Take Scott Hennen's consulting relationship with Minnesota CD7 endorsed Republican Lee Byberg.According to the latest Byberg filing with the Federal Elections Commission, Hennen-owned Freedom Force Communications LLC was paid $14,500 in Q2 for media/fundraising ($7000 in April and $3500 in May) and "monthly website" ($4000 in April).
The haul is declining a bit, however, from earlier quarters.
In April, Bluestem posted in Freedom Force Communications expands lucrative arrangement with Byberg campaign:
Bluestem didn't believe that the [Scott Hennen's] endorsement [of Byberg] was bought, but we did wonder what sort of disclosure might be required by Hennen of the lucrative arrangement between his business and the Byberg campaign. Hennen is a radio talk show and serves as a frequent speaker at Republican and Tea Party events. A bit of transparency might help listeners evaluate Hennen's remarks.
The question remains a valid one.[Blogger and Gretchen Hoffman supporter John] Gilmore noted that " Scott Hennen has been paid over $35,000 by candidate Lee Byberg over the last two years."
Lee Byberg's Q1 2012 FEC report lists new payments to Freedom Forum Communications. The campaign paid FFC $10,000 for a new website design, with $4000 monthly web services fees ($12,000 total) following the design, $7000 for fundraising and $7000 for administration/salary/overhead. That's $36,000 in three months; the campaign spent a total of $91276.64 for the quarter.
The total payments to FFC for the first six months of 2012 now total $50,500. When Hennen discusses the congressional campaign in Minnesota's 7th--he promotes Byberg in a July 12 broadcast about the Browerville Tea Party rally--he doesn't mention that his firm is being paid to consult with the Byberg campaign.
"Freedom Poet" isn't free, gets $1000 consulting fee
Nor is Freedom Forum Communications LLC the only Hennen associate paid by the Byberg campaign. "Freedom Poet" Mark Skogerboe, was paid a $1000 consulting fee. As Bluestem noted in a June 21 post, Byberg campaign to push limits of poetic license in Ortonville today with Constitution class:
Our correspondent asked the obvious question: "I can only wonder what brand of Constitutional freedom he's offering at the VFW?!"
Looking into the event, Bluestem has established that "The Freedom Poet" is one Mark Skogerboe, who is to poetry what Collin Peterson and Byberg himself are to music. If Skogerboe has published a book of poems, we were not able to find it.
What we did find are a basic biography, a history of various events, and Skogerboe's professional relationship with Scott Hennen, who runs Byberg's major vendor, Freedom Force Communications.
And Skogerboe is going to serve as director of the donor clubs Hennen has formed to underwrite his purchase of AM 1100 The Flag. With a $1000 share, "founding fathers" get not only advertising time, but "access" to political guests. Will "access" to Byberg be one of the perks of donorship in the remote chance he defeats Blue Dog Collin Peterson? . . .
. . .They're practically the Duke and Dauphin of the Red River Valley with that pitch. Hennen and Skogerboe rent themselves out to Byberg, and media personality and Byberg consultant Hennen buys a radio station with promises of "access" to guests for donors. No one ever said that grifters don't have to grift.
Is it professional courtesy for Hennen that the political press doesn't ask this question about disclosure?
Photos: Scott Hennen, left, looks on as Lee Byberg, right, answered questions at a 2010 Beltrami Republicans breakfast. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, though Hennen hasn't told his audience just how beautiful Pioneer Photo/Brad Swenson Below: Mark Skogerboe speaking at a 2010 Tea Party Rally in Grand Forks. He wants you to know he's entitled to what he earns, though he might not be telling you what Lee Byberg pays him. Photo by Sarah Kolberg / Forum Communications Co.
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