Screen capture - from the campaign website of Wayne Buchholz. From his go-negative webpage mouthing the Zombi-PAC campaign misinformation Harold Hamilton has invented (curiously, while Hamilton has himself been Chairman of a long standing and aggressively lobbying PAC, the Taxpayer League).
It is true a corporation was formed to support nonpartisan local candidates for office, not as any statewide ongoing mega-PAC of the kind that justly can be criticized.
Meanwhile, the Taxpayer League is a true statewide ongoing and pervasive PAC that has Phil Krinkie as front man, Hamilton as chair. So, Hamilton the PAC-man, himself, invents a PAC bogey man image, and his "create a PAC bogey man for inattentive voters" approach now seems to have taken hold among an allied bunch of Ramsey incumbent candidates who are hiding from any probing discussions of Landform cost/benefit realities - even going so far as the mayor on his tout-site posting about "consultants" while somehow, some way, leaving Landform out of his cousultant equation since he favors self back-patting with Landform off his charts. Sure Bob, if you say so.
But - This is Buchholz time, the gentleman posting:
That fits 100% with Randy Backous' comment to the post directly below, a comment properly dismissive of the obviously scripted attack against Chris Riley, and the decision by Buchholz "to run against Jim Deal," instead of his actual opponent, Riley.
Deal is not entirely unlike Jeff Wise - each has his own business and property goals and Deal, like Wise, has not disguised that; but the analogy breaks with Jeff currently pushing to wrap up his concerns ASAP and per current council actions, not being inclined to wait until January - with the key difference being that Deal is not aiming his plans in a quick kill land-deal way nor sitting as a council member and cutting his land deals at the same time with the city.
Over time, there have been positive and not so positive things I have written about Jim Deal. I don't carry his flag. No way.
However, Deal is the opposite of this council incumbent majority's hell-bent intent to push on a rope for anything at Clown Center now, quality a backburnered concern if a concern at all. Deal seems a patient man who can plan beyond next month, or next year, or next Landform commission. Jim Deal's land plan has been buy and hold, causing incremental major improvements at Town Center one sensible step and one helpful project at a time.
Be aware, I have in other earlier posts not been easy on Jim Deal, criticizing the price paid him by the county for the morgue property as excessive; questioning his capitalizing on selling property on Highway 10 to the City during Tinklenberg consultancy times (again, NOT as one on council but as a private citizen negotiating); and criticizing Deal delaying Bank of Elk River plans for a Corborn's branch, (which when finally placed at Coborns failed because occupants of new housing from Nedegaard-Feges times had by then made other banking arrangements).
In short, I am not wearing blinders, and still stand by such criticism. I even think Deal's building across from city hall is as butt ugly as Flaherty's will be. And I have written that way previously.
Aesthetics aside, however, Deal has at least three characteristics which the council incumbents and Landform seem to lack, patience, good judgment, and a pattern of repeated Ramsey success. One press item from a few years ago quoted Deal as talking to the reporter of a Town Center build-out that reasonably could entail a twenty-year horizon, i.e., not envisioning any effort pushing myopically against a present down market - trending be damned. Landform and the council incumbents offer us Flaherty, an out-of-state speculator who comes to Ramsey with his hand out, and unwilling to invest much up front capital of his own. Compare Deal, who has money, and puts his own money behind his buildings and land marketing. In contrast to Deal, what's Flaherty playing out town folks to be? And after Flaherty, will the next out of town developer show up, hand extended in expectation, if we have Buchholz and the present council majority there to greet him?
NOW -- Here is the kicker on Wayne Buchholz. With his negative picture painting of Jim Deal as in that screen capture, Buchholz preceded it on his campaign homepage, with:
As a Veteran, I appreciate the new VA Clinic in Ramsey. The new rail station, new Allina clinic, and the new Residence project all reflect a tremendous turnaround in The COR.
ALL OF THAT WHICH HE EMBRACES, EXCEPT THE FLAHERTY FIASCO, was done by Jim Deal, on Jim Deal land, spending Jim Deal bucks while City bucks were unproductively going by the bushel full to Landform. Landform's only groundbreaking thing being: build a ramp for free parking for Flaherty, compromise his SAC and his WAC charges, and bankroll him for millions of city bond proceeds on a gamble. That, with Landform getting commission money up front making it fiscally attractive, to Landform.
Jim Deal - not Darren, and not Colin McGlone nor Bob Ramsey nor Matt Look - built the VA clinic building and still owns it and rents it long-term to the VA, so that the clinic is there for our esteemed Mr. Buchholz to appreciate. That is the truth, and there are no two ways about it. Darren and the council - they failed to offer the VA a proposal as attractive to the VA as Deal's. That is fact. Not spinmeistering from Landform. But pure truth. Allina is on land Deal sold, not Darren + council members, et al. The morgue from back when Gamec was mayor was arranged by Deal. And the rail stop, that was Governor Dayton's bonding bill proposal, and Jim Deal likely can call Dayton with Dayton picking up the phone saying, "Hello Jim, what can I help you with." Can Darren do that? Bob Ramsey? Colin McGlone? Matt Look? No way.
Deal is the one who was able to bring together the VA expectation of a rail stop, an actual rail stop, and a facility package the VA liked enough to say "Yes, our clinic, there."
Toward Deal and the VA and to Governor Dayton and no where else should Buchholz's gratitude, "as a veteran," be directed. To the VA for doing it, and to Jim Deal for making it work in opposition to a failed Landform-council competitive offer.
Either Buchholz has no command of true facts, or disdains respect for them, and hopes to spin voters into not having any real factual grounding either.
As the old adage fitting Buchholz goes, "You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts."
Go figure. All the stuff Buchholz touts was done by Jim Deal. Buchholz's cronies, the council incumbents, bid against Deal for a VA clinic on the speculative socialized city-owned distressed land, and lost because the VA found Deal's offer and thinking to be sounder. "Fiscal conservatives" working in competition with private sector offering and running second in a two-horse race.
|DARREN DOLLARS as of 25 July 2012, |
and the number is only growing from there
If you live in Ramsey's Ward 4, do you want somebody to be elected who is blatantly self-contradictory - with his "thoughts" not jibing with everyone's single true set of facts?
AND --- Do you want more Landform?
Do you think the dose of Landform so far has been good for you?
Moreover, do you buy into the propaganda that voting for Riley instead of Buchholz would be voting for some evil PAC and for evil Mr. Jim Deal?
Were I voting in Ward 4, I would either be voting for Riley or for Buchholz. Buchholz can propagandize and spin speculation all he wants but the truth by his own admission is he runs as an ally of present council incumbents - Landform spending and all.
Buchholz admits the Ward 4 choice is Riley or more of the same.
Not to say anyone is dragging a red herring across our path of truth and understanding, but apart from that possibility, consider these four images, each an Anoka County property tax record.
I present them because, as best as I can understand criticism of Jim Deal as seen in the eyes of Wayne Buchholz and allied conspiracy theorists; the criticism is that Jim Deal in four separate and independent private-sector land dealings, and by a rapaciousness and will to control things darkly in ways we should find suspect; has out of pocket built or sold land that doubled in taxable value after being built on (Allina, Deal owning/controlling the other three), all to the despicable tune of between $10 - 12 million dollars being added to Ramsey's tax base. That transgression surely is cause to embrace Buchholz and reject Deal.
And Deal nefariously arranged that even with a federal tenant in the VA building which if buying would have been outside of tax base, it would not be so. He manipulated things instead so that the VA rents the clinic building with it within and not excluded from local property tax base. How dare he do that.
Something like that. Demonize the man for building tax base [I do still say the one building is butt ugly, but I admit it's taxed, and Deal pays more than chump change each year, every year.]
And, he has done it all entirely private sector, for which fiscal conservatives should reject Deal and embrace Landform. Because - well, ...
I believe that captures the nub of the Buchholz argument.
Here, for those liking fact over allegation and aspersions, are the aforementioned nitty gritty images - click any thumbnail to enlarge and read:
What an indictment of Jim Deal. Go back to the Buchholz screen capture though, because he explains things there "better" than any of these four documents, or the four taken together.
Trust Wayne, not these documents.
And Chris Riley is at fault too for boosting tax base I suppose. Or for helping Town Center get a second restaurant. I am unclear on that.
Beyond Jim Deal's nefarious building of Ramsey tax base, this anonymous blogger (endorsed by Harold Hamilton) further points out the moral transgression of Jim Deal, putting candidate signs on his property as if he had some kind of property right to do that, and as if First Amendment protection existed for such scurrilous activity.
Pilory Jim Deal, because of right-wing mustered evidence showing how justly he deserves it.
Boosting tax base and putting up candidate signs. The man knows no shame. There is no limit to what he will do next. He probably votes too.
For candidates of his choice.
With the unadulterated audacity he shows it is no wonder just and proper folks find cause to criticize. Boosting tax base alone is bad enough. But Signs. Voting. The pattern is clear. Fear and dislike this man.
Here is a screen capture of the part of the Buchholz "My Thoughts" page that Randy Backous in his comments dislikes:
In captioning it "Accountability" I suppose there is accountability too for not creating false impressions, which I think is Randy's point.
I don't like the looks of things. And treating Jim Deal as "He whose name we shall not speak" is a bit much.
Now, if I read Randy's starting two sentences correctly in one comment, it was the council in its supervisory role that made a binding judgment and could fully follow an EDA preliminary recommendation or go in any other direction it might choose. And in this case the council endorsed and ratified and found no fault with the instance that Buchholz obliquely criticizes, via a criticism as a loaded bald contention, given without any detailed evidence to back it up.
The EDA is not a decision-making body. They merely make recommedations which this council rarely follows anyway.
And then there is Randy's other comment:
I just think it is unfair to post such a statement when we asked for an open investigation. Meaning any one of us, myself included, are open to it. At least that's what I personally voted for.
Will some reader, Randy, Bob if you're there, Colin, correct me if I am wrong, on whether the EDA has independent authority to fund stuff or do much of anything on its own initiative and absent the council's subsequent blessing and final decision making? I know the EDA owns real estate, city hall, but that's just a bunch of smoke and mirror bonding games stuff at play there.
In that "any one of us," context Randy mentions, my hypothetical of one owning a dwelling or rental property in Town Center and then voting in ways that boost the overall prospects of the thing being less disasterous, and hence boosting all property values in the thing by some hard to quantify marginal incremental amount; was only that, a hypothetical which I think illustrates how inexact things are and how witch hunting can overreach. And,particularly, Charter reform language making things explicit together with orientation sessions for EDA and HRA members on applicable EDA and HRA regulatory law would prove beneficial. More ex post facto witch hunting or looking to apply some form of sanction because disclosures that are statutorily mandated may not have been given, etc., serves no good end. Future looking, not otherwise, is best, but with the McGlone-Flaherty employment situation what yanked really hard on my chain was the intentional arrogant nondisclosure pattern, the idea that it was not something the public needed to know and judge.
That kind of hubris cannot survive because it shortchanges the public's right to know quite relevant information about officials and things they and family do, regarding big-ticket unprecedented city land speculation and experimentation with millions of city bonding dollars put at risk.
Yet, if there is some obscure sanction triggered for lack of McGlone-Flaherty disclosure, I do not argue any such sanction should be imposed - as a matter of sane and restrained exercise of prosecutorial discretion, if nothing else. Exposure to public opinion, yes, one hundred percent; sanctioning in some manner, no.
And the Chris Riley-related mountain-molehill stupidity and nonsense circulating now, people should come to their senses and it simply should stop. Or lay out the full factual charge - from those leveling the charge - so people can see and say, "My God, what a waste of time."
And I encourage people to add comments, as Backous did on the prior post. I find it helpful to my understanding and thinking, and I expect others do too.
That one sentence in the Buchholz first screen capture at the start of this post:
If successful, these candidates will work to repay the PAC with your tax dollars!
That is unadulterated horse crap. Beyond that it is defamatory. It claims people that had no actual say in whether they would be favored or not by three citizens who initially funded a corporate entity to express election related speech, are dishonest and will misspend tax money as if there exists some form of prearranged quid pro quo. The man could be sucessfully sued over that sentence. Worse, it was wholly gratuitous since the remainder of the item adequately conveys his "thoughts."
I guess Buchholz could not resist putting in that sentence, and doing so reflects upon sagacity and judgment he might show if elected.
Added note: Another thing that bothers about disinformation from Buchholz. Both Natalie Steffen and Bill Erhart live in Ramsey, but unlike Wayne Buchholz, their feelings about the community they live in are to be regarded as suspect? Come on. Be real.
Be suspicious why, is it holy writ in Book of Buchholz? It is not something he implies. He outright says it per this bullet train of disingenuous and misleading questions from the opening Buchholz screen capture:
- What does an attorney from Anoka want from Ramsey?
- Why does a former Met Council member want to influence our community?
- Why is a local developer contributing to this PAC and buying and installing their signs?
Well, the first two, they live here bro.
You have a problem with that?
Natalie's likely lived here far longer than Buchholz, and seen more. Unlike Buchholz she's served on Ramsey's council, something Buchholz may never be able to say of himself.
NOW - Unlike the other two that Buchholz would disenfranchise, Jim Deal, he lives in Andover, I think.
But he has more net worth tied up in Ramsey than Buchholz, on the ground, as tax generating real property and hence at risk over Ramsey's future directions. Buchholz will likely never see that degree of holdings at risk, for himself over his entire lifetime. So Deal should stay silent?
Deal, we are being led to think, is suspect when he wants a say in the town he has invested millions in and, correct me if wrong from those tax records, in which he pays six figure annual property taxes, and does so without any of the petty bitching you can hear from others with less at risk.
Wayne, my friend, you had best get a grasp on your hyperbole. Try lessening the paranoia generation intent, and show more common sense. Please.
If Jim Deal wants to protect his investments in Ramsey from the shocks and repercussion of current Landform and council majority decision making, why wouldn't he? His worries are justified.
Wanting a better, or different mentality at city hall, by having the most experienced, educated, and sensible council candidates on the ballot elected, is a praiseworthy intent, not sin.
So, you tell me, why does Wayne Buchholz hold himself out as a better human or more honest or trustworthy and less ill-motivated than Jim Deal, Natalie Steffen, and Bill Erhart? It is a mystery to me. He does not generally seem one to whom mud-slinging comes naturally. Perhaps he takes advice from the wrong people. Accepting being scripted without reading or thinking much about the quality and implications of the script handed him.
Buchholz has only lived in Ramsey for seven years; Chris Riley, seventeen years; this link. At a guess, Bill Erhart's been here since before the roads were tarred; Natalie, for certain. There is such a thing as continuity, and experience. LeTourneau's lived here 26 years. I have no idea where Buchholz was eight years ago or earlier, what he was doing, or whether he's ever held elective office anywhere.
Wise, McGlone, and Bob Ramsey came into government with no prior elective or local government management experience; and it showed.