Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jim Graham: "Welcome Home Dean"

From the Mpls Issues List:

What I am pleased about is that Dean has paid his debt and is now relatively free. It might surprise some, but I am glad Dean Zimmermann is out of prison and back in Minneapolis. Even though his actions did real harm to my neighborhood during the time he was in the Council and became a little too "interested" in promoting the interests of what I, and many, considered "organized crime". Before that Dean contributed a lot to our community in my opinion.

Dean was always a good guy and genuine person before becoming what I consider a pawn and victim of a certain family of "developers". That family has clearly, in my opinion, been the downfall of two City Council-Members -Dean Zimmermann and Brian Herron, but could have been responsible for a couple more.

Dean was weak and totally ineffectual as a Council Member, but that charge can be leveled at many other Council Members. Also, his bribery actions were not that different than some other "conflicts of interest" that were, and continue to be, normal for sitting Minneapolis politicians. Remember folks, in the last eight years three out of thirteen Wards in Minneapolis have had their Council Members go to Federal prison for corruption. And just for the record "IN MY OPINION" others have had similar "conflicts", but were simply too savvy to get caught up in the net that essentially caught only the small fish.

Dean's greatest folly, in my opinion, was not dropping the dime on the people who seduced him into the corruption. The people who were the actual target of the sting on Dean. The transcripts of the trial and the FBI reports make it clear who was the actual target.

So welcome home Dean. If I had known the bus was coming I would have tied a yellow ribbon around the old linden or maple tree.(don't have any oaks)

Jim Graham,
Ventura Village


Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Absurd Coverage of Dean Zimmermann's Homecoming

Steve Brandt in the Strib:

Zimmermann was convicted of accepting an illegal gratuity in exchange for his support of a developer's projects. But the man who entered prison contending that he'd been victimized more by overzealous prosecutors than his own wrongdoing said he's looking forward most to "being able to do useful work again."

Doug Grow at Minnpost

Heiser still clearly believes her husband was set up by politically motivated people in Minneapolis and the U.S. attorney's office. It was just weeks before the 2005 elections – which, because of redistricting, pitted Zimmermann against another incumbent, Bob Lilligren – that the Zimmermann-Heiser home was raided by FBI agents.

So, Zimmermann was an innocent victim of a "set-up"?

If Zimmermann was innocent the FBI tapes would exonerate him. But, only one person stands in the way of the FBI releasing those tapes - Zimmermann. Here's an AUSA describing what's in those tapes to the judges of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals:

The 8th Circuit affirmed Zimmermann's conviction unanimously and Zimmemrmann did not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.


I went back to read the Strib article and noticed that there were 80 comments. here is a sample:

1. Looks like the FBI already mastered "rat trapping" when
they pinched you.

2. I wonder if Dean is a proponent of evening-out sentencing
disparities between races and between "white collar" and
"street" crimes.

3. Now Go Away! What good are political beliefs if in
practice you are dishonest?

4. Why is it that fat people always think people are actually
interested in how they lost their excess lard? I always
ask them "how did you get that fat?" That seems to shut
them up.

5. Who cares? I don't. He's just another political crook
with no remorse or no accountability for his actions.
Why give him more than his '15 minutes' of notoriety?
Unless he does a Mother Theresa conversion, forget about
him. We have other life issues and things to worry about.

6. The man was given a fair trial and convicted. Will the
residents of MN ever wake up? Why would you subscribe
to a paper that writes such a soft article about a known
criminal? Face the facts, he is a convicted criminal.

7. Perhaps Mr. Brandt received a gratuity/bribe from
Mr. Zimmerman as incentive to portray Mr. Z as hero
rather than villain.

8. I am amazed at how many people are so self-righteous
these days. They can point out everyone else's flaws
as if they have none of their own. Just because
someone is a public figure, an elected official, and
makes a poor value judgment or action does not mean
they are totally unforgivable, forever. If we cannot
forgive others, how can we truly forgive ourselves?
I'm just making an observation.

9. Dean Zimmermann took the money in question while at a
fundraiser. A fundraiser, people, a fundraiser! Not
once - never! - did he ever vote for the donor's real
estate interests. The only reason Dean was set up was
because he very strongly opposed using our tax money
to build a stadium for Carl Pohlad. And now our tax
money has once again been misused in order to imprison
an innocent man - Dean Zimmermann!

It's too bad that the people who wrote these comments cannot see the videos from the trial. It would clear up a lot of misconceptions.

Zimmermann Returns to Minneapolis

Minnesota Public Radio:

St. Paul, Minn. — Former Minneapolis city council member Dean Zimmermann returns to the city today to finish serving the remaining six months of a sentence for multiple bribery convictions.

In 2006 Zimmermann was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after a jury found him guilty of three counts of bribery.

His sentence was reduced after he participated in a drug treatment program. In an email message to his wife and friends Zimmermann mentioned that he tried to make the best use of his time while being incarcerated in a Colorado prison.

He said he's lost 55 pounds and spent much of his time reading and taking classes. Zimmermann will continue serving his sentence in a halfway house and will work for a construction company doing home construction and repair.