Eibensteiner feels DeLay's pain

MN GOP chair oozes brotherly love for House Majority Leader

Our scandals here in Minnesota tend to fly low and flash fast: you've got to do something really atrocious for the state's political climate to turn stormy for you.

Because of this, many have forgotten that the state's GOP chair, Ron Eibensteiner, is embroiled in a little campaign-contribution scandal himself. The charge that Eibensteiner was indicted on related to the allegation that he forwarded a $10,000 check from a bank in Florida--sent to the state GOP--to the Republican Nation State Elections Committee in 2002.

State campaign finance laws forbid corporate contributions of such a nature; the money is allegedly part of some $2.1 million sent to state Republicans, including Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2002. A grand jury in Austin, Minnesota, indicted Eibensteiner in 2003.

Because of this, you'd think Eibensteiner would lay low in the wake of the very similar DeLay scandal. Quite the contrary, according to this Houston Chronicle story, Eibensteiner is playing up the, uh, coincidence. To wit:

If there is a parallel universe for Republican politicians facing campaign finance criminal charges, former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and former Minnesota Republican Chairman Ron Eibensteiner could be living in it. ...

"I'm actually thrilled with the parallel and to be associated with Tom DeLay, because I know if Tom DeLay's case is anything similar to mine ... I'm in good company," Eibensteiner said. ...

"If you talk to Tom DeLay, just tell him he has a fan up in Minnesota," Eibensteiner said.

class=img_thumbright> Eibensteiner's trial begins November 7.

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