Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Elwyn Tinklenberg has some explaining to do

Since the 12/13/07 statement by Elwyn Tinklenberg at the SD 19 DFL meeting, where he stated publicly, "we do not lobby at the Federal level", many questions have arisen from his statements.

Eric Z from Developers are Crabgrass and Jerry Hiniker have forwarded a letter of inquiry to the US Attorney's Office in Minneapolis. The Department of Justice is charged with lobbying oversight at the Federal level.

Damn you Eric Black! Why did you have to push Rachel Paulose so hard!

My key belief is if nobody else is asking what the Congressional candidate’s status is or should be under that federal enactment, it must be asked, and I ask it. Reasonably diligent research indicates Tinklenberg, himself, is not registered and I am not privy to the staff make-up of his “group” to check their status.

Certainly, that 20% --- 80% time-split thing in the definition seems a big enough loophole to drive a truck through, but if it is what Tinklenberg Group individuals rely upon in not being registered then it would be incumbent on Tinklenberg, in responding to the U.S. Attorney, to give accountings of his time and time of others billed to clients, and to square that with the public record my fellow citizen and I prepared.

In fairness to an electorate he wants to vote for him in November, disclosure should not be anything less than a full Tinklenberg Group public accounting, i.e., freely open to public and press, voluntarily, without worry over FOIA or other hurdles in citizens getting to see pertinent information.

Exactly, the questions need to be asked.

Elwyn Tinklenberg opened this Pandora's box. He could have come clean early and simply stated, "Yeah, I do some lobby work on Transportation issues with Senator X, Senator Y, and Congresswoman Z, but it's a small portion of what I do", this situation would have been averted.

Regardless if Tinklenberg lobbied Federal Government officials 18% of the time, or 56% of the time, the view of the public will be that he is indeed a lobbyist.

Once again, this exposes one of Tinklenberg's perceived strengths.

Tinklenberg is running on his record at MnDOT and his Transportation/Infrastructure knowledge and his apparent "socially conservative" past as a Methodist minister.

We've seen the evidence that Tinklenberg's MnDOT past is not as rosy as he would describe it.

His lobbying ties are also being called into question and, to put it bluntly, how can a delegate trust a former Methodist minister with a problem with honesty?

I'll be posting a town by town snapshot of Tinklenberg's work as a lobbyist/consultant over the next few days.

For now, the question has been asked...again!

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