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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sen. David Senjem Disputes Kumpula's Account

I forwarded a copy of Chris Kumpula's post to Sen David Senjem and asked whether it was true. Here was his response:

Eva....obviously no. It would be totally inappropriate for a leader to stand up in front of this converntion or any other convention and take sides pror to a vote. I remember thanking delegates for coming out. I emphasized how important this seat was. I noted my great affection for Sen. Betsy Wergin and conveyed my appreciation for her as Assistant Minority Leader as well as her service as an outstanding Senator. I remember shaking hands with Mark on entering the convention area and have not recollection of saying anything except a simple greeting. I clearly would not have offered any comments on the Olson verses Krueger contest that the delegates were there to vote on that evening. I came to observe and not to promote any candidacy.

This is what he was responding to:

David Senjem, after speaking at the SD16 Endorsing Convention complementing Olson’s hard work and excellent track record in the Minnesota House of Representatives, has made a complete about face. He has gone from saying that he and the Senate Caucus will support Mark Olson if he wins the endorsement to saying that both he and the Senate Caucus will not support Mark Olson even though he has won the endorsement. We see this here in Tom Scheck’s blog, but we know it was also articulated to Olson in a telephone conversation. Senjem encouraged Olson to run for the SD16 seat prior to the convention, adding that the Senate Republican Caucus would support him.

Why the sudden change? Why did Senator Senjem seem warm and welcoming to Mark Olson at the SD16 convention only to turn and abandon him? I do not buy that he changed his mind after “looking back at the court records and thinking through the implications.” He discussed all aspects of Olson’s case and any political "implications" at length. Besides, Mark Olson’s case has been in the news for a year now, and Senator Senjem certainly had all the facts about what really happened to the bungled case. He has had plenty of time to think it through, especially this summer.

It's unclear what part of what's described here ocurred at the convention, and what part ocurred in a conversation between Representative Olson and Senator Sejem.


Avidor said...

Drew Emmer:

"It’s all on tape somewhere. There were 2-3 cameras rolling. "

Maybe those tapes could settle this dispute.

Olson's supporters could post them on You Tube.

Chris Kumpula said...

There was only 1 camera that I am aware of which was rolling at the convention. It may not have been running for Senjem's speech to the delegates. I am in the process of looking into any recordings of the convention and finding out what portions were actually recorded.

I also note that Senjem was very supportive of Mark Olson prior to the convention. He did change his mind.