The purloined letter

The prosecution of our friend Ron Eibensteiner — immediate past chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party, the prosecution initiated while he was serving as chairman — was the handiwork of Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch. Ron was acquitted of the charges by an Olmsted County jury last week in about as long as it takes to elect a foreman. Yet the story of the abuse of power underlying the prosecution hasn’t been told, and the abuse itself hasn’t received the condemnation it deserves. Mike Hatch, you see, is the likely Democratric candidate for governor against incumbent Tim Pawlenty.

In her column today, Star Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten tells the almost unbelievable story regarding the genesis of the tormenting of Ron Eibensteiner in the letter purloined by, well, by Minnesota’s chief law enforcement officer: “Fundraiser note raised a ruckus.” Kathy quotes the owner of the purloined letter, a Minnesota lobbyist with Democratic ties: “Ron Eibensteiner did nothing wrong. Now he’s faced with trying to salvage his good name. I want my letter back.”

Like the location of the purloined letter in Poe’s story, the Star Tribune headline seems calculated to cause readers to pass her column by without noticing. Don’t miss this one.

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