consultants are sandburs

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dianna Butler's Experience -- Executive Administrative Assistant Micro Control Company Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing industry March 1999 – Present (14 years 2 months)

The headline is from here.

Why should you care? That's your concern, not mine. Evidence is:

Anoka County Union is a real newspaper, and the private sector knows it, e.g., this link.

"Anoka County Record" is a website, and the private sector appears to know it, e.g., this link.

Wow. Besides the headline info, Dianna Butler is a notary. One who is a reasonably short drive away from Roseville, at Harold Hamilton's Micro Control plant/warehouse/offices in Fridley.

Then there is the notarized signature itself, John M. Kysylyczyn, in forma publisher.

Further evidence (online here) is:

Two things there are interesting. 1. The Secretary of State's stamp is a "filed with" notice, and not representing any "verified as a newspaper by" status. Instead John K. signed, (under penalty of perjury), that his game's a newspaper justified in soliciting legal notices, and charging for their being put onto the ACR website. 2. The handwritten "mail me at the Columbia Heights mail drop" notice, so why not at Harold's plant in Fridley?

I do not know whether there is even a desk there, with John K's nameplate on it, and a drawer lock where only John K has the key. Curious readers are urged to ask Harold Hamilton. Ask if you can see a copy of the written lease.

Evidence of sufficient financial gravitas to be "Owner and Publisher" - whatever that's intended to mean - of a county newspaper? Is there such? There is this:



While the private sector, banks and lawyers publishing legal notice who presumably are sophisticated and knowledgeable individuals, seem universally to gravitate to Anoka County Union, it appears not all town officials do.

From the one link, there is Ham Lake. There is Oak Grove. I wonder if town officials in either of those towns can tell Harold Hamilton's widget warehouse and plant, from a hole in the ground. On that, I have no discernible direct evidence, having never asked them, but what circumstantial inference do you, readers, draw from their choosing Anoka County Record? Do you care to guess at their party affiliation? Factually, I have set out evidence. I have drawn my own inferences, my opinions, but ultimately each reader has a mind of her/his own to independently weigh facts and reach beliefs.

Apart from other things, here is a YouTube link to Joe Cocker, singing, "With a Little Help From My Friends." Woodstock retrospective can be a good break in the thread.

Back to the thread - There is this too, as a latest-greatest item of evidence:

There is a somewhat regular publishing of Taxpayer League spiel, with Hamilton being Chairman of Taxpayer League.

Here is a Wikipedia link noting the song With a Little Help From My Friends "was ranked No. 311 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time." Yellow Submarine nostalgia. All that.

And as evidence there is this whois data, friendly enough:

We All Live in a Yellow Submarine.

Coincidently, I sent two registered letters, one to John Kysylyczyn, Anoka County Record, 7956 Main Street, Fridley; the other to Harold Hamilton, Anoka County Record, 7956 Main Street, Fridley. The Kysylyczyn letter was signed for by headline star, Dianna Butler; the Hamilton letter was signed for by a Deborah Butler as best as I can read things. Harold is in a snit over my investigative bent, and in a response email to my email asking his opinion of a Strib item, the email thread was:

.............Me to Harold (and Matt Look) Feb.15................

Travel reimbursement:

Dan Erhart $3,216.37

Matt Look was second on the list. He was reimbursed $2,951.60

Carol LeDoux was reimbursed $2,921.44 for three conferences

Barking at each slice of bread. At least as a past practice.

What about the meat in the middle? It's tasty? To a dog?

.............Harold to Me (and Matt Look) Feb.15................


As you continue to tilt at windmills, I kindly ask you to refrain from sending email correspondence to my Micro Control address.

That email is reserved for official company business. In any case, I will instruct my secretary to send your email to this address immediately to "junk."

You can feel free to send your ramblings to me at my Watchdog email address, where I may or may not open and read them, depending upon my tolerance for the inane and vapid on that particular day.

Your issue du jour appears to be Commissioner Look's expenses.

Yes, I don't like travel expenses on the part of any government official.

What I like even less is the blatant bias of the Star Tribune.

Commissioner Look was put in the headline even though Dan Erhart retained his title as the King of All Taxpayer Funded Travel.

If Carol LeDoux would have been second, I have my doubts that she would have made the headline.

If Dan would have been second, I have my doubts that he would have been in the headline, leaving Matt Look by himself.

The headline was an attempt to embarrass a member of the conservative bloc here in the county.

An effort that has occupied no small amount of space in the Star Tribune.

Now, my tolerance for the inane and vapid has expired for today.

Try me again next week. Or next year.



.............Me to Harold (and John K.)Jan. 28................

Subject: Harold does this guy really have space - a desk, a lease with you at Micro Control


Either he does or he does not. I am cc'ing him. But, Harold, if not, getting drawn into the deep end of the pool that way has danger. Everything I see he is running a daycare in his home in Roseville. Where he runs his websites. What's happening?

Either of you can answer, but, Harold, I do put far more credibility in what you might say.

[no response from Hamilton]

.............Me to Harold (and John K.)Jan. 31................

Harold and John -

All I know is somebody, last name Butler at Micro Control signed for a registered letter, and the signature looks to be "Diane" but that is a guess. Any factual help either of you can give in that regard would be appreciated. Thank you.

[no response from either]

.............Me to Harold (and John K.)Apr. 21................

fyi - each of you is mentioned, please advise me ASAP if you dispute any factual assertion

to editor [JK], Harold
And suggest corrections if I have stated any fact wrongly. I am open to suggestion, but I cannot read your minds.

I believe I am correct on facts, and opinions, although opinion is always a matter of debate and broad First Amendment right.

[no response from either]


In an earlier thread of email (starting with a Jan. 9, 2013), and quoting email responses from John K. to email of mine, he responded in relevant part:


[...] I decided to finance the first year costs for [ACR] operation myself. If you are careful about your expenditures, you can reasonably do this. The way the statutes are written, you have to be publishing for one year before you can be paid for publishing legal notices. I went into this business with the understanding that there would probably be zero profit in year 1, little profit in year 2, and maybe a little larger profit in later years. I have no dreams that this is going to be some huge money maker. But I am not that kind of person. I believe in providing a certain level of public service in everything I do.

Editorial decisions are solely mine. But I have a personal policy to publish all viewpoints that are sent to me, space allowing. Of course, I don't want to be in the business of publishing unsubstantiated rumors. There has to be a basis to comments that are made. There are things that I have published that I don't necessarily agree with or agree with as strongly as the writer does. That's fine with me. My hope is that our material gets people thinking.

[...] I would be responsible for a bond. Thankfully the divorce left me with a home that actually has equity. We were not mortgaged to the hilt with an underwater mortgage. I would have no problem being bonded.

You have to be careful as to what you believe from a competitor. Our name is on the door. If we owned a building, our name would probably be in gigantic neon letters across the front. There is a private office building right behind the county building. No one has their name in gigantic letters on the building. There names are on the window next to the door.

I have office space in the building, computer, printer, etc. We run a totally computerized operation. There is no typesetting, no massive room size printer, etc. I am organized as a single member LLC. There is no HR department, HSA administrator, payroll supervisor, etc. When you are running an operation as an owner, the administrative structure is minimal.

Another thing about a PO Box, is you have the ability to move your actual street address. Let's say two years down the road, we decide to move to Blaine. Not a big deal when you have a PO Box. But if you are ECM, I can see why they don't have a PO Box. They own a million dollar building. I doubt they would have an easy time selling it and moving.

You ask about some place being a mail drop. You are correct, mail is to the PO Box.

I have been involved in keeping an eye on this PAC stuff for many years. Bryan Olson has been too. That has nothing to do with Harold. The best (I say that sarcastically) was in Maplewood where they created a state PAC, for a city council campaign which was held in odd year elections. State packs [sic] only have reporting requirements in the even year. So they didn't have to report anything. They also got contributions from other state PACs that didn't get reported until after the election. It was a legal form of money laundering.

I do not write any of Harold's material. That is him. I read it like everyone else when the emails come into my in box.

I don't think there is any credibility issue. To test that, send us an editorial that takes issue with a public policy issue that you believe the Taxpayers League supports. We probably would print it. Hopefully it would get someone to write an opinion on the other side of the issue. Then we can get a back and forth going.

We do take the news vs. editorial part seriously. [...] We do have information in the paper that is indisputable that it qualifies as news. We have the only summary of all government meetings in Anoka County published anywhere.

There is no co-mingling of finances with anyone.

We are a newspaper that complies with the statutes. PAC's I suppose could own legal newspapers, but I know of none that do. A PAC is an entity that raises money to give to candidates or to spend on candidates. I raise no money for candidates, and haven't donated to any candidate since they eliminated the contribution program.

I chuckled about your comment of being a political operative posing as a journalist. Frankly, I believe that just about every journalist is acting as a political operative of some sorts these days. Balanced media has disappeared in this country, along with quality journalism.

I do political work and I also do a lot of writing. I write both news and editorials. I feel that I can make the distinction between them and I do so by following basic ethics rules. I don't claim to write things that everyone likes. People can certainly disagree with an article or editorial, but that is a separate issue.

One basic rule. In a news article, if you quote one side, you need to quote the other side. Editorials need only tell one side. No obligation to get the other side's opinion.

Talk radio? I have been on talk radio several times. What particular issue? Ok, I see the next email. CD4. What a disaster of an organization. Another thing I could write a book about. Where to begin...

There are client confidentiality issues which is why I typically cannot name names. Unfortunately the public gets confused or people try to get the public confused between the candidate and people who work for the candidate. I this last election, I was hired to do a mailing and brochure design for a mayoral candidate. I didn't write the material, I received the text and organized it. Some of the items I had to ask what they were about. I didn't know the local issues because the election was in a city that I don't believe I have ever driven through. So some people would probably like to make an issue out of me being associated with his campaign. But that would be an unfair characterization. So my general policy is to not disclose these relationships unless the candidate tells me to. In some situations, maybe it helps. But generally I only work for good candidates who are hard working and dedicated. I may or may not agree with many of their positions, but I believe you cannot get good government without having solid elected officials.

[...] Sincerely,


and a Jan. 9 follow-up:

Frankly I don't really care what the rumors are. Rumors are a dime a dozen. If I spent my day chasing rumors, I would have no time doing anything else. I'm sure those who are talking about Harold are doing so because either they don't like him or are upset that Anoka County Record is competitive when it comes to price. The nasty comments coming from the Union about us is due to our price. They have been gouging cities for years, in my opinion, and are being forced to defend that practice.

Many people call the Anoka County Union, "Erhart's paper" so there are comments made about papers all the time.

I think we had a miscommunication about the building and this statement "the county". The building we are in is not government owned.

Actually I am not "quite involved" in Republican politics. I have two elementary school children and a lot of work on my plate. I have held no position in the [Republican] party from birth to 2011 and from 2013 to the future. In all of my years, I only held one position for under a year which was CD4 [GOP] Chair. The organization had disastrous leadership and needed someone to put forward a reorganization plan. I was recruited for the position. After I got in, I found out that there were numerous FEC violations, a budget that was only 50% funded, and a committee that was opposed to doing anything about it. In good conscience, I was not going to look the other way with the FEC violations. We had a parting of ways. That was a good decision for me.

While I do advise on campaigns, actually none of them were in Anoka County this election cycle. There were campaigns in the areas covered by Hennepin County, Ramsey County, and Washington County. I do various services for candidates which I would not consider to be "advising". I do websites, mailings, etc.

I think that party labels are overused. I have worked for conservative, moderate, and liberal candidates. [...]

I always find it interesting that people out there like to claim that one newspaper or another is liberal or conservative. We know that a newspaper like the Star Tribune has more editorials than they could ever publish. So look at what they do publish and you will know their leanings. We on the other hand have published, if I am not mistaken, everything that has been sent to us. So how can anyone legitimately claim that we lean one way or the other?

I sent an invitation to every county board member to publish an editorial from them. The only response I got was from Schulte, and that was when he was on the coon rapids council. I put out the offer to council members also. So it is a little disingenuous for some to say that we have a slant against them when they refuse an invitation to submit their own material. The problem I suppose is that if they do, then they won't be able to complain anymore. Erhart could have sent us an editorial. We would have published it. He decided not to. His loss.


Then in a Jan. 10 follow-up:

[...] To suggest that there is an issue as to where a business rents office space is ridiculous. I presume that the coffee shop by the Ramsey [ed. it should read "Anoka" - meaning the Milk Factory site] train station is now a Republican coffee shop? Because Jim Abeler owns the building? Ridiculous.

This conversation started out well in my opinion. Then we moved to accusations and the claims that I have to prove things to you. Now it has completely gone down hill to rumor, etc.

This will be my last communication with you unless we move back to productive conversation.

John M. Kysylyczyn


I think that fairly summarizes emailing that were exchanged. I have been unable to get Hamilton to verify on record the assertion he is independent of financing of Anoka County Record and does not involve himself in decisions of what it prints. Kysylyczyn asserts these things. Hamilton has declined to verify what Kysylyczyn asserts.

Last: Has any reader heard the assertion that Anoka County Union is Dan Erhart's paper?

To me that was a zinger. My understanding of history is Elmer Anderson, a former Minnesota Republican Governor, formed the paper after leaving office and ran it initially.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE______________
Comparing a coffee shop at Abeler's Milk Factory site, which regularly rents out space,  to a propaganda organ at Harold Hamilton's Micro Control which does not regularly sublease???

You have got to be kidding me.

The term "non sequitur" is becoming a regular disapprobation at Crabgrass these days.

And in terms of website-only status, not distributing papers, how about JK's statement

We run a totally computerized operation. There is no typesetting, no massive room size printer, etc. I am organized as a single member LLC. There is no HR department, HSA administrator, payroll supervisor, etc. When you are running an operation as an owner, the administrative structure is minimal.

How can you read that as anything but an admission, this is a website, this is not a real newspaper? Unless you have some bogus half-cocked cooked-up definition to market, of what the word "newspaper" and the word "printed" means beyond the common usage we all know well?

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