Saturday, March 15, 2008

Not Acceptable


UPDATE II: Click here to see how this all turned out.

Original post

Despite the fact that the Gophers lost to friggin' Mankato, I am pissed I had to sit through over two hours of House debate footage on dial-up, missing the vast majority of the game, only to learn that it appears the Republican House Caucus fabricated a quote.

It certainly didn't need to. The truth was certainly damaging enough. Rep. Jeremy Kalin's amendment providing free tows and impound fees (above the value of the vehicle) for anyone who qualifies for welfare is certainly irresponsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars. And, while certainly a percentage of welfare recipients are hard working people just trying to get ahead, pretending that the majority isn't simply taking advantage of the system is dishonest.

That is par for the course with the DFL though. Take from the earners and give to the loafers.

Of far more concern to me is the state Republican House Caucus playing fast and loose with quotes. It needs to provide an explanation and insure that what appears between quotation marks is absolutely accurate going forward. The next time I have to spend hours of my life sitting through House debate footage digging for a quote, it damn well better be there.

I have sent these questions to the Caucus:

Did this article come from the Caucus? If so, what is the explanation for the misquote? What does the Caucus intend to do to correct the record and to insure it never happens again?

I hope to hear back soon.

UPDATE: According to Margaret at Anti-Strib, who is in contact with the House Caucus, the Caucus stands by the quote and said the reason it doesn't appear in the televised debate is because it happened off mic. She has asked me to keep the name of her contact out of it for now, but here is the context of the response:

(Omitted) claims Kalin DID say it, the whole thing, including “real” but it doesn’t show up on the tape because he didn’t say it at the microphone. I can picture it because that kind of thing happens all the time in the legislature, there is a lot of backchat on the floor that has to be gaveled down by whoever is in the speaker’s chair. It would be fair for the Star Tribune to quote it if he uttered it anywhere, at the mic or not. We don’t have it on tape though which is sad. I am trying to find out right now if we have multiple witnesses...

...It wasn’t a debate point; it was more like part of a heated exchange.

Margaret adds:

I’ve never known him to be inaccurate before and I actually believe him here. It’s just too bad that the tape doesn’t back him up.

Worse comes to worse, this looks more like a "he said, she said" than a clear case of the House Caucus "fabricating" a quote as I suggested earlier. I'm still hoping for further information in the next few days and will post as necessary.

Thanks to Margaret for keeping me informed on this issue.

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