So what do you think of the Senator Newman "reverse pay to play" scheme and the professional nature in which it was handled?
A. Senator Newman is lying.
B. Senator Newman and his staff are incompetent.
C. All of the above.
D. He's telling the truth.
If you answered D, stop drinking the Kool Aid.
Senator Newman helped usher in a new era of accountability in St Paul today. Its the Legislative Assistant's (LA) fault.
After speaking to reporters from a couple of major newspapers, the timeline of the Newman email and following events interests me. Something just doesn't seem right.
At 2pm on Thursday January 20th, Senator Newman's LA sent the email that created the firestorm we witnessed yesterday. According to one reporter, they had placed a call to Senator Newman's office around 4:30 on Thursday asking for a response. Senator Newman didn't respond to a request for comment.
Friday January 21st, according to reporters at the Pioneer Press and the Startribune, both called Senator Newman's office and requested verification of the email and for the Senator to explain the response. Senator Newman didn't respond to a request for comment.
Monday January 24th, the same Startribune reporter called Senator Newman's office again asking for verification and asking for the Senator to comment. Senator Newman didn't respond to a request for comment. Later that afternoon the story broke at Bluestem Prairie. While Senator Newman failed to respond to repeated requests for comment, per Sally Jo at Bluestem, the Minnesota Republican Party had already been trolling her blog looking at the post. I find it hard to believe that former GOP hate blogger, State Senate employee, and Vice Chair of the Minnesota GOP Michael Brodkorb failed to see this coming.
Finally on Tuesday January 25th, after the AP ran a story picked up by the Pioneer Press, Startribune, and news feeds across the State of Minnesota, Senator Newman's office first responded by saying that Senator Newman would not comment and Kelley was unable to comment about her email. Later Newman responded that this was all a "innocent mistake" placing the blame with his Legislative Assistant.
Innocent mistake...for any group that hasn't paid the toll to speak with Senator Newman that is. I can see that Newman's 2012 re-election campaign has kicked off in full earnest. He's got a wonderful set of campaign slogans waiting for use.
Scott Newman: Because Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay style politics are what Minnesota needs.
Scott Newman: "I don't have time to talk to constituents."
Let's think about this for a moment.
Do you really believe that Senator Newman's Legislative Assistant fired off that disrespectful response on a Thursday afternoon and didn't tell her boss about this until Tuesday morning? AFTER reporters from at least 3 media outlets were requesting the Senator to comment, since Thursday afternoon? Do you really think Senator Newman's LA came up with the reverse "pay to play" scheme on her own? Out of 75 comments at the Startribune on this story, only 2 seem to believe Newman's hastily concocted story.
I find it all hard to believe.
Senator Newman is a lawyer by trade, a trial lawyer at that. Would he actually try to sell this story to a Judge and jury? Are we going to buy this hard to believe fantasy version?
A full investigation into this is called for. As a bare minimum, I'd like to see correspondence between the Senator and the LA since last Thursday. Seems like a good start to me. Perhaps it's time to go for a Freedom of Information Act/Minnesota Data Practices Act request.
By the way, the answer to the first question is C, all of the above.