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Did GOP Presidential Hopeful Tim Pawlenty Request Pardon for Convicted Money Launderer?

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Avidor Donating Member (952 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:55 PM
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Did GOP Presidential Hopeful Tim Pawlenty Request Pardon for Convicted Money Launderer?
Liberal in the Land of Conservative blog:

By Karl Bremer

If Tim Pawlenty decides to run for President of the United States, at some point hes going to have to explain his relationship with campaign contributor, Tom Petters associate and convicted money-launderer/cocaine-and-gun runner Frank Vennes Jr.

This relationship is especially relevant in light of Pawlentys recent donation of nearly $86,000 from his defunct gubernatorial campaign fund to Minnesota Teen Challenge (MnTC), a controversial Christian chemical dependency program that was once closely affiliated with Vennes and allegedly lost millions on account of that affiliation.

Like his Republican cohorts Norm Coleman and Michele Bachmann, Pawlentys connections to Vennes are intertwined in several ways: campaign contributions, a request for a presidential pardon for Vennes federal crimes, and now, MnTC, where Vennes and Pawlentys wife, Mary, served on the board of directors together.

The campaign cash connection

Vennes and his family have contributed thousands of dollars to Pawlentys gubernatorial campaigns. Kimberly V ennes (Franks wife), Gregory Vennes, Stephanie Vennes (Gregorys wife), and Colby and Denley Vennes, who have shared an address with Frank and Kimberly, each donated $2,000 to the Pawlenty for Governor Committee in 2002. Frank, Kimberly, Gregory, Stephanie, Colby and Denley Vennes each contributed $250 to Pawlenty in 2004 and $2,000 apiece in 2006.

The presidential pardon connection

Coincidentally, the same year the Vennes money started to flow into Pawlentys campaign coffers, Pawlentys name appeared in a request for a presidential pardon for Vennes sent by Senator-elect Norm Coleman.

In a letter dated December 20, 2002 and sent to President George W. Bush c/o Karl Rove, then-Senator-Elect Coleman said he was well acquainted with Frank and that I want to join my friend, (former Minnesota GOP Chairman) Ron Eibensteiner and Governor-Elect Tim Pawlenty in urging President Bush to grant Frank Vennes a Presidential Pardon.

The roles of Pawlenty and Eibensteiner in seeking a pardon for Vennes are unclear. A Freedom of Information Act request did not turn up pardon letters from either one, and Pawlentys office did not immediately respond to requests for an explanation.

The pardon Coleman, Pawlenty and Eibensteiner sought was for Vennes conviction in 1987 on federal charges of money laundering, cocaine distribution and illegal firearms=2 0sale, to which he pleaded guilty and no contest.

Vennes was sentenced to five years in Sandstone (MN) Federal Correctional Facility, where he reportedly found God, and was released in 1990. Follo wing his release from prison, Vennes filed a petition for a pardon, which has never been granted.

The Minnesota Teen Challenge-Tom Petters connection
Vennes was a board member of MnTC as recently as 2008. Pawlentys wife, Mary, also sat on MTCs board of directors during at least a portion of the time that Vennes served on the board.

But that organization now stands to lose millions of dollars as a result of MnTCs investments Vennes allegedly steered to his associate, Tom Petters, in Petters alleged multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Vennes is alleged to have been a facilitator, or conduit, used by Petters to lure primarily Christian organizations into investing in Petters companies through Metro Gemone of Vennes companiesor through the Fidelis Foundation, which served as a fiscal agent for Minnesota Teen Challenge. Among those investors was Minnesota Teen Challenge, which allegedly lost $5.7 million in investments in Petters companies.

On Sept. 24, 2008, federal agents raided Vennes=2 0$5 million Shorewood home on Lake Minnetonka and his $6 million oceanfront hom e in Jupiter, Fla., in connection with the Petters investigation.

A ccording to the federal search warrant, Vennes was alleged to have hauled in more than $28 million in commissions for his role in luring five investors to pony up $1.2 billion in Petters alleged giant Ponzi scheme. On Oct. 6, the assets and records of Vennes, Petters, Petters companies and other Petters associates were frozen by a federal judge, and many seized assets of Vennes and Petters have been sold off to compensate victims of the alleged fraud.

Still, the multimillionaire Vennes has not yet been charged with any crimes in connection with the Petters case. Nor has he been named as a defendant in any20of the lawsuits filed against Petters and hi s associates by alleged victims of the fraud.

Vennes dirty money

Michele Bachmann received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Vennes and his family and also wrote a letter of request for his presidential pardon. However, she retracted it after Vennes became embroiled in the Petters scandal.

Bachmann initially donated a portion of her campaign contributions from the Vennes--$9,200to MnTC in an apparent attempt to wash her hands of it. However, MTC returned the check to Bachmann, calling it dirty money. Bachmann later sent the money to another organization affiliated with MnTC.

Similarly, after the Petters scandal broke, Coleman donated $14,600 to the Boys and Girls Club in October, which represented the amount of money Tom Petters had donated to his campaign in this election cycle.

Gov. Pawlentys office did not immediately return requests for information about Pawlentys relati onship with Vennes or whether he intended to return any of Vennes campaign contributions.

However, one other question remains: Would a President Pawlenty grant Frank Vennes Jr. the pardon he believes he deserves?

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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:33 PM
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1. we definitely need to bookmark this thread for 2011 and 2012
thanks for posting.
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. Bookmark and gather info. Do not let this wait and sit in the weeds. Out it now.
Waiting only gives time to cover up things. Out it now!
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. T-Paw... trips to Brazil. Possibly C-Street?? Sound familiar? Trips to farm out US
jobs all over the world. Stopped by China's Hormel Meat Factory to sample "ground up pets". Big supporter of China & trade with them.
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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
3. Not to mention the 35W bridge collapse.
I plan to follow that cross-eyed asshole everywhere he goes with a sign picturing that bridge if he tries to run.
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. That is the exact thing to do.
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Viking12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. According to the MNTC, Pokemon and Harry Potter are Satanic indoctrination
See link

Any politician that supports this group needs to be exposed for being complicit with nutcases on this basis alone (yes, I mean Kloubachar too!). The association w/ fraudsters and drug runners are just icing on the cake.
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