Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Senator Newman: Politics at its worst

Yesterday Sally Jo Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie broke a story about Senator Scott Newman and his refusal to meet with organizations and people that endorsed my candidacy for the State Senate.

When I first heard about Senator Newman's refusal to meet with "any organizations that donated to/supported his opponent Hal Kimball."
-----Original Message-----
From: Kim Kelley [email address redacted by Bluestem]
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 2:00 PM
To: Eileen Gavin
Subject: [Eileen Gavin] Meeting

 Kim Kelley sent a message using the contact form at [redacted]

Hi Eileen-

Unfortunately, Senator Newman will not see any organizations that donated to/supported his opponent Hal Kimball. After some careful checking, I discovered that the MNA had donated to Kimball's campaign. Your association will be unable to schedule an appointment with Senator Newman.

Kim Kelley

Legislative Assistant
My first reaction was surprise.  Really?  Senator Newman won't meet with local Vietnam Veterans, college students, local farmers, school teachers, Racino supporters, local laborers, local nurses, etc?


My initial shock wore off quickly.  During my time with the Minnesota State University Student Association, I worked with higher education groups across the state.  We worked to set up meetings with legislators in a strong effort to "Freeze Tuition".  We met with virtually every State Representative and Senator, except then Representative Newman.  I literally chased him from the House chambers to his office in the State Office Building trying to talk to him about higher education issues.  It didn't matter...Representative Newman didn't want to talk to us.

Now, he wants to know who you voted for and who you gave money to before he talks to you.  Per an email to the Minnesota Nurses Association, Senator Newman refuses to meet with them because they endorsed my candidacy for the State Senate.  They incorrectly assert that the MNA provided my campaign with much needed funding.  Per our campaign finance board reports, they did not, despite what Senator Newman's Legislative Assistant Kim Kelley thinks she found.

The Senator Newman excuse generator will talk about how negative the campaigns got as the election neared.  Truth be told, Candidate Newman worked to manipulate local debates and forums.  Besides, anything we brought to the voters was something Candidate Newman said.  Was he upset that we were calling him out on it or upset that he actually said some of the things he said?

On second glance it sure looks like a reverse "pay to play scheme".  Simply put, this is politics at its worst.  It's why people have a complete distrust in government.

What will happen to towns like Annandale, Litchfield, Grove City, Watkins and Eden Valley, towns that didn't strongly support Senator Newman?  Will they receive bigger LGA cuts?

What about mayors, council members, county commissioners, etc that supported our campaign?

Four years ago I lost a race to Senator Steve Dille.  Within weeks of the session opening I met with the Senator to discuss some higher education and Veterans issues.  Senator Dille provided a personal tour of the State Capitol and Senate chambers and we kept in close contact talking about these very important issues.  He had an open door for everyone.

Senator Newman...his door has a toll, if you gave to our campaign in 2010, you better give to him in 2012 or else.  Politics at its worst, right before our eyes.

I hope a ethics investigation ensues...

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