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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

More Details Emerge in City Hall Corruption Case

From the Strib

The "cooperating witness" told the FBI last May that Zimmermann sought campaign contributions in exchange for supporting zoning changes that would aid Chicago Commons. Zimmermann allegedly took $7,200 from the witness during three meetings in June and August, court documents said. The meetings were secretly recorded. Those recordings have not been made public.

Zimmermann ultimately joined in the unanimous council vote to reject the proposal to allow more retail in the project. He allegedly explained to Carlson that he had tried, but failed, to round up council support.

In September, Zimmermann arrived at Chicago Commons for another meeting with Carlson. The developer walked out of the meeting as two men in dark suits walked in, Zimmermann said. He figured by their look they were FBI agents.

Indeed, the agents questioned him on the spot. In January, Zimmermann was indicted.

He declined to discuss much about the case, except to say the bribery allegations are not true. He said he tried to help Carlson as he would try to help any constituent. When Carlson said he wanted to donate money to Zimmermann's campaign, Zimmermann said, he suggested Carlson contribute to a legal fight over redistricting. "Where's the crime?" he said.


Whether he is guilty of extorting a bribe or not, one important question ought to be why Zimmermann allowed himself to be caught in so compromising a situation in the first place when two of his predecessors on the council were caught and convicted of corruption.

Meanwhile, according to Insight News, Dean Zimmermannn is joining the lecture circuit:


Zimmerman on speaker's circuit

Former Minneapolis Sixth Ward City Council Member Dean Zimmermann has announced that he is available to talk to school groups about petroleum-free transportation systems and the history of civil rights.

Zimmermann will include personal reminiscences of working on voter registration in Mississippi during the 1960s.


The "petroleum-free transportation systems" are no doubt Personal Rapid Transit... or as one Republican up at the convention in Blaine called it "Chairlifts for the Masses".

Zimmermannn spent a lot of time in office promoting Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). Sometimes he would join up with Mark Olson (16b) at City Hall or the Capitol for a weird and wacky PRT dog & pony show.

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Zimmermann'court case can't be welcome news for another prominent Republican PRT promoter, Senator Michele Bachmann.

From April 23, 2004, Minnesota Public Radio:


Supporters range from Minneapolis City Council member Dean Zimmerman, a Green Party member, to Republican Sen. Michelle Bachmann of Stillwater. Bachmann says personal rapid transit, like many political issues, creates strange bedfellows.

"People on the right, people on the left, we have the common goal of moving people with transit, but doing it in the most cost-effective manner, in fact, in a manner that may end up costing no government subsidy, it may end up paying for itself," she says.


Too bad Bachmann's opponent, Phil Krinkie supports PRT. Maybe Knoblach or Esmay will make something of Michele Bachmann's support of Zimmermann's PRT boondoggle.

Learn more about the PRT scam at the PRT is a Joke web site.