I was going to give Katherine Kersten a rest. Really I was. Once she had her makeover and moved to a Sunday-only opinion column, I was going to move on to better things and let her bloviate.
But when she builds an entire column on a purposefully misleading premise, I just have to call BS.
A single-issue outsider from Colorado pours money into sleepy state races.
In 2006, State Sen. Mady Reiter -- a two-term Republican from Shoreview -- was defeated by DFLer Sandy Rummel in a tight race.
Was it just another case of a Republican losing in a down year for the GOP? Perhaps. But if Senate District 53 voters had read through the list of Rummel's donors, they might have scratched their heads and asked if something more was going on. A substantial number of Rummel's donors hailed from glamorous, faraway places such as Hollywood, Boston, New York City and Coral Gables, Fla. In fact, out-of-state donors made up about 48 percent of Rummel's itemized individual contributions.
How could a flood of money influence a contest over a suburban state senate seat? Where were the funds directed? How much would it take to tilt a close election?
I was genuinely curious, because the idea of money being a swing factor in such a race seemed unlikely. And of course I was suspicious of anything written by this woman who has made a good career out of being intellectually dishonest in service of traditional values.
The reason Kersten didn't answer these questions was because the facts would have dashed her entire construct. Tim Gill contributed $250. He wasn't even the largest donor to a campaign that reported $8,250 in individual donations. (Counting individual and PAC contributions, Rummel received 17 larger checks, 26 smaller and 11 the same as Gill's.)
What's really shameful here is that by putting Kersten on the op-ed page, the Strib has put her beyond even minimal standards of fact checking or editorial queries.
You can look here at the data Kersten — or whatever "real political insider" who fed her this — had to have seen.