Okay, maybe I haven’t reached full outrage status, but I do feel deceived.**
Earlier this week, I read a story about a former campaign director of Tom Emmer’s gubernatorial campaign, Mark Buesgens, getting pulled over for driving at twice the legal limit. The StarTribune story starts like this:
A Twin Cities state representative and former campaign manager for GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer was arrested over the weekend while driving drunk in a ditch in Wright County, authorities said Monday.
Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan, was stopped shortly after 10:30 p.m. Saturday by a deputy who saw him driving his car north in the ditch to the east of County Road 8 in Maple Lake Township, said Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Howell.
After reading that, I felt kind of bad for the guy. Perhaps working for Tom Emmer had driven him to drink? And then, as I was led to believe, he was fired, went on a binge, and ended up in a ditch with a cop light shining on him. An irresponsible and sad tale.
But, it turns out that the story I was buying was actually a story sold to the StarTribune by Tom Emmer and former Minnesota Republican Chairman and public affairs strategist, Chris Georgacas. Chris Georgacas is paid to lie. That’s my definition of a political “public affairs strategist” and I think his work in this case supports it.
The problem here is that Chris Georgacas (and Tom Emmer) lied in writing about the timing of Mark Buesgens’ termination, as Jeff Rosenberg at MN Publius uncovered. While the StarTribune bought the story that Mark Buesgens was no longer working for Tom Emmer while he was literally driving in a ditch, it turns out that he was, indeed, on Tom Emmer’s campaign payroll while in that ditch in Wright County.
This changes my perspective of Tom Emmer. While the guy has proven to me, through his own DWIs and corresponding legislative behavior, that he doesn’t learn from his mistakes very well, I figured that he was the kind of guy who I could agree to disagree with on things, and trust as a person with a different perspective on the role of government than my own.
But now I’m not sure that I can even trust the guy. Someone who’s so willing to lie so blatantly to gain power is not someone I can trust. And someone who’ll hire Chris Georgacas to lie for him is hurting their own reputation. No, I’m not saying that I would have voted for him before this, but I’m saying that I think people who want to back a politician they can trust may need to look elsewhere.
* How about that 3rd Person Talking Outrage, eh? I stole that nonsense from MN GOP Chair, Tony Sutton, who’s blowheartedly outraged on a regular basis. Maybe it’s a burrito thing?
** Deceived by the StarTribune who bought Emmer’s story.