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Friday, June 17, 2005

Where is Tinklenberg on Civil Unions?

Minnesota Public Radio's description of Tinklenberg's position sounds like his position is more nuanced than the description from the Star Tribune or the Pioneer Press.

MPR:

Tinklenberg opposes legalized abortion, favors gun rights and supports a federal ban on gay marriage, provided there are some legal protections in place for gay couples. Those views are to the right of many Democrats, but could play well in the socially conservative 6th district.


AP:

A former mayor of this suburb north of Minneapolis, Tinklenberg is against legalized abortion, supports a constitutional ban on gay marriage and opposes heightened restrictions on gun ownership. That puts him to the right of many of his fellow Democrats, but could be a boost in next year's race to fill the open seat in the 6th Congressional District, which has grown more solidly Republican.


Pioneer Press:

Tinklenberg is out of step with his party — but he believes he is in step with a majority of 6th District voters — on at least three key social issues. He opposes abortion, would support a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages and is against further restrictions on gun ownership. A life-long hunter, he joked, "I have camo clothes that aren't new."


Strib:

Democrats have been able to get elected in parts of the region, which stretches from the Wisconsin border and eastern suburbs to north and west of St. Cloud, but they've tended to be moderate or conservative on social and fiscal issues. In that mold, as he made his announcement in Blaine, Tinklenberg described himself as "pro-life" and pro-gun (he supports the handgun permit law that recently passed the Legislature) and said he supports a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.

"It's a conservative district; I represent those values," Tinklenberg said. DFL state party chair Brian Melendez acknowledged that Tinklenberg is at odds with the party platform on some big issues, "but not all candidates agree with every plank in the platform and that's just a fact of life in politics. ... I'm glad that he's running and evidently he has an appeal that will resonate with voters in the Sixth."


Hopefully when Tinklenberg speaks to voters, people will ask him to explain what he means by "some" benefits. It's also worth asking him whether he would vote for the Musgrave wording of the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Developing. . .

Is 6th District DFL Congressional Candidate Elwyn Tinklenberg a Michele Bachmann Democrat?

Previously on Is 6th District Congressional Candidate Tinklenberg a Michele Bachmann Democrat?

Blog ally North Dallas Thirty comments:

Quoting Lloydletta: Tinklenberg's staffer said that Tinklenberg's position was that he supported full equality for gays, and would only support a federal constitutional amendment if it also stated explicitly that gays should get equal rights under federal law (social security dependent, tax, inheritance) and that the amendment would only restrict the word "marriage" to heterosexuals.

NDT: The next question.....why is "marriage" a forbidden word for gays to use? If Tinklenberg truly believes that gays are equal, why does he need to set up a separate system rather than simply giving them the same right to marriage as heterosexuals?
North Dallas Thirty


Developing. . .

GayPatriot is Back, and So is the Drama

He's now open about who he is.

Now he's criticising Syracuse University for enforcing their non-discrimination policy, and not allowing the Boy Scouts to be a student group.

One of his commenters gave some interesting background about the Scouts:

It's unfortunate that Boy Scout Movement is only a homophobic-shadow of it's former self.
... "Former Boy Scouts include US Senator John Glenn (D-OH), President Gerald Ford, Steven Spielberg, and Neil Armstrong. And the fundamental foundations of the Boy Scouts are trust, honor, love and respect of country and love and respect of God. Having gone most of my early boyhood through the Scouting program, I can tell you there was no anti-gay message given whatsoever."
I was active in the Scouts all through the 60's and 70's, and my father was since the 30's. In the 70's, there was a fundemenatl change in the management and National leadership at BSA headquarters when the staff was moved from New Brunswick NJ to Texas. A wholesale-change was engineered by southern fundementalists to wrest control away from the old-guard who made Scouting an ubigitous-art of every boys childhood into a narrow, coldly-Christian, morality-squad. The ideals of the outdoor life, self-reliance and preparedness were replaced in the newly-minted Handbook with an anti-drug, urban sensibility. Many local Scouting Councils were consolidated, and "conveniently" their now "redundant" rural camp-grounds were coverted into valuable real estate that National headquarters converted into cash.
This was at the same period that the eliminated many of the requirements for "Eagle", and replaced fear of marauding bears with fear of marauding Scoutmasters. First aid was replaced with anti-drug messages and how to avoid the dealers. Fundementally the new BSA management turned their backs on Scouting roots...and the original mission of Scouting. By 1985, everyone in my family left the Scouts in disgust with it's new mission, and so did many others. And in our hometown, 2/3's of the troops closed-shop due to rapidly dropping membership. I think that the Movement is maybe a tenth's it's size when I was in High School today.
They also drove many professional mid-level Scouting executives out as part of the cleansing that costs them dearly in the loss of connections to communities and local organizations.
Gay does not pedophile, and while a number of them may have been gay in their private lives, their dedicatin to Scouting was motivated by their social concern for Scouting's youth...not peurile gratification. I knew several of these leaders within out local organization...and they would have castrated themselves before they touched a boy. And they subtly policed the ranks to make sure that no-one else did.

The Boy Scouts of the 1990's and today is a shallow-parody of the once robust Movement that three-generations of my family reserved in. As with much of today's Republican Party, the BSA was hijacked by the fundementalists and turned to their own purposes and agenda. They disgrace the traditions of generations of Scouts, and have reapt the consequences.


Some over there on the comment thread are saying they think the Boy Scouts policy is right because it keeps out the pedophiles - and say that the Catholic Church problem with pedophile priests is a homosexuality problem rather than a pedophilia problem. The comment thread is quite interesting.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Is Tinklenberg a Michele Bachmann Clone? His Campaign Says NO!

I called Tinklenberg's campaign at 763-258-4728 to follow up on my earlier post that summarized media accounts of his campaign kickoff speech.

A male staffer/volunteer answered the phone, and I didn't get his name (my bad). I told them I was calling for a story for my blog - and they asked which blog, and I told them "Dump Michele Bachmann". I asked about the Strib report that Tinklenberg supported the Federal Bachmann amendment. I explained that the Federal Bachmann Amendment as introduced by Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado (Bachmann with bad hair) goes beyond banning gay marriage and also bans the "legal incidents" of marriage to unmarried people. Here's the wording:

`SECTION 1. Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.'.


Tinklenberg's staffer said that Tinklenberg's position was that he supported full equality for gays, and would only support a federal constitutional amendment if it also stated explicitly that gays should get equal rights under federal law (social security dependent, tax, inheritance) and that the amendment would only restrict the word "marriage" to heterosexuals. I suggested that if this was true, the Strib and Pioneer Press misquoted Tinklenberg, and that he should request a correction. I asked if they were planning on doing that, and the staffer said they had not discussed that. It sounds like Tinklenberg's position is similar to John Kerry's. It's not exactly that clear.

Tinklenberg's announcement is available on Minnesota Public Radio. I encourage people to listen for themselves, and discuss whether the Strib and Pioneer Press misrepresented him.

As I said earlier, if people in the 6th District want Michele Bachmann to represent them, they should chose the real thing, not the great pretender.

I encourage other Dump Bachmann readers to contact the Tinklenberg campaign to follow up: info@tinklenbergforcongress2006.org or by phone: 763-258-4728.

Tinklenberg is hoping that Michele Bachmann will be his opponent, because he sees her as easiest to beat.

Meanwhile several democratic activists sent me copies of their emails to Tinklenberg:

Mr. Tinklenberg:

Why would a Democrat support someone like you, who has used his campaign kickoff to announce that he opposes three major planks in the party's platform (gay rights, gun control and reproductive rights)? If people want a pro-handgun, anti-choice, anti-gay candidate to vote for, they already have one in Michele Bachmann, Phil Krinkie, Cheri Pierson Yecke or Jim Knoblauch. We had one Republican Lite candidate--Janet Robert--run in the 6th District already and it was a disaster. We don't need another one.

Please take your candidacy down the hall to the first door on the RIGHT. That would be the GOP.

**********************************

As a long time DFL activist and as a gay man, I can not and will not support your campaign in any manner. This decision is based on your support of the Federal Marriage Amendment. If you need to support the sham called marriage, how about outlawing divorce? Constitutionally codified discrimination is completely wrong and the argument that gay marriage is a "special right" is ridiculous. The only ones with special marriage rights are the heterosexuals who can get married to the exclusion of all others.
I find it hilarious that as a gay man, that I can at a moments notice marry any lesbian or heterosexual diseased, drug-addicted prostitute and society would completely support my marriage.
I am aware of your argument that this is a "conservative district", but that bullshit doesn't cut the cake. You are not any different than any Republican running for the seat and there is no single reason in the world to believe that conservative Republican voters will vote for a "alleged" Democrat that holds the same political view points as the endorsed Republican candidate on many issues. I will also assure that the (entire gay population of which there are thousands in the district) will know of your support of the Federal Marriage Amendment and withhold their support of your campaign.
Perhaps you will come to the conclusion that you are running in the wrong race, the wrong district and the wrong party.


Developing. . .

He's Baaaaaack

And raring to go.

After a mysterious hiatus which escalated into a catfight between Bruce Carroll and Mike Rogers, Carroll's back in the saddle after cooling off.

Welcome back to the blogosphere.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Taxpayer's League Runs Ads Against Stadium Taxes

You can listen to the ads here.

The ads should say: Call Governor Pawlenty at 651-296-3391. Ask him to say NO to increasing Hennepin County Sales Taxes to pay for a Stadium.

DFLer Elwyn Tinklenberg Supports Federal Marriage Amendment

From the Strib:



Democrats have been able to get elected in parts of the region, which stretches from the Wisconsin border and eastern suburbs to north and west of St. Cloud, but they've tended to be moderate or conservative on social and fiscal issues. In that mold, as he made his announcement in Blaine, Tinklenberg described himself as "pro-life" and pro-gun (he supports the handgun permit law that recently passed the Legislature) and said he supports a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.

"It's a conservative district; I represent those values," Tinklenberg said. DFL state party chair Brian Melendez acknowledged that Tinklenberg is at odds with the party platform on some big issues, "but not all candidates agree with every plank in the platform and that's just a fact of life in politics. ... I'm glad that he's running and evidently he has an appeal that will resonate with voters in the Sixth."


I've asked Paul Skrbec, Chair of Stonewall DFL for comment. I sent him a copy Tinklenberg's comments where he said he supported the Federal Marriage Amendment. Here was his response:

Eva,

Mr. Tinklenberg has not screened with Stonewall DFL. Our screening for 2006 cycle candidates will be held in the early part of the year (typically January or February). At that time, if he decides to seek our endorsement he will have every opportunity to do so. Until that time, our caucus does not have enough factual information to make a comment on this issue.

Paul R. Skrbec
Chair, Stonewall DFL
Inver Grove Heights, MN
pskrbec@comcast.net


If people want Michele Bachmann to represent the district, why not vote for the Real Michele Bachmann rather than a DFL Bachmann clone?

Developing. . .

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Tony Garcia on MN GOP Deputy Chair Eric Hoplin

Garcia calls him "Eric the crook Hoplin".

Now, Eric the Crook has stated that the fundraising issues of CRNC go well before him, and that may be true. As document laboriously in this post from Left In The Heartland Eric the Crook was elected to lead the CRNC shortly after the CRNC split from the Republican National Committee to become its own group. THAT point would have been a good point to reform the CRNC ways.

Instead one of 2 things happened, the crooked ways of old continued (implying that they were going on through the RNC) or he began the underhanded nature of the current CRNC fundraising (which means he lied during his election bid in MN, Gourley has blatantly lied in his campaign to be CRNC chair, and both should be run out of the party). I personally think that Eric the Crook lied to my face when he claimed he tried to clean things up in 2003. If that were true then why did they continue at higher levels in 2004?

Anyway, the bottom line is this. Those who care about the GOP must keep an ever vigilent eye on Eric the Crook Hoplin...and on the MN GOP books! At the first sign of trouble we would be best to kick his arse out. Treat him the way Ron would treat Martha Roberton: show 'em the door and ask no questions.


Marty Andrade's never thought much of Hoplin either.

More on the Peebles Controversy

I'm following up on the Press Conference Lloydletta's Nooz covered yesterday.

Lynnell Mickelson has been posting a different point of view on the Minneapolis Issues list:

A few other thoughts

1) I don't think Dr. Peeble's problems are about style. They're about abusive behavior, poor management skills and the resultant brain drain from the district. This "style not substance" argument is the same one currently being trotted out by right-wing Republicans to shove John Bolton in as US Ambassador to the UN. It's the most popular red herring used when folks don't want to talk about abusive behavior, poor choices and bad management.

2) Notice who was NOT at the Urban League meeting yesterday. Was Patricia Harvey there? The Rev. Al Gallmon? Sharon Sayles-Belton? Heck, was even Steve Belton, Dr. Peeble's chief of staff there? Or many of the outstanding black principals, staff or senior district officials at 807?

Now imagine what would have happened if the Minneapolis board had talked about terminating Dr. Carol Johnson. The room would have been packed with 807 administrators, staff, principals, parents, business leaders, black and white, all talking about how they worked day in and day out, shoulder to shoulder with Carol and you couldn't find someone better, etc. etc. That crowd would have never fit in the Urban League. You'd have to rent the convention center to fit everyone in. I imagine there'd be a similar crowd in St. Paul if the board was toying with getting rid of Pat Harvey.

Now contrast this with yesterday's scene at the Urban League. The number of people missing - especially people who work with Dr. Peebles day in and day out - was stark.

Lynnell Mickelsen
MPS parent, Ward 13


Doug Grow's column discusses this.

Letters to the editor in the Strib support Peebles:

Shaking things up

Condemning Minneapolis schools Superintendent Thandiwe Peebles on the basis of style and legitimacy reeks of elitism and racism (Star Tribune, June 14).

Peebles was hired with the knowledge that she had never been a superintendent before. Perhaps that was one of her appeals. She is an outspoken, strong black woman who gives pause to the white gentility that wants to placate but not engage the real issues of how our education system fails African-American youth.

As a white man of privilege, I say to the Minneapolis school board: "Keep Dr. Peebles -- she is educating us on issues of style that will do us some good. Let her do her job! "

Peter DeLong, Minneapolis.

Let Peebles be Peebles

Thanks for the article about the Minneapolis school board and Superintendent Thandiwe Peebles.

I think Spike Moss' remarks about "circling the wagons around an educated black woman" are ridiculous. This is not about race. This is about following in the footsteps of former Superintendent Carol Johnson. Many loved her, and she performed admirably in what some might consider a difficult environment.

Peebles is not Johnson. Nor should she have to be. She brings a different energy, vision and plan. It is exciting.

The school board needs to remove the expectation that Peebles will ever be Johnson and celebrate the gifts she brings to the job. And City Council Member Natalie Johnson Lee and Moss need to quit playing the race card every time someone raises an issue about a black person.

From what I have seen of Peebles, she is anything but a victim. She is a strong, proud woman with a lot of interesting things to say and a lot of plans to consider.

Bob Waterman, Falcon Heights.


Developing. . .

Monday, June 13, 2005

They never cease to amaze me....

Gay.com:

(New York City) The leader of a conservative Christian lobby group says that gays should be required to wear warning labels.

"We put warning labels on cigarette packs because we know that smoking takes one to two years off the average life span, yet we 'celebrate' a lifestyle that we know spreads every kind of sexually transmitted disease and takes at least 20 years off the average life span according to the 2005 issue of the revered scientific journal Psychological Reports," said Rev. Bill Banuchi, executive director of the New York Christian Coalition.

The journal regularly publishes articles described by many mainstream psychologists as misleading and faulty. The homosexuality morbidity study was conducted by the conservative anti-gay Family Research Institute.

Banuchi called LGBT Pride celebrations held in New Paltz, north of New York City, and other areas of the country on the weekend "sad".

He called on people to "pray for those who are deceived by the lies of popular culture, who are caught up in a destructive lifestyle, and for the children who are being zealously evangelized by radical homosexuals."

It is not the first time gays have been told they should wear labels. In Nazi Germany gays were forced to wear the pink triangle to differentiate them from other internees at concentration camps.


Will former Minnesota Christian Coalition leader (and just elected Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota) Ron Carey publically disavow the demand from the executive director of the New York Christian Coalition?

Blog Ally North Dallas Thirty has come up with a good response to this wackiness:

My answer? As my dad always puts it, the best way to handle an idiot is to give them a microphone. Since they want gays to wear labels, let's give them what they want..... our way.

I propose a call for action.....a call to come up with a series of warning labels for gay people that express truly what people need to be warned about when talking to us...and then put them on T-shirts that we can wear and other things as statements of the TRUE dangers of associating with gay people.


For example, my attempts:

WARNING: Exposure to gay people is known to cause broadening of thought and can result in the death of preconceived notions and dearly-held stereotypes.

WARNING: Exposure to gays while pregnant may result in your child growing up without prejudice or intolerance towards them.

WARNING: Exposure to gay people may cause addictions to their company, such as friendship and acceptance.


North Dallas Thirty is taking ideas for more slogans in his comments.

Developing . . .

Parents, Leaders in Black Community Say Peeples Job Shouldn't be on the Line

According to the Star Tribune, Thandiwe Peeples, Superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools might be fired by the Minneapolis School Board.

At about 3 PM, this press release was posted on the Minneapolis Issues list.

Minnesota House of Representatives
District 58B (651) 296-8659
229 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155

Contact: Joel Johnson, (651) 297-1934
joel.johnson@house.mn

June 13, 2005

A group of concerned parents and leaders in the North Minneapolis community will hold a press conference at 5:15 p.m.

Monday, June 13 at the Minneapolis Urban League to say that Thandiwe Peebles' future as Minneapolis School Superintendent should not be in doubt.

"We believe it's irresponsible to talk about firing," State Rep. Keith Ellison said. "Superintendent Peebles should be judged on her performance and she should be given more than a year. Considering the success Minneapolis students have demonstrated this year, we believe recent actions by the Minneapolis school board are premature."

The press conference will be held at the Minneapolis Urban League offices at 2100 Plymouth Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55411. For information on the press conference, contact Representative Ellison at (651) 296-8659 or (612) 229-6484.

-30-


I went to this press conference, and they were fine with bloggers covering this. The other press there asked me which blog I was doing this for, and I told them Lloydletta's Nooz (which none of them had heard of). I told them I had another blog, Dump Michele Bachmann which has gotten more press, and they were all interested in that one.

Who spoke:

Representative Keith Ellison, Council Member Natalie Johnson Lee, Alfred Babington Johnson, Louis King, Duane Reed (Keith's opponent in 2002) and several others I can't recall names for. Johnson Lee opponent, Don Samuels was not at this press conference. I'm not sure if this was because he wasn't asked to be part of it or because he chose not to come.

The talking points: This appeared to be about style, rather than results - and that Peeples is getting results for African American kids. She is successfully closing the gap. Keith Ellison mentioned that membership in the school board was mostly from the Southwest area of the city, while most of the students in the Minneapolis Public Schools are from the Northside and South Central Minneapolis. I asked Keith if he would recommend having school board elections be from districts rather than city wide, and he replied yes, and that Jim Davne had introduced a bill to model Minneapolis School Board elections on the Park Board system.

I talked with Bill English from the Council of Black Churches after the press conference - and English stated that school board meetings in Plymouth (where he lives now) are more open and allow the public to speak much more than the Minneapolis School Board meetings.

I think this is another example of how a DFL hegemony in Minneapolis elections fails the Minneapolis Public Schools - especially for African American Children.

Developing. . .

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hoplin and Inclusion in the Republican Party

From a reader tip:

Source Windy City Times:

2004:
The College Republican National Committee Chairman, Eric Hoplin, unleashed a vicious attack against the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that considers itself "the nation’s leading voice for fairness, inclusion, and tolerance in the GOP." Hoplin criticized the Log Cabin group for what he described as "their efforts to stab the President in the back." Hoplin targeted the group’s recent criticism of President Bush's proposed Federal Marriage Amendment and criticized the group for their efforts to "seek to advance a single issue agenda."


More on this at the Los Angelas Times:

Los Angeles Times

March 11, 2004 Thursday
Home Edition

SECTION: MAIN NEWS; National Desk; Part A; Pg. 28

LENGTH: 439 words

HEADLINE: Cheney Figures in Ad Opposing Ban on Same-Sex Marriage ;
Gay Republicans' spots include remarks made by vice president, whose daughter is a lesbian.

BYLINE: Johanna Neuman, Times Staff Writer

DATELINE: WASHINGTON

BODY:
A new ad paid for by a gay Republican group uses Vice President Dick Cheney to help make its case against a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.

The 30-second television commercial shows Cheney, whose daughter Mary is a lesbian, at a debate during the 2000 campaign discussing gay rights. "We live in a free society ... and I think that means people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into."

Cheney added: "The matter is regulated by the states. I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that's appropriate.... I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area."

The words "We agree" then appear in the ad, which is sponsored by the Log Cabin Republicans. The commercial begins airing in the Washington area today and is to be shown later in seven states viewed as key battlegrounds in the general election: Ohio, Missouri, Florida, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Hampshire and Wisconsin. The ad includes scenes of 1960s civil rights protests and signs that say "Colored Waiting Room" to argue that gay marriage is a matter of individual liberty.

Many gay Republicans were among those angered last month when President Bush endorsed the idea of a constitutional amendment to ensure that marriage was sanctioned only between a man and a woman. Bush's backing followed San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's decision to allow gay marriages in that city, in defiance of state law.

Cheney said last week that he supported Bush's decision, which also was hailed by an array of conservative groups.

Log Cabin's executive director, Patrick Guerriero, said the group decided to launch its campaign "because the exclusion and discrimination embodied in this amendment violates the principles upon which the Republican Party is founded."

He said that donations to the group had grown since Bush's announcement and that the organization hoped to collect up to $1 million for the ad campaign.

Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt said, "We respect differences of opinion in the Republican Party, and we feel that during this election the Republicans will unite behind the president on the big issues facing this country -- the war on terror and growing the economy."

The College Republican National Committee also came to Bush's defense. "President Bush is exactly right when he says there is a consensus among Americans to protect the institution of marriage," said Eric Hoplin, the group's chairman. "If the Log Cabin Republicans are the loyal Republicans they claim to be, they should spend their millions on electing Republicans, not defeating them."


My source adds:

Hoplin's handpicked successor for the CRNC chair job is a young South Dakotan named Paul Gourley. Gourley is being challenged by Michael Davidson, head of the California CRs. A meme advanced by Gourley backers has been that Davidson is gay (the horror) and that the California CRs are bankrolled by Log Cabin Republicans.


Example: this thread in the "Save the GOP" blog:


A little known fact that can be found out with an audit of the California College Republican's bank account, is that one of their principal donors is the Log Cabin Republican organization (gay Republican group not even recognized by the CRP or the RNC).

Comment by Rawhide — 2/22/2005 @ 2:00 am

What's wrong with Log Cabin Republicans? I don’t know, just asking.

Comment by Michael Shutze Jr. — 2/22/2005 @ 3:25 am

Your little known fact is incorrect. Much of the California Federation's money comes from the most conservative interests in California. Wow, the Gourley campaign will say just about anything to move attention away from the fact that they got hammered at CPAC and rip off senior citizens. That's a widely known fact.


My source adds:

Here's lots more of that on the CR election blogs--but I'm sure you'll get the drift. While the complaints against Gourley and Hoplin have centered on the RDI material, much of the anti-Davidson cracks concern his sexual identity. Blog rumors? Hoplin and his pals wrote the book on that.

Yep, Hoplin should fit in well with the Leviticus Crowd. I doubt he's especially personally homophobic, but he and his running buddies seem quite willing to exploit homophobia to advance their brilliant careers. And that willingness to do whatever seems to be at the core of the objects that guys like Marty and Tony have.


Developing. . .

Jack Meeks Letter from the Eibensteiner/Hoplin Table

Jack Meeks

June 11, 2005

Dear Fellow Republican Leaders,

For the past three months I have remained publically neutral in the race for State Party Debuty Chair. All along it has been my intent to remain silent through the election. I felt I could not support my friend Eric Hoplin because I strongly opposed the reelection of his running mate Ron Eibensteiner.

But when I saw Glen Menze's disingenuous attack on Eric Hoplin's credibility and leadership, I knew I had to help tell the rest of the story.

As RNC national committeeman I spent years working with the College Republican National Commitee, assisting them on a range of issues including trying to end their contract with Response Dynamics Inc. This was long before I even knew Eric Hoplin and before he was a part of the College Republicans.

The RNC was very unhappy that a former CR chairman had signed a contract with RDI that was very unfavorable to the party and almost impossible to end.

I saw several national CR chairmen come and go, all with the best of intentions, but none with the leadership, tenacity or determination to put a stop to RDI's operation.

None until Eric Hoplin. I watched as Eric set out immediately upon his election to put a stop to RDI's unethical practices. But even while he worked to achieve that goal, I remained skeptical. So many before him had tried to end this draconian contract, and each had failed. But Eric remained optimistic and determined.

Thankfully, Eric defied expectations and did the right thing. He terminated College Republicans' contract with Response Dynamics.

Glen left that part out. Friends, that is the most important part of the story.

Eric called me the day he learned the Star Tribune story was coming. His lawyers had advised him to say very little regarding his concerns about RDI, as it could jeopardize the negotiations to end the contract and he risked losing the ability to get refunds for the donors who needed them.

It would have been very easy for Eric to dump RDI that day and be a hero in the media. Instead, he did the difficult thing; the right thing. He took shots from the liberal press and forged ahead in the negotiation, ultimately prevailing in both stopping the mail and securing the refunds.

Eric's handling of RDI confirmed for me what I already knew; that he is heads and shoulders above other leaders. Not only because of his willingness to sacrifice a million dollars per election cycle to do the right thing, but his ability to reach an end to the contract and still run the most successful CRNC in its 113-year history, taking heat from the liberal media all the while.

Eric Hoplin is a strong and honest leader. He did the right thing for the National College Republicans and you can be assured he would do the right thing for the Republican Party of Minnesota.

Sincerely,

Jack Meeks

Prepared and paid for by Jack Meeks


My guess is this letter was persuasive to delegates and helped defuse the issue of the scam the seniors College Republicans scandal. Meeks was in error saying that this was just a report in the Star Tribune. This had been extensively covered in the Seattle area media.

Developing. . .