#IOKIYAR, Or: David Hann In His Own Words

On December 13, 2012, in GOP Hypocrisy, Videos, by tommy

The image to the right is from Republican David Hann’s campaign website (link here for full view). It seems in May 2010, Hann held a Press Conference announcing the beginnings of an ethics complaint about a DFLer who had ethics problems — and is now out of office. This image of Hann’s website shows links to a press conference Hann, along with Republican Senator Geoff “I only lied because I had to” Michel, held — and it’s worth remembering what Hann had to say at that time. Let’s look!

(direct link to YouTube)

Here’s the transcript:

“I think all of us in public office, we need to exercise the best judgement that we can to make sure that what we’re doing, uh, doesn’t send the appearance to the public that we’re, uh, seeking any kind of special treament or doing things that are of benefit to us personally.” — Republican Senator David Hann, 20 May 2010

OK, why bring that up, now? Well, because of what Hann said about HIS behavior, just the other day:

From Minnesota Public Radio:

“What I did was perfectly legal and legitimate,” Hann said. “I did not have a license at the time I did that, was not contemplating having a license at the time I did that. After the fact, I got a license, [which] would no different than anybody in the state of Minnesota who decided to get a license after the law was passed.” — Republican Senator David Hann

OK, working hand in hand with an owner of an insurance company – John Tyler – while working in the legislature as Chair of the committee that affects said insurance company owner, and then going to work for said insurance company owner after getting legislation passed affecting said insurance company owner may be “perfectly legal and legitimate” – but it sure gives the impression of, as Hann stated in May of 2010: “…doing things that are of benefit to us personally.”

Because, Hann’s behavior reeks of “…doing things that are of benefit to us personally.”

Since December of 2011, Hann has been involved in three things that really reek: the sacking of then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch; the infamous Lunch Hour Lit Drop; and now getting licensed to sell health insurance, taking a job with an insurance company who he worked with for God only knows how long on health insurance issues, and taking a board position with a health insurance trade association.

When the Legislature convenes in January, the Senate’s Ethics Committee needs to take a long hard look at David Hann and the timeline of what he’s done.

Assuming, of course, he doesn’t resign first…

After all, if Hann wants to walk through the ol’ Legislator-to-lobbyist revolving door so common today (except in Hann’s case, it’d be “Legislator to now-employee-of-business-owner-he-helped), he shouldn’t let the door smack him on his way out.

I’m thinking if he doesn’t, Hann will get smacked by an Ethics Committee investigation.

The House should take a long hard look at Gottwalt, too.

* * * *

Previous coverage of Hann’s latest scandal:

MPR joins Fox9 and Minnpost and investigates David Hann, adds Steve Gottwalt — Monday, December 10th, 2012

GOP legislators who pushed MinnCare cuts under scrutiny for ties to insurers — Monday, December 10th, 2012

State Senate Republicans Double Down On David Hann’s Lack Of Disclosure — Saturday, November 10th, 2012

“Republicans pick the most corrupt Senator to lead them, David Hann” — Friday, November 9th, 2012

“More Questions For The List Of Questions David Hann Hasn’t Answered” — Thursday, November 8th, 2012

MNGOP Sen. David Hann chairs Health Committee, didn’t disclose health insurance job — Friday, November 2nd, 2012

“GOP State Senator David Hann Endorsed For Re-Election – By His Boss” — Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

“BREAKING: David Hann On Board Of Directors For Trade Association He Oversees” — Monday, October 29th, 2012

“BREAKING: David Hann Scrubs His Website, or: “Let The WhiteWash Begin!” — 9:35 pm, Friday, October 26th, 2012

“TV station sees conflict of interest for Sen. Hann, others” — 2:12pm, Friday, October 26th, 2012

“Fox9 News Scandal Coverage: “What does Sen. David Hann do for a living?” — 10:41am, Friday, October 26th, 2012

“What does Sen. David Hann do for a living?” — 7:55pm, Thursday October 25th, 2012

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

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

*** related, but not directly:

“Minnesota Senate Republicans Are Out Of Control” — Friday, November 2nd, 2012

“Brodkorb Fallout: Consider The Source” — Monday, October 15th, 2012

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com)

GOP Senator Hann’s problems started with his involvement in The Gang Of Four; which is 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. As of this date, we don’t know what Hann knew, when he knew it, nor what his role in this scandal is – and he ain’t talking.

We’re going to skip over Hann’s role in the infamous Lunch Hour Lit Drop scandal; suffice it to say that Hann was co-chair of the GOP Senate Caucus re-election effort. If Hann didn’t know what was happening, he should have. See MnGOP State Senate: “…we are in this together…” and MnGOP State Senate: We Are In This Together Part 2.

We’ll skip to late last month, when the story broke about Hann’s apparent concealment of who he works for/what he does. What we know is Hann has a license to sell insurance and works for a company that sells insurance – Boys & Tyler Financial. Fox9 covered this story; that’s where the image to the right came from. It’s a statement Hann sent Fox9; Hann says was “too busy campaigning” to talk to the reporter. Hann’s been ducking reporters ever since.

And here’s something David Hann is probably NOT going to want to talk about either. That facebook image, to the right? That’s Brad Biers’ page. Who is Brad Biers? According to the State Senate HHS website, Biers is the HHS Committee Administrator; a Committee David Hann Chairs. And what does Biers say, in his facebook post?

“All of my political clients won last night! A Sincere Congratulations to Sen. David Hann, Sen. Paul Gazelka, Sen.-elect David Osmek and Rep.-elect Marion O’Neill. These are four of the finest public servants Minnesota has to offer.

Election cycle 2014 begins. Contact me for winning ideas and and strategies anytime.”

RuhRoh… Committee Chair David Hann’s Committee Administrator has David Hann as a political client???

Off to google, where we find Biers is a partner in a company called “Capitol Communications”.

Now we have a name, so it’s off to the Campaign Finance Board to check Hann’s Campaign’s reports. And we do indeed find an expenditure to Capitol Communications.

OK, now we have an address, so let’s look it up! What do we find? It’s owned by Brad Biers.

No doubt about it: a State Senate Staffer – Brad Biers, wages paid by taxpayers – is also doing political work for not only his State Senate Boss, David Hann – he’s also done it for three other elected officials and he’s looking for more.

And not only is he looking for more, he’s looking for more at “anytime.” Let’s look at that facebook post, again:

Election cycle 2014 begins. Contact me for winning ideas and and strategies anytime.

Including the time he’s supposed to be doing the taxpayer’s work??!?

Ladies and Gentlemen, that reeks. Don’t know if it’s illegal, or if it’s against Senate Rules, but I intend to find out.

In the meantime, in addition to all the unanswered questions Hann has regarding his role in The Gang Of Four, The Lunch Hour Lit Drop, his conflict of interest with regards to what he does for a living, Hann can now add the work his staffer did to the list.

Stay tuned!

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

Dear Media: Fox News Blames You!

On November 7, 2012, in Candidates, Media, by tommy

To Be Clear: Locally, Fox9News does a pretty good job. This is a quick post about some of the nastiest Republicans in the state of Minnesota – the GOP SD48 – and the National Faux “Fox” News.

It’s the morning after a historic election; locally the ethically challenged Kirk Stensrud got knocked off by Yvonne Selcer in 48-A. Knowing how “classy” the local GOPers are (not), I went to their website – let’s look!

OK, see that on the bottom, middle? “• BIAS ALERT — Five ways the mainstream media tipped the scales in favor of Obama.

That’s “right” – blame the media. That’s the local GOPers excuse for possibly the worst candidate a party has ever put up for President, the “fiercely conservative” – until he got the GOP’s endorsement – “Multiple Positions” Mitt Romney (who even the Salt Lake Tribune couldn’t endorse).

“Blame the media” from the local Party of Personal Responsibility (from OTHERS). Forget Etch-A-Sketch; forget Romney Shambles; forget the non-existent tax returns; forget… well EVERYTHING – it’s the media’s fault.

These local GOPers are the ones that rallied behind disgraced former Mayor Phil Young. The ones that two years later; still vilify former DFL State Representative Maria Ruud. The ones that… well, I could go on and On and ON. The local “leaders” of the Mn GOP SD48 simply are NOT nice nor classy people.

And their very first post on their website, on the day after an election rejecting their candidate for president, saw the DFL take over the House and Senate in St. Paul (including the defeat of their endorsed candidate in SD48-A, Kirk Stensrud), saw the defeat of two State Constitutional Amendment proposals is a link to the National Fox News, whose message is: “blame the media.”

Message to GOP SD48: take some responsibility.

You know, like you’re always demanding, from everybody else.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

The endorsement came in the form of a Letter To The Editor in the local paper; published 18 October 2012.

Now, that’s a nice letter, talking about the great job (“huge contributions”) Hann is doing – seen by the residents that subscribe to the local paper right before election day. But nowhere does Mr. Tyler, of Boys and Tyler Financial, disclose that there might just be a slight conflict of interest: Hann works for Tyler.

One would think the voters of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka, in Senate District 48, should know that.

Should Hann be re-elected, Hann will go back to the State Capitol, in the Legislature, where he’s the Chair of Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee. Why is that committee important? Because it oversees and writes legislation affecting the health insurance industry; the industry Mr. Tyler’s company (Boys & Tyler Financial) is in, which is the company Hann works for. How convenient – for them.

In the story “Conflict of Interest? David Hann, GOP Health Insurance Salesman” (25 Oct 2012), we posted a picture of “an ‘invitation-only” event hosted by the Republican Health Care Task Force (RHCTF) of the MN GOP at the State Capitol on November 3, 2011.” In the caption above the picture, it’s noted that NOT pictured are John Tyler, and David Hann.

We know by this screen shot that Tyler and Hann were scheduled for another health care forum, on 17 October 2012.

Tyler and his employee, Hann, have been involved in working on health care legislation for at least a year. What we don’t know is how long Hann has been an employee of Tyler. In fact, Tyler’s Letter to the Editor failed to disclose Hann even is an employee.

Hann needs to come clean and clear the air.

Links to previous coverage follows.

“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

BREAKING: David Hann Scrubs His Website, or: “Let The WhiteWash Begin!” — 9:35 pm, Friday, October 26th

BREAKING: David Hann On Board Of Directors For Trade Association He Oversees — Monday, October 29th

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

The tweet caught my eye: GOP State Senator David Hann, a health insurance salesman? I thought (and I’m sure many others did) that he still worked at a local company, where he had been for over two decades.

So I’ve been looking. First stop, David’s “about me” webpage (screenshot, here):

Senator Hann is in his second term representing Eden Prairie and Minnetonka in the Minnesota State Senate, and serves as a member of the senate’s Education Committee; the Health, Housing and Family Security Committee; the Agriculture and Veterans Committee; and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He is now a business process consultant after spending 25 years with Eden Prairie based E.A. Sween Company. (emphasis added)

OK, why highlight that, above?

Because there’s a tweet that says he’s licensed to sell insurance – but his website says he’s a “business process consultant.”

Notice the disconnnect?

Here’s a kicker – not only is Senator Hann licensed to sell insurance; he’s licensed to sell health insurance. You know, the kind of insurance that’s overseen by, say, the the Health, Housing and Family Security Committee? Hann isn’t just “on” that committee; he chairs it.

So, why not disclose that on his campaign “about me” webpage?

It’s not on the home page of Hann’s website either. But, this is (screenshot, here):

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.

Personally, I always thought we can all do better if we knew what industry the legislators that represented us, worked in.

Apparently, not Senator Hann.

Because not only does he not only disclose his license to sell insurance on his campaign website, it’s not on his official Senate website either (screenshot, here). What does Senator Hann say his occupation is, on that official website? “Business process consultant.”

That’s twice Senator Hann doesn’t disclose he’s licensed to sell insurance. So, what does his Statement of Economic Interest, filed with the Campaign Finance Board, say?

“Occupation: Consultant
Employer Name: self employed”

Really?

Let’s take a look at Senator Hann’s twitter feed:

So what we have here, is a licensed insurance agent licensed to sell health insurance meeting with 700 fellow insurance agents, and nowhere does the Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee disclose that he’s a licensed insurance agent. Not on his campaign website, his official Senate website, nor his Statement of Economic Interest. Nor did Hann disclose that at last week’s candidate debate.

Instead, Hann claims he’s a “business process consultant.”

It gets worse.

Take a look at this screenshot, from the website of Twila Brase, from the twitter picture at the top of this story:

That photo was taken at a forum titled, “Perspectives on Health Insurance Exchanges,” that (and I quote) “was an ‘invitation-only” event hosted by the Republican Health Care Task Force (RHCTF) of the MN GOP at the State Capitol on November 3, 2011.”

“Mn Association of Health Underwriters”? That’s the group Ms. Brase tweeted Senator Hann joined a board of.

Included among the “not pictured”? “Sen. David Hann (R-Eagan)(sic), chair of the Health and Human Services Committee; Rep. Steve Gottwalt (R-St. Cloud), chair of the Health and Human Services Reform Committee, and author of HF497, the health insurance exchange bill…”

“Boys and Tyler Financial”? That’s the company Ms. Brase tweeted Hann now works for.

But, guess who else works at Boys and Tyler Financial?

“…Rep. Steve Gottwalt (R-St. Cloud), chair of the Health and Human Services Reform Committee, and author of HF497, the health insurance exchange bill…”

Do we really have the Chair of the House HHSRC, and Chair of the Senate HHS, both now working at the same company; a said company that ” specialize(s) in Employee and Individual Benefits, including medical, dental, life, disability, vision, and retirement plans”?

And what does Rep. Gottwalt list as his occupation on campaign website?

“Small business owner”

Yeah, “right.”

Just like David Hann is a “business process consultant”…..

Hann has some serious explaining to do. As in, how did it come to pass that he ended up at the same company as his counterpart in the House, after he just spent two years as a Committee Chair overseeing legislation affecting a product that he’s now licensed to sell?

And why didn’t he bother to disclose any of that?

Gottwalt’s got some serious ‘splainin’ to do, too.

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

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I called the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce today. Their Communications Manager, Samantha Dummel, answered. Asked her when the Chamber was going to announce their endorsements for City Council, State House & Senate, and Congress. She passed me off to the Chamber President, Pat MulQueeney – voice mail left. Followed up with an email; let’s look!

Mr. MulQueeney,

My name is Tommy Johnson; I’m a blogger and resident of Eden Prairie.

Is the EP Chamber planning to endorse for City Council, State House & Senate, and Congress this year?

If so, when are the screenings scheduled, and when does the Chamber plan on announcing the endorsements?

I’m planning on writing about this tomorrow; a reply today would be appreciated.

I’ve also read that the Chamber is in support of SouthWest Light Rail and was supportive of the new Vikings football stadium bill; please reply with a statement for publication if the preceding is incorrect.

Tommy Johnson
http://www.MnProgressiveProject.com

Not to my surprise, The Chamber never replied.

But Candidates did! I’ve just learned Candidates were told there were not going to be endorsements this year; only a questionnaire the Chamber would post on-line.

Why would the Chamber refuse to endorse, and do a questionnaire?

Is it because GOP State Senator Hann and GOP Rep Kurt Stensrud opposed the Vikings stadium (“Winter Park” – the Vikings Headquarters – is located in Eden Prairie)?

Is it because GOP State Senator Hann and GOP Rep Kurt Stensrud opposed SouthWest Light Rail Transit, which the Chamber supports?

Is it because GOP State Senator Hann and GOP Rep Kurt Stensrud are so extreme, so beholden to Party Uber Local Issues, even the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce couldn’t go that far?

Stay tuned!

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