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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mayor Coleman, Gaertner, Reinhardt, Thune fined by Minnesota campaign finance board; 4 cite confusing rules, inadvertent mistakes

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.


Blogger Bob said...

Confusing rule, inadvertent error cited
By Jason Hoppin
Article Last Updated: 05/21/2008 12:00:06 AM CDT

It's an annual dinner to honor former U.S. Rep. Bruce Vento and help raise cash for DFLers in the 4th Congressional District, the seat held by Betty McCollum that covers much of Ramsey County.

Now it's also the source of some heartburn for a handful of high-ranking Ramsey County officials who were hit with campaign violations by the state Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board last week.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt and St. Paul City Council Member Dave Thune received $100 fines for their participation in the 2007 dinner, which appears to be the result of confusion over a web of campaign-finance rules.

"It was an inadvertent error," said Kris Fredson, Coleman's deputy chief of staff, who also serves as a campaign staffer.

"As this shook out, I think there was a lot of confusion on all sides," said Gaertner, who has announced she's running for governor in 2010. "This is very traditional for the 4th District campaigns, to buy a dinner at our signature event each year. And I don't think any of the campaigns viewed this as problematic."

As city or county officials who don't hold statewide office, the four aren't required to register with the state campaign board. But if their campaigns donate to a statewide organization such as the 4th District DFL Caucus, it triggers special reporting requirements that weren't followed.

It appears all would have been fine if the $300 each paid for the dinner was seen as advertising, since each became a sponsor of the annual Bruce Vento Dinner. But the state ruled that $200 went toward dinner tickets, triggering the reporting requirements.

Fourth District DFL Chair J.P. Barone said the $300 was returned to each candidate. The campaign board fined his group $400.

Federal campaign committees for Mike Ciresi, Jim Cohen and Elwyn Tinklenberg — who were seeking congressional office — also were fined last week for similar violations related to the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Fundraising Dinner held by the 15th Senate District DFL.

Barone said the 4th District Congressional DFL sought verbal advice to avoid precisely this situation.

"That was our first mistake, was trying to clarify so there wasn't a mistake," he said.

The fines are small for the campaigns. Barone said his group raises about $10,000 annually, and Coleman's fundraising vastly outstrips that amount.

Barone was asked whether he was feeling heat for inadvertently leading his wife — Reinhardt — into a campaign violation.

"Considering the detailed person that she is about everything, being meticulously organized, yes," Barone said.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just more favored treatment for the elite. A parking ticket cost almost $100.00 and these guys just flaunt the law and get caught and just get what's basically a slap on the wrist.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

J.P.Barone DFL 4th Dist. Chair is a State Assistant Attorney General, further conflict he is marrid to Victoria Reinhardt. Ramsey County Commissioner
At lest the paper is pointing out some irregularitys/Conflicts

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Search >> J.P.+Barone+mn

It look like Ramsey Co. Attorney Susan Gaertner still don't know the law.
Law is only for fools that think all people obey the laws,
"Not" even Chris Coleman witch is a lawyer.
These people that went to a good law college where they learned to lie and cheat better then us.
Geartner for Minnesota Governor is a big joke.
By her running for governor, that will give all others a chance to do some very needed mud slinging. .

Did she also help cover up for Aaron Foster, in the Barbara Winn murder case.

We will see.


11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe this was overlooked.
"...which appears to be the result of confusion over a web of campaign-finance rules."

or this
"As city or county officials who don't hold statewide office, the four aren't required to register with the state campaign board. But if their campaigns donate to a statewide organization such as the 4th District DFL Caucus, it triggers special reporting requirements that weren't followed."

or this:
"Barone said the 4th District Congressional DFL sought verbal advice to avoid precisely this situation."

Now, that seems to leave some reasonableness that Pawlenty's appointed finance staff didn't care about.

You say the fine was small but it was equal to the violation for the electeds and the CD paid equal to all of the fines on each campaign.

What conflict does JP have? He's been at the AG's office since the 70's. He's not an elected or have oversight over local electeds or campaigns. Married Victoria later. And even later than that she ran for Commissioner.

You dummies throw 'conflict' around as much as 'RICO'


3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the deal. All of these campaigns file with the City/Ramsey county when they run, so they are not required to file with the state.

So all of them filed campaign reports listing this expenditure to the 4th District DFL. The 4th District DFL listed all of them as contributing on their report.

The problem is that the state doesn't treat the Ramsey County reports like one of their own (they make an exception for Hennipen County). So, if Coleman or Gaertner or Reinhardt or Thune want to "donate" money to the 4th District they will have to file as a seperate political action committee with the state.

It sounds like the 4th District had checked with someone who thought that since council people and commissioners from Minneapolis can do it that Saint Paul could, but the law allowed Hennipen county's reports to be accepted by the state and not Ramsey. Any state senator or state rep that came was fine because their reports are filed with the state, not the county.

So, the ruling was that the 4th District had to give the money back to the campaigns and both the 4th District and the campaigns were fined.

Next time they will all just buy their own dinner instead of paying for a table with campaign monies.


Chuck Repke

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The DFL is completely aware that this kind of thing is not legal, they just don't give a shit.

BTW Chucky, rumor has it that my favorite menu item, the "Thune", is making a comeback at the Eagle Street Grill.

But please inform Bucky that the female bartender he harassed has my number on speed dial.

Nothing gets me going faster than a greasy, fat, buck-toothed, socialist hassling a women half his size, so a repeat performance would be a very, very bad idea.

He really doesn't need the kind of publicity that gets his greasy, hairy, patchuli reeking, feminist constituents all foamy.


5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck you can now remove your Dink from Thunes poop shoot!And ah Eric I know you from governors-Don't you have some white women to chase?

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swiftee - if someone wanted to break a rule they wouldn't have all reported it. What clearly happened was that they all thought it was legal or they wouldn't have writen in their reports.

Don't get me started on the Eagle Street Grill. That little piece of shit is lucky that its Thune that is the council member not me. Because despite all of the shit that guy gives him Thune still helps him out.

Ask the little bitch some time what Thune did for him. The kid has no honor and no self respect.

I sure as hell wouldn't eat the food in that place.


Chuck Repke

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Anyone go to the RUSH concert ?

It was great.

Jeff Matiatos

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think your remark to Chuck is ridiculous and very childish. I do not know Chuck so I neither like nor dislike him. But I dislike your comment and if you ever want someone to listen to your side of a debate you need to grow up.

Until you do why don't you just stay out of grown folks' conversations.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I meant to include what you said to Eric in my rant to you. I do not know Eric either so I neither like nor dislike him.

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't know me from Governors. That would be impossible as I can't remember the last time I was there.

I'm married and do not 'chase' women. Even if I did, you'd find me at Axel's Bonfire Grill or Billy's on Grand or one of a dozen places in Minneapolis, where the clientèle would be more of my type than Governors'. You are free to all of the Governor's women you want.

Why is that you people who don't like me, always find a way to express your racism? You really felt the need to put 'white' in there? Loser.


7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck you Chuck. No really, fuck you.

What you call Bucky "helping him out" is in reality nothing more than doing the job he was elected to do.

It's perhaps the only evidence I've ever seen that Bucky is capable of actually doing anything that required him to get off his fat ass that didn't result in a net loss for the city.

It's best that you (and Thune) never tried to have dinner in there, asshole.

The staff would have identified you as a another Dorothy Day derelect stopping by to see if there was anything he could get for a buck...and then thrown you out before you started hitting every one up for that buck.

You two wastes of flesh just stick to whatever dive it is that will still serve you.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Swiftee call it what you will but this "child," to use someone else's comment, puts on his menu in a "Thune" which I forget the exact description but is was something like ....the sweeping from off of the floor... (close enough right Swiftee, I am not making this up). He does this because he is ticked about the smoking ban (remember this is a guy whose mommy and daddy bought him a business so he could have somewhere to play) and real big shot.

So anyway, who should end up in Dave Thune's office asking for a favor? Our little child star the owner of the Eagle Street Grill. The tough guy who puts those little juvenile comments on his menu.

You are correct Dave Thune just did his job and helped the guy out.

Once again he proved my point when we first talked about which one of us should run back in 1989. I said then he should run and I'd be his campaign manager, because he likes people a hole lot more than I do.


Chuck Repke

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"DFL is completely aware"

Thanks for the link Swiftee.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"DFL is completely aware"

Still waiting for proof of this. You provide a link for Progressive Minnesota's issue. PM is not the DFL.

They have run campaigns here in Saint Paul against other Democrats if the Democrat does not support progressive ideals. They don't control the DFL endorsement as three of their council endorsed candidates did not get the DFL endorsement just last year.

PM, now Take Action is a non-profit (funded by dues and donations) progressive activist group, they are not a political party.

Like Chuck said, if they were trying to 'not' pay, they would have left this event off of their reporting mechanism.

What I find funny is that the same people who think the DFL gets away with everything and the county can do nothing right have proof right here in their face they are wrong.


12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bucky is personna non gratia in just about every bar and resturaunt in the city of St. Paul.

Hell, Costello's had a "No Thune" sticker on the may still be there.

Pat Mancini told me personally that he didn't want Thune in his resturaunt ever again.

He ain't sliding his stinking carcass into Fabulous Ferns any time soon either.

I think the only place you and your butt buddy Bucky can find a seat is in his own publicly subsidized coffee shop...there's always plenty of empty seats in that rat hole.

I guess to a worthless piece of shit like Bucky, getting a permit for a constituent is a big fucking's a "favor".

Let us not forget, however that if Bucky hadn't stuck his dick into every bar owner in the city, they wouldn't need to be building patios in the first fucking place.

Bucky can't afford to have any more businesses fold in his district or he'd be run out on a rail. His "favor" was as much an act of self preservation as anything.

God, I loath the two of you. You exemplify everything that makes the left a bag of assholes with all the good ones picked out.


Eric, PM took money from the Democrat delegation of the SPPS.

They knew it was illegal because I told them it was, but they didn't give a shit until I turned their asses in.

Dan McGuire who was the top rat at PM at the time told me he wasn't worried about it because "we're very good at what we do. Our people make the rules".

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Oh I know Swiftee and they all spent a bunch of money to keep him out of office.

Democracy is such a bitch ain't it?

You have to actually live in the town to be able to vote. What a crime!

You ought to be able to just buy politicians of with a few bucks... it just don't work that way.. to bad Swiftee.


Chuck Repke

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Democracy is such a bitch ain't it?"

I'd love to have that tattooed on the forehead of every barking moonbat that elected the present city council and mayor, and are now snivelling like a bunch of spoiled bitches because their taxes are going through the roof.

Just what did you blithering idiots *think* was going to happen?

The next time you get a letter from the city of St. Paul, advising you of another double digit tax increase, just tell yourselves that its "Democracy in action".

The same goes for when residents are sifting through the rubble that the mob Bucky has rolled out the red carpet for make of the Downtown-W7th area.

You asked for a leftist government, baby; you got it.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan is still the Exec Director over there and they are very good at what they do (what they don't do, is practice law). He gets a point for that but, he gets a negative for the 'our people makes the rules' comment as if they did- we wouldn't have a link to go and see their violation- would we?

If you are making this as 'our people' being the DFL, I think you yourself proved that they were not.

I'm not seeing the connection to the DFL electeds who were all under the county reporting structure.

You talk about Thune pretty bad on here (and elsewhere). I like the guy. He is not pretentious, forked at the tongue, or a hateful person. You have torn after him like he stole your new bride and shot your dog. I don't even know if you're a smoker or not but, a certain bar owner on Selby and another on Grand with whom I spoken with frequently don't have good things to say about Thune either but, its not even close to the distaste you display toward him. Its very Hatfield-McCoy like.


3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A true leftist government would have its own police force above the public police department. That way, dissenters can be kidnapped in the night from across the borders and brought back into St Paul and arrested for anything. They'd be sentenced in a leftist court and then forced to be jailed for the duration of the government.

What we have here is just a little democracy that has floated out of the Right's control.


3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I say "DFL", I mean members of the DFL that are in public office.

The judgement isn't very clear, but what it says is that the Saint Paul Public school district paid for tickets to a fundraiser dinner for the PM PAC on behalf of every stinking Democrat on the BoE at the time (everyone but Tom Conlon).

They also paid PM $3k to conduct classes on political organizing and for the use of the PM moonbat database during one of the now bi-annual excess levy rapings.

All of this was illegal.

As a sidenote, the best part of that case was Ann Carrol's public de-pantsing. Ann went on SPIF and claimed that the $3k was for "Latino outreach"...a blatent and embaressing lie which I thoroughly enjoyed rubbing her nose into repetedly.

As to your relationship with Bucky Thune, well it don't say much for your judgement of character.

I think he's a stinking piece of shit. But you're free to associate with whom ever you choose.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What we have here is just a little democracy that has floated out of the Right's control."

Right. And you are good with that.

So I wish you joy of your yearly double digit tax increases, the pothole riddled streets, the decline of the available entertainment, the tumbleweeds gathering on the borders and the loss of your private property rights and personal freedom.

I'm happy to watch from across the city line. I'd say that I laugh, but that would be a's a crying shame.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

werymEric 7:53 AM

People think all Native American aka Indians get casino money.
You always stand up for the DFL,
I seem to trust the Republicans now days.
The people we looked up to on the DFL, they are all dead.
Now the party looks like it is empty of leadership.
Eric - you seem fare on issues, where chuck helps cover the truth in a issue.
What do you think about Aaron Foster and the Barbara Winn murder case?
"my house"

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As most of you know, I ran for public office. I tell you.... The campaign finance rules are very complicated.

Add to it that campaigns have no money, you rely on a volunteer to keep your books. My treasurer took classes and still pulled her hair out over small spending items.

It seems to me these officials tried to do the right thing. I don't understand the big deal.

Bill Cullen.

6:45 PM  

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