… or, “MnGOP Senate Caucus’ Lunch Hour Lit Drop Update.” In Part 1, we looked at a cardinal rule for politicians dealing with the press: do not – DO NOT – tell ‘em whoppers. Ever. Period. End of story.

Except, that sure looks like that’s EXACTLY what the Mn GOP Senate did; hence, the clowns image on that – and this! – post. Because, when KMSP-TV Investigative Reporter Tom Lyden went to talk to the Senate GOPers, he already had the email they went out to their staffers (and each and every one of their GOP elected Senators, too). And in the original story, aired last Tuesday night, the staffer that sent the email – Maureen Watson – denied there was any electioneering being staged out of that office in the Capitol. And yesterday, GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem doubled down; telling Minnesota Public Radio there was none o’ that stuff going on – “that he was aware of.”

Yeah, “right.” It’s not like this is the first time a GOPer Senate “Leader” has told a whopper to reporters, “right”? But I digress. Let’s take a quick look at a part of the email, dated August 9th, that Lyden had in hand when he first talked to staffer Watson:

Wanted to thank all of you who were able to help out this week with our lunch hour lit dropping and phoning! We had over 40 people out over the three days – so super turn out.

Pretty clear so far, yes?

We have a similar plan in store for next week – going out lit dropping on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Well, not to nitpick, but: I’d call it a “scheme.” Bottom line, so far? “We did it, and we’re gonna do it again.”

If you are new to our Caucus and to our Lunch Hour Lit Drops – please consider joining us. It really helps out our Caucus and it is fun. If you have someone to pair up with great – if not, just show up in 208 about 10:45/11 – and you can join one of the groups.(full email here)

Not to beat it into the ground, but: it’s pretty obvious that THEY knew what THEY were doing. And again, this went out to a whole bunch of staffers and EACH and EVERY elected GOP Senator. Now, what happened at the next regularly scheduled “Lunch Hour Lit Drop” last Tuesday? Well, Shawn Towle of ChecksAndBalances.com was there too, and set up a camera to record the shenanigans. Which was the basis for Reporter Lyden’s story Tuesday night. And one guy that showed up for that “Lunch Hour Lit Drop” – where, according to GOPer Senjem, none o’ that “Lit Drop” was going on, is a guy, sources tell me, by the name of Craig Sondag – let’s look!

OK, so who is Craig Sondag? Well, a quick google search tells us, in a story by The Rochester Democrat Newspaper that Sondag is an “experienced campaign field staffer” former Majority Leader Amy Koch hired in 2010 for that election. And while he’s listed as a Senate Staffer on the Senate’s website as a researcher, he also recently showed up on the Mn GOP Senate Caucus’ (“Senate Victory Fund”) Campaign Finance Board Report as a salaried employee as of June 29th, 2012. So, why would an employee of the GOP’s Caucus’s political arm, the “Senate Victory Fund”, be showing up to a “Lunch Hour Lit Drop” at the Capitol, if it wasn’t to do a “Lunch Hour Lit Drop”? Oh, wait – Senjem says there WASN’T any campaigning at the “Lunch Hour Lit Drops” – that he was aware of….

Yesterday, after Senjem told Minnesota Public Radio that there was none of that campaigning going on at the “Lunch Hour Lit Drop,” DFL Chair Ken Martin held a presser. Tom Lyden did a follow up story, and it’s a must see/must read.

The bottom line?

Just who do these GOPers think they’re fooling??!?

No campaigning going on at continuing events they called “Lunch Hour Lit Drops”?

Don’t believe ‘em – it simply isn’t credible. There’s an email; there’s a video.

The new GOP motto should be: “Who ya gonna believe – us, or yer lyin’ eyes?”

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; comments welcome there)

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One of the cardinal rules of dealing with reporters, is do not – DO NOT – tell ‘em whoppers. Period. End of Story.

Except, there’s a breaking story about how that’s EXACTLY what the GOP in the MN Senate did to KMSP-TV Investigative Reporter Tom Lyden. And it has to do with another “do not – DO NOT – do” – campaigning from state property; in this case, the State Capitol.

While you’re watching the following video, you can’t help thinking that the GOPer Staffer Maureen Watson is thinking about saying to Tom Lyden: “Well, who ya gonna believe – me, or your lyin’ eyes?” That’s before she ducks out, not to be seen again…. Let’s look!

(direct link to KMSP-TV story/video)

From that story, by Tom Lyden: “State ethics laws are clear that an employee must not use state time, supplies, or state-owned property and equipment for private interests — including campaigning.”

But, it gets better – or, worse. Shawn Towle of ChecksAndBalances.com, who Lyden interviewed in that video, just put up a post with ALL of the names that email went out to, and it’s quite the list! The electeds include:

“Benson, Michelle” “Chamberlain, Roger” “Daley, Ted” “DeKruif, Al” “Fischbach, Michelle” “Gazelka, Paul” “Gerlach, Chris” “Gimse, Joe” Hall, Dan” “Hann, David” “Hoffman, Gretchen” “Ingebrigtsen, Bill” etc etc etc

Now, not one – NOT ONE – of those brainiacs couldn’t figure out that running this little scheme out of the State Capitol wasn’t such a slick idea? NOT ONE???!

The title of this post — “…we are in this together…” — is from the body of the email that was sent out inviting people to this scheme.

And they ARE all in it together; all of the staffers and all of the GOP incumbents on the ballot this fall.

This appears to be an orchestrated and coordinated scheme; this needs to be investigated.

Quite frankly, the Mn GOP is a cast of clowns, and the last two years they’ve brought nothing but scandals and dishonor to St. Paul. Can’t someone just open a RICO Investigation on ‘em??!?

One key question, so far unanswered: were those people taking those free lunches and going back to their state supplied desks in their state supplied offices and using their state supplied phones for phone calls? Or were they using state supplied cell phones to make those calls?

Stay tuned!

h/t to Shawn Towle, ChecksAndBalances.com

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

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