Update, 09 June 2012 Well, it’s now been 1,405 days since ol’ Smokescreen’s Spokestool made the promise that appears below. And ol’ Smokescreen (the Court Certified “4th Most Corrupt Senator In Congress”) is back in the news again. Why? Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington (“CREW”) is on to ol’ Smokescreen’s latest shenanigans. As were we; what follows is what was written on October 14th, 2010 when news hit that ol’ Smokescreen got the new gig. But before you read on, think about this: ol’ Smoikescreen – the Court Certified “4th Most Corrupt Senator In Congress” – also just made the news for being “the most prominent Minnesota Republican with the best favorability numbers” “. Republicans like their crooks, yes?

Thursday, October 14th, 2010 It’s been 802 days since August 4th, 2008 when at a press conference, Team Smokescreen’s Spokestool, Mark Drake, promised the assembled media he’d check with “the campaign” about providing an actual utility bill for Norm’s sweetheart deal for an apartment in a pal’s Washington, D.C. “shack” (it’s a million dollar townhouse), and get back to said media. Needless to say, Spokestool Drake never got back to ‘em.

We still don’t know – 802 days later – which GOPer Sugar Daddy(s) was(were) paying The 4th Most Corrupt Senator In Congress’ said utility bills, because – 802 days later – said utility bills have yet to be produced.

I bring this up, because it seems Minnesota’s Most Ethically-Challenged Politician, ol’ Smokescreen himself, Norm Coleman (the Court Certified “4th Most Corrupt Senator In Congress”) has popped up on the “Board Of Directors” of a GOPer money-laundering operation “independent nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization… not affiliated with or controlled by any political group. “

Yeah, “right.”

Stay tuned for the continuing saga of Norm “4th Most Corrupt Senator In Congress” Coleman, and remember:

It’s been 802 days since Norm Coleman’s Spokestool, Mark Drake, promised the assembled media he’d check with “the campaign” about providing an actual utility bill for Norm’s sweetheart deal for an apartment in a pal’s Washington, D.C. “shack” (it’s a million dollar townhouse), and get back to said media….

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

It’s been 802 days since August 4th, 2008 when at a press conference, Team Smokescreen’s Spokestool, Mark Drake, promised the assembled media he’d check with “the campaign” about providing an actual utility bill for Norm’s sweetheart deal for an apartment in a pal’s Washington, D.C. “shack” (it’s a million dollar townhouse), and get back to said media. Needless to say, Spokestool Drake never got back to ‘em.

We still don’t know – 802 days later – which GOPer Sugar Daddy(s) was(were) paying The 4th Most Corrupt Senator In Congress’ said utility bills, because – 802 days later – said utility bills have yet to be produced.

I bring this up, because it seems Minnesota’s Most Ethically-Challenged Politician, ol’ Smokescreen himself, Norm Coleman (the Court Certified “4th Most Corrupt Senator In Congress”) has popped up on the “Board Of Directors” of a GOPer money-laundering operation “independent nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization… not affiliated with or controlled by any political group. “

Yeah, “right.”

Stay tuned for the continuing saga of Norm “4th Most Corrupt Senator In Congress” Coleman, and remember:

It’s been 802 days since Norm Coleman’s Spokestool, Mark Drake, promised the assembled media he’d check with “the campaign” about providing an actual utility bill for Norm’s sweetheart deal for an apartment in a pal’s Washington, D.C. “shack” (it’s a million dollar townhouse), and get back to said media….

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject.com; please post comments 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)

So, I’m down at GOPer Sloganville, and I get the email that “@MnGOPInfo” is following me on Twitter. (FYI – I’m at @TwoPuttTommy – hint, HINT!!!) Initially, I figure it’s just another one o’ MudSlingerMike’s astroturf “MOB” groups, based on the name. But, what the (cheney) – ya never know, “right”? So, I always check ‘em out, before hittin’ the ol’ Twitter “Follow” button.

And, what to my wondering eyes should appear??!?

Go look!!!

If you’re on Twitter (and if you’re reading this, you’d BETTER be), go to “@MnGOPInfo” and click “follow.” Then, go to www.MnGOP.Info and add ‘em to your RSS Feed.

It seems that a few folk other than ol’ MudSlingerMike attended the prestigious Limbaugh Institute of Modifying Policy – DEMONrats, Independents and Commies Keepout….

But, to Brodkorb’s chagrin, they just might beat the ol’ MudSlinger at his own game!

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

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

Part 1 is here. In part 2, we’ll talk briefly about Day 2 (more, next Monday) – plus, there’s some pictures below the fold!!!

On Friday, Tom Emmer was working the delegates over by Vendor Row; he saw me and said: “Hey, TwoPutt!” – which explains one picture (below the fold!). I’ve talked to Emmer several times over the last many months; like at last October at the Veterans Protest outside of the GOPer Trial-Run Convention in St. Paul; in the “Spin Room” after the Minnesota News Council/League of Women Voters Guv Debate in January; at the GOPer SD-42 Caucus in February (where I met his wife, Jacquie); and those are just off-the-top…

The thing about Emmer, is – just like Wellstone; just like Ventura; hey – just like Tommy Rukavina!!! — when you ask Emmer a question you get an answer. You may not like the answer, but you get one and it’s NOT an answer based upon what you want to hear — it’s based upon what they think.

And a LOT of voters like that, in a candidate.

That said, Emmer also – often! – says some really, Really, REALLY polarizing things, such as:

“I don’t think you can call yourself a freedom-loving American and be a Democrat.” — Tom Emmer, 9-26-09 (MarshallIndependent.com)

So, can a guy like Emmer, saying stuff like that, really, Really, REALLY get elected?

Well, this guy did:

“Children who are victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem for our government.” — Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty, April 2001 – as quoted in the Aitkin Independent Newspaper

More, on Monday, and enjoy the pics below!

Oh – and the slogan of the day, at Sloganville, was:

“Constitutional Conservatism”

Which is rather funny, coming from The Party Of Watergate & Iran-Contra & Boy Blunder

The ol’ TwoPutter, with the then-not-endorsed Tom Emmer on Friday, April 30th:

The ol’ TwoPutter, with GOPer SD42 State Rep. Jenifer loon:

Here’s a poll on what “new media” training GOPer Convention attendees want next; my question is what training is the DFL gonna provide first??!?

Media Central, which the ol’ TwoPutter was specifically kept OUT of:

A union Steel Worker – let me repeat that, A UNION STEEL WORKER – with delegate credentials at the GOP Convention; talk about voting AGAINST your own economic self-interest…

Here’s two bumperstickers on a GOPer Vendor’s table; let’s hope the top guy meets the same fate as the bottom guy’s last election:

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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

I’ll start this post out dealing with the Fear Factor! As expected yesterday, Minnesota’s GOPers weren’t gonna give the ol’ TwoPutter Media Credentials. But, that’s no surprise; they didn’t credential The UpTake, either. As a matter o’ fact, the MN GOP is none-too-keen about letting “just anyone in” to see the goings ons o’ their party; no one – and I mean NO ONE – can wander on in and watch how The Small Tent Party conducts their business, without bein’ approved to do said watching.

One wonders what would happen, were a teacher to bring a coupla kids down to the Mpls Convention Center, for a teachable moment about democracy – GOPer Style. I’m guessing it would be a real teachable moment; GOPers refusing school kids to watch ‘em in action!!!

Compare/contrast with the DFL’s “Open Door – Open Look” policy in Duluth…which explains a lot about the difference between parties. Well, the average DFLer’s “Open Mind” and average GOPer’s “Closed Mind” does, too.

Here’s the tweet, about my exchange with MN GOP Communications Director Mark Drake concerning my Media Credentials:

Drake: “U didn’t rgstr in time” Me: “What was deadline?” Drake: “Didn’t u get my memo?” Me: “U r a funny guy, Mark”
#mngop10 #Stribpol
about 14 hours ago via web

We’ll post a whole buncha more tweets, down below the fold!

Getting back to Sloganville – apparently, judging by the “speeches” by GOPer Candidates and almost all of the Delegates and Alternates I talked with, the main qualification for elective office is “who loves freedom and liberty and hates tyranny more” and who hates “the direction our country is headed” the most. They all want to “cut gubmint spending” and “shrink gubmint” – although the GOPer Sloganeers don’t talk much about what they’ll whack once they get back power. Presumably, everything is on the table. Well, except Defense, I guess, because they’re all “strong” on National Defense.

Pretty hard to be “strong” on National Defense whilst whacking a National Defense Budget that spends more than….well, probably the rest of the world combined. Nope! Can’t whack that!!!

And Veterans, apparently, can’t be whacked either. Here’s a snippet from that notoriously liberal/leftist/socialist America-hating dam-near commie rag, The Moonie Washington Times:

Mr. Obama’s proposed VA budget for fiscal 2011 asks for $125 billion – a 10 percent jump from what Congress enacted for 2010, which was itself more than 16 percent more than 2009. The discretionary portion of next year’s budget request – the part the administration and Congress have the most direct control over – is up nearly 20 percent since 2009, to total $60.3 billion.
.
.
Perhaps one of the reasons Mr. Obama’s veterans policies have flown under the radar – relative to his hard-fought victory on the health care overhaul – is they draw bipartisan support at a time when the nation is still fighting two wars. In addition to approving double-digit budget increases, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle came together last year on a bill that put the portion of the VA’s budget that deals with medical care on a two-year track to insulate it from legislative delays.

They also signed off on the post-9/11 GI bill, which provides Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with money for tuition and housing while in school.

More recently, the Senate last week approved a bipartisan bill that expands benefits for the caregivers of wounded veterans and tries to accommodate those in rural areas by expanding the VA’s telemedicine program and travel reimbursements. The bill, authored by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii Democrat, now awaits the president’s signature.

“I would think there’s more agreement than disagreement” on veterans’ issues, said Brooks Tucker, deputy staff director for Republicans on the committee. (WashingtonTimes.com)

So, apparently, “shrinking the size of gubmint” doesn’t include Veterans Benefits – in the view of The Small Tent Party.

So, just WT(C) do they want to whack? I dunno; I haven’t heard it yet.

They certainly don’t want to whack Border Security; that’s a big topic down there in Sloganville.

Maybe in the RightWingNutJobWorld, “Border Security” can magically be expanded, and be paid for by…..

….hmmm…

How DO they want to pay for it??!?

I’ll keep asking, today, as I head back to gather material for Fear And Loathing In Sloganville, Part Two – or … “A Peak Through The Flaps Of The Small Tent Party”

Oh – and here’s the tweet, describing how I got A “Guest Pass”

I’m in! A fellow VFW Member thought #mngop10 policy is bogus, and invited me in as a Guest! #Stribpol
about 14 hours ago via web

Here’s the list of tweets sent yesterday, over the three hours between not getting Media Credentials, getting a “Guest Pass” and the GOPers actually letting me in, using said “Guest Pass”:

_ To no surprise, no Media Credential for the ol’ TwoPutter! What is @mngop hiding behind the closed flaps of The Small Tent Party? #Stribpol
about 15 hours ago via web

_ @sturdevant Hey, Lori – out of curiosity, when did you register for press credentials?
about 15 hours ago via web

_ According to a Sergeant-At-Arms, all persons entering must have a pass @mngop10 #stribpol about 15 hours ago via web

_ According to @mngop10 info desk, must be a guest of delegate or alternate to get a guest pass – no casual observers allowed. #Stribpol about 15 hours ago via web

_ Drake: “U didn’t rgstr in time” Me: “What was deadline?” Drake: “Didn’t u get my memo?” Me: “U r a funny guy, Mark” #mngop10 #Stribpol about 14 hours ago via web

_ I’m in! A fellow VFW Member thought #mngop10 policy is bogus, and invited me in as a Guest! #Stribpol about 14 hours ago via web

_ Ruh-roh – #mngop10 not a “happy face” w/ my “Guest Pass” and are not allowing me in! In limbo… #Sribpol about 14 hours ago via web

_ Just saw a kid w/ a “Guest Pass” leave the hall; but my “Guest Pass” apparently, mine won’t let me in. #mngpo10 #stribpol about 14 hours ago via web

_ Just saw a #mngop10 “Guest Pass” go in; Security explains: “That Guest Pass was typed; yours is handwritten” – still in limbo… #Stribpol about 13 hours ago via web

_ There goes ANOTHER “hand-written” “Guest Pass”!!! Me? Still in #mngop10 limbo! #Stribpol about 13 hours ago via web

_ Security: “Can he (me!) go in yet?” #mngop10 MediaType: “No.” Me: “Orders from above?” MediaType: “Yep.” #Stribpol about 13 hours ago via web

_ Followed the rules; paid my $20 and a fellow Veteran sponsored my “Guest Pass” and I’m still not in. #mngop10 #stribpol about 13 hours ago via web

_ Taking a quick break from limbo and sitting down; the hard floors here are rough. #mngop10 about 12 hours ago via web

_ Break over; #MNGOP10 MediaType indicates my bought ‘n paid for “Guest Pass” still isn’t a “pass.” Standing by, by the Stanek booth.. about 12 hours ago via web

_ I’m in! #mngop10 musta got tired o’ my tweets… about 12 hours ago via web

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

On last Tuesday, I called the MN GOP to get Media Credentials for their State Convention; the nice person that answered the phone told me to talk to Mark Drake and gave me Mark’s email and patched me through to Mark’s voicemail. So, I left a message and sent an email. Didn’t hear back. So I called and emailed again yesterday – and didn’t hear back. So I emailed and called again today – and haven’t heard back.

So, will the GOPers give the ol’ TwoPutter media credentials?

Well, if The UpTake is any indication, don’t bet on it!

Take a look at what The UpTake.org posted earlier today:

Here’s The UpTake’s post, today, about that video:

Back in 2008 when he was a blogger, Michael Brodkorb told The UpTake how pleased he was that the DFL was giving him access and said that GOP conventions should give all bloggers and members of the opposition parties access.

Brodkorb told The UpTake in 2008 “I do believe, and I’ve said this before on my blog that I do believe that conventions should be open to the opposition and political parties. I think Republicans should let Democrat bloggers in and vice versa. From an openness standpoint that’s important to do”

But now that Brodkorb is GOP State Deputy Chair, his party has taken just the opposite stance. DFL officials report that they are being refused admission to the GOP party convention scheduled to begin tomorrow in Minneapolis. GOP Communications Director Mark Drake has even refused press credentials to The UpTake calling the non-partisan nonprofit that has streamed debates, thousands of hours of the legislature and every moment of the Norm Coleman/Al Franken Election Contest trial a “partisan DFL organization”.

DFL Communications Director Kristen Sosanie says all media that requested credentials for last week’s DFL convention in Duluth were given them. That includes the FOX News Network. However FOX News was asked to share video with one of the local TV stations instead of setting up its own camera and then decided not to attend the convention. She says “We did not turn anyone away and in fact did everything we could to accommodate even those TV and print journalists who did not RSVP but showed up the day of the convention.”

Sosanie points out that the DFL allowed Brodkorb and Drake to attend the DFL convention, a courtesy the DFL has offered to other Republicans in the past. But the DFL has not had equal treatment in return.

“They have said repeatedly that DFL staff will not be allowed into the GOP convention, and they kicked every one of our staff or volunteers out of all the local unit conventions as well. So it’s not just media they are keeping out, which leads to the question: what are they hiding?”

The UpTake will be covering the convention the best we can considering the circumstances. (UpTake.org)

I’ll be at the GOP Convention today; whether or not the GOP offers me media credentials remains to be seen.

Stay tuned!!!

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

This is NOT an “11th Hour” Story

On October 31, 2008, in ol' Smokescreen, by tommy

As much as Senator Coleman would like you to believe the recent allegations concerning potentially illegal payments funneled to his wife are “a vicious 11th hour attack”, the record simply does not bear that out. Questions regarding Senator Coleman’s complicated financial arrangements with financial backers go back at least to June, when Edward Pound of the National Journal first broke the story of Coleman’s unusual rental arrangements.

From that story:

Earlier this month, after National Journal questioned Coleman and Larson about the living arrangement, the senator said he discovered that his rent for last November and January had not been paid. In mid-June, Coleman covered the back rent with a personal check for $1,200 made out to Larson and signed by the senator’s wife. Last year, Coleman sold furniture to Larson to cover one month’s rent, according to Larson. And Larson held on to yet another month’s rent check for three months, cashing it a few days after NJ’s inquiries.(National Journal)

After this story broke, Senator Coleman produced a “lease” for the rental premises, dated after details of the “between friends” – Norm Coleman and Jeff Larson of FLS fame – agreement became known.

Sill unanswered after these revelations are the arrangements concerning utilities for the Senator’s rental unit. What is known is the unit Coleman rents is a legally licensed separate rental unit, with separated utility meters. On August 4th, at a press conference, Coleman spokesperson Mark Drake promised to check with the campaign about allowing members of the media to see an actual utility bill, so members of the media could verify Senator Coleman was paying what he should be and not violating the Gift Ban – let alone having a corporation picking up his tab.

To date, said utility bills have not been produced. Indeed, just yesterday, with Mark Drake at the podium, Team Coleman stonewalled reporters again. Here’s the transcript, beginning at the 15:24 mark:

REPORTER: Mark we know that Senator Coleman pays $600 a month in rent, right?

Mark Drake: (right.)

REPORTER: We still don’t haven’t had an answer on utility bills, and we asked a few months ago if you could produce those to see how much he’s really paying – do you have an answer for us now?

Mark Drake: You know, this has all been dealt with months ago.

REPORTER: No, it hasn’t been. We haven’t seen a utility bill yet and it would be good to see those.

Mark Drake: OK, I’ll see what I can do.

REPORTER: We should have seen them by now.

Mark Drake: OK. (The Uptake)

Keep that in mind, regarding the utility bill issue. Now, let’s look at a press conference from October 8th, where both the utility bill and Lori Coleman’s employment were brought up:

REPORTER: On a different subject is there a reason that the Senator won’t say whether or not someone else bought some suits for him.

CULLEN SHEEHAN: Rachel, the Senator has reported every gift he has ever received.

REPORTER: That wasn’t my question, Cullen.

CULLEN SHEEHAN: The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received. We are not going to respond to unnamed sources on a blog.

REPORTER: So Senator Coleman’s friend has not bought these suits for him? Is that correct?

CULLEN SHEEHAN: The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received.

REPORTER: Why would say that? Why wouldn’t you give us an answer yes or no on that?

CULLEN SHEEHAN: The Senator has recorded every gift he has ever received.

REPORTER: We haven’t asked whether he has recorded every gift he has ever received and I will take his word that he has recorded every gift he has received. Has he ever received a gift of suits?

CULLEN SHEEHAN: The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received.

REPORTER: If the answer is no, then why don’t you say no.

CULLEN SHEEHAN: He has reported every gift he has ever received, Rachel.

TwoPuttTommy: Cullen, who’s name is on Senator Coleman’s utility bill in D.C.?”

CULLEN SHEEHAN: Are there any more questions from the Capital Press Corps?

REPORTER: What about Laurie, Mrs. Coleman’s job at Hays Company? Do you know what she did there?

CULLEN SHEEHAN: Again they have disclosed everything they need to disclose on the Senate ethics forms.

REPORTER: So the Senator will only go according to the Senate ethics laws or rules rather than answer questions?

CULLEN SHEEHAN: He has done everything that he is required to do, Rachel.

REPORTER: That is not my question, Cullen.

CULLEN SHEEHAN: But that is my response.

REPORTER: Senator Coleman has talked a lot about campaign finance and transparency. He’ll repeat that transparency – transparency – that’s what you need to have. If there are questions about whether he was a recipient of some very expensive suits and whether those they were gifted to him in an appropriate way – why not just clear it all up because it is very unclear to us?

CULLEN SHEEHAN: He does that every year as a United States Senator on his Senate disclosure forms.

REPORTER: And will we find information about clothing on those forms?

CULLEN SHEEHAN: If it exceeds a gift limit, yes.

REPORTER: So is it possible that he received these suits and it was below gift level.

CULLEN SHEEHAN: The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received.

REPORTER: It is a little puzzling Cullen why you won’t say whether or not he received these gifts and I understand that you don’t have respond to everything on the blogs but you are getting questions from reporters and I don’t see why you aren’t answering them. Can you explain that a little to me?

CULLEN SHEEHAN: Rachel, we are not going to respond to unnamed sources on blogs. That is what we are going to do from now until election is over. The Senator has disclosed everything that he is required to disclose and recorded everything that he is required to record.

REPORTER: But Cullen if the Senator did nothing wrong here and that is what you are saying then just tell us that and the issue will go away.

CULLEN SHEEHAN: The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received.

REPORTER: Did the Senator done something wrong here?

CULLEN SHEEHAN: The Senator has done nothing wrong and reported every gift he has ever received.

REPORTER: And you don’t know what Mrs. Coleman did for Hays Companies?

CULLEN SHEEHAN: And again whatever has been required to be disclosed about her income and what she does has been disclosed.

Apparently, by the recent cour filings, everything that has been required to be disclosed about ‘her” – Lori Coleman – has NOT been disclosed.

And clearly, the revelations alleged in the Texas court filings are NOT “a vicious 11th hour attack”; they are issues the Coleman campaign could have/should have gotten in front of, if the allegations were baseless, months ago. But they didn’t. Where there’s smoke, there’s often fire. Especially when left smoldering.

This story is not “an 11th hour attack” – this is a story that, after 4 months is coming to a boil; it very well could be embers combusting into fire. If it’s “11th hour”, that’s only because allegations have gone unsatisfactorily addressed – for months if not more.

And still unanswered is who’s name is on the utility bill for the apartment Norm Coleman rents, from a well-connected campaign operative. This is another story that Team Coleman has left unexplained – and after many months, those paying attention are connecting the dots.

(originally published at MnProgressiveProject.com)

Ladies and Gentlemen, the listing on the property is clear: Norm Coleman’s D.C. digs is a legally seperate rental unit, and licensed as such by the D.C. authorities. This has been verified. But the biggest verification just came from PepCo, the electric utility provider – and provider of electricity for the place Norm Coleman (allegedly) stays while in D.C. And that verification is a big one: there are two electrical meters. Yes, TWO. Therefore, somebody is paying for the electricity that goes to Norm’s digs, and only Norm’s digs.

What the utility will NOT verify, is who’s name those two meters are in.

So, who is pickin’ up the tab, for Norm’s electric?

I called Team Coleman, to ask just exactly that. But, Mark Drake wouldn’t take my call was unavailable, so the question was asked via Mark’s voicemail.

Why is this important? Sam Stein at HuffPost explains:

As for Coleman, the optics of having a big-time GOP insider, in effect, providing roughly a few thousand dollars a month in free cable, electricity, and Internet could prove equally problematic. On a more serious level, a utilities subsidy may present an ethics violation.

“This is a legitimate question to be asking in light of the fact that he is apparently renting from someone with an interest in his official actions as a senator,” said Mary Boyle of the good government group Common Cause. “It would be one thing if he was paying above market value and they could argue that it is included in his rent. But he is paying below market for this apartment. At a minimum [not paying utilities] would be a violation of the congressional gift ban. Certainly under no way is it okay for a member of Congress to be taking free or subsidized rent or benefits from anyone, particularly from someone you are working with.”(emphasis added)

Reaction from Coleman suggests that he too finds the utilities issue troubling. The Huffington Post placed more than two-dozen calls to his campaign spokesperson and Senate office over the course of several weeks. Despite leaving more than ten voice and email messages including the basic request to discuss the utilities bill, not one aide ever returned a request for comment. (Huffington Post)

Gee – now I don’t feel so bad; HuffPost is gettin’ ignored by the mighty Team Smokescreen, too.

But I digress. There really are two questions that are very important:

1 – In what name is the billing account for Norm’s rental unit in; and

2 – who is paying the tab.

So now it’s ‘fess up time, for Norm. And not only does he need to show a bill in his name, he needs to show a cancelled check, too.

(originally published at MnBlue.com)

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Unanswered Questions

On August 6, 2008, in Media, ol' Smokescreen, republiCon, by tommy

So, there I am, blogging on the DFL Presser, when the guy from The UpTake wants to interview me. Why? It seems that republiCon Leadership STILL doesn’t answer questions, from bloggers. Let me back up – let’s look back to republiCon Ron’s presser last April, where republiCon Ron wouldn’t answer this blogger’s question, which was along the lines of: “Mr. Chairman, given your “stewardship” of the State GOP finances first as Treasurer and now as chair, and given the fines and amended and then re-amended financial reports, aren’t you and the republiCons trying to hold Mr. Franken to a standard you and the party have not been able to meet, yourself?”

So, at yesterday’s presser, after republiCon Spokesman Mark Drake commandeered the podium and then (lamely) ripped Franken’s “four letter language”, I asked Mark: “Mark, isn’t the GOP’s criticism of Franken’s language trying to hold him to a standard that Vice-President Cheney, in the Senate, didn’t manage to meet?”

Well, tried to. Watch for yourself, ol’ Smokescreen’s Spokesman, Mark Drake, refuse to answer my question.

The republiCon Party Of Minnesota LOVES to demand others answer questions; the fact that they – including Team Smokescreen – won’t answer questions only serves to demonstrate, once again:

“Hypocrisy, Thy Party is GOP (GreedOverPrinciples).”

Oh, and if someone has Mark’s e-mail address, please forward this to him. I’d like to let Mark know, now and for certain, that the reason Franken called republiCons “Shameless D*cks”, is, as you, yourself proved, once again yesterday, YOU ARE “Shameless D*cks.”

The DFL schedules a presser, then you, Mark Drake, official spokesman for Team Smokescreen, commandeer the podium, and then refuse to answer questions at a room booked by someone else?

Shameless, Mark – simply shameless. You should go (cheney) yourself.

Oh, and in the immortal words of D*ck (cheney)in’ Cheney, to Neil Cavuto, on Fox TV, when Cheney was asked about telling someone to “Go (cheney) yourself”, what I just said is “appropriate.”

Hey – if it works for Cheney, without a peep of reproach from the republiCons, then it works for me. Unless, of course, the republiCons demonstrate their usual hypocrisy…….

(originally published at MnBlue.com)