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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Unpleasantness in the 5th District DFL Campaign

It must be getting close to the 5th District Nominating convention. Shawn Towle has a story about the intra-party bickering among the campaigns (registration required). Now Towle called Michael Brodkorb with this:

Kathleen Murphy is publically listed as a co-chair for Keith Ellison's congressional campaign and according to Shawn Towle, she is also designing literature for Ellison's campaign.

Previously, Murphy edited Checks and Balances for Shawn Towle and she was given adminstrative access to the website.

Towle informed that in the last few hours, someone using a password given to Murphy logged in to Checks and Balances and edited WITHOUT PERMISSION the Ellison article entitled "Increased Attention in the 5th Congressional District."

The article was sanitized by the removal of this paragraph:

"One thing is clear if these allegations ring true then Schiff has decided to ignore it for now and thereby not alienate members of the black community prior to his bid for Minneapolis Mayor in 2009. The criticisms about Ellison remain as an undercurrent, because no one wants to be in a position of being perceived as racist or piling on the black man. If race becomes the central issue then Ellison can cry foul and generate additional support from white, liberal guilt."

When I looked at the Checks and Balances site, the paragraph is present in the article. I called Michael Guest, Ellison's campaign manager for comment. He told me that Kathleen Murphy use to go out with Shawn Towle and she use to edit the Checks and Balances website. Guest said that Kathleen is an excellent volunteer for Keith Ellison and that she designed his first lit piece, but not lit pieces since then. Guest will call Murphy and get back to me. Guest also said that "no one pays any attention to Towle's stuff" and that "Towle always gets it wrong."

Towle also mentions an attack sent about Mike Erlandson sent to the capitol press corps:

This is not the first time in this campaign that unsubstantiated allegations have surfaced. Shortly after Congressman Martin Sabo (D-MN5) announced his retirement an anonymous fax was sent from a Richfield Kinko's to members of the state Capitol press corps listing off a host of claims against former DFL party chair Mike Erlandson (D). These were the same character attacks levied against him when he originally sought the DFL Chair. The recycled Erlandson attack questioned the sanctity of his marriage and his extracurricular activities.

Martin Sabo has endorsed Erlandson. A commenter on Michael Brodkorb wasn't happy with this:


Keith Ellison has this endorsement locked. Erlandson is trying to go for no endorsement so he can spend millions of dollars attacking other dflers. Mike Erlandsons brand of “fuck you” politics might work in Washington, or from the DFL headquarters, but we shouldnt stand for it in OUR congressional district. We need unity. Mike Erlandson’s initials are ME, because that is the one person he cares about, himself. I bet if Erlandson doesn’t go to congress, he would do a Betty Folliard and move somewhere else.

Comment by Jake Calhoun — May 4, 2006 @ 9:56 am

Yup, things are getting pretty nasty over there.

Update: Commenter DJZ responds on Brodkorb's blog:


So, I find out that Shawn Towle is laying the lead pipe to Ellison because that campaign refused to buy an ad on his page.

He is known as a pay to play kind of guy. What would be great is if you could contact the DFL campaigns over the last five years and talk with them.

Unethical and a joke among anyone that writes for a living - or for fun. He’s joke among the political environment, with people leaking him information in the dark so that no one’s accused of being friends with the loser.

I can’t stand 90% of what you post here on MDE but, I know what drives it. Partisanship, not dollars. Towle is partisan to whomever is lining his pockets and maybe Democrats will see this now and let him whither on his pathetic vine.

Comment by DJZ

Most DFLers I know who have worked on campaigns have low respect for Shawn Towle. At the same time, it's attacking Towle rather than disputing the problem. If this is true, Towle should press charges against Murphy.


DBR said...

Wow, this if this isn't dirty politics, I don't know what is.

I never thought much of Checks & Balances, but would occasionally check it out. I think this will be the last time I visit that site. What a slimeball.