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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lloydletta's Nooz Exclusive: Interview with Mark Olson Supporter, Chris Kumpula

Chris Kumpula graciously agreed to talk to me about the race in SD 16. Chris sees this as a larger pattern within the Republican Party between the grassroots districts, and the state party. He cited a state party effort to remove a party officer in Northern Minnesota because the officer was publicly critical of John McCain.

Chris has written at length that he believes the claim that Mark Olson is a wife beater is false, and that Olson was treated badly by the judicial system. He says that the media have been unfair in their coverage of Olson. I asked Chris about Olson's history - including the story that Olson had once thrown a typewriter at a staffer. Chris said the typewriter in question was not thrown at a staffer, but rather was banged on a table. Chris felt the successful charge in Olson's conviction (causing fear of harm) was a threat to freedom of speech.

Chris noted that Senator Norm Coleman had met with Senate District 16 leadership, and was considering backing down on his position, after hearing the full story. Chris said that Coleman told Senate District 16 Leadership that he was unaware of the full story about Mark Olson when he took the public position he did.

I have contacted the Coleman for Senate campaign for comment.