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)

Last week, we reported on GOPer State Rep Kirk Stensrud’s misuse of the City of Eden Prairie’s logo (“GOP Rep Kirk Stensrud Misuses City Logo “. Now, Stensrud has been issued two “cease and desist” letters (that’s a quote from both) with regards to his recent (October 5th, 2012) campaign event, which his campaign billed as a “Senior Expo.” The first is from the City of Eden Prairie; the second is from Hennepin County. Let’s look at the first one, first!

“The City of Eden Prairie uses this mark on its letterhead and in all of its printed publications. The mark is recognized throughout the community as the mark and logo of the City of Eden Prairie. Citizens of the City and others with whom the City regularly transacts business trust that the use of the mark is authorized by the City and that the mark is an endorsement of the program or communication with which it is associated. It is therefore important for the City to protect the mark from unauthorized use. It has come to our attention that on October 5t you used the service mark in a brochure you distributed at the Senior Expo held in Eden Prairie. You did so without the City’s permission.

Your use of the City of Eden Prairie service mark constitutes infringement of the City’s legal rights. I request that in the future you cease and desist from using the City o f Eden Prairie service mark and further that you destroy all copies of the brochure that use the City’s mark. I acknowledge receipt of your October 16, 2012 email to the City Council where you state that ” [i]n retrospect this handout should not have included any logos without asking for permission.” I appreciate your coming forward with that statement. Based on your email I consider the matter resolved and that no further communication regarding this is necessary.” (emphasis added)

Pretty clear here, yes? A guy that should have known better did it anyway. What was his excuse for this? “(i)n retrospect….without asking for permission.”

Hennepin County’s letter is specific, on THAT excuse; let’s look!

“I write regarding Minnesota Representative Kirk Stensrud’s Senior Services Expo that was held on October 5, 2012. Our office has received a complaint regarding Hennepin County’s involvement in this Expo, which appears to be a campaign event that was paid for by the Friends of Kirk Stensrud campaign committee.

Our office has investigated this matter and believes that the Friends of Kirk Stensrud campaign committee improperly involved and entangled Hennepin County into this campaign event.
It is against the law for a candidate to state in written campaign material that they have the support of an individual or entity without first getting written permission. See Minn. Stat.211B.02 While the brochure does not explicitly state that Hennepin County, or any of the other entities listed, endorse or support Representative Stensrud’s campaign, the use of Hennepin County’s service mark may give some individuals that belief and at a minimum causes confusion and therefore is improper.

Third, Hennepin County participated in this Senior Services Expo because Hennepin County staff were contacted in late September and asked to participate in a Senior Services Expo “sponsored by Repreentative Sensrud.” At no time was staff informed that this was an event that was organized by Representative Stensrud’s campaign committee. Had this information been provided to Hennepin County, Hennepin County staff would not have agreed to participate in this political event.

Accordingly, I demand that if you have not done so already that you immediately stop distributing the Senior Service Expo brochure and case and desist in using the Hennepin County service mark in any campaign materials.” (empasis added)

Kirk Stensrud – another Republican; another scandal.

(cross posted at; comments welcome there)

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In early January of 2011, the GOP took control of both the House and Senate in the Minnesota Legislature. By the end of the month, the first of what would become many Republican scandals erupted. It seems GOP Senator Scott Newman’s office decided they wouldn’t meet with the Minnesota Nurses Association because they had the audacity to support someone else in the preceeding election.

The email from the newly hired, two weeks on the job Legislative Assistant was quite clear. Let’s look!

Hi Eileen-

Unfortunately, Senator Newman will not see any organizations that donated to/supported his opponent Hal Kimball. After some careful checking, I discovered that the MNA had donated to Kimball’s campaign. Your association will be unable to schedule an appointment with Senator Newman.

Kim Kelley

Legislative Assistant

In the ensuing months, not only Republicans, but the Republican Party managed to stay in the news – and not for good reason, but the old-fashioned reason: they EARNED it.

Who can forget the months and Months and MONTHS of the State GOP stiffing Minnesota Counties on their recount debts? This resulted in an Editorial from The Winona Daily News in June: “Our view: GOP, practice what you preach”.

In August, news of the Federal Elections Commission nailing the State GOP a massive fine for campaign finance violations broke. How massive? $170,000 – the 2nd largest ever to a State Political Party (Arkansas GOPers hold the record).

The end of the year’s shame and disrepute brought four GOP State Senators – Gerlach, Senjem, Michel and Hann – sitting at a table at a Press Conference, with one – Michel – later explaining, essentially: “I only lied because I had to.” Of course, while Michel smiled at the camera and lied through his teeth, Gerlach, Senjem and Hann said not a word to correct the record.

And what a “record” year Minnesota Republicans had!

The December 17th, 2011 Star Tribune headline and story said it all: “State GOP staggered by debt, scandal”

In 2012, State Republicans continued their Sessions of Scoundrels. Most notable were Republicans in August 2012 again caught telling whoppers to the media; this time to Fox9 TV Reporter Tom Lyden.

Lyden had the email; he had the video. And was basically asked “who ya gonna believe – us, or yer lyin’ eyes?” (see MnGOP State Senate: “…we are in this together…” and MnGOP State Senate: We Are In This Together Part 2).

So it came as no surprise that I found myself in Eden Prairie’s City Council Chambers last night, covering a story about Republican shenanigans – this time concerning Incumbent GOP State Representative Kirk Stensrud. See that picture, up in the far right of this column? That’s a small part from one side of a Stensrud flyer – let’s look!

The story told last night, at Eden Prairie’s City Council Meeting, is a local resident was at Eden Prairie’s Senior Center, utilizing the wood shop when he saw the above. And most notable, in the above, are all of the logos on the flier. Logos for groups attending what Stensrud told the resident, at the time, was a purported “senior forum.” And said flier, on the reverse (in much smaller font), said: “Prepared and paid for by Friends for Kirk Stensrud”.

In other words, Stensrud’s re-election campaign.

Now, about those logos? Eden Prairie’s is trademarked. That was made clear last night at the City Council meeting. And the Mayor and Council members were not amused that Stensrud used it without permission; used it without permission for a campaign flier; used it without permission for a campaign flier for a campaign event. And the discussion among the Mayor and the Council Members made it very clear: it was, by definition of election laws, a “campaign event.”

The Council instructed the City Attorney to send a letter to Stensrud’s campaign about this. What it said isn’t yet known; when a copy is obtained through Data Paractices, I’ll update.

What also isn’t known – yet – is if the other organizations – including Hennepin County – have similar concerns about their logo being used on a campaign flier for a campaign event. So, stay tuned.

What is known, is that a Lawmaker didn’t follow the law. While Stensrud’s level of transgressions clearly don’t reach/sink to the levels cited above, it’s clearly a pattern.

It’s a pattern clearly displayed by Minnesota Republicans over the last two years. That pattern is exactly why GOPers such as Stensrud – and David Hann – need to be voted out.

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

(cross posted at; comments welcome there)

…or, “Ready, Set, Auction!!!”

This screen shot was sent to me by a dedicated reader of our blog; it was actually placed on a website by the Carver County GOP.

“All GOP elected officials for sale to the highest bidder”

You knew it; the Carver County GOP simply made it official.

For more on this story, read:

1 – Common Cause’s “GOP Auctions Off Legislators To Lobbyists”

2 – MN Observer’s “We’ve already established what you are. Now we’re just haggling over the price” and

3 – City Page’s “Carver County Republican Party tries to auction off legislators, then denies it” and

4 – Bluestem Prairie’s “Carver Co GOP pulls lawmaker auction; lobbyists will have to find other means to buy Republicans”.

Back in February of ’09, I did a blogpost quoting then-GOP Chair Michael Steele: “You have absolutely no reason – none – to trust our words or our actions at this point.”.

True then, true now, and tomorrow won’t be any different.

(cross posted at; comments welcome there)

You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard a GOPer politician claim: “Gov’t has to live within its means!” That tripe is spouted from the very top to the very bottom. Yesterday, the State Republican Party posted on it’s website GOPer and Occasional Gov. Tim Pawlenty reinforcing this:

“Republicans…agree with Tom Emmer’s central principles: government must live within its means;…

And that IS one of Emmer’s central themes; this is from GOPer Emmer’s campaign website:

To end budget deficits, you need to cut spending. Trim the fat. When a family experiences a change in its income, that family adjusts its budget accordingly. If they have less money, they spend less money. This simple form of money management is completely lost on state government. Standing in the way of real reform is how government balances its budget. It spends first, and then seeks the funding. (emphasis added)

And endorsed GOPer Candidates all the way down the line; all the way down to the local level here in Eden Prairie dutifully parrot and spew that party line. Those quotes are below the fold.

Why do I bring this up? Because of a recent story in the Strib:

Minn. GOP starts Sept. in red, Dems also on fumes
Associated Press
Last update: September 24, 2010 – 8:56 AM
Monthly financial reports filed this week with federal election regulators show both parties owed vendors hundreds of thousands of dollars at the end of August.

The Minnesota GOP’s situation was more severe. It had a negative cash balance of about $4,000 and owed about $680,000. The party took out a $200,000 loan in mid-August, putting office equipment up as collateral. (emphasis added)

To recap: GOPers believe that families and gov’t entities should tighten their belts and live within their means (but the GOP, as a Party, doesn’t have to!!!).

What you won’t hear GOPer Tom Emmer say:

“When a family experiences a change in its income, that family adjusts its budget accordingly. If they have less money, they spend less money. This simple form of money management is completely lost on the State GOP.”

Nor will you hear GOPer Tom Emmer say:

Standing in the way of real reform is how the State GOP balances its budget. It spends first, and then seeks the funding.

So when you see all those State GOP-paid negative “hit” mailers hit your mailbox (I’ve gotten three attacking DFL State Rep Maria Ruud, so far) remember that they’ve been financed by that ol’ GOPer trick they profess to oppose: deficit spending, or, just as accurate: “borrow and spend.”

Kicking the can down the road is the way today’s GOP “leadership” operates, and it’s Today’s Example Of “Republicans Believe In Fiscal Responsibility (Except When They Don’t).”

Well, it’s also another example of why reasonable people can no longer reasonably believe anything GOP “Leadership” says.

For instance, here’s essentially the same garbage from GOPer Erik Paulsen’s website:

“One of my top priorities is to bring fiscal sanity to Washington because you can’t spend more

than you have.”

Really? That’s not the way the State GOP operates, Erik! Paulsen should bring a load of that “fiscal sanity” over to GOP HQ, in St. Paul!

Paulsen is known for saying things that, charitably, defy credibility.

Like, this!

Restoring Fiscal Discipline

Reckless Washington spending and continued taxpayer bailouts are threatening the future of our country and saddling our children and grandchildren with record debt.

What makes that statement defy credibility, is the “reckless spending” of taxpayer money that Paulsen has spent – on himself. Paulsen got called out on the carpet for his excessive spending on his taxpayer-paid mailers not only in a Strib Letter To The Editor, but across this great country – from the Baltimore Sun to the Witchia Eagle to the Las Vegas Review-Journal to the…. well, a LOT of places.

The Hendersonville, North Carolina Times-News specifically took Paulsen to task:

The idea that a representative would use as much as one third of his office budget, money meant to be spent in ways that benefit constituents, on thinly veiled re-election entreaties, is unconscionable. It’s an inappropriate use of the funds, and it presents an unfair advantage for incumbents.

Such spending should be eliminated. If politicians want to send glossy, self-promoting pamphlets about themselves, they can pay for them themselves.

Indeed. And it’s not as if Paulsen couldn’t spend his own cash on himself; here’s what his website proudly proclaims:


Eden Prairie, MN – Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-03) raised $379,862 during the second quarter of 2010 to give his re-election campaign a total of $1,347,000 cash on hand.

“It is clear my message of fiscal discipline and job growth is certainly resonating with people in the 3rd District,” said Paulsen. “I will continue to work hard every day to put a lid on excessive government spending and push for greater economic prosperity for all Minnesotans. I also want to thank my campaign volunteers, who are working very hard to promote our grassroots effort. Now, with this level of financial support, we can make sure our message is heard.”

To date, Paulsen has raised $1.9 million during the 2010 election cycle.

Hmmm… Paulsen, sitting on $1.3 million of campaign cash… yet out of the 435 Members Of Congress, Paulsen spent more taxpayer dough “on thinly veiled re-election entreaties” than 432? Yes, in total mailer spending, at the time of that editorial, only 2 Members Of Congress had spent more than Postage-Stamp Paulsen.

And some people actually wonder why I say that these days, GOP stands for Greed Over Principles??!?

Now let’s take a look at GOPer endorsed Candidate for State House in 42-A, Kirk Stensrud:

Minnesota families are making tough choices every day. Let’s elect a representative who is willing to do the same for our state!

* Not beholding to special interests groups or supporters who continue to put us into debt and stifle our economy.

Now, it’s not really realistic to expect GOPer Endorsed Candidate Kirk Stensrud to criticise the State GOP’s deficit spending; the State GOP has used that deficit spending to mail at least 3 negative “hit” pieces (that I know of) on his opponent – so far. The State GOP’s deficit spending sure is working for Kirk Stensrud!

Of course, to believe GOPer Candidate Kirk Stensrud, one would also have to believe that the State GOP isn’t a “special interest group” or, after sending all those negative “hit” pieces against his opponent, a “supporter”….

Here’s what GOPer Endorsed State Senator David Hann’s website has to say:

MN State Senator David Hann tells what the state must do to live within its means during this time of economic downturn.

Now, one presumably will NOT hear GOPer David Hann criticize the State GOP for “not living within its means during this time of economic downturn” — he’s probably hoping that the State GOP spends some o’ that borrowed dough for a negative “hit” piece or three on his opponent!

GOPer Endorsed State Rep Jenifer Loon?

“I believe our government needs the same kind of fiscal discipline Eden Prairie families are applying to their own budgets, and must live within its means.”

Does anyone really expect GOPer Loon to say:

“I believe our State GOP needs the same kind of fiscal discipline Eden Prairie families are applying to their own budgets, and must live within its means.”

I sure don’t.

GOPer Endorsed Candidate for Mayor, Jon Duckstad, apparently doesn’t even know what “deficit spending” is; see “Professor Duckstad Flunks Econ. 101″. Yet Duckstad’s website chimes in with the same tired tripe, too:

“If our citizens are enduring wage freezes, layoffs and their own belt-tightening budgets, then the city should do likewise.

Let’s keep Eden Prairie on the right track with common sense leadership and responsible spending.”

Go with that, Professor. One can hardly expect GOPer Endorsed Candidate For Mayor Duckstad to say the following, can we?

“If our citizens are enduring wage freezes, layoffs and their own belt-tightening budgets, then the State GOP should do likewise.

Let’s get the State GOP back on track with common sense leadership and responsible spending.”

Now we’re going to look at what GOPer Endorsed Candidate for City Council Donna Azarian’s website has to say, but first I have to remind our Gentle Readers of Azrian’s blatant cut ‘n paste from disgraced and fellow GOPer Endorsed Mayor Phil Young. So the question must be asked: is it real, or is it Azarian? Anyway, this is from “her” website:

Using Money Wisely: We can’t afford to spend more than we have and neither should government.

And it’s pretty clear with Cut ‘n Paste Donna, that the only way SHE’D say….

Using Money Wisely: We can’t afford to spend more than we have and neither should the State GOP.

…is if GOP “Leadership” told her to say it. And, Gentle Readers, you know – KNOW – that’s not going to happen.


Well, I’ll say it again:

Kicking the can down the road is the way today’s GOP “leadership” operates, and its Today’s Example Of “Republicans Believe In Fiscal Responsibility (Except When They Don’t).”

And it’s also another example of why reasonable people can no longer reasonably believe anything GOP “Leadership” says – especially their endorsed candidates.

(cross posted from; commens welcomed there)