Who Is Election Energy, And Why It Matters

On November 28, 2012, in Candidates, Justice, by tommy

Last week, we discussed Verified Twitter Accounts – specifically, that Minnesota Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson had one. On Monday, we looked at Chief Justice Lorie Gildea’s expenses on her Campaign Finance Reports (“CFB”) for her campaign website – well, specifically, the lack thereof.

Today, we’re going to look at website expenses for the campaign of Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson – and several other prominent Republicans. We’ll start with one such prominent Republican, the soon-to-be former GOP Senate Caucus Leader Dave Senjem – a screenshot from Senjem’s CFB report is above. On Sen Senjem’s CFB report, you’ll note the expenses of $250 and $12 on 31 July and 17 September 2012 for website related fees to “Election Energy” to a street address in Apple Valley. That street address matches the address listed which was found during a Domain Search for www.ElectionEnergy.com; link to screenshot here.

Justice G. Barry Anderson also used Election Energy as a vendor; on his latest CFB report it’s his largest vendor – accounting for almost 30% of his campaign’s expenditures (almost $19k). Except, on Anderson’s CFB report, there’s a different address for Election Energy; it’s listed as a P. O. Box.

Hmmm…. Time to check property tax records for the address reported by Senjem’s campaign! And what do we find? It seems the address used by Senjem, and NOT used by Anderson, is owned by: “Grant B. and Louise H. Anderson”.

Sources have confirmed the address used by Senjem, but NOT by Anderson, is indeed Justice G. Barry Anderson’s home.

Of course, it’s possible that “Election Energy” – using a business address of State Supreme Court Justice Grant B. Anderson, who goes by “G. Barry Anderson” – isn’t owned by Justice Anderson; it’s possible it’s owned by his son, Grant Anderson, who is acting as Justice Anderson’s digital director.

Better check with the Secretary of State’s Office, and find out who is the registered owner(s) of “Election Energy”!

Hmmmm….. An on-line search, via the Secretary of State’s office reveals: “No results match the criteria entered.”. Hmmm, maybe I’m doing something wrong? No, said the nice person at the Secretary of State’s Business Services Section – they couldn’t find any record of registration either.

Does a website company that’s physically located in Minnesota, has customers in Minnesota, and is soliciting for more business need to be registered? Well, according to the nice person at the Secretary of State’s office, who did NOT know the nature of the people involved – a sitting State Supreme Court justice, for one – said while not an attorney, it appears that under statutes 303 and 331 – the short answer is yes.

To recap: what we appear to have is an unlicensed business being run out of the home of a Supreme Court Justice that has said Justice as a customer. Additional customers include current GOP Senator Senjem, former GOP State Rep Keith Downey, soon-to-be GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, and fellow Supreme Court Justice David Stras, whose campaign sent $5,000 to Election Energy’s P.O. Box.

Here’s what I wrote in the post about Gildea:

If there is anyone who’s campaign finance reports should be squeaky clean and transparent, it’s a judge running for re-election – especially the judge running to retain the seat for Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court.

Consider that said about Justice G. Barry too. There’s some ‘splainin’ to do….

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

Last week, we discussed Verified Twitter Accounts – specifically, that Minnesota Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson had one, and we were looking at his re-election Campaign Finance Reports. And we are; stay tuned for what’s turned up! While doing so, we also took a look at two of the other candidates for re-election to the Supreme Court – Justice David Stras, who also had a Twitter Verified Account, and Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, who didn’t. Something stuck out while going through Chief Justice Gildea’s reports – by omission.

Everybody these days has a campaign web site; candidates for State Supreme Court being no different. And as anybody that’s ever set one up knows, they cost dough. Pick a domain name, register it, build the website, host it… Well, picking the name is free. Registration and building a website and hosting it? Not so much. The image, above, is from 2007, back when Pawlenty Appointee Justice Gildea first ran for re-election; the domain for the website is www.JusticeLorieGildea.com.

A review of Justice Gildea’s Campaign Finance Reports for 2007 does not show an expenditure nor an in-kind donation for any of that. Nor does her 2008 Report. Clearly it’s there; registered 09 Feb 07.

Fast forward to February 2012, and the image to the right. It’s the “Who Is” Domain Registration (www.ChiefJusticeLorieGildea.com) information for the Pawlenty appointed Gildea, who is now running for re-election for Chief State Supreme Court Justice.

On Chief Justice’s campaign website, the disclaimer on the bottom reads “Prepared and paid for by Minnesotans for Chief Justice Gildea, P.O. Box…”

Yet again, a review of Chief Justice Gildea’s Campaign Finance Reports for 2012 does not show an expenditure nor an in-kind donation for the new campaign website domain. Nor for building a new website, nor for hosting a website.

If there is anyone who’s campaign finance reports should be squeaky clean and transparent, it’s a judge running for re-election – especially the judge running to retain the seat for Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court.

An email and phone call for an explanation to the Campaign Treasurer for both campaigns have not been returned.

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

About Those Twitter “Verified Accounts”

On November 23, 2012, in Candidates, Justice, by tommy

Regular Readers will probably remember yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, had media credentials for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. And we had a LOT of fun covering Charlotte 2012, beginning with finding fake lemons in the tree outside of failed Veep Candidate Paul Ryan’s WI Office. While in the media area of Charlotte 2012, I happened across the Twitter Office of, well, Twitter – picture to the right.

So I stopped to talk to the nice people at Twitter, and asked ‘em how yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, could get one o’ those elusive, but coveted, blue checkmarks for my Twitter account – signifying a Twitter “Verified Account”. There’s a screenshot, below, on what these check marks look like.

Here’s what Twitter says about ‘em:

What kinds of accounts get verified?

Twitter proactively verifies accounts on an ongoing basis to make it easier for users to find who they’re looking for. We concentrate on highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, advertising, business, and other key interest areas. We verify business partners from time to time and individuals at high risk of impersonation.

We do not accept requests for verification from the general public. If you fall under one of the above categories and your Twitter account meets our qualifications for verification, we may reach out to you in the future.(emphasis added)

I figured it’d be a slam dunker; there I was with the media credentials, and I already had worked with Twitter to get a few nasty fake twitter accounts (stuff)-canned that had been causing problems for yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter.

So when I asked the nice person at Twitter, in the media area, at Charlotte 2012 about it, the nice person handed me off to another nice person working for Twitter – in sales.

Yes, “sales.” And here’s what I was told:

For most folks, it takes dough to get one of those elusive, but coveted, blue check marks that indicate a “verified account;” a blue check mark like you see to the right on a screen shot of Minnesota Supreme Court G. Barry Anderson’s Twitter account.

How much dough, I asked. $15,000.00 was the answer; but not necessarily all at once – it could be spread out over a couple of months. I explained I had read the Twitter “Verified Account” policy; it seemed I qualified for a freebee for two reasons (as outlined above). Reply? Nope. Cash. Well, it was also explained that if someone who was already spending dough on Twitter ads and promoted tweets, etc already had one, Twitter often gave one o’ those elusive but coveted check marks to a friend/associate/whatever of one of said spenders as a comp.

I checked around with a few media types in the media areas while in Charlotte, and heard in essence: yep, that’s how the “Verified Account” game was played. Did a little digging on google too. No biggie; if that’s the way the game was played and since I didn’t have – let alone plan on spending – $15 biggies, no blue check mark for yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter.

Fast forward to October 8th, 2012, and a story by Strib Reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger: “Promoted Justice On Twitter”. Rachel writes about the blue “verified account” check mark that’s shown on the screen shot you see just a little bit above on the Twitter Account of G. Barry Anderson, running for re-election for his seat on the bench on Minnesota’s Supreme Court.

Here’s Rachel’s lede:

Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson may be making history, 140-characters at a time.

The justice, first appointed to the high court by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2004, is using promoted tweets to advance his campaign to stay on the court. He is among the first prominent Minnesota politicians to use promotion, Twitter’s version of online advertising, in his campaign. (emphasis added)

Rachel also noted that Justice Anderson’s Digital Director is the Justice’s son, Grant Anderson. Noted now is that Justice Anderson’s campaign web page is credited, on the web page, to Election Energy.

Didn’t think much of Rachel’s story, at the time. And pretty much forgot about it, until I saw and retweeted the tweet to the right. OK, a lot has been said by a lot of people about Michael Brodkorb – including by me – for, ahem, “a variety of reasons.”

One thing a lot of people that have said a lot about Michael Brodkorb also say is that when it comes down to political skills and instincts, it pays to pay attention to Michael Brodkorb. So if Michael thought “the campaign spending & contribution report” of Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson was “interesting” – well, yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, pays attention.

And said report is indeed interesting – and we’ll get to what yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter has found.

So – stay tuned!!!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

Well, and out of touch, too.

That screen shot, to the “far right” (pun intended)? Those are tweets that were fired off last night by Bob Koss – who bills himself as, and this is a quote: “Free thinking conservative. Proud staffer at the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus.” Koss is a Legislative Assistant for Joe Gimse.

The target of Koss’ tirade? Republican State Representative John Kriesel, an Iraq War Veteran. Rep. Kriesel’s offense, to “earn” comments such as “RINO” & “Piece of (stuff)” & “SOB” & “shameless self promoter”?

Kriesel had the audacity to speak his mind on the floor of the House of Representatives and then allow that speech to be included in a television ad advocating a “No” vote on the marriage restriction constitutional amendment.

Predictably, the media picked up on Koss’ WAY out of line attack; KSTP TV reported on it this morning – “Twitter War Breaks Out Between Rep. Kriesel, Staffer Koss” – and City Pages not only wrote about it; they have screen shots of the entire exchange.

This so-called “twitter war” is simply the latest example of an out of control Republican Senate Caucus.

And where are the Republican Senators? Senate Majority “Leader” Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, is in Rochester trying to save his political skin. Asistant Majority “Leader” David Hann, R-Eden Prairie (the alleged co-chair of the Republican Senate Re-Election effort) is, well, who knows where? He’s been ducking the press ever since Fox9 TV ran a story: “What Does Hann Do For A Living?”.

As far as I can tell, it’s understandable the Senate Republican Caucus’ Communications “Director” – Steve Sviggum – couldn’t jump into the fray and stop Koss, a caucus staffer, from committing poltical hari kari on twitter last night – because as far as I can tell, Sviggum – the Communications “Director” – isn’t even ON twitter.

It’s an insult to clown cars to call the scandal plagued Senate Republican Caucus a “clown car.”

Hopefully next Wednesday, they WILL be called “the MINORITY Republican Senate Caucus.”

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

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Today’s GOP: Taking Care Of #1

On August 14, 2012, in GreedOverPrinciples, by tommy

Today is Primary Day in Minnesota, and the most interesting races are those where right wing conservatives are getting primaried by the even farther right wingers (GOPers Julianne Ortmann and Connie Doepke being primaried examples). So I checked in on Twitter this morning, and noticed a tweet by the guy to the far right (pun intended), State Senator Roger Chamberlain. Look real closely at his twitter picture, and especially his bio: Senior tax accountant at Ameriprise.

Let’s look at a couple of his tweets, from this morning:

Seems right winger Chamberlain has a problem with the contract state employees just agreed to. Of course, to be fair, Chamberlain isn’t the only GOPer taking shots at state workers; Pat Garofalo takes the 1% side too. Anyway, here’s what Chamberlain says in the first tweet: Private sect unemployed,underemployed, pay freezes & cut

Well, that depends on which “private sector” one is referring to! For instance, how has the 1% done lately? Let’s look!

Minnesota’s top CEOs saw their pay rise 26% in 2011
Article by: JOHN J. OSLUND and PATRICK KENNEDY , Star Tribune Updated: July 30, 2012

After falling for two consecutive years and holding flat in 2010, median total pay for Minnesota’s 100 highest-paid CEOs jumped by 26 percent in 2011 to $1.19 million, hitting seven digits for the first time since 2007.

Stock options and restricted stock tend to drive the headline-grabbing paydays of chief executives. But the Star Tribune’s 2012 Executive Compensation Report also shows that CEOs had reasons to smile about their cash compensation — salaries and bonuses. Seventy-one of the top 100 CEOs got a salary bump in 2011. The median raise: 4.6 percent.

Overall cash compensation — salary plus bonus — rose for the second consecutive year. Median cash compensation for the 100 highest-paid CEOs was up 8.5 percent to $768,749 — the highest level since 2007.
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Payday highlights
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Largest bonus: Ameriprise Financial CEO James Cracchiolo, $11 million. He’s had the biggest bonus in our annual survey for the past three years.
(more, here)

What was that last line, again?

Largest bonus: Ameriprise Financial CEO James Cracchiolo, $11 million. He’s had the biggest bonus in our annual survey for the past three years.

Yep – the CEO where Senator Chamberlain works.

Taking shots at state workers, while the head honcho where he works has “had the biggest bonus in our annual survey for the past three years” – that’s GOPer State Senator Roger Chamberlain.

And it’s today’s example of why GOP now stands for Greed Over Principles.

Let me be very clear: Today’s GOP is all about taking care of #1 — and if you work for a living, #1 ain’t you; it’s the 1%. Period. End of story.

Never forget: 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)

I read the article from yesterday’s ArmyTimes.com with interest; it’s been a topic of disagreement/discussion at the VFW Post where I’m a member for quite some time. Here’s the lede:

Traditional vets groups turn to social media
By John Ryan – Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Nov 21, 2010 8:28:29 EST

Some traditional veterans’ groups have updated their recruiting campaigns, using social media to attract younger veterans.

Groups have opened Facebook and Twitter accounts and written blogs to connect with roughly 4.3 million veterans who have served since the Persian Gulf War — and to replenish a steep decline in membership.

Lost membership and dues have forced groups like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars to close down some social clubs across the country, as about 1,650 veterans from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars die each day.

Organizations have turned to Internet-wired veterans to help keep their national networks of posts intact, community and soldier programs running, and their voices relevant on Capitol Hill.

But organizations founded before 1990 are losing the social media battle to recent upstarts such as Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, according to figures on Facebook.
(rest of story at ArmyTimes.com)

What can we – as Progressives that embrace social media – learn from it?

The point to me, as a Member of the VFW, is that it doesn’t matter that the older Veterans don’t do social media; it DOES matter that younger Veterans do. And to reach them – to get your message to them; to have a conversation with them – you simply have to communicate with them in the form they are most comfortable with.

We’ve had this discussion for months and Months and MONTHS at the local VFW: older veterans that say they don’t want to implement social media because THEY don’t use social media.

That the older Veterans don’t use social media doesn’t matter to the younger Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan; these returning Veterans do use social media. And the VFW and the American Legion have found out the hard way that if they won’t use social media, the younger veterans will join the Veteran Organizations that are – such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Let’s take that example and compare it to a discussion we social media types have been trying – TRYING – to have with DFL Powers That Be; “Powers That Be” that have been discouraging DFL candidates from using social media while at the same time, the GOP has been encouraging candidates to be using social media.

Simply put, the GOP Leadership views social media as a tool while current DFL Leadership views social media as a social disease.

And just as VFW and American Legion National Leadership has come around and are now embracing social media because they’ve been forced to; the younger upstarts are man eaters that are eating the oldster’s dinner.

It’s clear to me that the GOP is using social media to reach our younger Veterans. If we want to complete for these younger veterans, we’re going to have to use social media to do so. We simply must have DFL Leadership that understands this – starting with the Chair.

The younger Veterans insist on it – as the VFW and American Legion have found out.

And does anyone doubt that the younger non-veterans insist on it, too? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a college kid reading a dead-tree edition of a newspaper….

It’s really rather patheic, that the old-school Veterans Organizations are getting with the program before the od-schoolers on Plato and elsewhere are.

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

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So, I see the tweet, from MudSlingerMike:

mbrodkorb The bad press continues for Congressman Collin Peterson; http://tinyurl.com/m3n23w; #mngop #mn2010

So, I link on the tinyurl, and read this:

But Republicans on Tuesday saw the gaffe as an opportunity to make headway in Peterson’s conservative Seventh Congressional District, which he has securely held for many years. In 2008, he won 72 percent of the vote.

Got that? Less than a year ago, DFLer Colin Peterson won 72% of the vote.

So, what does the intrepid Deputy Chair of the GreedOverPrinciples Party say about Colin Peterson?

“This has really I think energized activists in the area and is going to lend [itself] to a first-tier candidate coming forward to run against him next year,” said Minnesota GOP deputy chair Michael Brodkorb, adding that there has been an “absolute explosion” of interest in the seat in the past 24 hours.” (Strib)

Say, Brodkorb? An “absolute explosion” of interest in taking on a guy that just won with 72 percent of the vote??!?

Yeah, “right.”

And a “first tier” candidate to boot? Not gonna happen – no “first tier” candidates remain in today’s GreedOverPrinciples party. T-baggers and “birthers”? You got pawlenty. “First tier”? Not so much.

Oh, noticed this tweet, from MudSlingerMike, too:

RT @MinnPostRSS: Minnesota GOP ready to launch ad campaign against Peterson remarks: http://bit.ly/DByJR

Say, Mikey? Good luck with that “ad buy” you’re tryin’ to sell. When you say “five figure ad buy” that really means “$999.99 or less” – yes?

Although personally, I wish the GOPers would dump a coupla hundred thousand into the 7th, between now and the new year….

(crossposted from MnProgressiveProject)

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