Thursday, August 20, 2009
Gov. Good N Plenty and the Gang Strike Force
Mr. "No New Taxes", Mr. "Go It Alone" (i.e Minnesota Governor Tim Good N Plenty) was the driving force that single-handedly revived what is now documented as one of the most corrupt law enforcement (sic) enterprises this state has ever seen.
On July 25, 2004, the Minneapolis Star Tribune printed the remarks of Governor Pawlenty following his idea of Unicameral state government by refusing the legislature any input into balancing the budget by vetoing all the finance bills passed by the legislature that he disagreed with while squandering precious state resources on Minnesota's version of "Inglorious Basterds", the Metro Gang Strike Force. Governor Pawlenty's statement read in part:
"...Because partisanship has drawn things to a halt in the State Capitol, I've taken extraordinary executive actions to move ahead without legislative action. The budget deficit the Legislature ignored was wiped away with a stroke of my pen. A critical crime-fighting agency, the Gang Strike Force, was slated to disband because the Legislature didn't pass funding. Our administration found the money to keep the group working for Minnesota."
"A critical crime-fighting agency"? "Working for Minnesota"? More like working for themselves!
Today a review panel comprised of former law enforcement officials, including an ex-FBI agent and former federal prosecutor, released its findings that the Metro Gang Strike Force was guilty of widespread corruption and criminal misconduct.
Well knock me over with a feather. I have been telling everyone I come into contact with in connection with my profession as a criminal defense lawyer over the past twenty-two years, be it judges, prosecutors or just plain citizens, that the government strike and task forces were the most disreputable, unprofessional, unlawful and at times, most criminal, organizations in this state. I cannot even tell you the number of times I have said that the behavior of the members of these multi-jurisdictional, so-called strike and task forces, put to shame any illegal behavior on behalf of the groups and individuals they are supposed to police. This specifically includes most of the two-bit, street gang members, organized crime syndicates and/or outlaw motorcycle clubs, the latter of which I have represented many an honorable person. Unfortunately, most of the time, the same could not be said of the strike and task force members.
Like in Watergate, when members of the executive branch of government, the branch of government tasked with the duty to uphold and enforce the law, are engaged themselves in criminal behavior, this is unchecked governmental power that strikes at the very heart and soul of a constitutional form of government, a government of laws, not people, not personalities and certainly not a bunch of badge wielding bullies.
So it is with this in mind that I harken back to those days in mid-June of 2004 when Gov. Good N Plenty, to prop up his credentials as a "law and order" Governor and future right-wing Presidential candidate, made it his personal crusade (for personal political gain) to resurrect the now infamous Metro Gang Strike Force, and what is now the well documented, biggest waste of law enforcement resources in state history. Take a licorice-flavored bow Governor, because like licorice, your conduct in this matter makes me wanna sh#t!
For links to the entire review panel's report including their thoughtful and well reasoned recommendations to abolish all similar multi-jurisdictional (i.e. uncontrolled) task forces and a change in the forfeiture laws as well as links to recent articles on the trials and tribulations of the Metro Gang Strike force see https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/co/about/Documents/final_report_mgsf_review_panel.pdf