MN GOP made “formal offer” to MacDonald

PoliticsMN_WEBSITELogoDSC_8133croprSince Thursday evening, Michelle MacDonald, the Republican endorsed candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, had been contacted numerous times by an attorney working with a member of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s State Executive Committee, with an offer to repudiate the Republican Party of Minnesota’s endorsement and end her campaign.

PatAndersonAccording to multiple sources, including members of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s State Executive committee, Patrick Burns, an attorney with Burns & Hansen, P.A, was working with Pat Anderson, a member of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s State Executive Committee from the 4th Congressional District on a plan to get MacDonald to repudiate the Republican Party of Minnesota’s endorsement and end her campaign.

My sources also confirmed that Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Keith Downey was aware that Anderson was working on a deal related to MacDonald’s candidacy. This information conflicts with a statement provided by the Republican Party of Minnesota that no offer was presented to MacDonald by the Republican Party of Minnesota.

Anderson and MacDonald have crossed paths before, as MacDonald represented Anderson’s ex-husband, Mike Awada, in legal proceedings with Anderson after her divorce from Awada. Burns previously worked for Anderson’s successful campaign for state auditor in 2002 and later served as her communications director starting in 2003.

3570604_1Burns began contacting MacDonald with an offer from the Republican Party of Minnesota that she repudiate her endorsement from the Republican Party of Minnesota and also end her campaign starting on Friday, August 22, 2014.

After reviewing electronic communications and the phone records between MacDonald and Burns, the offer from the Republican Party of Minnesota was discussed as both a request for MacDonald to  repudiate the endorsement and also end her campaign. While MacDonald’s letter to Downey only referenced the request that she repudiate the endorsement, the request communicated by Burns discussed both items.

According to phone and text message records provided by MacDonald to politics.mn, Burns called MacDonald 14 times between Friday, August 22, 2014 to Saturday, August 23, 2014. During the same time span, Burns sent MacDonald approximately 22 text messages. All of the communications were focused on the offer from the Republican Party of Minnesota.

MacDonald did communicate back and forth with Burns, but after reviewing the communications, Burns was aggressively pushing MacDonald to accept the offer from the Republican Party of Minnesota.

Burns declined to comment on any conversation he had with a representative of the Republican Party of Minnesota or the State Executive Committee, saying, “I’m not going to discuss any communications that I may have had or advice that I have made on behalf of anyone.” In response to a follow-up question about conversations with the Republican Party of Minnesota and Anderson, Burns said again “my communications are privileged.”

MacDonald told politics.mn‘s that Burns was not her attorney and Burns said he had not been retained by the Republican Party of Minnesota. But Burns would neither confirm nor deny providing advice to representatives of the Republican Party of Minnesota in a volunteer capacity, saying “I provide advice”, but he added that “I’m not commenting on any conversations I may or may have not had.”

Burns did offer his “professional opinion” on MacDonald’s candidacy, saying “her qualificiations to run are suspect, her temperament is questionable.”

Below are key text messages sent by Burns to MacDonald about a deal/offer from the Republican Party of Minnesota:

  • Burns sent MacDonald a text message at 4:39 PM on August 22, 2014:

I have a deal from the party for you

  • Burns sent MacDonald a text message at 10:15 PM on August 22, 2014:

You need to call me tonight. Something is happening tomorrow. [Something did – Downey’s e-mail against MacDonald sent at 2:03 PM]

  • Burns sent MacDonald a text message at 11:06 PM on August 22, 2014:

I have a formal offer that I have received

  • Burns sent MacDonald a text message at 11:07 PM on August 22, 2014:

Please call me back. It [the offer] has an expiration of 12:00 PM Saturday

Burns and MacDonald did speak on Saturday morning and an audio recording of the phone conversation was provided to politics.mn by MacDonald. In the phone conversation on the morning of Saturday, August 23, Burns spoke with a sense of urgency that MacDonald make a decision and accept the offer before the 12PM deadline before “more damage occurs.”

Burns said in the phone conversation:

  • You’ve got a 12 o’clock deadline, according to what I can get out of the folks over at the committee [The Republican Party State Executive Committee], so what decision do you want to make?
  • They’re [The Republican Party of Minnesota] going to squash you like a bug. That’s what they want to do.
  • I’m trying to help you, by saving you before a noon deadline.
  • Draft me a letter, have it addressed to Downey and we’ll make a call and we’ll tell them [The Republican Party of Minnesota] to stop what they want to do. I have no idea what it is, but I’ve been warned. It’s not going to get better from here on out.
  • They [The Republican Party of Minnesota] wants your resignation of the endorsement.      

MacDonald rejected the offer from the Republican Party of Minnesota presented by Burns, sending a letter to Downey at 12 PM on Saturday, August 23, 2014. Just as Burns said on the phone conversation, Downey sent out an email two hours later which was critical of MacDonald’s candidacy.

Keith Downey and Pat Anderson did not respond to requests for comment on this story. Please check back to politics.mn for additional information on this story and other analysis on the 2014 elections.

10 Comments

  1. Pat Anderson has been controversial in the RPM, vindictive since her rejection for a full term as the Party’s National Committee representative. She needs to be sidelined.

    She is apparently concerned that Michelle MacDonald’s campaigning for the Supreme Court can further overshadow her own declining influence in the Party.

    Isn’t it interesting to read that MacDonald counseled Anderson’s ex-husband regarding divorce proceedings.

  2. Jacob McCandles says:

    I sense a Professional Responsibility Board Complaint against this guy. Claiming privilege where it does not exist, abusive conduct under the Color of the Bar, etc etc. . . . wow!!!! One cannot script this stuff.

  3. Pingback: Daily Brief: Monday, Aug. 25th, 2014 - DFL SD 48 ~ Democrats of Southern Minnetonka and Eden Prairie

  4. Pingback: Amid their own apologies, GOP leaders ask for one from Franken | Capitol View | Minnesota Public Radio News

  5. Employing a strawman (Burns), accompanied by winks and nods, does not absolve the Party of responsibility. If I were to hire a strawman to burn (pun intended) a house down I would still be charged and convicted of arson . . . and probably and additional charge of conspiracy to commit the arson.

  6. Burns should get his ass kicked, he’s a liar and a little punk. Maybe he should get the facts before running his pie hole.

  7. MN Judge watch says:

    Burns should get his ass kicked. He is a liar and a little punk. Maybe he should get his facts strait before spouting off out of his pie hole.

  8. Pat Anderson tells me that Michele McDonald was NOT her Ex Husband’s divorce attorney. Who’s telling the truth?

  9. Opps! re read it, was after the divorce, my mistake………

  10. Minnesotans: you are being manipulated by the lying Main Stream Media Propaganda? Do you not recall the Political Hack David Lillehaug getting caught getting paid $77000 out of a government slush fund for legal work his firm did that was supposed to be Pro Bono? http://t.co/1iRP2k2kvv .

    See MN Statute
    169.91 ARREST. Subdivision 1.Procedure.

    When any person is arrested for any violation of any law or ordinance relating to the operation or registration of vehicles punishable as a petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony, the arrested person shall be taken into custody and immediately taken before a judge within the county in which the offense charged is alleged to have been committed and who has jurisdiction over the offenses and is nearest or most accessible with reference to the place where the arrest is made, in any of the following cases:

    (1) when a person arrested demands an immediate appearance before a judge;

    (4) when the person is arrested upon a charge of driving or operating or being in actual physical control of any motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs;

    Sorry to clutter things up for this propaganda source with things like facts but, hey thats just the way I roll. I was always told growing up that “ignorance of the law is not an excuse”. I assert this applies to cops also. But now despite the cop not knowing the law and Michelle MacDonald did (As we would hope any candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court (#SCOTSMN) would know) you want to make this about Michelle MacDonald and not the cop that did not know the law he is paid to know? How many times did this cop violate the rights of other Minnesota citizens and not get caught?

    I have seen the video. Michelle MacDonald asks to see a judge and agrees to take the test in front of the judge. Apparently you dont understand the COINTELPRO http://j.mp/1drdRlK methods used on the voice of political dissent that confront the corruption of the government. Michelle MacDonald wanted to document yet another unlawful and unconstitutional retaliatory act of government. She clearly had had no alcohol and was not impaired. NOW WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT ON THE RECORD AND OFF THE RECORD. THE PROBLEM WITH POLITICIANS,GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT IS THAT THE SPOKEN WORD EVAPORATES. If Michelle MacDonald just complies, she leaves it to the next poor sap to get the same unjust treatment. As a champion of the rights of all Rank and File Minnesotans, Michelle MacDonald wanted to document this ON THE COURT RECORD instead of in some private backroom so the POLICE COULD NOT COVER IT UP-YOU KNOW HE SAID, SHE SAID. (You know, like some folks in Ferguson are saying is happening.) But it sounds like author of this propaganda is either a mindless sheople with no gonads or a paid political operative. Which one is it?

    When I have more time I will write a more professional article, these were just my off the cuff thoughts and comments.

    The battle here is the endorsed candidate of rank and file Minnesotans vs the Anointed candidate of the corrupt political establishment. How dare we rank and file Minnesotans disrupt the succession desired by the corrupt tyrant class? (sarcasm)

    I look forward to your retraction and/or clarification. That is if you have any interest in printing truth as opposed to propaganda.

    http://twitter.com/DMashak

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