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Senator Newman: Politics at its worst

by HalKimball on January 25, 2011 · 3 comments

Yesterday Sally Jo Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie broke a story about Senator Scott Newman and his refusal to meet with organizations and people that endorsed my candidacy for the State Senate.

When I first heard about Senator Newman’s refusal to meet with “any organizations that donated to/supported his opponent Hal Kimball.”

   —–Original Message—–

   From: Kim Kelley [email address redacted by Bluestem]

   Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 2:00 PM

   To: Eileen Gavin

   Subject: [Eileen Gavin] Meeting

    Kim Kelley sent a message using the contact form at [redacted]

   Hi Eileen-

   Unfortunately, Senator Newman will not see any organizations that donated to/supported his opponent Hal Kimball. After some careful checking, I discovered that the MNA had donated to Kimball’s campaign. Your association will be unable to schedule an appointment with Senator Newman.

   Kim Kelley

   Legislative Assistant

My first reaction was surprise.  Really?  Senator Newman won’t meet with local Vietnam Veterans, college students, local farmers, school teachers, Racino supporters, local laborers, local nurses, etc?

Absurd!

My initial shock wore off quickly.  
During my time with the Minnesota State University Student Association, I worked with higher education groups across the state.  We worked to set up meetings with legislators in a strong effort to “Freeze Tuition”.  We met with virtually every State Representative and Senator, except then Representative Newman.  I literally chased him from the House chambers to his office in the State Office Building trying to talk to him about higher education issues.  It didn’t matter…Representative Newman didn’t want to talk to us.

Now, he wants to know who you voted for and who you gave money to before he talks to you.  Per an email to the Minnesota Nurses Association, Senator Newman refuses to meet with them because they endorsed my candidacy for the State Senate.  They incorrectly assert that the MNA provided my campaign with much needed funding.  Per our campaign finance board reports, they did not, despite what Senator Newman’s Legislative Assistant Kim Kelley thinks she found.

The Senator Newman excuse generator will talk about how negative the campaigns got as the election neared.  Truth be told, Candidate Newman worked to manipulate local debates and forums.  Besides, anything we brought to the voters was something Candidate Newman said.  Was he upset that we were calling him out on it or upset that he actually said some of the things he said?

On second glance it sure looks like a reverse “pay to play scheme”.  Simply put, this is politics at its worst.  It’s why people have a complete distrust in government.

What will happen to towns like Annandale, Litchfield, Grove City, Watkins and Eden Valley, towns that didn’t strongly support Senator Newman?  Will they receive bigger LGA cuts?

What about mayors, council members, county commissioners, etc that supported our campaign?

Four years ago I lost a race to Senator Steve Dille.  Within weeks of the session opening I met with the Senator to discuss some higher education and Veterans issues.  Senator Dille provided a personal tour of the State Capitol and Senate chambers and we kept in close contact talking about these very important issues.  He had an open door for everyone.

Senator Newman…his door has a toll, if you gave to our campaign in 2010, you better give to him in 2012 or else.  Politics at its worst, right before our eyes.

I hope an ethics investigation ensues…

ericf January 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Wow, let’s see your donations before the senator meets with you. Even if people have accepted that big donors get more access, this won’t play well.

Hal, you should add a link to the Bluestem Prairie post.

ericf January 25, 2011 at 9:41 pm

http://www.bluestemprairie.com

That links to an earlier post, which mentions that seat 18A had no DFL candidate. What Newman is doing has got to play so badly, it shows the value of making a try in each district, just in case.

taxpayingliberal January 26, 2011 at 12:58 am

1 This is what Newman campaigned on. He said that compromise was a bad thing. He also thinks that all HHS services are welfare and should be cut. Same with farm supports.

2 It’s doubtful he will have much of a challenge in 2 years so he can do pretty much anything he wants.  Let’s face it, as long as districts like this are on their own we will have the Newman’s,  Emmer’s,  Hackbarth’s, Kiffmeier’s  and all the other crazies doing stuff like this and there ain’t a damn thing that we can do about it.

3 It’s interesting to note that the MNA, Ed mn and many other groups endorsed Newman’s predecessor Republican Steve Dille but not Newman. So these groups have a history of working with Republicans but Newman and a great many others are drawing the line. Newman’s mistake was putting it in writing while others don’t.

4 Newman’s on the Senate HHS committee and won’t meet with nurses, He was put there by his leadership (Amy)who campaigned for him and door knocked and hosted fundraisers in his district. This should tell you something about where the biggest cuts will come from.  

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