Ladies and Gentlemen, yours truly – the ol’ TwoPutter – is guest hosting tonight’s “Matt McNeil Show” (again!) on AM-950 KTNF, The Progressive Talk Station! The show runs from 6:00 to 7pm. So, tune in your radio today to AM-950, or listen live on your computer, here.

Hot topics include the current status on the Bush Tax Cut Extensions (if you haven’t called Senators Klobuchar (202-224-3244) and Franken (202-224-5641), call them NOW!!!); Governor-Elect Mark Dayton; and changes in DFL Caucuses in St. Paul.

And as always, we want your calls!!! Call 952-946-6205 with your thoughts and opinions!

I’ll be joined in-studio for a discussion with special guest Arron Olson, President of Minnesota Young DFL about the above, and more; State Rep. Paul Thissen will call-in for a discussion of changes down at the Capitol.

So, again, tune in the radio today to AM-950, or listen live on your computer, here.

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

First posted on October 4th. the GOP SD42 Webmaster – Peter Bozanich – made a startling revelation yesterday in a comment on a blog in yesterday’s on-line Eden Prairie News: disgraced GOPer Mayor Phil Young’s 2006 campaign website and GOPer-Endorsed candidate for City Council Donna Azarian’s 2010 campaign website were written by the same “author”.

Here’s what I said, after the SD42 GOP webmaster made that startling revelation:

When a voter went to Phil Young’s website in 2006, researching candidate Young, the casual voter could/would assume that the website was Youngs; that the thoughts/ideas presented in Young’s website were his.

Four years later, you’re finally telling us that simply isn’t true; the website wasn’t his; the thoughts weren’t his – they were/are “the author’s.”

And you’re now admitting that Azarian’s website isn’t hers; the thoughts/ideas in it aren’t hers: the website and the thoughts belong to the “same author.”

Peter, why don’t you quit the charade, and just have one website listing the GOP Party Manifesto, and list the GOPer Endorsed candidates that fall in line?

It would be much more honest; then again, honesty isn’t a long suit in today’s GOP.

“Peter” is Peter Bozanich, webmaster for the GOP SD42, and a member of the local GOP’s “leadership.”

It’s pretty clear the following post from 04 October 2010 is correct; the local GOP “leadership” tells GOPer endorsed candidates what to say.

Well, more accurately: it says it for them; the “leadership” just doesn’t tell you that…..

Eden Prairie Republican Leadership: “Re-Elect Phil Young! No, Wait: Elect Donna Azarian!!!”
by: TwoPuttTommy Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:22:50 PM CDT

I’ve been saying this for years: “when it comes to Republican Congressmen, the people elect them, but the GOP Leadership directs them.” (see “The Hustler”, 29 Jan 08). This saying relates to changes made by Newt “Is My Wife Well Enough To Divorce Yet?” Gingich. Gingrich, of course, is the architect of 1994′s “Republican Contract On With America”, where in the GOPers promised to, and I quote: FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs; which fundamentally changed how the House GOP Caucus operates, and directly led to the institutionalized corruption of the GOP Party – best exemplified by the infamous Jack Abramoff. Make no mistake, Gentle Readers: The Abramoff Scandal was a Republican Scandal. If a GOPer is in “denial of reality” mode (they usually are), remind them of this.

It was back in those days that I also started saying: “GOP now stands for ‘Greed Over Principles’”. For a scholarly review of what exactly that “#4″ above (and more!) did to the US House of Representatives, get a copy of Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein’s “The Broken Branch” (Oxford University Press).

That’s background for today’s post and it’s title. (For more background, last week, we looked at some wanna-be “king makers”.) Today’s post is a quick examination of two local (Eden Prairie) “do as your told” GOPer-Endorsed politicians: the outgoing (and could/should be going to trial Mayor Phil Young and City Council Candidate Donna Azarian. More specifically, their websites; Young’s website from 2008 2006 and Azarian’s current 2010 website.

Why look at Young and Azarian’s websites? Well, because they’re eerily similar. How similar? There’s lots of screenshots below the fold, so: let’s look!

From Phil Young’s 2008 2006 “Values” webpage:

Parks and Open Spaces: The park system drew my family to Eden Prairie and I am certain many other families say the same thing. Eden Prairie has an incredibly rich park system which benefits residents of all interests and ages. This must always be a priority.

OK, let’s look at Donna Azarian’s 2010 “Issues” webpage:

Parks and Open Space — The park system is one reason my family came to Eden Prairie and I am certain many other families say the same thing. Eden Prairie has an incredibly rich park system which benefits residents of all interests and ages. This must always be a priority.

Hmmm…. pretty dam close… any more? But of course!

From Phil Young’s 2008 2006 “Values” webpage:

Volunteerism: Eden Prairie is an extraordinarily blessed community. Proudly, our residents can claim that giving back has long been a community value. Lions, Rotary, PROP, ABC Foundation, Meals On Wheels, Friends of the Library, and the Eden Prairie Foundation are but a few of the many groups which strengthen our city through volunteerism. If you haven’t conributed to one of these groups, please do. (emphasis added)

From Donna Azarian’s 2010 “Issues” webpage:

Working with local organizations — Eden Prairie has many local organizations that add to our quality of life. Lions, Rotary, PROP, ABC Foundation, Meals On Wheels, Friends of the Library, and the Eden Prairie Foundation are but a few of the many groups which strengthen our city through volunteerism. (emphasis added)

Any more? But of course!!!

From Phil Young’s 2008 2006 “Values” webpage:

Efficient Government: Eden Prairie is a very-well run city. I want to make it even better….

GOPer-Endorsed Azarian, 2010 “Issues”:

Fiscal Responsibility — Eden Prairie is a very-well run city. I want to make it even better….

More? You betcha!!!

Young, 2008 2006:

…While every community should take steps to capture its past, our residents have told us that spending tax dollars on historical preservation is not a priority. The City Council should honor the community opinions which it has solicited.

Azarian, 2010:

…While every community should take steps to capture its past, our residents have told us that spending tax dollars on historical preservation is not a priority. The City Council should honor the community opinions which it has solicited.

I could go on; maybe someday I will. The question is, just who wrote that stuff??!?

Phil Young, or the local GOP “leadership”?

We know – KNOW – Donna Azarian didn’t; there are too many exact – EXACT – cut ‘n pastes for THAT to have happened. We also know (and if you didn’t, you know now) that Donna Azarian’s website was registered by Peter Bozanich, the GOP’s SD42 webmaster.

At the national level, as I’ve said before: “When it comes to Republican Congressmen, the people elect them, but the GOP Leadership directs them.”

It appears to be the same at the local level, too.

This November 2nd, on election day, the choice is clear:

a) Vote locally for someone endorsed with an “R” behind their name and you vote for someone responsible to the dictates of their endorser: the local GOP Party Leadership; or

b) Vote locally for someone without a party endorsement and you vote for someone responsible to you, the voter.

It really is that simple; a) or b).

And remember, as Young’s and Azarian’s websites demonstrate: “the more things, change, the more today’s GOP doesn’t.”

Here’s the links and screenshots of Young, 2008 2006 and Azarian, 2010, plus the “Who Is” screen shot of the registrar for Azarian’s website, Peter Bozanich – the GOP’s SD42 Webmaster.

Donna Azarian’s 2010 “Issues” webpage:

Phil Young’s 2008 2006 “Issues” webpage – hosted by the SD42 GOP:

Donna Azarian’s 2010 “Values” webpage

Phil Young’s 2008 2006 “Values” webpge (cached) – and again, hosted by the SD42 GOP:

Donna Azarian’s 2010 webpage registration, registered by Peter Bozanich — the SD42 GOP webmaster:

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

Ladies and Gentlemen, yours truly – the ol’ TwoPutter – is hosting tonight’s “Nancy Nelson Show” on AM-950 KTNF, The Progressive Talk Station! The show runs from 5:00 to 6pm. So, tune in your radio today to AM-950, or listen live on your computer, here.

I’ll be talking about, and asking listeners to call in about, particularly egregious examples of Republicans behaving badly during this election cycle. In particular, I’ll be singling out Republican State Representative Mary Kiffmeyer.

Here’s the artwork that once adorned a wall at Kiffmeyer’s failed bank; I call it “Jesus At The Closing Table”:

(more details here)

I’ll also be joined by Spot from The Cucking Stool to talk about his video series “Standing on the Brink of Insurrection and Treason.” You thought GOPers were crazy? Wait’ll you here Spot discussing “Tenther” Tom Emmer’s thoughts!!!

We’ll also play “False Or False Witness!” where one lucky caller will have to correctly identify if a quote I read was actually uttered by Michele Bachmann (answer “False Witness!”) or if yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, simply made it up (answer “false”). The fabulous prize awarded, courtesy of show sponsor Common Good Books, is one copy of Bill Prendergast’s exceptional comic book: False Witness! The Michele Bachmann Story (Volume 3)!

So, again, tune in the radio today to AM-950, or listen live on your computer, here.

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

My least two “favorite” days of the year are “Property Taxes Payable – 1st Half” and “Property Taxes Payable – 2nd Half”.

And yesterday was one of those two least favorite days of the year. I don’t escrow, so twice a year I see – and feel the pain – of property taxes in the great state of Minnesota. As a result of the Property Tax Reform Bill enacted in 2001, and signed by then-Gov. Jesse Ventura, in 2002 I paid $1,845. This year, after 8 years of Gov. T-Bag, I paid $3,374 in property taxes.

The goals of that 2001 Reform were:

Realign the state-local fiscal relationship:

• • Increase state’s role in funding state priorities (education, courts, transit)

• • Decrease state’s role in financing municipal services to give residents more direct responsibility for municipal service decisions

The bottom line, is Gov T-Bag accomplished the latter, while ignoring the former. MN2020.org has a report by Jeff Van Wychen. From it:

Since 2002, Minnesota property taxes, in general, and homeowner property taxes, in particular, have increased rapidly. The cause of the statewide growth in property taxes is not growth in local government budgets. These property tax hikes are the result of state policies that require more public costs to be borne by property taxpayers and a larger share of total property taxes to be borne by homeowners.

Yep – since 2002, my property taxes have increased rapidly; from $1,845 in 2002 to $3,374 in 2010 – dam near doubling during the reign of T-Bag The Terrible (a/k/a, “Worst. Governor. EVER.“).

Go to MN2020.org to find out why.

Locally, right here in Eden Prairie, the total city budget in 2002 was $31,942,977; 2010′s was $40,614,931 – no where near the near-doublling of my property tax bill.

Dan Kitrell presents himself as a “conservative” candidate for city council, and I’m sure he’s a fine hubby, dad, and swell neighbor. I briefly talked to him about municipal liquor stores after the candidate forum. I also have exchanged a couple of emails with him, about comments he made about taxes on the web at EdenPrairieNews.com

Dan Kitrell:
“Future success requires the City Council to effectively manage our limited resources and operate within our means. Eden Prairie topped Money magazine’s list of ‘Best Small Cities,’ but our residents pay taxes that are 33 percent higher than the average of the top 100, 18 percent higher than the No. 2 ranked city, and higher than all but two of the top 10 cities. ‘Quality of life’ is best defined by our residents, not the City Council.”

…and at the Candidate Forum on September 28th…

“Most people are aware Money Magazine recognized Eden Prairie as the best small city in America. But Money Magazine also pointed out that our residents pay taxes that are 33% higher than the average of the top 100; 18% higher than the number 2 city, and higher than all but 2 of the top 10 cities. We can do better as a City Council.”

Well, I asked Dan about a comment of his on his facebook page too….

“Clear differences among candidates tonight at the League of Women Voters candidate forum. I am a strong advocate for a transparent budget process and prioritized spending. Other candidates are ready to turn the “tax spigot” on again. “Experienced” candidates have a tax and spend record that will hurt Eden Prairie.”

…. asking if Dan could tell me specifically which “experienced” candidates he feels have a “tax and spend record that will hurt Eden Prairie” and which candidates will “turn the ‘tax spigot’ on again” but he didn’t get back to me on that.

Dan did tell me where he got the info to base his numbers on; they’re from Money Magazine. And he acknowledged he didn’t look at city/county/school and special districts/etc breakdown of property taxes; he just went with “total property tax” rather than “city portion” of the total.

Hence, the title of this post!

Let’s take a look at one of those percentages Dan bandied about; “…our residents pay taxes…18% higher than the number 2 city,…”

To do that, let’s go to the City’s Finance Department of that number 2 city, “Columbia, Maryland” …

… except, you CAN’T go to the “City Finance Department” of “Columbia City, Maryland” – because there ISN’T a “City Government” of “Columbia, Maryland” – nor a Mayor, nor a City Council, nor a Fire Department, Police Department, nor anything – because in Maryland, the COUNTIES usually run the city, as is the case with the number 2 city on Money Magazine’s list, Columbia – and the number 3 city on the list, “Ellicott City, Maryland” too.

Mr. Kitrell is taking data from Money Magazine, and using to compare Eden Prairie’s city government to at least two non-existent city governments. Some might call Mr. Kitrell’s comparison “Apples to Oranges” – I think “Fact to Fiction” is more accurate.

I could analyze just how wrong Mr. Kitrell’s specific “33%” and 18%” comparisons between Eden Prairie’s existing city government’s taxes compared to Columbia and Ellicott City’s NON-existent city taxes is, but what’s the point?

The relevant point is even though I’m sure he’s a fine hubby, dad, and swell neighbor, he’s campaigning on stuff that simply isn’t true.

So far, in the city races, we have GOPer-Endorsed Jon Duckstad, who denied “deficit spending” even though he voted to “deficit spend” and GOPer-Endorsed Donna Azarian, who plaigerized cut ‘n pasted exact lines from disgraced GOPer-Endorsed Mayor Phil Young’s 2006 website to her own, and now “conservative” Dan Kitrell using specific percentages to compare specifically non-existent city governments.

Which makes Dan Kitrell eminently qualified to be a card-carrying member in today’s Republican Party.

I’ve said before and will say it again because as this post clearly demonstrates, “numbers don’t lie, but Republicans use numbers.”

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

Yes, Gentle Readers, the GOP-Endorsed Candidate for Eden Prairie Mayor is a “Professor of Law” – it says so here (City website) and here (Wm. Mitchell website). Well, here, too: Duckstad’s website, maintained by the local GOP.

One would expect one so learned as Professor Duckstad to have a basic grasp of basic economic concepts such as “expenditures greater than revenues = deficit spending.”

This discussion comes about because of the recent (and, unfortunately, only) Candidate Forum hosted by the League of Women voters on September 28th. You can watch it yourself by linking here.

At approximately the 51:00 minute mark, the “question to Mr. Duckstad: How do you justify deficit spending in city government?”

Mr. Duckstad’s response:

“Well, I don’t know what situation they’re talking about, but I don’t know that we’re doing any defict spending here in Eden Prairie.”
Jon Duckstad, 28 September 2010

ROFLMAO!!!

From the 17 November 2009 Budget Advisory Commission Memo to the Mayor and City Council Members (Duckstad is currently a Council Member,, so he presumably he got it):

The BAC recommends that the City plan to use less of the budget stabilization fund and bring the budget closer to balance (revenues equal to expenditures).

So, what did Professor Duckstad do on December 1st, 2009, after he presumably got that memo? Vote for a budget that was in the red by $976,084 (revenues = $35,918,229; expenditures = $36,894,313). Duckstad voted for deficit spending in FY2010, using that ol’ GOPer trick of kicking the can down the road by raiding the cookie jar (the Budget Stabilization Fund).

And the projected trip to the cookie jar for FY2011′s budget? $1,642,688!!!

Hey, spending a whopping $2,618,772 more than revenues over a 2 year period and claiming at a Candidate Forum that “I don’t know that we’re doing any defict spending here in Eden Prairie” just goes to demonstrate, once again, that ol’ saying: “numbers don’t lie, but Republicans use numbers.”

Now, I’m being charitable by saying Professor Duckstad simply flunked Econ 101. I started paying real close attention to the GOPer-led City Council during the Phil “I know I signed under penalty of perjury, but it was only sloppy bookkeeping” Young almost getting tossed into The CrowBar Hotel saga (which, BTW, isn’t over). I noticed it often seems Professor Duckstad simply isn’t paying attention – as the previous link demonstrates.

Not to worry, though, if Professor Duckstad can’t won’t pay attention it’s no problemo; the citizens can expect the local GOP Party “leadership” to tell Duckstad what to do! After all, it sure seems they tell Duckstad’s fellow GOP-Endorsed candidate for council Donna Azarian what to say….

…which, of course, begs the question: how would Professor Duckstad grade a student’s paper that exhibited such obvious plagiarism as GOPer-endorsed Donna Azarian’s cut ‘n paste to her 2010 (GOP maintained) website from GOPer-endorsed Phil Young’s 2006 (GOP maintained) website?

Stay tuned!

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject, comments welcome there)

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)

Reading Buesgens’ Police Report

On September 22, 2010, in Candidates, Emmer, GOP Hypocrisy, by tommy

Knowing that there’s usually more to the story than what’s being reported, I hit the road yesterday for the Wright County Sheriff’s Office – pictured, to the right – for a copy of Mark Buesgen’s arrest report. Later today, we’ll have the full report available here in .pdf format. For now, we’ll do excerpts pretty much do all the narrative.

And the Wright County Sheriff’s Office isn’t the only place I visited yesterday; we’ll have more on Team Emmer’s Drinking Team later today.

Here’s the Arresting Officer’s Synopsis:

On 09/18/10 while traveling S/B on CR 8 at CR 106, I observed MN (plate #, deleted) traveling N/B in the east ditch on CR8, The driver of the vehicle pulled onto the shoulder and I made contact with the driver.

The driver was identified as Buesgens who was alone in the vehicle. I could detect the faint odor of alcohol emitting from his breath along with very slurred speach. I administered Field Sobriety Testing and a Preliminary Breath Test sample with a result of .19. An open bottle of Vodka was located inside of the vehicle.

Buesgens was transported to the Wright County Jail, read implied consent, and provided a breath sample with the result of .16

His vehicle remained parked out of the way of traffic.

Now, this story is important for several reasons; one of which being that reasonable people no longer have any reason to believe Republicans are telling the truth. After this story broke, Minnesota Public Radio reported:

UPDATE 1
A spokesman for Emmer says Buesgens’ last day employed by the campaign was September 12, when moved over to the state party.

Anyone paying attention now knows that not to be true. So what else was in the report? Let’s look!

OFFICER OBSERVATIONS / ACTIONS

On September 18, 2010 at 2237 hours (that’s 10:37 pm, folks) I was traveling southbound on CR 8 at approximately a quarter mile from the intersection of CR 106.

At that location I observed Minnesota license plate (deleted) driving in the east side ditch traveing northbound on CR 8.

I then turned my squad car around and got behind it to see if the driver needed any assistance.

The vehicle was approximately 30 feet inside the ditch almost into the corn field.

It appeared the driver was rying to figure out a way to get out of the ditch.

When it did pull up onto a field approach I moved my squad behind it and initiated a raffic stop to see if the driver needed any assistace.

Initiated a traffic stop at that spot.

As I approached the vehicle I identified the driver as ark William Buesgens from Jordan, Minnesota.

I asked Buesgens if he was okay and he told me that he had fallen asleep after just leaving Waverly on his way home to Jordan.

While I was talking to Buesgens I could detect a faint smell of alcohol he made from his breath.

He aso had very slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes. Buesgens stated he had a couple of beers while he was at a political fund raiser in Waverly.

I then asked him to step out of the vehicle and perform some tests to make sure he was okay to drive.

He agreed and he moved to the front of my squad car.
.
(Officer describes field sobriety tests)
.
He then quit the test early, saying he wasn’t able to complete it.

At that time Sgt. Deringer arrived on scene and I used his preliminary breath test. Buesgen’s PBT results indicated a .19

Buesgens was told that he was under arrest and placed hand cuffs that were double-locked.

I placed him into my car.

Buesgens asked if I would be able to get his cell phone and keys out of the vehicle, which I told him I would be able to.

When I walked up to the vehicle on the river’s side, I opened the driver’s side door and there I found a three-quarters full bottle of vodka. The vodka bottle was open with no top on it sitting on the floorboard of the driver’s seat.

I then took the bottle and placed it on the hood of y squad car and eventually poured it out on the shoulder of the road.

I then went to look for any other damage on Buesgen’s Vehicle.

It appeared that the passenger side all had fresh damage
going from the rear bumper all the way to the front bumper and actually ore off the mirror and the door handle fell off the vehicle.

It was determined that Buesgens left the roadway and went in th ditch approximately 200 years from CR 106. Once in the ditch, his vehicle struck a ‘no passing sign’.

The vehicle was not towed to the road due to the vehicle being out of the way of traffic.

Buesgens told me that he was not aware that he hit anything, and that the damage to the vehicle was caused when his daughter backed out of the garage at home.

I then transported Buesgens to the Wright County Jail, and at 2232 (sic) hours Implied consent Advisory was read to him.

Buesgens stated that he understood everything I explained and he wished to consult with an attorney.

At that time I gave him phone books and the phone to contact an attorney.

I also let him use his cell phone because he told me he had some numbers on theere.

During the time I allowed him to contact an attorney, he contacted his brother and asked him to tell his wife what had happened.

I then again let Buesgens know that the phone and phone books were available for him to contact an attorney at 2340 hours and he did not contact an attorney at that time.

At 2245 (sic) hours he informed me that he wasn’t going to be able to get hold of an attorney and he would be willing to take a breath test.

At 0000 hours Buesgens submitted to an Intoxilyzer test with the result of .16 BAC

As the test concluded I went back into the interview room, and at 0001 hours Mirana warning was read to Buesgens and he understood what I explained to him.

He was willing to go through some interview questions with me at that time.

After I completed the interview I continued to process the paperwork; had him sign his Notice and Order of Revocation for his driver’s license and booked him for fourth degree DUI and open bottle.

STATEMENTS

RECORDED – MARK BUESGENS

This interview was recroded in Room J1231 of the Wright County Jail

Buesgens stated that he was driving from Waverly to Jordan.

He was approximately 1 mile west of the Waverly Liquor Store at a fundraiser.

Buesgens stated that he was going to Jordan to go home.

Buesgens stated the vehicle he was operating does not have any mechanical defects.

Buesgens stated he is also the owner of the vehicle.

Buesgens stated he was not taking any medication.

Buesgens stated he would not use marijuana or any other street drug.

Buesgens stated he is not diabetic or epileptic.

He stated he was not having speech difficulties

Buesgens stated he had been drinking, and that he was drinking vodka and beer; approximately three beers and a shot of vodka.

Buesgens stated the drinks were 12 ounce beers and a one ounce shot of vodka, and his first drink was at 1630 hours and his last drink was around 2000 hours.

Buesgens stated that he did not have anything to drink since he was driving.

Buesgens stated the last time he had eaten was the day before in the evening where he had had rice and beans with some beef.

Buesgens stated that he did feel the effects of the alcohol he had to drink.

Buesgens stated he did not feel what he drank affected his ability to drive.

Buesgens stated he does not have a prior DWI either.

Buesgens stated the bottle of vodka in the vehicle as his and he was unsure where the cap was.

Buesgens stated he was very sorry for everything he had done and he knew he had screwed up.

DISPOSITION

Cleared by arrest.

ROUTING

To County Attorney’s Office

(the Wright County Law Enforcement Center)

(the ditch Buesgens drove into; tire tracks visible)

(the “no passing” sign, showing new damage)

(tire tracks in the ditch)

(all photographs by TwoPuttTommy)

(cross posted from MnProgressiveReport; comments welcome there)

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Everyone knows GOPers believe in competition, “right”? After all, they say it all the time…

Well, I’m here to tell you they do NOT believe in competition; far from it. For instance, GOPers cheered while Shearson bought Lehman to acquire Hutton to be sliced and diced and merged into CitiGroup, which – of course – was “too big to fail” and got a TARP bail-out, courtesy o’ that noted “free-marketeer”, George orWell Bush.

And for just but one more example (and there are tons of ‘em), I did’t see any GOPers complaining while Clear Channel locally bought up radio stations across the local dial…

GOPers do NOT believe in “competion” – and Today’s Example Of Republicans Believe In Competition (Except When They Don’t) has to do with a post I posted last week, a post that I almost titled “Puttin’ In The Fix”.

In that post, I said:

Video, and more, later.

Well, today’s later, and I got the video of Eden Prairie Mayor Phil Young and Council Members Jon Dusckstad and Brad Aho tryin’ to do an end around and stick the taxpayers o’ Eden Prairie with what I can only discribe as a D*ck (cheney)in’ Cheney-esque “No-Bid Contract”.

I watched the video a couple o’ times, and The Tragic Trio sickened me. Now, you can be sickened, too! Let’s look!!!

(YouTube link to Part 1 of 2 here)

(YouTube link to Part 2 of 2 here)

Hey, does anyone actually get the impression, after watching the shenanigans Young, Duckstad, and Aho were trying to pull, that there WASN’T a violation of Minnesota’s “Open Meeting Law”?

I’m not suggesting The Tragic Trio “did” violate that law, but hey – those three sure look like they COULD have….

But, hey! You have to remember, one o’ The Tragic Trio is the guy some folk now know as “Phelonius Phil”….

Link to original post, “The question comes up why would he leave for a $1,000 raise?” is here.

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

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I do not trust THREE of the city’s (Eden Prairie’s) council members: Young, Aho, and Duckstad.

And “The question” – above – is from a story in yesterday’s Eden Prairie News print edition, reinforces that distrust. It’s a story about Eden Prairie City Manager Scott Neal leaving for the same job in Edina. Several reasons are given:

Edina City Council member Scot Housh was “amazed at what we have accomplished.”

He’s coming to Edina for about $1,000 more than what he makes now, Housh noted. The question comes up why would he leave for a $1,000 raise?

“I think Edina’s a community that’s always strived to be the best,” Housh noted.

Though the city is smaller in population, “reality is, in stature, Edina is premier.”

“’It’s a testament to the city of Edina, the people of Edina that we’re able to attract the kind of talent that we got with him,” said Housh.

Here’s Mr. Neal’s reasons, emphasis mine:

In a previous interview, Neal said there were two reasons he applied for the Edina job, one being that it was a comparable community to EP. Secondly, he did not feel secure at his current position given the political issues that have popped up this year when Neal discovered the Mayor had taken reimbursement for meetings he had not attended.

I’m surmising Mr. Neal doesn’t trust Young, Duckstad, or Aho either. But, I don’t know that; I’m just guessing based on what’s been written.

I almost titled this post “Puttin’ In The Fix” – based on last Tuesday’s City Council Meeting in Eden Prairie; Mr. Neal and the City Of Edina hadn’t officially agreed to terms of new employment, nor had Mr. Neal tendered an official resignation to the City of Eden Prairie – yet Young, Duckstad, and Aho were already scheming “planning” on replacing Neal. And while we don’t know that they already have their replacement picked (who knows? Maybe FEC Tony nor MudSlingerMike haven’t signed off on it…yet…), it seems obvious The Tragic Trio had their “recruiter” picked.

I’m hoping to have the exchange regarding “Puttin’ In The Fix” posted on YouTube Monday; it’s roughly the 20:00 minute through 42:00 minute mark in the City’s video of the meeting. For today, just a couple of comments:

At the very beginning of the meeting, after approval of last meeting’s minutes, Council Member Dusckstad wants to amend the Agenda to “add a statement” during the “Council Member’s Reports” period; the Agenda is amended.

And once that point in the meeting is reached, (approx. 21:30 into the City’s video of the meeting) Duckstad gets “right” to the point – he feels there’s an “imminent need” and wants to hire a “recruiter” to find Neal’s replacement “with dispatch.” And – surprise! – he’s got just the guy, to find just the guy, in mind.

Hey – it sure looks clear to me, that if Council Members Nelson and Case hadn’t spoken up as forcefully as they did, The Tragic Trio would have moved forward with their chosen one.

The most ironical comment, again – to me – was from Phelonius Phil. Here’s how my transcription reads:

Young: “The notion we would punt the decision to a future Council, I, ah, I don’t know where that came from, but I have every intention of fulfilling my obligatios to the City until December 31st.”

Say, Phil? You want to “fulfill your obligations” to the City?

RESIGN. Like, yesterday. No one has disgraced the office of Eden Prairie Mayor more than Phil Young. It’s apparent to me, IMNSHO, that if it weren’t for the Hennepin County’s Prosecutorial Discretion, Phil Young would be preparing a defense to felony charges – perjury, to be exact.

Actually, until Phil Young, no one HAD disgraced the office of Eden Prairie Mayor; until Young came around, there had never been talk of “Eden Prairie’s worst mayor.” Of course, until Young came around, I never thought I’d hear “Eden Prairie Mayor”, “felony”, and “perjury” in the same sentence, either.

As I watched, and rewatched, the Council Meeting Video, Council Member Case’s observation that there seemed to be an appearance of an Open Meeting Violation struck me as accurate.

At the last minute, Duckstad adds a request for Council Member Reports” time; and suggests a specific individual/firm be retained. Young and Aho (and Aho admits he’d already talked to the guy) seem to be all over it.

Now, I don’t know this guy (“Greg Albrecht”) and from a quick google search he seems to be a swell guy, but I do know that two years ago, he wrote a letter in the Eden Prairie News supporting Brad Aho’s re-election efforts.

Prior to watching the City Council Meeting, but after reading the story cited above about Neal in the Eden Prairie News, I called Aho. And I asked him if he had any problem voting to hire a guy that had written a letter of support to his re-election efforts. Aho said “no” so I asked him if I could quote him, to which he said “yes.” (Aho then suggested I watch the video of the Council meeting, to “add context.” So, I did.)

The reason I asked Aho that, was the appearance thing: a guy supports your candidacy with a letter to the paper, two years later, it looks like you’re ready to hire the guy on a no-bid contract. Does a belated “quid pro quo” come to mind to anyone but me?

Another key exchange came between Council Member Case and Mayor Young, after Young’s “we’re not gonna punt” comment above. Case asked if this current Council, with maybe a month and a half left – perhaps as few as 3 meetings – before the next duly elected Council takes over in January, “would hire a new City Manager?”

Young: “Mr. Case, what I’m suggesting if is there an obligation for this Council to take an action, we’re going to take an action.”

Unreal. Young, who has declined to resign, is taking the position he’s still qualified to help choose a new City Manager that he won’t be around to work with.

Above, I made a snide comment about GOP Chair Tony Sutton and Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb “signing off” on the next City Manager in Eden Prairie.

There’s a reason for it. I firmly believe that were the GOP endorsed candidates for Mayor (Jon Duckstad) and City Council (Donna Azarian) to win in November, and join incumbent GOP endorsed Council Member Brad Aho to maintain GOP-endorsed Council majority, and Sutton and Brodkorb wanted them to pick their guy as the next City Manager, that’s EXACTLY what would happen.

But, hey – why take a chance on an election? Sutton and Brodkorb could do the same thing “right” now, what with GOPers Young, Duckstad, and Aho already currently forming a GOPer Majority….

Elections have consequences. “Selections” do, too.

The best way to ensure “your guy” gets installed? Control the “search” selection – which gets back to why last Tuesday’s appearance of “Puttin’ In The Fix” is so disgusting.

Video, and more, later.

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

Here at MPP, we’ve been following Hal Kimball’s bid to replace retiring moderate GOP State Senator Steve Dille, who served for 24 years with distinction. As Joe Bodell noted back in December:

I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again — the DFLers cannot afford to be complacent about the State Senate, where several senior members of the caucus are getting close to retirement age. We need to keep up the pressure and elect great people like Hal to seats just like this one — and don’t be fooled about whether he actually has a shot. He does, and it’s a good one. (emphasis added)

Especially with the GOP’s decision to endorse Scott Newman for this open seat. Newman’s running hard to the far right under the “Personal Responsibility – Individual Freedom – Less Government” banner. For instance, Newman’s a guy that wants to get rid of “business subsidies” – as noted by Bluestem Prairie:

4) Do you support the elimination of all business subsidy? Including the subsidy for corn, milk, ethanol, farm property tax, mass transit, construction projects, public service wages, etc. This includes stopping the up-coming ‘make jobs’ projects likely to be part of the next round of budget talks.

Newman: Yes. It is not the role of government to artificially assist one group of business and not others. I would rather let the market determine whether a business is viable. Remember Reagan’s sarcasm; “if it moves tax it. If it stops moving subsidize it”. (from Bluestem Prairie)

OK, here’s a guy that doesn’t like subsidies; yet how does he have any cash in his campaign account going into the final days before November’s election?

Why, subsidies!!! According to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, Newman recently received a state check for $9,301.34. And Newman needs the dough; as noted here at MPP on August 3rd with a quote from Sally Jo at Bluestem Prairie:

The pre-primary reports on file show that Scott Newman, former state legislator and failed judicial candidate, took in $10,514.71, loaned himself $5000, spent $15,052.48 and closed the reporting period with $302.23 in the bank and $4850.00 in debts. (emphasis added)

Which caused Hal’s Campaign Manager to note here on MPP:

And although he (Newman) preaches the gospel of no subsidies for anyone including farmers, he has applied for the campaign subsidies that his campaign now desperately needs do to having a tough opponent. Of course he will have to spend half of that subsidy paying off his loan. His parade float is now subsidized by the tax payers.
(emphasis added)

Kimball’s campaign sent out a fundraising appeal last week, to make up the difference from what Scott “No Subsidies For YOU!” Newman collected from the state – $9,301.34 – and what Hal collected – $8,566.61. Here’s the follow up to it:

SUBJECT: We Made It!

Dear Friends,

Last Thursday I came to you for help in eliminating the $734.73 edge our opponent had in the campaign subsidy department and your response was overwhelming.

In just 48 hours, you helped us raise almost $800!

We’re out-raising our opponent, we’re out-hustling him, we’re covering more important issues and we’re knocking on more doors. Now, his only advantage — a larger government subsidy — has been totally negated.

Let’s send a clear message that Senate District 18 will be represented by a DFLer by raising another $250 by 5 p.m. Monday.

Thanks so much for all your help. I’m humbled and honored to have the best grassroots team in Minnesota!

Hal

Hal has been working his (rear end) off – which is what those who know Kimball would expect from this US Army Veteran.

Again, back in December, Joe Bodell said Kimball had a good shot at winning his race. Today, I’m saying Hal’s race is the best bet to turn a Red seat to a Blue Seat.

If you’re so inclined, click here to toss Hall a few more bucks, and help turn SD-18 from Red to Blue.

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)