On a freaky headline day, Bluestem is seeing more evidence of the waning days of Babylon. Among the signs and wonders: Cravaack gives in, will conduct Duluth town hall (a meeting for which, miracle of miracle, those attending need pay no admission fee) and Photos of devastation from the East Coast earthquake.
Chad McKenna, the Field Coordinator for the North East Area Labor Council, sent the following statement about the meeting:
After weeks of public pressure and protests, Chip Cravaack has finally conceded to have a town hall tomorrow. Until now, Cravaack has been unwilling to have a public townhall with constituents in the largest city in his district.
Chip Cravaack gave 25 business members/donors a month's notice before meeting today's meeting, but only gave 28 hours notice for a public townhall, held during the workday, and on the outskirts of town. While he is agreeing to finally meet with constituents, he is making it as difficult as possible.
Parking will be $2.00
Where: Duluth International Airport, Alpine Room
When: TOMORROW, Wednesday, August 24 @ 4pm
Who: YOU and all citizens of NE MN
Why: To hold Cravaack accountable for his refusal to stand up for middle class Minnesotans.
But neither a Cravaack town meeting in Duluth nor an East Coast earthquake ( both thought a rarity) rivals the shocker of an email invitation to a Carver County GOP fundraiser a number of readers passed on to Bluestem. The only common thread these readers share is that thety are registered lobbyists; none has attended a Republican fundraiser in Minnesota before.
Here's the astonishing item:
From: Joe Emmett [email redacted]
Date: August 23, 2011 1:54:04 PM EDT
Subject: Fundraiser: Kline/Paulsen/Ortman/Hoppe - Thu, Sep. 1st, 3:00PM-4:30P
Tired of the same old golf fundraisers?!
Bid, online auction style, for an exclusive opportunity to be one of just five people on a Shotgun Sporting Clays course walk/shoot (shooting is not required to participate) with your favorite legislator at the Horse & Hunt Club from 3:00PM-4:30PM on Thursday, September 1st. Sporting Clays is like golf, but with a shotgun! :-)
And Wikipedia says so! But that's a commonplace.
What's remarkable here is two-fold. First, the admission by a Republican that golf is boring.
The second is the open auctioning off of elected officials. While all of those who passed this on to Bluestem are registered lobbyists, without additional investigation, we cannot assert here that only lobbyists received an offer to bid on Republican legislators. We might also assume, for instance, that corporate CEOs, bank fat cats, private sector ALEC members, and other folks who who might wish to bid on chance to golf-with-a-shotgun with lawmakers, also have been given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
And they don't have to worry if they don't have their own shotgun, shells or experience. The invitation continues:
If you are not able to attend this event, please do your contacts a favor and forward this email on to others that could benefit from this opportunity.
Fundraiser benefits Carver County Republican Party.
These special event tickets are available for Congressman Kline, Congressman Paulsen, Sen. Julianne Ortman, Rep. Joe Hoppe, and a number of freshman. Rep. Hoppe said yesterday that he was planning on bringing House Speaker Zellers but it is not confirmed.
- Shooting is not required to be part of a five-person "Legislator Team" for the Clays Course walk/shoot.
- BBQ social to follow.
- Loaner shotguns are available.
- shells can be purchased on site.
- event will have famous shotgun pro Pat LaBoone available for instruction and demonstrations.
Just five tickets for each "Legislator Shooting Team" are being made available via silent online auction.
Call with questions.
Joe Emmett O'Brien
Carver County Republican Party
[contact info redacted]
What will it cost the winning lobbyist to hang with John Kline, who recently brought home first place in the Congressional Shoot-out, Republican category? (Collin Peterson was the top gun among the Democratic contenders in the competition sponsored by the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.)
What's Paulsen worth? Ortmann? Hopper?
For the record, Bluestem rather enjoys shooting with our bosom companions. However, we're not too keen on legislators for sale to lobbyists, and wonder what those who object to human trafficking might think about the example this human auction sets.
Bluestem believes that we may also have found a clip on Youtube that illustrates the outdoor excitement that high bidders might enjoy at the fundraiser:
Photos: Chip Cravaack (above); The graphic version of the invite (middle); Congressman John Kline and his 2010 "Top Gun" honors, via Kline's website (below). For the record, it's not just Kline and Peterson who are members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. Other members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation belonging to the caucus include Sen. Al Franken, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and Congressmen Tim Walz, Erik Paulsen, and Chip Cravaack. With that sort of representation, Bluestem thinks maybe all Minnesotans, and their livestock, should start wearing orange vests and hats year round.