Bring me the head of a staffer…and a corndog

Like me, my readers will swallow anything…

Democratic candidates are best advised that it is not enough to fire staffers for blogging or consorting with bloggers. Ritual disembowelment of the offending party followed by dropping out of the race and renouncing all worldly goods would be a start for the rightwing Hellhounds of Ethics.

Here is Captain Corndog going off the rails in an effort to prop up Mark Kennedy:

One of this year’s key Senate races is in Minnesota, where Mark Dayton’s retirement leaves an open seat. Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy is running against Democrat Amy Klobuchar, an untested candidate who currently serves as Hennepin County Attorney, but has run only one contested race in her life.

Klobuchar is sensitive to crime issues, as violent crime is skyrocketing on her watch in Hennepin County. So she may have been chagrined to learn that a left-wing blogger apparently had hacked into Mark Kennedy’s secure server and viewed a prospective Kennedy commercial; that the blogger had passed the login information on to Klobuchar’s campaign spokeswoman, Tara McGuinness, last Saturday; that McGuinness watched the illegally-obtained commercial, and then recruited other Klobuchar staffers to view it.

Then again, perhaps Klobuchar wasn’t so chagrined. Her office has reported the apparent federal crime to the FBI, and has hung the unnamed blogger and McGuinness out to dry–but only today, four days later, after Klobuchar had completed her scheduled debate with Kennedy, and after the Minneapolis Star Tribune had published a poll that showed her with a big lead.

The Associated Press story on the scandal assures us that, while Klobuchar’s most trusted staffers may have committed federal crimes, the candidate herself is innocent. But how do we know that? There are a number of obvious questions that have yet to be answered:

Was the conduct of Klobuchar’s staff a federal crime, or was it only unethical?

Why did Amy Klobuchar–who now holds herself out as an exemplar of effective law enforcement–wait for four days to report to the FBI the possible commission of a federal crime by persons associated with her campaign?

…Yadda yadda yadda.

But it’s not enough that Klobuchar fired the staffer and apologized because Hinderaker (who is a lawyer, remember) smells a federal crime which looks… like… it… might… be… a bit of a stretch:

Kennedy’s campaign manager responded by calling on Klobuchar to answer a long list of questions he said were raised by the revelations. The avowed blogger, Noah Kunin, 24 — who maintains the political website www.blanked-out.com — may have cleared up some of them when he came forward.

Goldfarb said the blogger had claimed to have used passwords, but Kunin denied circumventing any computer security measures to find the ad on the website of Kennedy’s advertising consultants, Scott Howell and Co. of Dallas.

“It was in no way secure,” Kunin said. “I was doing nothing wrong.” He also apologized to Klobuchar for causing a diversion from campaign issues.

It looks like someone forgot to close the barndoor on their internets:

Several days ago, after Mark Kennedy’s campaign launched the first negative campaign ad against Amy Klobuchar, I decided to research Kennedy’s media consultant, Scott Howell. This research led me to the website of Scott Howell’s consulting company. Several of Scott Howell’s previous political ads for his clients were no longer on this website, nor were they on the websites of his clients.

While searching for political ads, I clicked on a link titled ‘netview,’ which then brought me to another webpage. No other information was requested. I therefore typed in the name ‘Allen.’ Nothing more, nothing less. This redirected me to a webpage containing three pieces of information. Kennedy for Senate, a date, and a hyperlink. Upon clicking the hyperlink, I was directed to the aforementioned political advertisement. At no point in this process did I circumvent or misrepresent myself. The website containing this ad can be accessed by anyone online. It is possible to directly go to this website. It is in no way secured.

CLARIFICATION: The word “Allen” was used because Scott Howell has also been retained by Senator George Allen. No user was asked for.


As a fitting end to this much-ado we submit the calm sensible deeply-serious understated words of John Hinderaker:

The FBI presumably won’t conclude its criminal investigation until after November’s election, but the voters will have to decide whether they want to be represented in the United States Senate by a woman who is not only powerless to stop the crime wave in Hennepin County, but whose staffers may have contributed to it.

This is part of a “crime wave”

Jesus. What a tool.

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