Friday, January 28, 2011

Senator Newman hit with ethics charges

Simply put, it had to be done.

So many questions remain unanswered, including the very questionable timeline, why Senator Newman failed to return a call to ANY media member from Thursday afternoon until Tuesday morning, questions about the use of state resources for campaign finance research and all the questions about the Legislative Assistant / Senator Newman and the actual content of the email.
Bluestem Prairie cites a West Central Tribune story on the matter.  While I don't share the WCT's assertion that Newman answered questions in a timely manner, I do agree wholeheartedly that Newman still has a lot of serious questions to answer.

This quip in the Startribune story caught my eye.
"After some careful checking, I discovered the MNA had donated to Kimball's campaign," the e-mail said. "Your association will be unable to schedule an appointment with Senator Newman."
Careful checking?  Did she check the Campaign Finance Board site?  If she did, she would have found that the MNA didn't send any money to our campaign.  Which is why I think Senator Newman simply gave LA Kelley a list of organizations that endorsed or donated to our campaign.

I think a Minnesota Data Practices Act is in order.  In order to determine who's telling the truth, Senator Newman should divulge all email between himself and his Legislative Assistant and any correspondence between either the Senator and/or his LA and any lobbyist or advocacy group.  I also believe that Newman needs to disclose his full meeting calendar as well.

Access to Senator Newman seems to be a big issue. 
Newman did not immediately return a phone message, and no one answered a knock on his Capitol office door late Thursday afternoon.
This is consistent with previous attempts by both the Startribune and the Pioneer Press to contact the Senator after they learned about the email, a week ago.  Newman either didn't get ANY of the press inquiries Thursday, Friday, and Monday or simply ignored them.  It's also consistent with what I've heard from numerous local media outlets who cannot get the Senator to return a phone call to them either, including the KLFD AM 1410 Radio show, Aaron in the Afternoon.

But who came to Newman's defense?  Yep, former GOP hate blogger Michael Brodkorb.
"Senator Newman didn't personally send the e-mail, nor was he aware of it," said Michael Brodkorb, spokesman for Senate Republicans. "He accepted complete responsibility and apologized for the confusion and frustration it caused."
Not aware of it?  Why didn't Brodkorb approach Newman on Monday as the GOP surfed Internet blogs at the breaking Newman scandal?  You'd also have to believe that Newman's LA didn't mention a single time that the media was looking for him, from Thursday-Tuesday morning.

If Senator Newman's story is true, he'd damn near have to be the most understanding boss ever.  And from what I've personally witnessed, I find it hard to believe.

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