consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

RAMSEY - Wayne Buchholz financial disclosure with the city - listed contributors. [UPDATED]

Reviewing two Buchholz disclosure forms, it appears that two individual contributors (giving $100 or more) are listed in addition to Charles Delaney, a regular Ramsey campaign contributor to multiple candidates. It's valuable to having informed voters to publish names even more than amounts, as so far seen:

Robyn West -- $100
Rhonda Sivarajah -- $250

Republicans each. Officeholders each. Theo-Republicans too?

There are no in kind contributions of value over $100 stated for goods, or services, or as discounts from normal charges on such, on the Buchholz disclosure document copies I have seen.

Having looked at Buchholz, I requested copies of Williams' filings from the city clerk:

Recall the '60s - '70s song that began, "Battle Lines Being Drawn: Nobody's Right if Everybody's Wrong, ...”

We live in a nice town where everyone knows everyone else.

A town with few surprises. A town where signs cost what they cost, whoever is buying, or discounting. Tomorrow's story, or the day after. Just as a hypothetical, in your mind reader, what's a commercially reasonable discount if signs are produced fully to spec, promptly but at a different warm color than ostensibly requested? Fully merchantable signs for the purpose intended, i.e., campaigning via yard and highway signs? Think it over.


Randy Backous said...
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eric zaetsch said...

Hmmm, Randy.

"... not something I would do as a County Commissioner."

A hypothetical now? Two years hence, hypothecically, it's seldom healthy for an incumbent to run without serious opposition. Without voters having a real choice. That can breed hubris, staleness.


Serious District 1 opposition, from the GOP side of things. Just not theo-GOP. What's the county filing fee?

Randy Backous said...

Sorry...I posted the wrong draft. It contained some unfair speculation and some typos. And no I'm not considering a run for Commissioner. I'd like to fix the one we have.

Very, very interesting. Since Deal owns businesses here in Ramsey and Erhart is a resident of Ramsey, I can see why they would make political contributions here. Deal's seems like a lot to me but I suppose in his world, it's not much. I wonder what kind of skin West and Sivarajah have in the game here in Ramsey though? Residents? Obviously no. Business or land owners in Ramsey? Not that I'm aware.

If neither, I think it's inappropriate that two sitting Anoka County Board members - one the Chair - would get involved in a council race for a city which their decisions affect. Not illegal obviously and maybe it happens more than we realize but it doesn't pass the smell test and not something I would do as a County Commissioner.

Over the past few months, I've come to the conclusion that Ramsey is not being represented but we're being misrepresented by our elected County Board official based on the misinformation he has published in social media and I have documented. Since he is our liaison to the board, it makes me wonder what they think they know about us. It makes me wonder if there is anyone besides Schulte on that board who has our best interests at heart or if we're just a political playground for them. Then again it's probably nothing more than payback for Wayne's efforts in their campaigns. Let's face it, he has a lot of time on his hands and he stays active. Even so, I think it's tacky and it looks bad.

The other red flag this raises for me is the cost of the signs. Are you implying that Look supplied all of those signs (and there are a LOT of them) to Wayne for $275 because they were the wrong color?! Is that what he told you? If so, wouldn't the difference still be required to be listed as an in-kind contribution? If that sort of thing is allowed to go unreported, it would incent a lot of "oopsie I screwed up another run of signs" abuses. I don’t know the rules on that but I guess I'd like to see some receipts as to how many signs were actually...ehem...misprinted. This sounds like a good question for the Campaign Finance Board but it epitomizes the "let's see if we can get away with this" brazenness which characterized the last council as well as Wayne's campaign thus far with his defiant disregard for the laws regarding the use of the Eagle, Globe & Anchor insignia of the USMC. (By the way, his “fight to the end” stance on that didn't last long.) Stay tuned to see if he will also disregard the rules of the U.S. Postal Service like some did in the last election. That PACT stuffed all of their literature in a liquor store bag (Wiser Choice perhaps?) and instead of paying for postage and mailing them, they hung some of them on mail boxes and mail flags because there were no paper boxes. That's allowed in paper boxes but not anywhere on a mailbox. Some people do that in order to circumvent the mailing delays and mailing costs. Integrity.

Lastly, is that really the markup on political signs?! Wow!! I'm really pissed at myself for using the Sign Station in Anoka because they don't screw up there. Dang!

eric zaetsch said...

Well, Randy mooted my comment to a measure. But I will leave it as is. For posterity. Whatever.

It is how I feel.

eric zaetsch said...

As to candidacies two years hence, besides Democrats, there are Liberty Republicans, Goldwater Republicans, Rockefeller Republicans, and theo-GOP. Ignore neocons.

Within the other camps, a name, a face, somebody else in the starting gate.

One horse races are boring, besides having too much a flavor of opposition indifference, conceding a race rather than holding one.

Aside from all that, I believe Randy has done a fine and independent job on council and we should regret his decision to close out his tenure at a single term. It is a feeling, but I see him head and shoulders above the two primary survivors seeking his seat. This cycle two of the more independent council members are quitting after a single term. That is quite unfortunate.