As you know, I wrote about Susan Gaertner’s LTE in the St. Cloud Times in harsh terms. The more I think about it, the more upset I get with the whole situation. I’m not the only person who’s written about this incident. King also referenced it in passing here. Despite those posts, it’s time that we scrutinized the connections and implications more.

What We Know About Ms. Gaertner

We know that Susan Gaertner isn’t just the Ramsey county attorney.
We know that she’s announce that she’s running for the DFL endorsement for governor in 2010. We also know that she’s Mrs. John Wodele.

What We Know About Mr. Wodele

According to this TPT post, we know that Mr. Wodele is Jesse Ventura’s spokesman.

According to that TPT post, we know that Mr. Wodele is working for the Tinklenberg campaign. Though I haven’t confirmed this yet, it isn’t a stretch to think that he’s a paid Tinklenberg campaign staffer. People like Mr. Wodele aren’t the volunteer type, if you know what I mean.

Next, let’s look at the content of Mrs. Wodele’s LTE. It wasn’t until the fortieth word before Mrs. Wodele made a misinformed statement about Rep. Bachmann’s energy policy. (That’s remarkable restraint these days for liberals.) Here’s what Mrs. Wodele said:

The congresswomen’s plan, announced a couple weeks ago, was simple: Drill.

That’s just plain inaccurate. Ms. Gaertner knows that Rep. Bachmann is supporting the American Energy Act. Here are some provisions in the American Energy Act:

To improve energy conservation and efficiency, the legislation will:

  • Provide tax incentives for businesses and families that purchase more fuel efficient vehicles, as proposed in H.R. 1618 and H.R. 765 by Reps. Dave Camp (R-MI) and Jerry Weller (R-IL);
  • Provide a monetary prize for developing the first economically feasible, super-fuel-efficient vehicle reaching 100 miles-per-gallon, as proposed in H.R. 6384 by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT); and
  • Provide tax incentives for businesses and homeowners who improve their energy efficiency, as proposed in H.R. 5984 by Reps. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Phil English (R-PA), and Zach Wamp (R-TN), and in H.R. 778 by Rep. Jerry Weller (R-IL).

Here’s another set of provisions from the bill:

To promote renewable and alternative energy technologies, the legislation will:

  • Spur the development of alternative fuels through government contracting by repealing the “Section 526” prohibition on government purchasing of alternative energy and promoting coal-to-liquids technology, as proposed in H.R. 5656 by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), in H.R. 6384 by Rob Bishop (R-UT), and in H.R. 2208 by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL);
  • Establish a renewable energy trust fund using revenues generated by exploration in the deep ocean and on the Arctic coastal plain, as proposed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA);
  • Permanently extend the tax credit for alternative energy production, including wind, solar and hydrogen, as proposed in H.R. 2652 by Rep. Phil English (R-PA) and in H.R. 5984 by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD); and
  • Eliminate barriers to the expansion of emission-free nuclear power production, as proposed in H.R. 6384 by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT).

Ms. Gaertner knows that this isn’t a drill only plan. Ms. Gaertner knows that it’s a comprehensive energy package. She just can’t admit that in public.

Let this be a lesson across the state and across the nation: Facts don’t matter in this type of storyline. I’ll bet that Democrats, whether we’re talking in MN-6 or AZ-1, aren’t hindered by verifiable facts. Because they’re getting hurt so badly, their last, desperate tactic is to attack with unsubstantiated accusations.

Here’s another bit of misinformation from Ms. Gaertner’s LTE:

In addition, the EIA report said the projected amounts of oil produced from ANWR at peak would only reduce United States imports of oil by 4 percent and have little impact on the price of a barrel of oil.

Right now, the United States uses 20,000,000 bbl./day. Four percent of 20 million is 800,000 bbls./day. There’s no reason to think that we can’t get close to double that from ANWR. That’s before we factor in the oil off the OCS.

Here’s another section of the LTE that’s worth highlighting:

I take offense when a politician proposes a solution that is essentially a cruel hoax perpetrated on a constituency that is experiencing the agony of $4 gas and soon expecting further anguish when they have to turn on the heat this winter.

Mrs. Wodele hasn’t provided a bit of verifiable proof that Rep. Bachmann’s plan is “a cruel hoax.” All she’s done is spew Mr. Tinklenberg’s talking points, which isn’t the same thing.

The big picture point I’m making is that Ms. Gaertner’s sloppily researched LTE is a poorly disguised hit piece for her hubby’s boss. That certainly isn’t Minnesota Nice. In fact, it’s downright sleazy. If Mr. Tinklenberg suggested that this be written, then the Tinklenberg campaign should apologize for suggesting it. If Ms. Gaertner’s LTE was suggested by her husband, then it’s something that the Tinklenberg campaign should distance itself from ASAP.

In either case, the Tinklenberg campaign’s behavior has been shameful.

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2 Responses to “The Gaertner-Tinklenberg Scandal???”

  • Gary, I don’t know whether all your suppositions about the Gaertner-Tinklenberg connection are correct — women running for political office themselves do get to write opinions without consulting their husbands — but at the very least, the paper should’ve more fully disclosed Gaertner’s family relationship to the campaign.

    On your comment: “There’s no reason to think that we can’t get close to double that from ANWR.”

    Maybe you should look at the report Gaertner cites. This sounds like one reason:

    “Significant areas of uncertainty regarding the impact on U.S. oil production and imports of opening ANWR are:

    * The size of the underlying resource base. Because there has been little petroleum drilling or exploration in ANWR, there is little first-hand knowledge regarding the petroleum geology of this region. The USGS oil resource estimates are based largely on the geologic conditions that exist in the neighboring State lands. Consequently, there is considerable uncertainty regarding both the size and quality of the oil resources that exist in ANWR. Thus, the potential ultimate oil recovery and potential yearly production are uncertain.”

    Of course, oil companies criticized for not drilling on all their leases rightly say it’s because not all land leased in the expectation of finding oil actually has enough to be worth drilling. You can’t have it both ways — uncertainty when you don’t drill but certainty when you want to get access to new land.

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