Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Petters and A-Klo

It's a long read, but I'd recommend this piece in the Daily Caller to your attention. The Tom Petters case was always especially strange to me -- how do you pull a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme and keep it going for so long? Well, it helps if you have law enforcement officials who look the other way:

Documents obtained by The Daily Caller show that U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar helped keep a multibillion-dollar Ponzi schemer out of prison in the late 1990s when she was the County Attorney in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

That financial criminal, Tom Petters, presided over companies whose employees gave Klobuchar $8,500 for her re-election campaign, and would later contribute more than $120,000 toward her U.S. Senate run.

One of those companies’ vice presidents was Ted Mondale, a former state senator and son of former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale. Before taking office as Hennepin County Attorney, Klobuchar was a partner at the Minneapolis law firm of Dorsey & Whitney, where Walter Mondale has practiced law since 1987.

Perhaps because of the lure of Petters’ campaign cash or his deep connection to Minnesota Democratic politics, Klobuchar used the power of her office in 1999 to ensure Petters was not charged with financial crimes. And despite significant evidence against him, she cleared the way for Petters to build his multibillion-dollar illegal empire by prosecuting only his early co-conspirators.
Perhaps, although it appears that Petters shared the wealth to both parties:

Hettler added that some Minnesota Republicans were also tainted by Petters’ political donations. “He doled money out to both sides of the aisle, depending on whoever got elected,” Hettler said. Names he mentioned include former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Sen. Norm Coleman.
There is one difference, though -- as a district attorney, Klobuchar could have put Petters in jail. That she didn't raises a lot of questions. Not that I expect anyone outside of the starboard side blogosphere to raise any of them until after the election is over. There's a lot more, needless to say, at the link, including the role of  Klobuchar's predecessor and successor in office, Mike Freeman.

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