consultants are sandburs

Monday, August 25, 2014

Michelle MacDonald - Screen capture of the letter a bloc of lawyers sent Minnesota Republican Party higher-ups. [UPDATED]

(Brodkorb reports at Strib, referencing the item for a context, and posting the item on Scribd. Scribd is a Facebook operation, and for others hating both, I have done a screen capture. Why people at Strib do not simply use linked pdf posting of documents remains a puzzle to me. As a Facebook/Scribd hater, I would appreciate their moving that way, but ...)


Here is the item, click the thumbnail to enlarge and read. Only one sender name registers with me, Harry Niska who resides in Ramsey, but I have to presume each is active to some level in GOP party politics within the state. Brodkorb identifies them that way, and it is unlikely they'd recruit DFL folks to join in on dumping on their party's endorsed candidate.

That their party did that endorsement, is something the letter authors acknowledge. Indeed, she got applause at their party's convention for her speech's opening Bible waving segment. For all I know, it was standing applause, since the online video does not show the crowd at that point.

Most importantly, the letter authors fail entirely to question the wisdom of politicizing judicial elections, and instead conclude embracing "the power of the Party's endorsement." In doing so, they embrace politicizing judicial elections as a general thing, only expressing buyer's remorse in the particular first instance exercise of the practice, Bible waving and all (where convention speech "nuances" also go without comment in their learned discourse).

The lawyers do not object to a DUI record alone as disqualifying for high office, if without the surrounding context circumstances that riles them.

There's Emmer after all, so they tread carefully.

As to MacDonald making a state fair spectacle of herself, the writing lawyers disapprove. Rocking the inner party's boat, not good, "she lacks appropriate temperament to be a Supreme Court Justice," they state, and (without weighting her sins one against the others in importance to show where their hearts may be), they also note "she is willing to bring negative attention to the party," after her excommunication from state fair participation, by a private enclave of some top inner party muck-a-mucks without even according their endorsed candidate a hearing prior to issuing a heavy-handed exclusionary ruling.

No hearing, no problem? With aspects surrounding the inner party's highly questionable excommunication procedure being something the writing lawyers decline to mention or analyze, that seems inexplicably negligent of them, in choosing how to craft their communication content.

There "to bury Ceasar not to praise him," nor to criticize the ways and means and motivations of those who did the stabbing?

Well, they chose their own points of emphasis, and did not consult my opinions in advance of writing.

The gentlemen implicitly attribute an ill will (or ill-willingness in light of how she was treated) to embarrass her Party as motivated by her acting in defiance of the procedures employed against her by her Party's leadership cohorts, i.e., they say she aimed "to pursue her own agenda," which seems to be a wholly rational agenda of insisting upon equal treatment to that accorded other endorsed Republican candidates.

Indirectly and without analysis, but clearly implicit in their writing, these attorneys suggest MacDonald should not have asserted any claim of right under the circumstances.
Because, they conclude, she made a spectacle of herself, and cast her party in a bad light? I find that curious, especially since the learned gentlemen have not seen fit to comment publicly one way or the other about a GOP volunteer making a spectacle of himself, at a different venue, not in the party's state fair booth; with that blind-eye posture being entirely consistent with the non-mention of MacDonald's Bible waving rhetoric in the course of her seeking the GOP convention endorsement for a judicial seat, with party endorsements that way not being the norm in Minnesota. The MacDonald/Bible spectacle at the Party's convention was a trailblazer in that sense and it truly would be enlightening if those gentlemen were to take time to revise and extend their comments. To me, trailblazing in that obtrusive fashion and not with suitable decorum fitting a candidate for the state's highest court was the most objectionable and offensive thing in any of MacDonald's conduct. The rest was simple aftershock.

UPDATE: MinnPost's latest coverage of MacDonald, Downey, and the GOP executive bloc. Worth reading, with links worth following. In rereading the attorneys' letter, another thing they decline to explore is who knew what about the DUI citation prior to the Party's convention and MacDonald's being the sole seeker of the trailblazing political party endorsement of a top court candidate. In blazing that trail, who knew what, who made choices and what were they, and does that group overlap the now-deniers of the MacDonald candidacy? Every aspect leading to the endorsement, including MacDonald's performance at the convention, are, by indifference, cast by the writing lawyers as irrelevant considerations. In a situation of buyer's remorse and piling on, the core long-lasting error trail appears grounded in deciding in the first instance to blaze a trail by the state's GOP's venturing into the politicization of judicial candidacies at the party convention level, and then negligent choosing of the vehicle for their doing so, (and making it a tawdry convention floor show to boot). Again -- Dead silence from the writing lawyers that way is not encouraging public reliance on what they've chosen to analyze. Last, Red Wing Republican Eagle Aug 23 online reporting, this link.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
In presenting the lawyers' memorandum and questioning dimensions of it, including its motivation and purpose, and in mentioning Harry Niska as the only one of the signatories I know, it is necessary to correct any misimpression that I am critical of Niska. Having been on the Ramsey charter commission where Niska is deputy chair, I have grown to respect his intelligence and the restraint he has shown in dealing with the franchise fee question in a way that avoided politicizing it to an unnecessary degree. He has a brief online bio, and it is impressive. Having spoken only once and quite briefly with his spouse Jen, I cannot say much beyond a belief that whatever I have seen on the internet concerning them, they appear a sound cohesive family close to their children. There is our differing on politics, with them holding an apparently strong allegiance to the Republican party or at least to several people and aspects within it while I distance myself from both parties as too alike and too conservative, but I favor the more moderate of the two. In that context, I cannot in any way after getting to know Niska better find fault with him as a person. His judgment on Charter issues and his reasoning ability are things I can respect and trust. I have no idea of the level of his involvement in MacDonald questions related to the drafting of the memo, and it is the document I criticize as incomplete in its range of analysis, not individuals. In believing MacDonald's convention speech video displayed an approach that would be out of line on our State's highest court, well out of line, I have no clear idea whether or to what extent Niska might dispute that view, having never exchanged words with him about it. From his joining in the memo I can infer that if arguing a case to the Court he'd likely be more comfortable with Lillehaug in the seat vs MacDonald, but that's at best, a guess.

No comments: