Score one for the blogosphere. Last month, Sally Jo Sorensen posted on her Bluestem Prairie site that Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer had taken out seven mortgages on his Delano home since 2002.
Today, the Minnesota DFL gave that tidbit a much bigger megaphone, blasting Emmer in a press conference for unconventional borrowing that most Minnesotans wouldn't recognize.[jump]
It appears that Emmer bought his Delano home in 2002 for $425,000 with the help of a $300,000 mortgage. He then took out a series of (very) short-term mortgages,each to pay off the previous one. At one point, he was threatened with foreclosure.
Nothing illegal is alleged. But the DFL, and Sorenson, have pointed out that the creative financing runs counter to Emmer's sloganeering about state government having to live within its means.
"Minnesotans are living within their means, they are spending less money overall, and they are focusing their spending on essentials. That is exactly the way state government must behave."
The DFL is also using the mortgage story to re-open their call for Emmer to release is recent tax records, something he's refused to do, and says he won't do before Election Day.
Emmer spokesman Cullen Sheehan in a teleconference insisted that his boss's refinancing deals were nothing unusual for a Minnesotan and that he's paid his bills. And he tried to change the subject from Emmer's finances to DFLer Mark Dayton's wealth.
DFL chairman Brian Melendez denied to MinnIndy today that he was piggybacking on the Bluestem tip, and cited public documents to make his case.
And MinnPost reports that state capital reporters have known about Emmer's unusual financing for months and haven't reported on it. Emmer also used a similar strategy on a previous piece of property.
But there's no doubt that Sorensen was there first on Sept. 21, thanks to "a friend" in the mortgage business.