Sunday, July 6, 2014
My Impression of Tom Emmer as Candidate for Congress
by Charles Leck
For a short time, Tom Emmer served as a city councilman here in the town in which I live. I attended a number of meetings of the City Council during that time and I have a clear memory of Tom Emmer being a bully. I shared that sentiment a number of times with my wife and friends here in the community.
Whenever anyone stood up to speak against a proposal that Mr. Emmer favored – or for a proposal that he did not favor – he would virtually shout that person down with very ill-mannered comments and behavior. I remember, once, having to stand up and ask Councilman Emmer not to be so rude to people who wished to speak because it tended to frighten community residents and it discouraged them from speaking when we should be doing quite the opposite. Mr. Emmer glowered and smirked at me.
Now Mr. Emmer is running for election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Oh, my! I am saddened by this because I do not think he has the manners and/or the patterns of behavior that are generally expected of one who serves in such a distinguished position.
I chatted with a lawyer who has been looking into Tom Emmer’s behavior in a number of matters. Here’s what he told me…
“Tom Emmer’s history of questionable behavior in our community and in the neighboring town where he now lives bears serious inquiry before sending him to Washington. His suitability for elective office has to be measured by his conduct, not just by his self-professed conservative credentials. Emmer arranged for expensive landscaping at his home by Tony Poppler, a local small businessman. When it was time to pay, Emmer refused and defended the lawsuit Poppler was forced to bring by claiming that Mrs. Emmer had signed the contract for the Emmer home improvements so he had no personal liability. There are rumors of other local businesses that have unpaid obligations due from Emmer, although folks are reluctant to discuss specifics, leaving so many of us in the region shaking our heads in disbelief. Emmer’s criminal record includes charges of careless driving and driving while intoxicated. Of less serious nature, but perhaps an indication of an ‘above the law’ attitude are a number of more recent speeding and serial parking violations. Emmer deflects any questioning about his run-ins with the law by referring to them as mistakes in the system and not in his behavior. I’m no saint, but I know lots of qualified candidates for esteemed positions whose conscience is deservedly clear about their business dealings and who are not so familiar with law enforcement.”
This fellow is correct about Mr. Emmer’s strange attitudes and I hope the public takes a close look at this guy’s every day behavior before deciding to vote for him.
I’m not a resident or a voter in the district in which Mr. Emmer is running. I’m just down the road from it, however, and I’m familiar with many people there who know Tom Emmer and have deeply-felt worries about him being their congressional representative. The vast majority of folks, however, have not gotten to know Mr. Emmer and they will learn of him only through a campaign that will try to glamorize him and cover up his boorish and bullying behavior.
Tom Emmer was not a good state legislator. He was not a good city councilman and he will not be a good legislator on the national level. He is not a reasonable man who is willing to think things through thoroughly before giving his opinion about those matters. He has placed himself out there on the far right and that is where he intends to stay. Tom Emmer is not just a conservative, but he is a radical conservative with a closed mind. The people of the 6th district should reject him.
By the way, I have here, on my desk, a couple of the court documents related to the suit the above lawyer refers to in the case of Tony Poppler vs Tom Emmer.