Hatch And Swanson: Peas In An Authoritarian Pod

If you haven’t watched Chris Barden – GOP candidate for Attorney General – and his indictment of Attorney General Swanson and the man who pretty much pulls her strings, Mike Hatch, watch this:

The stuff about using staff to file grandstanding lawsuits that publicized his office but played fast and loose with the law?  We’ve run into this on this blog before; back in 2003, I wrote a five part series on one of these suits, on Hatch’s watch, against “American Bankers”, a Florida company that ran afoul of state regulators.  It was one of Hatch’s sleazier moments – and that of the media, too.

Part 1 – During the closing days of the Ventura Administration, the state Commerce Department, under Jim Bernstein, a former DFLer and radical anti-business commissioner, reaches a settlement as part of a multi-state action.  And then American Bankers backs out.

Part 2 – American Bankers sends a check to the Minnesota GOP – coordinated by a DFL rainmaker with a long, cordial relationship with Hatch – which was illegal at the time.  An automatic “thank you” letter goes out…

Part 3 – …which Hatch uses to ambush Pawlenty’s commerce commissioner, to push for an illegal diversion of settlement money to a Hatch-controlled charity.

Part 4 – Hatch springs one of his pet reporters on the MNGOP, creates a canned controversy.

Part 5 – The lack of media attention to the unravelling of Hatch’s story, back in 2003.

Watch the video.  Read the five part report.

Tell a neighbor; Lori Swanson’s gotta go.


8 thoughts on “Hatch And Swanson: Peas In An Authoritarian Pod

  1. Kel, wow. We all talk and argue politics, but when something like comes out from a major party. Does the Democrat party not know that Catholic Charities is the largest chartible organization in the world? And the Catholic church is actually quite liberal (see behavior during the cold war & on illegel immigration issues). How many homeless people have a place to stay and food to eat due to the Catholic church?

    The Catholic church does have a bit of a bureaucracy, but I doubt they retain a 35% administrative fee like the gov’t does.

  2. In most years, I’d be happy supporting Chris Barden, as I think he’d make a good — maybe even great — AG.

    That said, I’m strongly supporting — as in putting up a lawn sign, giving money, talking to people in support of — Lori Swanson for reelection. It’s your blog, Mitch, and you can delete this without my permission — but you have my permission.

    There’s several accusations against AG Swanson that I’d like to address — not as a spokesman for her office or campaign, ’cause I’m not — but as a strong supporter.

    1. That she’s the minion of Mike Hatch. Nope; not anymore. When she was the Solicitor General, sure, that was a legitimate take — but, to a large extent, it’s the job of the SG to be the AG’s top litigator. And she was, and did a great job. Now, she’s the AG, and while I have no reason to doubt that Mike Hatch is a strong supporter — I was at a fundraiser for her at his house — and likely a close professional confidante, she is the AG, not him.

    2. That she is mean to her staff. I don’t think there’s any question that AG Swanson, like her predecessor, work their staff — particularly their lawyers — real, real hard. And some have obviously gotten pissed off, at least in part because of the AG’s unwillingness to help the AG staff lawyers unionize. Mean? Maybe. Demanding? Hell, yeah — and that’s what she should be.

    I’m not going to go into all that I think is great about the AG, but let me say this, as a strong 2A advocate: there is no AG in the country who has been better on the issues than Lori Swanson. Whether that’s signing on to an amicus brief in Heller, advising subordinate agencies that they simply must with the Personal Protection Act, or in outreach to the community, there just plain hasn’t been better than she is.

  3. Joel,

    I don’t as a rule delete comments, and I always welcome a lively discussion.

    There is no question that Swanson has been excellent on RKBA issues. I’ve given her the requisite nod for that fact in this space. And I will give her the benefit of the doubt on the “angry employees” bit.

    But the politicization of the AGO is a problem; I don’t like how it’s turned into a glorified consumer protection office focusing on high profile cases that buff up the populist resumes of the current AG. Barden makes a powerful case that Swanson has continued Hatch’s pattern of using the AGO to shake down businesses that cross him for settlements that benefit the Attorney General.

    And her support for Obamacare, and the abrogation of her job in securing our electoral system, are just plain wrong.

    So while she has her redeeming qualities – certainly moreso than Hatch – I will be voting for Barden in as many districts as I can get vouched into.

  4. I appreciate her pro-RKBA stance and her anti-Government-Lawyer-Union stance as well, but her connection to Hatch leaves me cold. Really, really cold.

  5. With due deference to my friend Joel, I think we can do better than Swanson, and for me Barden is the better choice. I really do want to know all the facts surrounding the $250K check to ACORN. When I think of ACORN I think of rotting flesh, something about all of this smells foul to me.

  6. I’m not going to disparage people for voting for Barden; I think he’d do a good job.

    But Lori Swanson has earned my vote, and my support, and she’s getting it.

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