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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Zimmermann convicted

Here is a message I posted on the Green Party of Minnesota list serve, having to do with the conviction of former City Council Member Dean Zimmermann:

I was only at the trial one day, so I don't have all the information in front of me, but from what I've heard and read, it didn't seem like there was a quid pro quo, or "something for something." It may have even been "nothing for nothing," because the developer's request got voted down by the council, and because Dean worked at getting the money into the gerrymandering lawsuit fund, where he was not the sole beneficiary.

That being said, the lessons learned for the rest of us in the Green Party include:

  • You can bet we're going to get picked on, so avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
  • Clean government has always been what sets us apart from the Repubs and Dems, so we have to go the extra mile to convince the public that we are the real thing.
  • If you get a big contribution that looks suspicious, don't take it, refund it right away, or ask the authorities how best to handle it.

This has got to be a tough time for Dean and Jenny, and my thoughts and prayers are with them.

...Others had similar views. Click on comments to read the Green Party press release, and click here for my comments from when the story first broke:


At Sun Aug 13, 01:51:00 PM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Green Party of Minnesota
Green Party of the 5th Congressional District

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, August 12, 2006

Rhoda Gilman, Green Party of Minnesota Spokesperson, (651) 224-6383
Neil Cunningham, Fifth Congressional District Spokesperson, (612) 722-0626


The Green Party of Minnesota reaffirms its belief that Dean Zimmermann had no intention to solicit or take bribes. We base this on his record of more than half a century of service to his community and active work for justice. We recognize that he has made serious mistakes in the handling of funds, and we do not condone or excuse those mistakes. Nevertheless, we believe that he
was never motivated by personal gain.

Our hearts go out to Dean and his family in what is clearly a tragic
situation. We have serious concerns about what appears to have been questionable investigative practices by federal authorities. As a party we believe that the root of the problem is the vast sums of money being poured
into politics and the climate of widespread suspicion and corruption that it creates. We are concerned about the legal bribery inherent in the existing
political system.

The Green Party continues to stand, as it always has, for clean and fair elections, public funding of campaigns, and strict regulation of lobbying.


At Mon Aug 14, 01:06:00 AM CDT, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

Pretty much peanuts compared to $$ that changes hands at the higher levels.

At Tue Aug 15, 08:39:00 AM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

The discussion continues on the GP list serve. We want to keep it in perspective, but we also want to recognize the mistakes. I can see both sides.

At Thu Aug 17, 04:59:00 AM CDT, Blogger Sheryl said...

Well, staying clean is probably smart for all political parties actually, unless you live somewhere like Chicago.


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