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Saturday, August 05, 2006

DB's "Michele Bachmann Goes Fission" in WCCO Top 4 Political Videos

You can watch Pat Kelssler's report HERE (upper right corner).

(WCCO) It's become the guerilla campaign of the 2006 election: Internet video parodies of the candidates.

Pat Kessler's Top 4 takes a cockeyed look at Minnesota political videos on the Web that make us laugh.

... and number three on Pat Kessler's list is....

"Gone Fission"

Republican Congressional candidate Michele Bachmann says she won't rule out the use of nuclear weapons in Iran.

Watch the entire video HERE.

Watch all the videos at the Michele Bachmann Video Blog.

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(Also posted at the Dump Michele Bachmann Blog)

Zimmermann Above the Fold

The Star Tribune:

In a taped FBI interview played in federal court in Minneapolis on Friday, Dean Zimmermann at first refused to acknowledge he took the money from developer Gary A. Carlson, then said the cash was in an envelope at his home.

Finally, he conceded he'd spent it because he was "shuffling money all the time." He denied he received a bribe.

"Developers are people who have money," Zimmermann told the agents. "You expect people who have money to make contributions."

The trial continues next week.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Republicans Shower Greens With Gold

TPM Muckraker has the story about a Green Party Candidate taking donations from Republican supporters of Rick Santorum:

Halliburton lobbyist giving money to the Green Party?

That's right, folks, you have now officially heard everything: A $1,000 donation to a local Pennsyslvania Green Party chapter came from Bill Wichterman, a senior lobbyist at Washington, D.C.'s Covington & Burling. Wichterman, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), now lobbies for such corporate behemoths as Halliburton, Chevron and Unisys.

A Green Party candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race can't win -- even if he's well-funded. In fact, it might even throw the race to the Republican incumbent, Sen. Rick Santorum. But that hasn't deterred Wichterman and other GOP power players from quietly supporting their secret dream: to see a Green Party senator emerge from the Pennyslvania hills.

The Zimmerman trial also illustrates how eager some Green Party candidates are for Republican cash. On one tape, Zimmermann tells Gary Carlson, a developer and FBI informant that he's disapointed that Carlson didn't invite Zimmermann to a fundraiser for Norm Coleman:

Carlson replied by saying he didn’t think Zimmermann [as a Green] would want to attend a Republican fundraiser. Zimmermann responded by saying, “Liberals, Greens, Democrats, Republicans…it’s all money.” (Minneapolis Confidential)

In Greek mythology, Zeus impregnated Danae, the daughter of the King of Argos by transforming himself into a shower of gold.

The name of Republican Gary Carlson's development company is Danna Inc.

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Above: Danäe and the Shower of Gold by Leon-Francois Comerre (Litmuse)

Day 3 of Zimmermann Trial: Dean Z Forced Primary With "Straw Man"

From Randy Furst's article in the Strib:

A U.S. prosecutor played more secretly recorded audio and video on Wednesday, showing former Minneapolis Council Member Dean Zimmermann accepting $1,200 in cash in four envelopes from a condominium developer while standing on a light-rail platform and another $1,000 in cash at his home.

In addition to the exchange of cash between Carlson and Zimmermann, there was this shocker:

Carlson told Zimmermann, "We'll have to get you support for the primary." Zimmermann responded that there was only a primary because of an unknown "straw man ... we put up," creating a primary election.

Although many observers suspcted that the Zimmermann campaign put James Neil Gorham on the ballot to trigger a primary, it was a shock to see Zimmermann boasting about the dirty deed. In the same videotaped conversation, Zimmermann tries to get some money out of Carlson for Dave Bicking:

Zimmermann, a Green Party member who lost a reelection bid last fall, also is seen showing a sample ballot to the developer, Gary A. Carlson, and asking him to make a $600 contribution in cash or check on behalf of Carlson and Carlson's wife to another Green candidate, Dave Bicking, a Ninth Ward City Council candidate.

Tapes and transcripts won't be released until after the trial.

For detailed notes from the trial, courtroom sketches go to MINNEAPOLIS CONFIDENTIAL

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Day Three at the Dean Zimmermann Trial

Another bizarre day at the Federal Courthouse.

Two bombshells in the trial today; Zimmermann admits he and his campaign conspired to place a "straw man" on the ballot to force a primary. Zimmerman also asks Carlson to donate cash and checks to his pal and Green Party candidate for the 9th Ward Dave Bicking.

Also a tie-cam tour of Dean & Jenny's nice house (cash and laundry on the line).

Read about it at Minneapolis Confidential.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Day One at the Dean Zimmermann Trial

Read about it at Minneapolis Confidential.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Star Tribune Article About Zimmermann Trial

The Star Tribune opens the media coverage of Zimmermann's trial with an article by Randy Furst.

Zimmermann, a Green Party member, could face about five years in prison if convicted, said his attorney, Dan Scott. Zimmermann denies wrongdoing, saying he was raising money for a lawsuit to overturn the redistricting of his ward.

The article doesn't mention this charge:
The grand jury also alleged that in October 2004, Zimmermann received an email from the management of the Powderhorn Residents Group requesting Zimmermann’s signature on certificates of completion and release of forfeiture for the newly constructed Franklin Station Townhomes.   Zimmermann allegedly responded by agreeing to do so but then asking the Residents Group to construct, at no charge, a retaining wall on the property of his former partner.  When the Residents Group declined, Zimmermann then asked that the materials for the wall be given to him free of charge.

The article gives a preview of Zimmermann's defence:

"I was raising money for the redistricting lawsuit," Zimmermann said in an interview Thursday, explaining the cash he got from Carlson. "I was raising money for different groups. This was just one more. Not like it was a secret. I had the money. People knew it. [Carlson] came forward and said he wanted to help. He said he had maxed out on campaign contributions, so I said, 'Why don't you give to the redistricting lawsuit fund?' "

Was it in exchange for favors? "It's absurd," he said. "What did I do for him that I didn't do for dozens of others?"
The defense is expected to call witnesses who will make that point. Scott said evidence will show Zimmermann agreed to help Carlson before any discussion of money occurred.

Will it work?

"I feel confident, but with a jury, you never know," said Zimmermann, a self-employed handyman, who was doing repairs Thursday in the basement of a St. Paul house. "The FBI guys think it's a big status thing. They go out there to nab a politician."

The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment.

I will be blogging about the trial here and at Minneapolis Confidential .

Local Pastor Defies the Theocrats -

and gets a story in the New York Times

Here is my favorite quote:

“When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses,” Mr. Boyd preached. “When it conquers the world, it becomes the world. When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross.”