***
Update, 21 Oct 2012: After a conversation with MPR earlier today, the MPR story now reads:

Tommy Johnson, who blogs under his nickname “Two Putt Tommy,” said he has never hidden his identity on the Internet. Shelly Mategko, who blogs as Keewatin Rose, also does not hide her identity.

I appreciate MPR updating their story.

***

I saw the Minnesota Public Radio headline yesterday: “Dem. PR consultant created alternate identity to promote clients” by MPR Reporter Catherine Richert, who has carved a niche for herself as MPR’s “Fact Checker. Imagine my surprise, when I read this:

A call to the Barnes campaign was answered by Dybvig’s wife and Barnes campaign manager, McLoone. Asked if she thought her husband’s activities were unethical, McLoone said the situation isn’t unusual.

“What I know is that on blogs people always have their [blog] name, like Keewatin Rose or Two Putt Tommy, so it’s done all the time,” she said.

OK, what’s the title of Richert’s story again? “Dem. PR consultant created alternate identity to promote clients” (emphasis added).

What is my name doing in this story? I certainly don’t use an “alternate identity” – as evidenced by a screenshot of my Twitter page:

Oh, wait – McCloone said “(blog) name.” So, what’s it say here, on my bio page, here on MPP?

I don’t go by “Two Putt Tommy” to hide my identity; I use “TwoPuttTommy” to PROMOTE my identity; it’s my “brand.”

Liz McCloone tossing out my name in response to Richert’s question is a false equivalency – as is McCloone’s tossing out “Keewatin Rose.” Here’s a screen shot of Shelly Matego’s Twitter page:

As I understand it, Shelly’s father gave her that nickname back in the…. well, many years ago. No point pointing out Shelly’s youth!

Here is the point: McCloone used a false equivalency and the alleged MPR Fact Checker didn’t fact check the accuracy of McCloone’s claim.

So I called The Fact Checker – Richert – to ask my name be taken out of that story because it’s a false equivalency that isn’t true; therefore, it isn’t germane to the story.

Richert stated she was sticking to it, because “McCloone said it. If you have a problem with it, call McCloone.”

WHAT??!?

Followed up with an email:

Catherine,

Before I hit the publish button, I’d like to ask if you think it’d be fair to characterize your response as to why you included Liz McCloones’ quote in your story as: “Because she said it.”

Tommy Johnson

Followed up with another phone call; Richert is sticking to her story and won’t pull my name (which, I assume, means Richert won’t pull KeewatinRose’s either). The amazing thing about this? Richert has MET me. If anyone should know I don’t “hide” behind a “alternate identity” – it’s a reporter that’s met me.

Personally, the idea that a “Fact Checker” wouldn’t fact check a claim by the subject of a false identity story, and still stands by the story, turns this “reporter” into a “repeater.”

I’m giving MPR’s Fact Checker an “F” on this aspect of her story.

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

When Erik Paulsen first ran for Congress back in 2008, in his campaign announcement speech he said, and I quote: “Quite frankly, today, Congress as an institution, is broken and if elected I intend to help fix it.” (link to full announcement speech below)

So what did Paulsen do, once elected? Join the GOP Caucus Leadership Team. Well, “get selected” is actually more accurate. Here’s the complete MinnPost story, when Paulsen’s selection to the Congressional GOP Leadership Team occurred – and when you look at the date of the story, remember that Paulsen had only been elected few short months before:

Paulsen joins Republican Whip Team
By Cynthia Dizikes 01/23/09

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Freshman Rep. Erik Paulsen today was named to the Republican leadership team. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) selected the Minnesota Republican to serve on the Republican Whip Team, an uncommon assignment for a first-year member of Congress.

Paulsen said he was “honored” to be a part of the team.

“Our country faces many challenges,” Paulsen said in a statement. “And I look forward to helping develop constructive solutions for the people of the Third District.”

As a deputy, Paulsen will help Cantor manage the legislative program on the House floor.
(emphasis added)(MinnPost.com)

OK, two points: 1) I normally don’t re-post other people’s work complete and verbatim (to wit: above); but that one is so short, how not to? and 2) Between November 4th, 2008 (Election Day) and January 23, 2009 (day of story, above), GOP “Leadership” in Washington, D.C. had seen enough of Erik Paulsen to know that he was one of theirs.

Let’s repeat that last line from that January 2009 story, shall we?

As a deputy, Paulsen will help Cantor manage the legislative program on the House floor.

And what a “legislative program” they’ve had! For instance, knowing full well that repeal President Obama’s Health Care Reform didn’t stand a chance in the Senate (let alone survive Obama’s veto pen), the “leadership” Paulsen belongs to has voted to repeal said law slightly less times than Doan’s has pills.

Even more offensive for women, or those married to women, or those who have friends that are women, or those that have daughters, mothers, grandmothers, etc is Paulsen’s “manage(ment of) the legislative program on the House floor” – as pertains to H.R. 3, which Paulsen voted for and passed. H.R. 3 is in the news these days because of the ignorant and offensive remarks of Paulsen’s fellow GOP Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, who recently claimed that, more or less, some forms of rape were “legitimate rape” (and therefore, a raped woman would have no need to rid herself from a rapist’s impregnation).

So, as a “leader” of the House GOP in Congress, that’s Paulsen’s deal. Unless, of course, he wants to NOW walk away from a leadership position he was picked for in January, 2009, and a vote he helped pass in May, 2011?

This is just the tip of the iceberg, Ladies and Gents: Paulsen, as a “Leader” in the Congress (that has, as of today, a 13.8% approval rating), has responsibility for each and every vote that has passed the House Of Representatives in Congress since John Boehner took over as speaker in January, 2011.

For instance, Paulsen’s tied to Paul Ryan at the top of the ticket, who wants to turn Medicare into “Coupon Care”. If that’s not changing “medicare as we know it” – what is??!?

The bottom line – Erik Paulsen, as a “leader” in today’s GOP-controlled House of Representatives, IS today’s GOP House of Representatives.

(cross posted, with full 2008 Paulsen Announcement Speech, at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there also!)

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I saw it in the Sun Current, in a story titled “Congressman Erik Paulsen talks taxes.” It’s about another photo op Paulsen’s pals at various Chambers of Commerce set up at a local company. One topic was the subject of Bush The Lesser’s tax cuts. Here’s what He Whom Talks Like Ramstad But Votes Like Bachmann had to say:

“If I had to predict, unfortunately, given Congress’ track record of leadership, this is all going to be the week of Dec. 25,” Paulsen said. “Right? I mean it’s going to get pushed out. Because Congress acts on deadlines, unfortunately.

“And then, at that time you’ll see the media sort of accentuate, you know, it’ll all get played out about the sort of the challenges coming at the end of the year. … I can see the scenario building, and it’s predictable from that sense. And, we should be dealing with it right now.”

Which is kind of funny. Here’s why: Paulsen was selected to a Party Leadership Position in 2009.

That’s vintage Paulsen, folks: trashing the leadership you’re part of, but not mentioning your role in said leadership. One reason Congress has such a low approval rating is “leaders” like Erik Paulsen.

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

Erik Paulsen’s “Pals”

On July 17, 2012, in Erik Paulsen, rightwingnuts, by tommy

First, I saw the tweet, to the right. And I thought: “Yeah, ‘right.’” Like, all the dough career politician Erik Paulsen (remember, Paulsen was selected to a Party Leadership Position in 2009) has been pullin’ out of W.D.C.; and his Spokestool is gonna claim that’s proof that folk “stand behind” him, here on the semi-frozen tundra??!?

Then I saw the story, at Minnesota Public Radio News:

Campaign 2012
Minnesota candidates collect money from outside the state
by Catharine Richert, Minnesota Public Radio
July 16, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Just because you live in California, doesn’t mean you can’t help out one of Minnesota’s candidates for Congress.

According to the most recent round of campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, contributors living as far away as Alaska are pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into Minnesota’s congressional races. (rest of story, here)

But the rest of the story didn’t talk about the guy who hauled home a whole bunch o’ dough; dough that his Spokestool infers shows a whole bunch o’ local support for his boss, career politician Erik Paulsen.

So, knowing how to look around a Federal Election Report, or two, or more, I figured I’d take a quick look. Let’s look!

Paulsen’s election campaign committee is called “Friends Of Erik Paulsen”. And what a bunch o’ swell pals does he got!!! Link said “friends”, and you’ll see “July Quarterly” under Year 2012. That’s the latest filing Paulsen’s Spokester was tweeting about.

Now, I didn’t take a whole lot of time, but I did go through the individual donors alphabetically, A thru D. And the very first “friend” (a/k/a, “donor”) Paulsen has listed?

Debbie Ackerman, Wilmette, IL $250 — Employer: Twin Bridge Capital Occupation: Private Equity

First Maximum Cash Allowed “friend”?

Barb Anderson, St. Could, MN $5,000 — Employer: Homemaker Occupation: Homemaker

All in all, of all the donors, er, ‘scuse me, “Friends of Erik Paulsen” with last names starting with A through D, there were 43 that I figure are in Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District. I counted 51 that weren’t inside the District.

And I noted that many of those outside the District, were REALLY outside of the District: Illinios, Maryland, Wisconsin, Virginia, Arizona, Florida, California, New Mexico, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, Maine, and New York were states I noted — just in A through D.

Those 43 “friends” IN the District? I tallied a total of $32,801, or about $763 per pal. Outside the District? $38,700, or about $759 per pal.

But, you know who Paulsen’s pals really, Really, REALLY are? PACs.

In just the A section of named PACs, Paulsen hauled in $41,500. Again, just from the A list…. and all of those pals PACs are from out of District AND out of state.

Again, what did career politician Erik Paulsen’s Spokestool say about Paulsen’s haul?

“#MN03 stands behind Erik Paulsen – raises a staggering $454K this quarter.”

In a way, that’s true – because us local yokels ARE behind Paulsen, because he’s lookin’ at his pals that give him most of his money – and they ain’t from ’round here.

More analysis, later – stay tuned!

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

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For every problem ailing us, career politician Erik Paulsen (remember, Paulsen was selected to a Party Leadership Position in 2009) has a Three Point Plan: “less taxes, spend less, less regulations.” Let’s look at how well (or not) Paulsen’s extremist right wing Three Point Plan (remember, he votes party line more often than Bachmann) fits in with a business section column in today’s print edition of the Strib:

A Few More Bad Apples
Al Lewis

And now, the week’s financial news:

Russ Wasendorf, founder of Peregrine Financial Group in Cedar Falls, Iowa, ran an exhaust hose into his Chevy Cavalier. Regulators allege he’d been cooking his books; millions are reportedly missing from client accounts. His company has filed to liquidate in bankruptcy court, and Mr. Wasendorf, 64, was arrested Friday after being hospitalized.

Hmmm… “cooked books”…. Where have I heard THAT phrase before?

Hey! I heard it here – Republicans, locally, are known for it!

Anyway, after Al Lewis discusses a few more “bad apples” there’s this:

Around the world, regulators continue investigating how many major banks may have been manipulating interest rates. The probe follows the resignation of Barclays honcho Robert Diamond and the international bank’s agreement to pay $450 million to settle claims that it put the fix on interest rates. These rates—called Libor—help determine what businesses and consumers pay on loans across the entire planet.

Clearly, it’s a HUGE problem, what these Banskters are up to; affecting folk across the globe. Al Lewis finishes today’s column with:

Yes, shocking. And this is just the stuff reported last week. I don’t have space to hash over the past decade, except to note that years ago our political and corporate elites promised that Enron’s collapse, while shocking, was an isolated event. Even relatively trustworthy business leaders agreed, including broker for the people, Charles Schwab.

“It is amazing to see this Enron thing unfold,” Mr. Schwab told the Austin American-Statesman in 2002. “It’s sort of ghastly. And you wonder what were they thinking about. You wonder how far along, how long ago did they cross over the line. My own view is that it is highly isolated; it’s not rampant.… One bad apple.”

No, it’s NOT shocking; not shocking at all. It’s predictable, when a Party Leader, such as career politician Erik Paulsen is, is running for re-election on a Three Point Plan that enables that kind of behavior.

“Less taxes.” That means there’s less money to pay for people to investigate and prosecute crime.

Spend less.” See above; fewer investigators and fewer prosecutors to put Banksters behind bars.

“Less regulations.” In a nut shell (pun intended), Paulsen thinks Banksters should have fewer rules to follow. But hey, that’s ok: who needs rules when there’s less investigators and prosecutors anyway?

Paulsen’s bought into “Reaganomics”, which allegedly would spur growth by – ready for this? – “less taxes, less spending, and fewer regulaions.”

How’s THAT worked out, over the last couple of decades? There’s a reason Bush The Elder called “Reaganomics” “Voodoo Economics” – that’s EXACTLY what it is.

Paulsen also went all-in on The Ryan Budget Plan, just this spring.

Financial scandals like ENRON used to happen occasionally. Al Lewis talked, above, about how they’re now happening DAILY. How do these Banksters get away with their scams for so long, before they’re caught and run off with so many victim’s hard-earned money?

“Less taxes.” “Spend less.” “Less regulations.”

That’s NOT just the plan of a Congressman from Minnesota’s 3rd District; that’s the plan of a Leader in the Party In Power in Washington D.C.

Anybody ever remember Paulsen running on a “let’s get tough on crime!” platform? No? Me neither. Don’t remember that at all. Perhaps that’s because tossing criminals in the can requires MORE spending. That requires MORE taxes. That requires MORE regulations, because when it’s found out that Banksters are exploiting loopholes in the laws, new laws (and regulations) are needed.

If you have investments in 401(k)’s and the like, you should be worried – very, Very, VERY worried.

Because by it’s very nature, Paulsen’s Three Point Plan calls for less investigators and prosecutors for the Banksters on Wall Street.

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

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While we’re waiting on career politician Eric Paulsen to announce his latest grifter-esque (shucks and jives like “Opie”; votes like Bachmann) Q2 2012 PAC shakedown fundraising totals, it’s important to remember “Opie” still has some ‘splainin’ to do from LAST quarter’s PAC shakedown fundraising totals.

On June 14th, 2012 the FEC sent Paulsen a letter (“Request For Additional Information”) about what they thought were “excess contributions” from a PAC from McKesson Corporation. Conveniently, for Paulsen, his response isn’t due back to the FEC until July 19th, 2012 – AFTER Paulsen announces his latest PAC shakedown fundraising totals.

And here’s just part of what the Federal Elections Commission is looking at:

Hmmm…. “excessive contributions”….

Hmmm… from McKesson…..

Hmmm… Hey, WAIT! I remember that name!!!

Less than a month ago, on June 19th, MPP Contributor Joe Bodell asked: “Paulsen voting for his own portfolio?” Well, it gets worse: apparently, not only did Paulsen vote on his own portfolio, he accepted campaign contributions from a company in his own portfolio.

Here’s exactly what it looks like: Paulsen owns stock in a company that will profit from the legislation he’s written AND he takes campaign contributions from that very same company.

Hey – works for Paulsen!

Here’s the kicker: Paulsen not only took campaign contributions, he took campaign contributions that might just be – according to the Federal Elections Commission – “excessive.”

Now, I don’t know if that’s illegal (I’ll find out – and if it’s not, it SHOULD be), but it sure looks unethical at best, and downright sleazy at worst.

Which might explain why it took Paulsen so long to sign on to the “Ban Insider Trading” (by Congressmen) bill, yes?

Hmmm…. it it possible there is more?

Stay tuned!!!!

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

Yesterday, career politician Erik Paulsen’s Party (and remember, Paulsen was the only GOPer Freshman to be selected to a Party Leadership Position in 2009) voted for the 33rd time to repeal the Affordable (health)Care Act. CBS News has a story about Paulsen’s Party’s exercise in futility, and how much taxpayer money was wasted. Let’s look!

(direct link to YouTube)

So, Paulsen is a party to wasting two week’s of Congress’ time by holding 33 votes in an excercise of futility that cost taxpayers around $50 MILLION dollars?

No surprise there!

Stay tuned….

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

Ask any political pro what’s the most important thing in winning votes and they’re more than likely to tell you it’s conversations with voters.

In CD-3, that’s exactly what’s happening. Today the Amy Klobuchar, Brian Barnes, and Denise Bader campaigns joined together and knocked on over 600 doors in Mound. Today, the Brian Barnes and Denise Bader campaigns called over 800 voters on the phone.

This is the kind of cooperation and team work that wins in November. Nothing beats boots on the ground.

To help with Senator Amy Klobuchar’s campaign, link here. To help Brian Barnes knock off a guy that loves to spend your money on himself, link here. To help send Denise Bader to the State House for 33-B, link here. To find the folks in your local DFL Party, link here.

“We all do better when we all do better.” Wellstone said it because it’s true. It’s also true we all do better when we all work together. Today the Klobuchar, Barnes, and Bader campaigns are showing what that means. Get involved, and make a difference – you’ll be glad you did!

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

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Yesterday, I covered DFL Endorsed Congressional Candidate Brian Barnes at the 2012 DFL State Convention. Closely! Rode down to Rochester with him; covered him while working the Delegates there – before, during, and after his speech. And it was a really, Really, REALLY good speech – let’s look!

Ladies and Gents – we have an excellent candidate for Congress in MN-03; Brian Barnes.

At the end of the speech, Brian asked:

“If you’re labor, or support labor – stand up!”
“If you support choice, equal pay for women and Planned Parenthood, stand up!”
“If you want to protect social security or are collecting social security, stand up!”
“If you support equality for all, stand up!”
“If you support having the best schools in the world, stand up!”
“Stand up; stand up and be counted!”

And everybody there stood up! Brian had everyone on their feet. For the rest of the day, I saw and heard people walking up to Brian and talking about his speech; I heard people talking to each other about his speech.

This election is going to be about turnout. The bigger the number of people voting the better the DFL Candidate’s chances.

Brian Barnes has been, is, and will continue to work hard to inspire people and Get Out The Vote.

If you want to help Brian beat a guy that thinks taxpayers should pay for his campaign mailers, then you should Link to ActBlue.com and help Brian buy a few stamps. And buttons. And bumper stickers. And yard signs. And all the other things it takes to beat a guy with over a million bucks in his campaign warchest, but can’t help himself from abusing the taxpayers anyway.

So help Brian out, will ya? Stand UP!

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

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“It’s Not Over…”

On May 30, 2012, in Erik Paulsen, Veterans, Videos, by tommy

… Until They Quit Playing War With You”

The true cost of any war includes the care of the veterans that fought it for the next 40 to 60 years.

Go to any Veterans Administration hospital, such as the one off of Highway 55 by the airport in Minneapolis, and you’ll see this is true. You’ll see Veterans from World War II (not many, but you will), Korea, Viet Nam… you’ll see veterans from long ago conflicts. Well, and conflicts from not so long ago, too.

So while the current conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan are costing billions and Billions and BILLIONS today, those are just today’s costs. The true costs of these wars will be incurred for years and Years and YEARS to come.

So, what is the current campaign motto of career politician Erik Paulsen, who’s voting record indicates he’s a Bachmann Clone?

“Spend Less”

And he really means that. Well, Paulsen really means: “spend less – ON OTHERS.” Not on himself; when it comes to spending taxpayer dough to promote himself, Paulsen is absolutely shameless.

So as the years go by, should Paulsen manage to keep his schtick up, Veterans can expect Paulsen to stick to his “Spend Less” motto. Hey, when it comes to Veterans, Paulsen has a record – let’s look!

Project VoteSmart links to a key vote Paulsen took, back in the day (2007) when he was a Mn State Rep: S.F. 1989 – a higher education bill that, among other things, would establish the Minnesota GI Bill program. So how did Paulsen vote on this bill, that would establish the Minnesota GI Bill? “Spend Less”.

Which means: “No.” Paulsen voted “no” to establishing the Minnesota GI Bill.

So Paulsen has a track record, and if you’re a Veteran, or have a veteran in your family, or know a veteran, or just simply care about veterans, career politician Erik Paulsen is NOT your friend — “Spend Less.”

Yeah, “right.” Paulsen’s rhetoric and actions are likely to end up with him an inductee here.

Mazar-e-Sharif. Nasiriyah. Fallujah. Al Qaim. Habbaniyah. Wanat. Dahaneh. These are some of the battles fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Those are some of the battles some Veterans will be fighting forever.

Back in the day, in a different war in a different part of the world, Stephen Stills wrote a song about those that the then career politicians ignored.

Someday, if “Spend Less” Paulsen has his way, someone will write a new song about those Veterans that career politicians like Paulsen ignored.

Let’s hope that doesn’t happen; let’s hope – and work – so that career politician Erik Paulsen is sent packing this November.

(lyrics here)

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

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