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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Dean Johnson Ethics Hearing

Mary Tambornino's post about Dean Johnson yesterday generated lots of comments. MPR has a report about the hearing.

Pollytick has some analysis.

Well, out here in Rural Minnesota (and actually we understand in St. Paul and some Twin City suburbs) we have a TV show called "Your Legislators" which we watch religiously every Thursday evening during the legislative session.

This production of Pioneer Public Television in Appleton, MN has been on the air for the past 25 years. It is a live one hour viewer call-in format with four legislators sitting at a table answering the many questions-of-the-day.

"So what", you may hear the wise old right-wing owls hoot.

Oh yes, there is one small item we failed to mention. The host of this show for the last 16 years running is none other than Judge G. Barry Anderson. Yes, you heard right, it is Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Barry Anderson who occupies the host seat each and every week.

To confirm what we thought to be true, we took a gander at last night's show.

Yep, bubblin' Barry was hosting.

Yep, there were four legislators in the seats (GOP and Dem).

Yep, there was a discussion of issues before the current legislature.

And Yep, some of the items discussed on last night's show may indeed make it to the Supreme Court docket someday (constitutional amendments, the legality of the tobacco fee/tax, etc.).

So, the question arises, were these evil legislators 'crossing the line' by providing Judge Barry with possible future evidentiary testimony and information? Did it impugn the good judges character to ask questions and participate in such an unholy activity?

We can only assume that the right-wing GOP party in this state will now have to go after this Pawlenty appointed justice and the myriad of legislators from both parties who have appeared on this show over the last 16 years, eh? (FYI, the past legislative line-up has included such notables as Speaker of the House Steve Sviggum, Minority Leader Dick Day, and Minority Leader Matt Entenza.)

Wait, one more thing we forgot to mention. When Judge B. Anderson cannot make it into the studio there is a frequent substitute who takes the chair:

Judge David Minge.


There were some interesting comments:

David Drake said...

Did it impugn the good judges character to ask questions and participate in such an unholy activity?

Well, that depends...are those questions asked based on lies, or stating total and false fabrications and attributing them to others, as the Lying Senator Dean Johnson was so wont to do?
3/24/2006 08:31:08 PM
Karl said...

Mr. Drake--

You seem pretty quick to play judge and jury. What evidence do you have that Dean Johnson lied--that he told "total and false fabrications? Can you produce it? Or is your only "evidence" the fact that the Chief Justice said Dean lied? Do you have proof that the Chief Justice isn't lying to cover his own ass?

What exactly is the difference between discussing legislative issues with a judge on a tv show, and discussing them with a judge in private?

I think there's a reason the legislators on the ethics panel didn't want to drag judges in front of them under oath. It would have made for quite an ugly scene for the Chief Justice to refuse to testify after already having claimed Dean Johnson as a liar.

Furthermore, where was the GOP's outrage when Supreme Court Justice Scalia went duck hunting with Dick Cheney while a lawsuit against Cheney was actually PENDING before the Supreme Court? I don't recall any chest-thumping calls for resignation, or allegations of impugning the integrity of the court. Ahh, but it's always different when Republicans do it isn't it?
3/24/2006 08:51:55 PM

David Drake has a blog - and he's upset about the ethics hearing.

Oh, there's plenty wrong with the Republican party, and this is but one example of their weeniness. So this coming fall, when my phone starts ringing and I'm getting calls from the Republican Party of Minnesota reminding me to vote for their candidates...Save Your Breath, people...Save Your Breath. No, I'm not going to vote for the Liberal Commiecrat candidate. I will do as I've done many times in the past, and vote for an independent third party. Or, come to think of it...maybe, just maybe, I will vote for the Liberal Commiecrat. At least I know what I'm getting if I vote for the Liberal Commiecrat.

When I have voted for the Republican candidate in the past, I expect a candidate who will live up to the Conservative ideas that that party stands for. A party and a politician who won't cave in from doing the right thing. Sadly, caving in is what Republican State Senators Claire Robling of Jordan and Mike McGinn of Eagan did.

To those spineless and wimpy Republicans, I ask this: Do you think one of your own would get the same treatment from the Commiecrats? Do you not think the Commiecrats wouldn't use a situation like this to make political hay and grandstand?

Yes, I do expect the Republican Party to grandstand on issues such as Pastor Johnson's lying and fabricating stories of make-believe. Yes, I do expect the Republican Party to play the political card in matters like this. Why? Because you have every legal and moral responsibility to do so. Because it's the right thing to do. But you caved like the sorry and pathetic spineless and wimpy Republican In Name Only Republicans that you are.

You had the opportunity to boot Pastor/Senator/Chaplain Johnson's lying ass out of the legislature, had you the spine to do just that. But you caved. You caved because you were afraid of either how you would be (mis)perceived and/or how your actions would be reported by the liberal press.

What - are you afraid to do the right thing? Apparently so!

So, save your breath Republican Party, when you contact me this fall, reminding me to vote for your spineless and wimpy candidates. I'd rather throw my vote away on a third party who has no chance of winning than to vote for, and elect, another spineless, wimpy, cave-in RINO.

The death of the Republican party won't come from its fundamental hard-line Conservatives or from its opposition Left. The death of the Republican Party will be self-inflicted from its RINO members. And when that happens, I'll be there to say "I told you so, you spineless wimpy RINO's."

David Drake said in comments to this blog that he likes my blog template. Thanks David. I appreciate that. This WAS a standard blogger template - but is no longer available.