After Rachel Stassen-Berger’s puff piece for the centrist Tom Horner yesterday, that Spot commented on here, Spot decided to do a little checking on Horner’s centrist credentials. Horner is touted as the great savior of the political middle by, among others, Dave Durenburger, and maybe, just maybe, Stassen-Berger herself. Well, maybe he is. But probably not.
More investigation is afoot, but consider: if you watch Almanac on Friday nights, you already know that Horner has often sat on the political couch as a spokesbeing for the Republicans. He’s a “principal” in the public relations firm of Himle Horner, an outfit that specializes in, inter alia, “crisis management.”
Crisis management is, of course, helping to gloss over really bad publicity resulting from a variety of malfeasance and allegations therof: toxic waste spills, corporate fines, action by regulators, criminal activity, and well, the list is almost endless: including the collapse of a major Interstate bridge.
So it is no wonder that Governor Gutshot’s administration turned to Himle Horner for help in, er, paving over the I35W bridge collapse. To the tune of $550,000. Over half a million bucks:
The state is paying $550,000 for a public relations firm to tell the story of the new Interstate 35W bridge -- and to help restore the image of the beleaguered Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The firm, Himle Horner Inc., has been leading a "proactive, on-the-ground" initiative since last fall that includes information kiosks, attempts to shape media coverage and weekly "sidewalk superintendent tours" of the construction work.
A PR plan also promised to use a webcam to beam a half-hour live educational show from the bridge site to all Minnesota school-age children whose classrooms have Web access.
[italics are Spot’s]
Webcams are vey expensive, you know.
If Horner thought that smoothing thing over when the bridge went down was a difficult assignment, just imagine the one that awaits him in trying to show that he is anything other than a suckling at the Republican teat.