Off Beat

Gubernatorial Grudge Match

OLE SAVIOR, PERENNIAL candidate for public office (Minnesota governor in 1998, U.S. Senate in 2000), has filed suit against Gov. Jesse Ventura, alleging fraud in the 1998 gubernatorial race. Savior charges that Ventura campaign chairman Dean Barkley violated the law when he paid a $600 filing fee for former auto-body-shop worker Bill Dahn to switch from the Reform Party to the Republican Party, clearing the way for Ventura in the primary election. The suit also claims that Ventura's people promised to pay $80,000 for repairs to Dahn's St. Paul home. The lawsuit was first filed in Ramsey County District Court in 1998, but was tossed out because the statute of limitations on fraud had expired. This time Savior is making his case in federal court and has widened the conspiracy to include Ventura spokesman John Wodele and his wife, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, who was initially asked to investigate public concern over the filing. "I find this very disturbing and an abuse of the court system," scoffs Wodele, who has hired a private attorney. "His claims are unfounded, they are ridiculous, and any judge that looks at this is gonna see that it's frivolous and throw it out." Savior points out that if you combine the Governor's given first name and his adopted moniker you're left with Jesse James: "He stole the election, and he ain't getting away with it."

Politics as Unusual

DOUG FRIEDLINE, ERSTWHILE campaign manager for Governor Ventura, has found his political niche as a guru for darkhorse candidates. Last month, the man responsible for Ventura's "Retaliate in '98" T-shirts and lawn signs, became the campaign manager for 73-year-old New Jersey state senator Bill Schluter--a former Republican now waging an independent, "maverick" campaign for Garden State governor. "[Schluter] asks me if I'll go to this press conference, and suddenly he's telling everyone I'm running his campaign," Friedline says from his office in Chappaqua, New York. "Politics out here is just wacky." More wacky is that Friedline is also advising New York mayoral candidate Kenny Kramer, the inspiration for the Kramer character on TV's Seinfeld. "Jesse got me in it to win it," candidate Kramer declares in his thick New Yawk accent. "He was an absolute inspiration. And Doug is my hero, because he knows how to run a campaign with ninja tactics, stealthily, without much money." Friedline laments that Kramer, who "has some fundraising problems," has yet to pay for his services. But the politico firmly believes that name recognition will pay off in the long run--ironic, considering that Friedline had never heard of the quasi-celebrity. "His name meant nothing to me," Friedline insists. "I'm the only guy in the world who didn't watch Seinfeld."

Off Beat Rewarded Our eBay Obsession

OFF BEAT WAS trolling eBay the other day, searching for a Princess Diana bobblehead doll, when we stumbled across listing #1451994892: "New Prince Tafkap Article City Pages 7/25/01." Asking price: $2.99. We were a tad put off to find that someone would try to profit from our free weekly rag. Our mood softened, however, upon learning that associate editor David Schimke's Prince piece was being described as "incredible, very detailed," and (we think this is a compliment) "chalk full O'dirt." As of last Friday, with four days remaining in the auction, the item had received exactly one bid. We fired off an e-mail to the eBay auctioneer, who was identified only as "Radiance1," and received a reply from Yvette Handy. "I thought offering the City Pages article on eBay would be a good way to let other interested people know about it," Handy says. "Such a shame that this illuminating feature was not published nationwide." Flattered, we still feel it is our duty to remind potential buyers that we do have a Web site (www.citypages.com), and as far as we know it works exactly the same in Kalamazoo as it does in Kingfield. Further, if out-of-state Prince-o-philes want a hard copy, all they have to do is send us a buck. The proceeds will be used to install a hotline between Prince's Paisley Park studio and City Pages' offices, so if and when the Purple one decides to finally go on the record, he can get a hold of us right away.

 
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