Showing posts with label Minnesota. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minnesota. Show all posts

Monday, December 6, 2010

Minnesota: Clemency, Pawlenty and Obama

This morning, the Editor of this blog, P.S. Ruckman, Jr., appeared on The Midmorning Show, with Kerri Miller, on Minnesota Public Radio.

The discussion focused on both state and federal pardons, including the recent clemency controversy in that state. Hear the full interview here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pardons on Minnesota Public Radio

The Editor of this blog, P.S. Ruckman, Jr., will be a guest on The Midmorning Show, with Kerri Miller, on Minnesota Public Radio, Monday, December 6th, at 10:45 am. The discussion will focus on both state and federal pardons, including the recent clemency controversy in that state.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Pitiful Daily Kos on Gov. Pawlenty

The Daily Kos is featuring a story entitled: "Pawlenty pardoned serial child molester so wife could open up day care center." As a headline, it is quite the eye-catcher. As a device for communicating factual information, however, it is an utter and complete failure.

In fact, Pawlenty and a State Board unanimously granted an "extraordinary pardon" to Jeremy Giefer who, in the eyes of the law, had completed a short (45-day) sentence and had been a law-abiding citizen for a period of time prescribed by law. That is to say, at the time of their (note the plural) decision, there was no evidence whatsoever, that anyone anywhere was even aware of even so much as a mere notion that Giefer was a "serial child molester" (shocking headline notwithstanding). Even today, in its enthusiasm to condemn Governor Pawlenty, the Daily Kos is, in its headline, convicting someone who is simply accused of crimes. Is this the new mindset of the political "left" in this country?

Minnesota: The Pardon Record

The Communications Director of the Minnesota State Board of Corrections has done us an extraordinary favor by providing data on the decisions of the State's Board of Pardons during the tenure of Governor Pawlenty. Minnesota State Law does not place the pardon power in the hands of any single individual. Instead, the power is given to the Board of Pardons (which includes the Governor) and the Board's decisions to grant clemency must be unanimous. Here are the data:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Minnesota: Sad Commentary on a Sad Case

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Gov. Tim Pawlenty "and two other officials" (the State's Attorney General and a State Supreme Court justice) unanimously granted a pardon to 36-year old Jeremy Giefer two years ago. But, now, after the fact, some county prosecutors say Giefer was "sexually assaulting" a "young girl hundreds of times before and after he received his pardon." Of course, wanting to make as much out of it as possible, some "experts" are expressing their view that the situation might have an impact on any decision Pawlenty makes regarding a run for the presidency!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wilbur B. Foshay's Amazing Story

Wilbur Burton Foshay’s first important business venture was the United Gas Improvement Co. of Hutchinson, Kansas. In 1914, he borrowed two thousand dollars and moved to Minneapolis, where he started another utilities outfit. Then, in 1916, he borrowed another six thousand dollars and launched Wilbur B. Foshay Utility Company. The venture, which started with one employee in a small office in the First National-Soo Line Building in Minneapolis, eventually became Foshay Enterprises.

A federal judge once described Foshay's business legacy as a "Napoleonic adventure" in which Foshay discovered that he could sell stocks and securities of utility companies if people believed the companies were making large current incomes on the invested capitol. Indeed, Foshay's basic strategy was to buy up utility companies, manage them, then sell stock in his utility empire. By 1929, he had thousands of employees and many thousands more of investors.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Minnesota: Pawlenty, 9 Kinds of Idiots

Minnesota Public Radio reports Gov. Pawlenty said "he never granted clemency during his time as governor and would not have granted clemency to the alleged shooter in Washington." PardonPower wonders if Pawlenty meant to say there were no deserving recipients of clemency during his tenure. Hopefully he wasn't a big enough jackass to allow persons he knew to be innocent to continue to be punished! We are also to infer that, had he been presented with a commutation of sentence petition from a person sentenced for 108 years in prison for crimes they committed when they were 16 years old that he would not have even considered it. PardonPower officially declares Pawlenty an IDIOT. See story here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Minnesota: Inside the Pardon Process

Rachel E. Stassen-Berger of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has written an excellent piece providing an "inside" look at the clemency process in Minnesota. The State's Board of Pardons consists of the governor, the attorney general and the Supreme Court chief justice. Last year, they heard 62 requests for pardon and granted 26. See story here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Minnesota: Coleman in on the Vennes Party

Recently, we noted a piece in the Minnesota Independent which observed 6th District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann withdrew her support for the clemency application of Frank Vennes Jr., who was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison in 1987 after conviction for money laundering, illegal firearm sales and cocaine distribution. On September 24th, Vennes' home was raided by federal agents in connection with a fraud investigation and Bachmann immediately wrote a letter to the Office of the Pardon Attorney (DOJ) withdrawing her support. The Independent suggested the original letter of support for Vennes’ pardon was "so unusual" because he was not even Bachmann's constituent. He had, however, contributed a total of $27,400 to her since 2005.

Now, the Minnesota Independent reports Norm Coleman added his name to the list of Vennes supporters just two months after his election to the U.S. Senate. Coleman wrote "President George W. Bush c/o Karl Rove” in December of 2002, saying he was “well acquainted" with the case and suggesting additional support for clemency was coming from former Minnesota GOP Chairman Ron Eibensteiner and Governor-Elect Tim Pawlenty. Coleman sent a second letter to the Office of Pardon Attorney in December 2004.

The Independent reports Vennes and his immediate family "have contributed heavily to Norm Coleman’s campaigns directly or indirectly."

Frank Vennes gave Coleman’s campaign committees $2,000 prior to Coleman’s pardon letter. However, he gave $8,000 to the Rally for Leadership Fund, which is controlled by Rep. John Kline, on July 19, 2002. A month later, the Rally for leadership Fund kicked in $168,000 to Coleman’s campaign, and four months later, Senator-elect Coleman wrote his first pardon recommendation letter for Vennes. Vennes also gave $5,000 in 2003 to Coleman’s North Star Leadership PAC, a political action committee controlled by Jeff Larson, Coleman’s Washington, DC, landlord and political consultant. Vennes’ brother, Gregory, gave Coleman $1,000 in 2001.
See story here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Minnesota: Withdrawal of Support

The Minnesota Independent reports that 6th District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is withdrawing her support for the clemency application of Frank Vennes Jr., who was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison in 1987 after conviction for money laundering, illegal firearm sales and cocaine distribution. After serving the sentence, Vennes filed a series of unsuccessful appeals claiming he was the victim of entrapment. On September 24th, however, his home was raided by federal agents in connection with a fraud investigation. Bachmann immediately wrote a letter to the Office of the Pardon Attorney (DOJ) which said, in part:
“I had known Mr. Vennes for some time and was familiar with his good works with local charity organizations. Like so many others, I was under the impression that he had turned his life around and was seeking to do the right thing by those less fortunate. Regrettably, it now appears that I may have too hastily accepted his claims of redemption and I must withdraw my previous letter.”
The Independent suggests the original letter of support for Vennes’ pardon was "so unusual" because "he is not even a constituent of Bachmann’s." He has, however, contributed a total of $27,400 to her since 2005. See full story here.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Minnesota: Before the Board

The Pioneer Press has an intriguing piece today at TwinCities.com. It describes the efforts of several individuals who have recently appeared before the State Board of Pardons - which is composed of Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), Attorney General Lori Swanson and Chief Justice Russell Anderson form the state Board of Pardons. For example, eighty-year-old Emilia Acosta appeared before the Board to explain why she shot and killed her husband back in 1971. The article reports Acosta finished her sentence "long ago" and was asking the State to "forgive her" and wipe her "slate clean." Here is a snippet:
Like Acosta, most people who come before the board have finished their prison or jail terms decades ago and seek what is known as a "pardon extraordinary.'' This means they would no longer be legally required to report convictions when asked.

But there is much more at stake than the legal process. People came from manufacturing plants and office desks and check-out posts to admit to this daunting and public tribunal that they did something very wrong. Their lives are still encumbered by these long-ago crimes, most of them far less serious than Acosta's. They want the state to let them turn the page.
Acosta submitted letters of recommendation and brought along a character witness. The chief justice noted her conviction was commuted from first- to second-degree murder after her mental health problems were taken into account. Gov. Pawlenty oberved that crimes of such severity are generally not pardoned. The governor then called for a vote and no one supported the pardon. See full story here.

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