Carver County GOP Auction of Elected Officials: Going once, going twice, gone… [UPDATED]

Our friends over at the Carver County GOP are planning a nice little event next Thursday, September 1 — a sporting clays shooting event at the Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club in Prior Lake.  Here’s a link to the event’s flyer.  Sounds like a fun afternoon.

The twist from your normal political fundraiser, though, comes at the bottom of the flyer (helpfully screenshotted for you below, just in case it magically disappears sometime soon).

Yes, that’s right.  The Carver County GOP was auctioning off access to their invited guests — including U.S. Representatives Erik Paulsen and John Kline, State Senator Julianne Ortman, and State Representatives Joe Hoppe, Ernie Leidiger, and Kirk Stensrud.

Nothing illegal about it, but it certainly sends the wrong message, coming after protracted fights in Washington, D.C. and St. Paul that pitted the pleasures of the well-heeled influence peddlers against the needs of the middle- and working class.

And when folks started to take notice — like the folks at Bluestem Prairie, Common Cause and the Cucking Stool — poof! — it was gone.   The auction site is no more, as the Carver County GOPers scurry away from their plans like a critter being chased by a Republican with a shotgun.

[UPDATE]:  City Pages was able to track down Carver County GOP official Joe Emmett O’Brien, who sent out the original e-mail and was involved in setting up the auction website.  Dissembling ensues.

It should also be reinforced that the original e-mail sent out by the Carver County GOP was sent to all registered lobbyists.  So Ortman, Hoppe, and Leidiger have time to be auctioned off to lobbyists, but not to hold town halls in their district?


5 Responses to “Carver County GOP Auction of Elected Officials: Going once, going twice, gone… [UPDATED]”

  1. Yes that’s right, a $5 raffle to have dinner with the President of the United States:

    The email says: “If this sounds a bit familiar to you, it’s because we’ve done this before. In fact, my hope is that I’ll be able to keep doing these dinners throughout the campaign.”

    As you say: “Nothing illegal about it, but it certainly sends the wrong message”

    • Hi Jim, thanks for the note.

      The official rules on the Obama dinner fundraiser indicate that no donation is in fact required, so I encourage you to sign up and wish you the best of luck.

      I would argue that even if a $5 donation were required, it still sends a far different message than trying to auction off legislators to the highest-bidding registered lobbyists.

      It would be nice if our state legislators would hold a town hall meeting so that we could ask them questions. That format works really well for you and the Waconia City Council. It’s a great initiative to proactively go out and seek that interaction with the people and Mayor Nash, yourself, and the rest of the Council should be commended for it. Perhaps you could pass along those positive experiences to Sen. Ortman, Rep. Leidiger, and Rep. Hoppe so that they see the merits of it.

  2. Thanks for the compliment, we work for the residents of Waconia, and listening to them is just part of the job.

  3. Sean,

    Thanks for the kind words on the Town Hall meetings. They have been a great way to be openly accountable to the resident and I intend to keep them in place for years to come.

    It is important to remember that as I say every meeting and Council member Sanborn reiterates that “We work for the residents”. I love hosting the meetings and hearing what is on the mind of each resident. We should always be willing to take questions and comments of all sorts and this has proven to be a great venue to do just that.

    Thanks again,

    Jim Nash
    Waconia, MN


  1. Carver County GOP Commissioner candidates: talking to themselves | Brick City Blog - September 21, 2012

    […] Commissioner have regrouped with a plan that only the brain trust responsible for this and this could come up […]

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