Thursday, January 26, 2012

A cookie jar named "Tony"

Former MNGOP chair Tony Sutton, that is

Ken Avidor cartoon
It is becoming more evident with every passing day that the combination bingo parlor, gaming house, and massage salon run by Tony Sutton (and let's not forget Michael Brodkorb, too!) slipped from mere bumbling financial ineptitude into political favoritism and corruption long ago.

More evidence of that comes today in Two Putt Tommy's latest post in his Cooking The Books series. Tommy reports that at around the time he was arrested for DWI -- and had been canned by the Emmer campaign -- Mark Buesgens ("Biscuits" to his friends) received $11,200 from the MNGOP for "consulting." This was in 2010, when Biscuits was a sitting legislator, running for re-election himself.

Laying aside whether the MNGOP should have -- or legally could have -- hired Biscuits as a consultant, and as Tommy points out, think about the timing. If the payment was for work done while he was the campaign manager for Emmer, was it an in-kind contribution to the Emmer campaign? If it was after Biscuits left the Emmer campaign, what did he do that was so valuable to earn $11,200 in such a short time?

You will remember it was revealed by Minnesota Public Radio just last week that candidate for Minnesota senate Dave Thompson received $70,000 in "consulting" fees from Tony's cookie jar in 2010. One of the things mentioned by Pat "Twenty Points" Shortridge (the new MNGOP chair) in defense of that arrangement was, well, Thompson was only a candidate, not an office holder.

Pretty flimsy if you ask me, but even that doesn't fly when you are talking about Biscuits. Add in the fact that Biscuits really needed money at the time the payments were made; he admitted that when he took the job with Emmer; his house was in foreclosure, and he had just lost the Emmer gig. And, of course, he was wrapping up the financial consequences of his DWI.

What do you get? Transparent corruption.

Avidor's cartoon is a perfect metaphor for what was going on at the MNGOP. That would be bad enough, but remember that the cookies were owed to legitimate suppliers to the MNGOP, and as we know, many of them are presently holding the bag, a bag without the cookies.

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