consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

More on Robert Cummins, founder of Freedom Club, and enemy of working men and women who are in, or may want to be in effective unions.

MPR, here.

Strib, pre-Glen Taylor ownership, here.

Capitol Reporter, here, and the never-making-the-ballot right to work [for less] effort Cummins apparently quarterbacked. Including notice of a steamroller mailings effort against Republicans not sufficiently toeing the Cummins line.

And there is Civis Communications, or was, if the thing has been folded. This link. From Tony Sutton days of spending deficits in the GOP fisc. And other mischief. (Such an entity and a related thing both still on file with the Secretary of State - Cummins running both, same office site in affluent west metro, and it might not be a surprise if the Abeler attack piece bulk mailing permit 4190 might reside there these days.)

Cummins has attracted opposition attention also, beyond the above cited media outlet content:

MN Progressive Project, here.

Blustem Prairie, a link given previously, here. Also, here, citing BP.

Back to media coverage rather than any partisan opining:

MinnPost on union busting big at Freedom Club. Same item also noting:

As in the past, Freedom Club events are not open to the public, a policy that has, in the past, cause some criticism. Former U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden was criticized by his DFL opposition for skipping public debates but appearing at a private Freedom Club forum last year with other GOP candidates for the Senate.

Freedom Club seems akin to that deep-pocket confab where Romney famously wrote off 47% of the 99%, while mavens of the 1% indolently sat in attendance and duly agreed. Perhaps fewer pockets among Freedom Clubsters are as deep as Cummins' pocket, but that is a mere difference of degree and not of kind.


Aplikowski has his friends, one cannot deny that.

If you work, and are finding it ever harder to make it from paycheck to paycheck, you'd have to ask, are Andy's friends yours?

And, is Abeler, who clearly is the targeted Republican enemy of your deep-pocket bulk mailing enemy, in fact your actual Republican friend?

What I do know speaking for myself, if it is to be a Republican replacing Republican Branden Petersen in the SD35 seat, I'd rather it be one of Abeler's rectitude and character, and independence, and record, over any other Republican.

Try this one for size. Capitol Reporter:

House GOP vote on marriage amendment was defining issue of session’s last days
By: Briana Bierschbach May 25, 2011

Around 4 o’clock last Saturday afternoon, the central drama of Session 2011’s closing days finally reared its head on the House floor.

Shortly before the chamber recessed for dinner, GOP Rep. Mary Liz Holberg stood to announce the addition of a controversial constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage to the calendar for that evening’s proceedings. The announcement came just one day after a divisive opening prayer by outspoken anti-gay pastor Bradlee Dean at the start of Friday’s session. DFLers and some Republicans spoke up in outrage, and House Speaker Kurt Zellers made a solemn apology to members from the House floor.

[...] sources say that pressures from longtime House GOP caucus donors and a widespread wish by amendment backers to launch their fundraising campaign early caused GOP leaders to push the dicey vote in 2011, a move that could imperil new members in swing districts who were dragooned into voting yes.

[..] Freshman GOP Rep. John Kriesel, who has been vehemently opposed to the amendment from the get-go, stood and spoke about his time serving in Iraq, where he lost both his legs after a roadside bomb blew up the vehicle in which he was riding. “It woke me up; it changed me,” Kriesel said. “And as bad as that day sucked, I’ve learned a lot from it…This amendment doesn’t represent what I went to fight for.”

But perhaps the most powerful speech of the night came from two-term Red Wing Republican Rep. Tim Kelly, who said if the House had taken the vote Friday after the prayer incident, it would not have passed. “I cannot help but feel this is an assault on personal freedom and choice,” Kelly said. “If we put this amendment on the Constitution, we’re taking a giant step backwards.”


Donors pressured Dean, Dean pressured members

After leaving the floor, Kelly said he had offered to step down from the House GOP Executive Committee for his stance, but Zellers declined his offer. “There was no arm-twisting, and nothing behind closed doors,” he added.

[...] Donations played into the calculus of the amendment vote in another way, according to one source who monitored the amendment effort. House Republican caucus uber-funder Robert Cummins, the chief executive officer of Primera Technology, is a fervid backer of the amendment and a past donor to anti-gay-marriage initiatives. Since 2004, Cummins has contributed more than $408,000 to groups like Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage — now Minnesota Majority — and the Minnesota Family Council, and has thrown hundreds of thousands of dollars at the House GOP caucus campaign chest. In a June 2010 Capitol Report story, then-caucus treasurer Matt Dean said Cummins is much more involved than the average donor. He works directly with House leaders to recruit Republican candidates to run in each district. “He understands the importance of winning elections,” Dean said at the time.

“Promises must have been made to outside sources,” the source said, adding that the caucus was reportedly promised several million dollars for the 2012 elections from various groups if the amendment passed this session.

[...] the vote was likely difficult for freshmen to make, especially those who narrowly won in swing districts last fall or those who campaigned on fiscal issues, not social ones. That was the case for freshman Rep. Kurt Bills, a schoolteacher from Rosemount who ultimately voted for the legislation.

“I’ve been an economics teacher for 14 years,” Bills said. “So when I ran, I ran because of fiscal and economic elements, and I was prepared for that when I walked door to door. It’s tough to bring up social issues, especially as a public schoolteacher who teaches [students of] all political ideologies, races, genders, sexual preferences. I treat everyone the same, so it’s a very difficult thing to bring up and talk about.”


[bolding in original, italics added] That is one of the better written and highly informative reports I have read online, over a number of years. Tight and to the point. With a number of where-are-they-now names.

Now, it is only an impression, but this

appears distinctly better written than Andy's Residual Forces blogging style. And more unequivocal.

Moreover, Andy's blogging seldom looked as if written on litmus paper. This thing does quite tightly hit chapter and verse of an agenda reportedly held by many others, Cummins included, per the above excerpt.

I have always had reason to believe that Jim Abeler, over time, thought for himself and was nobody's tool. Nobody's puppet. Nobody's parrot.

Litmus paper, loyalty oath, who is to say, besides Mr. Aplokowski - you can ask him and see what he says. I only say the writing style seems to differ markedly from his blogging syntax, grammar and indexing habits. It's a subjective thing, one of impressions.

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