some of the other meetings Young claimed reimbursement for, and today we’ll look at GOPer Young’s claimed meeting with GOPer State Representative Jenifer Loon!

The questions I emailed to Rep. Loon, R = ChamberOfCommerce 42B, are below the fold:

From: TwoPuttTommy (redacted)
Sent: Tue 6/01/10 10:19 AM
To: Rep. Loon (redacted)
Subj: 2nd Request: 22 February 2010 Meeting With Mayor Phil Young

Dear Rep. Loon,

As you know, I am a blogger at www.MnProgressiveProject.com and an occasional Guest Host on AM950 KTNF radio. I am writing about the current scandal involving Mayor Young.

According to Mayor Young’s 15 March 2010 City Council Meeting Attendance Claim Form, Mayor Young attended a meeting with you – which he was reimbursed for. Presumably, as the Mayor Young was reimbursed, the meeting had to deal with official governmental business. Accordingly, can you tell me where the meeting was held, and how long the meeting lasted?

Where there any others in attendance during this meeting? What official governmental issues were discussed? Did you keep any notes of this meeting?

Did you claim any monetary reimbursement for attending this meeting?

Your prompt response is appreciated.

Tommy Johnson

I originally sent that email on May 24th; followed up with the above on June 1st, and left a voicemail for Rep. Loon on the same day.

Yesterday, I called her office to follow up; the friendly person answering the phone suggested I call Rep. Loon at home – and even provided the number!

So, I did.

I told Rep. Loon why I was calling; she told me she couldn’t comment as the case was still under investigation. I asked her if she had gotten my emails and voice mail; she said she had. I asked her if her position was still “no comment” – she affirmed.

Two points: 1 – the case isn’t “still under investigation” – the Plymouth Police completed the investigation and forwarded the results to the Hennepin County Attorney for possible felony – FELONY - prosecution (as noted above, the case is now under review for possible misdemeanor prosecution); and 2 – Rep. Loon would not - NOT – even confirm nor deny that a meeting between an elected Mayor and an elected State Representative took place??!?

WOW!!!

That “no comment” raises more questions – a LOT more questions – stay tuned!!!

* And For The Record – in yesterday’s Strib story, it was reported:

The matter is expected to come up at the Eden Prairie City Council meeting June 15, Eden Prairie City Manager Scott Neal said. Two people have asked to speak at the open forum, to ask for Young’s resignation.

One of those two, is me.

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

…”Today’s Example Of Greed Over Principles.”

As noted in Part 1, the Strib broke the initial story, about Eden Prairie’s GOPer Mayor billing the taxpayers for meetings he didn’t attend. A whole bunch of meetings; 14 – FOURTEEN! – that I could find, as pointed out in Part 2.

Well, guess what? The Strib reporter, Laurie Blake, didn’t stop with the first one; she kept digging into a very sordid story. It’s on-line here. And here’s what the intrepid Strib Reporter found:

Eden Prairie mayor reimbursed for 26 no-shows
Eden Prairie mayor claimed expenses for 26 meetings he didn’t go to. Some had been canceled.

By LAURIE BLAKE, Star Tribune
Last update: May 26, 2010 – 10:06 PM

Eden Prairie Mayor Phil Young filed expense claims totaling nearly $1,000 for 26 meetings that he did not attend, including six that did not take place, City Hall records show.

The information, obtained from the city of Eden Prairie, adds more precise detail to the investigation into Young’s expense claims.

City Hall records show that for 2008, 2009 and the first three months of this year, Young claimed $35 per diem amounting to $980 for 28 meetings of the Minnesota Regional Council of Mayors, which meets under the auspices of the Urban Land Institute in downtown Minneapolis.
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Young also claimed $99 for mileage reimbursement in 2009 for driving 180 miles to five of the same mayors’ council meetings that he did not attend, including two of the meetings that did not take place. (more, here)

Kudos for Laurie for digging deep!!!

Both Star Tribune stories, and the local Eden Prairie paper, had Young’s attorney saying, in essence, that Young could have submitted other reimbursements, so this is no big deal.

Bullsh*t.

Young filed bogus claims, under penalty of perjury – which IS a big deal.

If there were claims he could have filed, but didn’t file, those would be mitigating issues for a Judge to consider before applying sentencing for what Young did – which, in essence, was stealing and fraud.

Republicans run on the platform “Gov’t doesn’t work!”

When in office, they prove it.

And GOPer Phil Young – once again – is today’s example of Greed Over Principles.

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

…”Today’s Example Of Greed Over Principles.”

As noted in Part 1, The Strib broke the (partial) story.

GOPer Mayor Phil Young’s hometown paper soon followed up; the print edition from last Thursday (5-20-2010) stuck the story inside (on page 3) with this headline:

“Sloppy bookkeeping,” but no crime in case of mayor’s reimbursement record

There’s only a “slight” problem with that headline; in the story it read, and again I quote:

Though the Hennepin County Attorney has opted not to press charges the case is still under investigation by the Plymouth Police, according to Police Chief Mike Goldstein. The case has been referred to the Plymouth city attorney, who will review whether to press charges in the form of a gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor.

Mayor Young is NOT “out of the woods” yet; City Prosecutors indeed still are considering charges because for 14 – FOURTEEN months in a row, GOPer Mayor Phil Young claimed per diem for meetings he didn’t attend.

So I called the paper’s Editor, and pointed the inconsistency out. And kudos to the Editor for changing the on-line version of the story to now read:

No county charges in case of mayor’s reimbursement record

Again, kudos to the Editor for recognizing and fixing the inconsistency. Now, on to “Today’s Example Of Greed Over Principles!”

When then-Council Member Phil Young decided to go a step up and run for mayor, he put together a campaign website. And on that website, on one page, he listed his community activities; presumably proudly and presumably to induce voters to vote for him due his volunteerism. The screenshot is below, and if you look, there are two organizations listed that – when compared to the Meeting Attendance Claim Forms Young turned in – stick out:

1 – Board Member, Eden Prairie Foundation, and
2 – Member, Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce Government Committee

Presumably, neither the Chamber nor the Foundation pay members to attend meetings.

Now, upon becoming Mayor, what did Eden Prairie’s WORST. MAYOR. EVER. do?

Why, charge the taxpayers for now attending meetings; meetings that he – presumably – used to volunteer for!

Here’s the dates Mayor Young charged the taxpayers for, for the Chamber, in just 2009:

1-7-09; 1-27; 2-19; 3-17 — “EP Chamber gov’t comm”; 4-16; 5-4; 5-19 — “chamber gov’t”; 6-3; 6-19; 6-23 — “EP Chamber gov’t cmtt”; 7-28; 8-6; 9-17; 10-23; 11-10; 11-30; and 12-15

If I listed correctly, and I think I did (especially the ones Young listed as “gov’t committee”) – and I count the above correctly, I come up with 17 Chamber meetings (with 4 specifically for a Chamber Committee Young presumably used to attend for free) at $35 per meeting for a grand total of $595 of new, taxpayer-provided income for 2009 for the fiscally-conservative Mayor Young.

For the Foundation, Young merely nicked the taxpayers for 4 meetings at $35 a pop, for a miserly $140 – in 2009.

Vote for Young for Mayor for his volunteerism; once elected, Young nails the taxpayer for what he – presumably – used to volunteer for.*

That’s today’s example of why GOP now stands for GreedOverPrinciples.

*actually, I did check with the Chamber….

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

…”Today’s Example Of Greed Over Principles.”

The Strib has the (partial) story, and it’s about your typical (and hypocritical) republiCon fleecing the taxpayers about an elected official claiming expenses not entitled to.

In a nutshell, for 14 – FOURTEEN months in a row, GOPer Mayor Phil Young claimed per diem for meetings he didn’t attend; in apparently four of those months, there weren’t even meetings (April, June, Auust and October 2009). Unfortunately, not all of the links to Meeting Minutes work; and in the Sept ’09 Meeting Minutes, attendees aren’t listed. Calls and an email to the Regional Council Of Mayors’ facilitator for clarification The Urban Land Institute, have not been returned. According to the July 2009 minutes and city provided documents, Young claimed per diem for attending a non-existent August meeting.

Earlier today, the City of Eden Prairie responded to a Public Data Request, and sent copies of GOPer Young’s “2009 Mileage Reimbursement Form” and “City Council Meeting Attendance Claim Forms” for January 2009 through March 2010.

And it needs to be noted that at the bottom of all those forms Young filled out – in his own handwriting, bearing his own signature, for each of all those months – was this line on all those forms, “right” above where Young signed:

“I declare under penalties of perjury that this claim is just and correct and no part of it has been paid.”

Young, an attorney and shareholder in the law firm of Moss Barnett, practices (among other areas) in employment and labor law. Presumably, GOPer Young not only would/should understand the term “perjury”; he would/should know the importance of signing accurate expense reimbursement forms. One wonders how many employers Young has represented that fired employees for the same offenses Young committed; offenses that Young’s attorney explains away with, and I quote from the Strib:

Young’s attorney, Shane Perry, said the mayor filled out some paperwork incorrectly and “he accepts responsibility for that.”

“..accepts responsibility…”??!?

Yeah, “right.”

When GOPer Young resigns, THEN he’ll have accepted responsibility.

And only then.

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

… “A Peek Through The Flaps Of The Small Tent Party”

Part 1 is here; Part 2 (with pictures!) is here. And I know I’m a day late with Part 3, but I thought last Saturday’s post about the Strib leaving out Emmer’s offensive quote (“I don’t think you can call yourself a freedom-loving American and be a Democrat.” — Tom Emmer, 9-26-09) was too important to ignore. The Strib has a long history of carrying water for GOPers; Strib Reporter Repeater Kevin Diaz bein’ the most notable of late.

It’s important to note that at Sloganville (the GOPer State Convention), up was down, war is peace, and George Orwell was spinning in his grave at the trash the GOPers spewed. For instance, as noted by Big E, GOPers are continuing the long-debunked “Normie wuz robbed!!!” meme – and because of the pounding of that meme by GOPer Blowhards, the “base” actually still believes that.

Emmer ran through the pre-endorsement process as an “outsider” taking on “the establishment” even though his campaign staff was filled with plenty of “insider” staffers, such as former Bachmann Political Director Jack Tomczak. And Emmer’s pick for running mate – Annette Meeks – is the ultimate insider, as noted earlier today by MPP’s Joe Bodell.

Annette Meeks used to work for Newt “Is My Wife Well Enough To Divorce Yet?” Gingrich, an infamous sloganeer. When it comes to sloganeering, Gingrich wrote the memo – let’s look!

From Information Clearing House:

Language: A Key Mechanism of Control

Newt Gingrich’s 1996 GOPAC memo

As you know, one of the key points in the GOPAC tapes is that “language matters.” In the video “We are a Majority,” Language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party, along with Agenda, Rules, Attitude and Learning. As the tapes have been used in training sessions across the country and mailed to candidates we have heard a plaintive plea: “I wish I could speak like Newt.”

That takes years of practice. But, we believe that you could have a significant impact on your campaign and the way you communicate if we help a little. That is why we have created this list of words and phrases.

This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and mail, in preparing speeches, and in producing electronic media. The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.

While the list could be the size of the latest “College Edition” dictionary, we have attempted to keep it small enough to be readily useful yet large enough to be broadly functional. The list is divided into two sections: Optimistic Positive Governing words and phrases to help describe your vision for the future of your community (your message) and Contrasting words to help you clearly define the policies and record of your opponent and the Democratic party. (InformationClearingHouse.info)

And, what is one of the words on “Mr. Republican Families Values” list, that GOPers should use?

“Freedom”

THAT was a word used over and Over and OVER; at one time the GOPers even blared Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom” over the loudspeakers. ELTON JOHN. It was surreal.

Another word used, on thrice-divorced Gingrich’s 1996 list for GOPers to use?

“change”

Again, a word used over and Over and OVER; more than one time the GOPers even blared Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin’” over the loudspeakers – BOB DYLAN. Beyond surreal; it was unreal.

Here’s that list; the list Annette Meek’s old boss penned in 1996.

Sure, they’ll add – and have added – new ones to that list; new ones like this one ushered into the tudra’s lexicon last Saturday: “constitutional conservatism”

GOPers are very good at sloganeering, and they came out of Sloganville spinning as fast as they can.

That spinning – “up is down” “war is peace” and “Emmer’s an outsider” – is but one reason why I always say:

Reasonable people cannot reasonably believe anything a GOPer says, anymore.

GOPer Party Leadership simply doesn’t care that what they spew isn’t true; they only care that THE VOTER thinks the spew is true.

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)