News Day: Coleman campaign circus / “Don’t do anything embarrassing” / Water bill / Recount and more

Where do you get your news? The mainstream media is now jumping on board with two stories that the independent media reported first and best — the Coleman campaign caught with its donors’ credit card info hanging out on the internet and the MN House of Reps’ outrageous attempts to decide what press gets freedom of the press. If you’re reading this, you’re already reading independent media. Tell a friend!

Coleman campaign lawbreaking or “hacking”? As the mainstream media belatedly begins to cover the Coleman donor database story, ably reported by the Minnesota Independent in January and now, some are ignoring plain facts: the Coleman site was not hacked; the Coleman campaign carelessly put donors’ credit card numbers and security codes out on the internet for anyone to scoop up; the Coleman campaign violated its own promise to donors not to store their credit card numbers; the Coleman campaign probably violated MN law by not notifying donors of the security lapse back in January.

Embarrassing moments at MN House As MN representatives continue trying to decide who is and who is not a journalist and who is and who is not allowed to photograph public hearings, Mary LaHammer’s TPT blog captured a good moment:

[House Minority Leader Marty] Seifert expressed some similar concerns about partisan “trackers” with cameras trying to capture members doing embarrassing things. I noted that maybe publically elected officials, in public meetings, in public buildings just shouldn’t do embarrassing things.

Ya think?

More on mosques The Strib reported on Minnesota mosque leaders critique of Senate hearing testimony that, with a wink and a nod and no direct evidence whatsoever, once again smeared two local mosques by implying they are recruiting youth to be “terrorists.”

MPR reported on the reaction, but closed with a disingenuous quote:

Committee chairman Sen. Joe Lieberman said yesterday the testimony given by senior counterterrorism officials was “the most graphic and clear evidence we’ve had thus far of a systematic campaign of recruitment of American youth.”

And, just in case you missed it yesterday, here’s that “graphic and clear evidence” from FBI Associate Director Philip Mudd:

“I don’t see people out there saying, ‘Man, can we have another 10 Americans.’ So I think it is a simple story of people saying, ‘I want to fight for my country,’ or ‘I want to live in another social or religious environment’ not people saying, ‘I wish I had more Americans,’” he said. “In fact, in some cases the Americans can be a security risk for them. … These folks aren’t going over there to become part of terrorist cells.“

If this leaves you scratching your head and wondering what evidence links MN mosques to “recruiting,” let me clarify: NONE. No one has presented any evidence. No one has proved anything. The Senate committee testimony consisted of Homeland Security officials speculating about what they think must probably be true — and as the FBI quote demonstrates, they don’t even agree on that.

MN Job Watch The Strib and the printers’ union bargaining team reached a deal after an all-night bargaining session in New York. Union members still have to approve the deal.

Cool, clean water That’s what Dem Jim Oberstar’s $14 billion water quality bill would help restore, and it passed the House 317-101 yesterday, with MN’s John Kline and Michelle Bachmann voting against it. (No surprise there.) The bill, according to the Strib combines “five water quality bills that cleared the House in 2007 and 2008 but were bottled up in the Senate under veto threats from former President Bush.”

Dems cutting education funding There’s no way around it, writes Mary LaHammer on TPT: Senate DFLers are proposing to cut state education funding, and to cut state spending by an across-the-board seven percent. AP puts the cut in education funding at almost a billion dollars. DFLers also want $2 billion in additional revenue, which means tax increases, probably in the income tax.

At last … maybe the recount trial sees final arguments today (probably), and that will leave the case in the hands of the judges, who haven’t said how long they may deliberate before announcing a decision. Coleman’s side took about five weeks to present testimony, and Franken’s side wrapped up after only eight days, apparently confident that the final vote totals were going their way anyway. The winner won’t be seated until after the MN Supreme Court decides the (almost inevitable) appeal from the recount court’s ruling.


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2 responses to “News Day: Coleman campaign circus / “Don’t do anything embarrassing” / Water bill / Recount and more

  1. Clarification on a story I wrote that you cite above: The Coleman campaign changed its stated policy about not storing donors’ credit card. They dropped an earlier assurance that the would not keep that data around Feb. 2008. The earliest entry in the leaked database dates to March 2008. So there doesn’t seem to be evidence that at any given point in time they violated their current policy, but they did drop the earlier policy.


  2. maryturck

    Thanks, Chris. And, in yet another twist, it appears that – regardless of Coleman campaign policy – keeping the donor information was illegal. This from another Minnesota Independent report on Thursday afternoon:

    Coleman’s campaign also retained to the verification codes listed on the backs of donors’ credit cards, according to the databases. The FAQ also notes, “The only information … made public so far [from the leaked version of the database] are the last four digits of individual’s cards and the security code on the card.” Under a law passed in 2007, retaining those numbers is prohibited:

    “No person or entity conducting business in Minnesota… shall retain the card security code data, the PIN verification code data, or the full contents of any track of magnetic stripe data,” says state statute 325E.64. “A person or entity is in violation of this section if its service provider retains such data subsequent to the authorization of the transaction.”


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