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

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

If it smells like a power play…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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

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

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

And Hann won’t comment.

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

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

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

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

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

Then the stories about his conflict of interest began hitting:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it’s a little incomplete, yes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

This is not a story about Amy Koch, Michael Brodkorb, and/or sex. Yes, it’s a scandal, but not because it’s scandalous/salacious – it’s a scandal because four Republican State Senators called the media to attend a press conference in December of 2011, smiled at the camera — and one of them, for sure, proceeded to lie through his teeth. How do we know this?

Because just a few weeks later, he tried to explain it away by basically claiming “I only lied because I had to.”

Two of those four Senators, Dave Senjem of Rochester and David Hann of Eden Prairie (far right, literally), are on the ballot in November. The other two, Geoff Michel of Edina and Chris Gerlach of Apple Valley opted not to run.

That’s the scandal, Gentle Readers – elected officials brazenly lying to the press. We know Geoff Michel lied; he admitted it. What isn’t known is what the other three knew, and when did they know it.

Last night on Fox9 TV, Reporter Tom Lyden interviewed Michael Brodkorb. Brodkorb strongly inferred all four new quite a bit more than what they claimed at that December 2011 press conference.

It’s interesting that Tom Lyden got this scoop. I’m speculating it’s because Republican Senators have a recent history of not quite being quite fully truthful with Mr. Lyden; see MnGOP State Senate: “…we are in this together…” and MnGOP State Senate: We Are In This Together Part 2. The short story of this case of Republican “less than truthfullness” is he MnGOP Senate Caucus was campaigning (“Lunch Hour Lit Drop”) out of a room in the State Capitol (which is a no, No, NO!”). Tom Lyden had the email; he had the video. When he asked a GOPer (camera rolling) about this illegal campaigning out of a State Capitol Office, his response was basically “Who ya gonna believe – us, or yer lyin’ eyes?”

So basically, there’s a pattern here, of GOPers tellin’ whoppers to the media, and I found it fitting Tom Lyden got the interview. And there was a funny – as in ironic – claim in that interview: Brodkorb claimed the Judge’s gag order was lifted because GOPers in the Senate Caucus had been violating it by talking to the media about the case. So Lyden asked the GOPers about it; their response was “no comment.”

Assuming that’s true, you can’t make that up. When they can’t talk to reporters, they do; when the Judge lifts the gag and they can? They don’t.

The story that’s evolving is that David Hann was actually a ring leader in what Brodkorb called “a palace coup” and Hann may even have been in on it from the very beginning. If so, that means when Geoff Michel was telling the press whoppers from a table (see picture, above) that David Hann was sitting at, David Hann knew – KNEW – that what Michel was saying was simply not – NOT – true.

Let’s take a look at today’s Strib story about this scandal:

Asked about Brodkorb’s allegation on Sunday, Republican Sen. David Hann, who was involved in confronting Koch about the affair in December, denied any political motivation for his actions.

“Of course, it’s not true,” said Hann, R-Eden Prairie.

Hann, who narrowly lost his bid to be majority leader after Koch resigned, also questioned the reasons for Brodkorb’s accusation, noting that Brodkorb is suing the Senate over his firing.

“You have to consider the source,” Hann said.

“You have to consider the source.”

Indeed. And when the “source” of any claim is a Minnesota GOPer, especially from the State Senate, that source is exceedingly suspect.

David Hann and Dave Senjem need to come clean with what they know and when did they know it. And if/when Hann & Senjem state what they knew, and when they knew it?

Consider the source.

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

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

On June 3rd, 2007, Dan Browning and Pat Doyle broke a story that rocked Minnesota’s political world and would have repercussions we’re still feeling today; it dealt with the now-infamous “Tostenson Memo”. Written by long-time MN GOP Finance Director Dwight Tostenson, it detailed the financial shenanigans – “Cooked Books” if you will – of the party, and became the basis for the Federal Election Commission’s near-record $170,000 fine last year. The GOP is still paying that fine off (unlike their rent). That newspaper story came out just before the MN GOP’s State Convention, the current chair, Ron Carey, was being challenged by a guy named Joe Repya on, boiled down, a “clean up/reform the party” platform.

Joe lost, Ron (and, status quo) won, and the Party’s problems Joe was running to correct: got worse.

The 2008 MN GOP State Convention in Rochester is mostly remembered for the shabby treatment of Ron Paul and his supporters. Paul was a bona fide candidate for the GOP nomination for president, even though he didn’t have a (deleted, for censors) chance in (deleted, again) of getting it. Doesn’t matter; as a party member, he should have been allowed to speak – Ron Paul wasn’t.

And then there’s the treatment of Ron Paul’s supporters at the Convention. Well, leading up to it, too – as you can read by linking here for but one account. There’s plenty more out there, like this one.

One significant event at that 2008 MN GOP State Convention isn’t remembered so much; fortunately, one Convention Delegate caught it on tape – let’s look!

Oh, and pay very, Very, VERY close attention to what then-Chair Ron Carey says, “right” at the very end!!!

(direct link to YouTube)

To recap that video: there’s a white-wash/cover up concerning the GOP’s FEC Reports; Joe Repya asks two pointed questions; Tony Sutton goes ballistic; Ron Carey bloviates! And what exactly did Carey say, “right” at the end?

“At the end of the day, those that are criticizing us are to be shamed – because the truth will get out and the truth shall set us free.”

WHAT??!?

And then, in compete violation of Robert’s Rules, State GOP “leadership” ended the convention.

Shameful. Sadly, today’s GOP has no shame. It’s like I always say: You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

Today, Joe Repya has an op-ed in the Star Tribune; it’s entitled “End of the state GOP as we know it?”

I’d recommend everyone read it, and remember: the problems Repya was talking about five years ago, back in 2007? Repya was correct.

I’m still wondering, though – isn’t it about time a prosecutor started taking a hard look at the problems Repya has been talking about all these years?

Stay tuned!

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

Ladies and Gentlemen, in Part 9 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we looked at a MN GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that looks mighty clear: when it comes to paying rent, these Republicans are deadbeats! And back in that March 27th, 2012 post we wondered: So, how is it that the Minnesota GOP – the self-proclaimed “Party Of Fiscal Responsibility” – gets away with stiffing their Landlord for office rent for so long?

Well, the GOP’s Landlord finally decided to pull the plug, and yesterday filed paperwork with Ramsey County to get those deadbeat GOPers to “pay up or get out.” The Court is scheduled to hear the case next Tuesday, at 8:45am.

Also yesterday, a highly charged political memo from MN GOP Chair Pat (“Enron Boy”) Shortridge surfaced in the media. As a public service for you, our Gentle Readers, the following is a complete translation of this important document — from the original Republican into modern English. Let’s look!!!

Last Thursday, I sent the below update on party finances to local and statewide GOP leaders.

English Translation: Somebody leaked this, so now I’ve got to pretend I wanted it to go public.

In light of an exaggerated press story in a publication this morning,

ET: Because they’re wise to us.

we wanted to make sure you were aware of it.

ET: We can’t keep you in the dark any longer.

The MNGOP is not being ‘kicked out’ of its offices.

ET: …yet!

While we have successfully negotiated with our creditors in most cases,

ET: We’re doing our best to stiff our creditors…

our landlord took the unfortunate step, which they are certainly within their rights to do, of bringing the matter to court.

ET: …but the landlord finally figured out we’re full of crap, and is treating us like the deadbeats we are.

We believe we’re on track to settle this matter without further legal action,

ET: We’re going to offer him $0.10 on the dollar for back rent…

and we’ll know for sure in the coming days.

ET: …and we hope that stall will scam him out of another month or two before he drops a dime on us.

• First and foremost, we’ve amended our Federal Election Commission (2011) and Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board reports for 2011 and 2010.

ET: The FEC caught us with our pants around our ankles, but we think they’ll buy this new load of horse apples.

• The Financial Control and Oversight Committee, chaired very, very ably by Jeff Johnson, has looked into many of the questionable transactions from the past and will present a series of recommendations to significantly improve our processes, internal financial controls and oversight.

ET: We’ve found some clever ways to make the fraud in our FEC reports much harder to detect.

• We’ve continued to cut expenses,

ET: We’ll squeeze a few more dollars out of our naive staff and interns. Don’t tell them. And there’s a whole world of vendors out there, who still don’t get that we don’t pay our bills…

while continuing the process of restoring trust with our major donors and rebuilding our small dollar donor programs. Fundraising is improving and we’re getting things done on a shoestring.

ET: …and we’ll feed the donors the usual lies. They’re true believers and wimps, and will fall for anything we tell them.

You should be VERY proud of the party staff and our many key volunteers for going above and beyond the call to get things done.

ET: Once again, don’t let these poor saps in on what’s up next for them.

• We have negotiated with our creditors so we engage in an orderly process for paying down our debt. In 95% of the cases, that process has gone smoothly.

ET: We’ve stiffed almost everybody. I mean, what are they going to do? The party is totally broke, and it’s not like any of us are personally liable for this mess.

In a couple of cases, it has not gone as well as we’d hoped despite the best efforts of Mike Vekich, Bron Scherer, and me. One in particular that I wanted to tell you about is our negotiation with our landlord.

ET: Sadly, the landlord has seen through the BS of even our world-class scammers.

We have a long and very expensive lease which still has twenty-one (21) months to run.

ET: I can’t believe the previous guys negotiated such a bad lease…

As you know, we have more space than we need and our monthly lease cost is in excess of current, comparable market lease rates.

ET: …and they leased wa-a-a-ay too much space. Fortunately, we can leverage the bad market against the landlord.

When I was elected on December 31, 2011, the rent had not been paid since August 2011 and as part of our continuing financial issues and our effort to re-negotiate the lease, no lease payments have been made in 2012 to date.

ET: This isn’t my fault, of course. I’m a genius for thinking to squeeze the landlord by holding back rent.

While this is a situation none of us wants, it’s part of the rebuilding process. No one ever said it would be simple or easy or without bumps along the way.

ET: Like I said, none of this is my fault. I walked into the worst mess in modern history, created entirely by the previous administration. Hmmm, something about that story sounds familiar. It’s totally convincing, though, don’t you think?

But I wanted you to hear about it from me rather than from any other source.

ET: Since the cat is out of the bag, I’m trying to get ahead of this story I’ve been scamming you about for months.

Rather than continue discussions with us, the landlord chose to exercise its rights and filed a notice of eviction in Ramsey County court.

ET: The landlord finally figured us out, and took legal action. What a moron. He should have done that months ago.

We’re not going to be evicted, and at the same time, are continuing to negotiate on the back payments as well as on a lease that better fits both our space needs and our budget.

ET: Hey, I know I can scam this guy some more. The market’s lousy, and I’m a master wheeler-dealer. Remember, just a few more days, and I would have gotten Enron a bail-out.

But I wanted you to hear about it from me rather than from any other source.

ET: So I’m paddling as fast as I can to get ahead of this story. Did I already say that?

• The bottom line: We’re in better shape than we were three months ago, but not as good as we’ll be three months from now.

ET: I know it doesn’t look that way, but I’m doing a fabulous job. You just have to trust me for another, let’s see, I can suck you guys into another three months, right?

It’s a daily process that requires hard work and common purpose.

ET: “Daily process” means don’t bother me with questions. I’m too busy saving your butts from your own incompetence to listen to your pitiful whining…

Please let me know if you have additional thoughts or questions.

ET: but please send it to me via email, so I’ll have the pleasure of deleting it unread.

I’ll see you in St Cloud, if not before.

ET: Now, go away. “…if not before” means “not before.” Got it?

Pat Shortridge, Chairman
Republican Party of Minnesota

ET: Remember, I’m the big shot you dragged in here to save your sorry @sses. Now, stfu and get lost.

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

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In Part 1 of this continuing Cooked Books series, we looked at how FEC Tony Sutton’s MN GOP couldn’t (wouldn’t?) accurately report to the FEC how much they owed a vendor they hired to ensure accurate FEC reports. In Part 2, we noted there are now 2 citizen watchdog groups looking into the MN GOP’s Cooked Books — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – which nailed ‘em last time (the MN GOP got smacked with a near-record $170,000 fine), and Common Cause MN. In Part 3, we looked at how a payroll deductions “no, NO!” that got the MN GOP in trouble last time seems to be a pattern. In Part 4 we looked at the MN GOP using a strange address for one of it’s fundraisers.

In Part 5 we looked at at the official FEC Complaint – filed 12 Jan 2012 – by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”). In Part 6 we looked at the MN GOP misrepresenting their expenses. In Part 7 we looked at how the MN GOP categorized pay for a guy that they very well may have been paying to run for state senate – Lakeville’s Dave Thompson in SD-36. In Part 8 we looked at at a Mn GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that begs the question: did the State GOP pay for a lawyer for a State Representative’s drunk driving case?

And yes, it sure looks like the Mn GOP paid a lawyer for a State Rep’s cruise through the ditch with an open bottle of vodka.

In Part 9 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we looked at a Mn GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that looks mighty clear: when it comes to paying rent, these Republicans are deadbeats!

Today in Part 10, we’re going to look at an internal Mn GOP reports (presumably, leaked to Politico) that show just how far behind in rent those Mn GOP deadbeats are – let’s look!


(image via Politico.com, from a story entitled “The disastrous Minnesota GOP” dated today!)

That top line, “Hub Properties Trust”? That’s the MN GOP’s landord — and note: 31 to 60 days late = $29,319.36; 61 to 90 days late = $34,424.00; over 90 days late = $28,814.86 for a grand total owing their landlord: $92,558.22!!!

What was that, that the MN GOP was saying all last year, travelling all over Minnesota?

Oh, yeah: “You can’t spend more money than is in your checkbook!!!”

Apparently, YOU can’t – but: the financially incompetent Mn GOP not only can, it DOES.

So, how is it that the Minnesota GOP – the self-proclaimed “Party Of Fiscal Responsibility” – gets away with stiffing their Landlord for office rent for so long?

Stay tuned!!!

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

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

“We’ve got to get our act together and stop spending money that we don’t have.”
–Michele Bachmann, 12/18/11, on Meet The Press

“Bachmann owes more than $1 million in presidential campaign debt” –Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 3/23/12

In Part 1 of this continuing Cooked Books series, we looked at how FEC Tony Sutton’s MN GOP couldn’t (wouldn’t?) accurately report to the FEC how much they owed a vendor they hired to ensure accurate FEC reports. In Part 2, we noted there are now 2 citizen watchdog groups looking into the MN GOP’s Cooked Books — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – which nailed ‘em last time (the MN GOP got smacked with a near-record $170,000 fine), and Common Cause MN. In Part 3, we looked at how a payroll deductions “no, NO!” that got the MN GOP in trouble last time seems to be a pattern. In Part 4 we looked at the MN GOP using a strange address for one of it’s fundraisers.

In Part 5 we looked at at the official FEC Complaint – filed 12 Jan 2012 – by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”). In Part 6 we looked at the MN GOP misrepresenting their expenses. In Part 7 we looked at how the MN GOP categorized pay for a guy that they very well may have been paying to run for state senate – Lakeville’s Dave Thompson in SD-36. In Part 8 we looked at at a MN GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that begs the question: did the State GOP pay for a lawyer for a State Representative’s drunk driving case?

And yes, it sure looks like the Mn GOP paid a lawyer for a State Rep’s cruise through the ditch with an open bottle of vodka.

Today in Part 9 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we’re going to take a look at a MN GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that looks mighty clear: when it comes to paying rent, these Republicans are deadbeats — let’s look!


(link here to FEC.gov page)

OK, what’s that say in the screenshot, since the image is a little small?

Debtor = “Hub Property Trust” Amount = “$58,117.22″ Nature Of Debt = “Rent”

That’s from Schedule D, Line 10 of FEC Form 3X, filed by the GOP on 20 March 2012 – their most recent filing.

So, what did the Party Of Fiscal Responsibility owe their Landlord, say, just a year ago? Let’s look!


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Debtor = “Hub Property Trust” Amount = “$14,461.60″ Nature Of Debt = “Office Rent”

That’s from Schedule D, Line 10 of FEC Form 3X, filed by the GOP on 24 March 2011.

What did they owe their Landlord, say, two years ago? $12,473.77

So what their own books show, is they’ve been stiffing their Landlord for a while.

But what were State Republicans saying, all over the state, all last year? “You can’t spend more money than is in your check book!!!”

Well, maybe YOU can’t, but: THEY sure do!!!

What I’d like to know, is how do they get away with it? Just ask yourself, Gentle Readers, what YOUR landlord would be saying if you’ve been stiffin’ him for 2 years (and the balance keeps getting bigger!)

We know what would happen if it wasn’t “rent” payments but rather “mortgage” payments.

So, how is it that the Minnesota GOP – the self-proclaimed “Party Of Fiscal Responsibility” – gets away with stiffing their Landlord for office rent for so long?

Stay tuned!!!

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

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

In Part 1, we looked at how FEC Tony Sutton’s (pictured, right) MN GOP couldn’t (wouldn’t?) accurately report to the FEC how much they owed a vendor they hired to ensure accurate FEC reports. In Part 2, we noted there are now 2 citizen watchdog groups looking into the MN GOP’s Cooked Books — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – which nailed ‘em last time (the MN GOP got smacked with a near-record $170,000 fine), and Common Cause MN. In Part 3, we looked at how a payroll deductions “no, NO!” that got the MN GOP in trouble last time seems to be a pattern. In Part 4 we looked at the MN GOP using a strange address for one of it’s fundraisers.

In Part 5 we looked at at the official FEC Complaint – filed 12 Jan 2012 – by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”). In Part 6 we looked at the MN GOP misrepresenting their expenses. In Part & we looked at how the MN GOP categorized pay for a guy that they very well may have been paying to run for state senate – Lakeville’s Dave Thompson in SD-36.

Today in Part 8 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we’re going to take a look at a MN GOP Campaign Finance Report line item that begs the question: did the State GOP pay for a lawyer for a State Representative’s lawyer in a drunk driving case?

Here’s the background: endorsed GOPer 2010 candidate for Governor Tom Emmer’s campaign was getting hammered over alcohol related incidents, including a certain paid campaign staffer that happened to be Emmer’s kid. The campaign did NOT need any more alocohol-related incidents. Apparently, campaign “consultant” Mark Buesgens, state rep from district 35-B, didn’t get the memo – he got caught driving drunk with an open bottle of vodka.

Team Emmer’s Drinking Team promptly dumped Buesgens. Note the “note” at the bottom of the last entry: “final payment.”


(link to image here)

Now, the “official story” put out by Team Emmer’s Drinking Team was: “Hey! It’s just a coincidence, but: just the day before Buesgens got caught driving drunk into the ditch, we ditched him and he went to work for the State GOP!!!”

Yeah, “right.”

Let’s take a look at the timeline, as reported on Buesgen’s court records:

(link to image here)

September 18th, 2010 – Busgens gets caught in a ditch with an open bottle of vodka; blows a .16 blood-alcohol content.

September 24th, 2010 – Buesgens cited in Wright County

November 5th, 2010 – Guilty plea entered, case all but settled (final disposition November 23rd, 2010.

Now, remember how in the scramble to distance themselves from the guy in the ditch (with an open bottle of vodka), Team Emmer’s Drinking Team said “Hey! Buesgen’s isn’t OUR bad boy; he’s the GOP’s!!!”

Well, Buesgens does indeed show up on the State GOP’s state Campaign Finance Report for 2010:

Five days after blowing a .16, Buesgens has the good fortune of getting a check from the State GOP for $2,584.62.

Five days before his drunk driving & open bottle case is all but over, Buesgens pulls another check from FEC Tony & Co for $8, 615.38 — for a grand total of eleven grand: $11,000.00.

Coincidences? Or, do those checks look like “retainer & final payment” to defend a drunk driving & open bottle case?

At any rate, it sure looks like a sweet deal for Buesgens; he goes from about $7k a month with Emmer to $11k with the GOP!!!

I’d ask the State GOP for an explanation of why Buesgen’s $11k paydays – in about a month – was for actual work, and not just a pass-through to Buesgen’s lawyer, but: it’s not like they really like to talk to the ol’ TwoPutter. Not that I – or anyone else for that matter – would/should believe ‘em; after all: reasonable people no longer have any reason to believe anything a GOPer official – party nor elected – has to say.

The State GOP needs to prove that the $11k Buesgens got was for actual work – because it sure looks like it simply paid a defense attorney for the actual work of defending one of their own.

If I were a GOPer, I’d be mad as (heck) to think my political donations went to a defense attorney for a guy that drove drunk into the ditch with an open bottle of vodka.

As a progressive, I’m simply not surprised. After all, today’s GOP is morally bankrupt, intellectually dishonest, and institutionally corrupt.

There’s a LOT more, in the GOP’s state and federal financial reports so:

Stay tuned!

And, let’s hope some prosecutor, somewhere, is thinking: “Isn’t it about time to get a Grand Jury together, and do a little digging ourselves?”

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

In Part 1, we looked at how FEC Tony Sutton’s (pictured, right) MN GOP couldn’t (wouldn’t?) accurately report to the FEC how much they owed a vendor they hired to ensure accurate FEC reports. In Part 2, we noted there are now 2 citizen watchdog groups looking into the MN GOP’s Cooked Books — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – which nailed ‘em last time (the MN GOP got smacked with a near-record $170,000 fine), and Common Cause MN. In Part 3, we looked at how a payroll deductions “no, NO!” that got the MN GOP in trouble last time seems to be a pattern. In Part 4 we looked at the MN GOP using a strange address for one of it’s fundraisers. In Part 5 we looked at at the official FEC Complaint – filed 12 Jan 2012 – by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”). In Part 6 we looked at the MN GOP misrepresenting their expenses.

Today in Part 7 of the continuing Cooked Books Series we’re going to take a look at how the MN GOP categorized pay for a guy that they very well may have been paying to run for state senate – Lakeville’s Dave Thompson in SD-36.

Long story, short: for over 7 years, Thompson was a RWNJ Shock-Jock on AM radio in the Twin Cities. Looking for a better gig, he decided to run in 2009 against FEC Tony (pictured above) for state GOP Party Chair. Thompson lost; as best as I remember it, it really came down to this: Thompson wanted the $100k (+/-) that came with the job; ol’ FEC Tony would do the gig for free. Why would FEC Tony do the gig for free? That, gentle readers, is a story for a later day! At any rate, FEC Tony beats Thmpson for party Chair. Here’s where it gets interesting….

According to media reports, shortly after winning, FEC Tony & Dave Thompson agreed to a contract wherein Thompson would do consulting for GOP candidates. All told, the number being reported is Thompson has taken home a cool $70k.

Here’s the kicker: that $70k being reported, is being reported as coming from FEC reports. Because, the MN GOP hasn’t reported any dough being sent Thompson’s way on their State Campaign Finance Reports.

Which means for the MN GOP to NOT have any more FEC problems than they already have, ALL of the dough better have been spent for Thompson “consulting” for Federal Candidates only.

Stay tuned!

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