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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Paul Ostrow's Campaign Workers

Today I stopped by Paul Ostrow's campaign office and talked with some of his young idealistic staff. I got the cards for Tara Trepanier, the Assistant Campaign Manager and Adam Faitek, who was field staff. There were 4 or 5 other people there - all staff I believe. These staffers were very dedicated to Paul Ostrow, and didn't believe that he would have known about Jason Amundsen's emails. These were the people Jason Amundsen let down. A number of them said that if they thought Ostrow was involved, they would not continue working for him. I hope their trust in Ostrow is proved correct.

This case is quite similar to the Chris Gunhus case with Rod Grams. I do think there needs to be more investigation. Chris Gunhus pleaded no contest to criminal charges.

I do have the question of what did Paul Ostrow know and when did he know it? He held press conferences benefiting from Amundsen's "british fly on the wall" leaked opposition research. Strib excerpted in Democracies Online Newswire.

Officials tracking anti-Ciresi e-mail

Dane Smith and Greg Gordon

An e-mail account that was used to send anonymous and allegedly illegal attacks on DFL U.S. Senate candidate Mike Ciresi has been linked to a telephone number and an Internet account of Christine Gunhus, a top campaign aide of U.S. Sen. Rod Grams, according to a search warrant affidavit released Thursday by the Anoka County attorney's office. The e-mails under investigation were sent from a Kinko's store, apparently one in Coon Rapids, according to the affidavit. But the account that was used also was accessed four times through a phone number traced to Gunhus' home in Ham Lake, the affidavit said. The affidavit was attached to a search warrant used in the seizure of computer equipment from Gunhus' home last week. Assistant County Attorney Bryan Lindberg said Thursday that the connection between "the e-mail account and the [Gunhus] telephone number" was "the key link in establishing probable cause to search the residence." Both Grams and Gunhus, the political director of his campaign and a longtime aide and adviser, refused to comment about the latest development in the case. Gunhus' attorney, Doug Kelley, said he hadn't "had the opportunity to carefully study what's in the warrant, and I will make no comment about the facts. But it does not change my thoughts about this case: When the dust settles, my client will be found not to have violated any laws." Grams, a Republican, has previously maintained that his campaign was not responsible for the e-mails and was not guilty of any wrongdoing in the case. The affidavit doesn't constitute a charge, but rather reflects what investigators have learned and why they believed they had probable cause to seize computers and equipment from Gunhus' home. Under a 1988 Minnesota law designed to prevent anonymous political attacks, it is a misdemeanor for a campaign to distribute literature without including the name and address of the candidate or the candidate's campaign committee. Those who act individually and spend less than $300 are exempted. The affidavit doesn't link the e-mails directly to Gunhus. But a top campaign aide for Ciresi said Thursday that the evidence is mounting against Gunhus and Grams. "This brings these e-mails into Chris Gunhus' home," said Bob Decheine, Ciresi's campaign manager. "Maybe Senator Grams has been telling the truth that it was not done out of his campaign office, but it appears it was done out of Chris Gunhus' house." Decheine added that "if additional evidence is generated now [that] they have the computers, we would expect that criminal charges would be forthcoming."

Developing. . .