Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Sheck and Catherine Richert had an extended piece on the MPR website today about some of the characters who had a hand in Tony Sutton's cookie jar. If you were one of Tony's vassals, life could indeed be very good.
One of Boss Tony's machine members was Dave Thompson, now a state senator from Lakeville, elected in 2010. Apparently Dave was having trouble making ends meet in the run up to the election, because Boss Tony hired Dave to the tune of $70,000 to, according to MPR:
Thompson said his work included training candidates to deal with the media and writing opinion pieces. After his original contract ended, the party renewed it.
Among the promising candidates who Thompson was hired to help (the only one identified, by the way) was Lee Byberg, now a member of Congress representing the 7th District.
[hysterical laughter] Sorry.
There is pissing into the wind, boys and girls, and then there is putting money into a Byberg candidacy.
According to the biographical information on Thompson's state senate webpage, he's an attorney and "consultant." In this case, "consultant" means one of Tony's pals.
Clearly, putting Dave on retainer was just a stipend to help keep Dave in the game. And it worked, although Lee went down in flames. Can't have everything, I guess.
For his part, Thompson has absolutely no problem with the arrangement:
"I guess I never saw that as being any kind of conflict, and still don't to this day," Thompson said. "The one thing I would say is that my initial contract ended, and they asked that I stay on and continue to do work for them."
Perhaps, Dave, that's because you're a moral cretin. Tony didn't have a problem with it; that should have told you something right there, Dave.
In the upcoming session, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, and those of you Minnesota citizens who don't fit into one of the aforesaid categories, when Dave solemnly swears that we need voter ID -- or whatever -- I suggest you take it with a big grain of salt.