#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)

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)

… 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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