Swiftboating in Forest Lake!, Part Dew

lauren bacallThis story about Forest Lake “Swiftboaters For Non-Truth” gets more and more bizarre each and every day. I’ve spent a little time on the phone with the Forest Lake Times, and I would have to physically drive on up and sit in their Archives Room to look up anymore data on the subject. Which, as it appears now, seems to be nothing less than a couple of right-wing wack-jobs getting together with a sore-looser of a mayor, Terry Smith.

I dug through the City Council’s meetings archives, banging names against their servers and found bits and scraps of information. I found lots of great information right from the Forest Lake Times themselves, which appears to be a far more upstanding newspaper than the St Paul Pioneer Press could accomplish. Perhaps the Forest Lake Times could send a few of their journalists down to the St Paul Pi-Press and engage in some kind of “mentorship program”.

Better to look at the cast of characters in the story. The story folds together nicely if you want to go on along with my “Humble Opinion”. However, I could only imagine how much more information I could find if some newspaper wanted to give me a few dollars for my gasoline and perhaps a lunch. But for now, it’s chicken-broth and a cucumber sandwich and a search archive on the Forest Lake Times website.

The wholistic picture appears to be a rather simplistic story, with an aweful lot of tragedy being drug along with it as time goes on. What set this whole thing off is a letter that was written by Dawn Nelson and Andy Meyer to the Forest Lake Times in early April. Since I can’t get access to the letter on-line, I can only surmise some of the content of that letter. The letter complained about religious intolerance in the Forest Lake Area School Districts spoken from the point of view of a mother who’s child has been bullied in school. In one article from the Forest Lake Times, it stated that the letter they wrote made allegations against Mr. Stegner, but nothing specific was listed. I’ll be cautious here, less I mix up two different stories, but there was also in incident in the Forest Lake School District were it appears that a fifteen year old boy committed suicide because of bullying on April 15th. What the connection between the two are, I don’t know.

The letter that launched the Stegner Swiftboating party notfascist fries only made allegations against Stev Stegner, but it also caused enough of a rift within the community that caused open-door meetings for the townsfolk to get together and discuss. On May 10, 2006, this appeared in the Forest Lake Times:

Items to be discussed include the accusations made by Dawn Nelson and Andy Meyer in recent letters to the editor of the Forest Lake Times. Also to be discussed is the FLCA plan to conduct a city-wide “what do you think” survey of city residents. The FLCA would like input from residents on survey questions.

That’s one whopper of a letter! And, I couldn’t imagine what these bizee-bee’s said in it.

One thing is for certain; Andy Meyer is a bit of a wacko who was hoping to draw some attention to herself because of her faith. The vehicle to get that attention turned out to be Stev Stegner. She, or her colleague Dawn Nelson, called Stev hoping to discuss school bullying and religious intolerance, and she set out to get rid of him as a Mayoral candidate by smearing him with three pieces of mis-information (a.k.a. “Swiftboating”) him: a.) She started the rumor about Stev’s racial heritage at the Supply Store, then b.) she ramped up the swiftboating by starting the rumor that he had a sexual encounter with a teenaged girl who was of Middle Eastern descent, and just to make sure her swiftboating would attract as much attention as possible, and finally she c.) claimed Stev also had direct contact with Zacharias Moussaoui.

Dawn Nelson and Andy Meyer, since that letter appeared inlight beer the Forest Lake Times newspaper in April, both became heavily involved with the local city’s Human Rights Counsil. Their first appearance was on April 20th, where the City Council’s notes show that the city seems to have arrived that there is a problem with racism.

5.) In the course of discussing HR issues in the School District and how the HRC and School District might jointly approach these, Steve Massey declared that the Number 1 problem in the Forest Lake School District was not drugs, but racism.

Odd, don’t you think? Andy Meyer and Dawn Nelson complain about religious intolerance, make an allegation about Stev Stenger, complaining about bullying and here they go off with their own bullying… “Jews for Jesus style”.

Duck UnlimitedSince that original meeting on April 20th, both Andy Meyer and Dawn Nelson appear in almost every single Human Rights Council meeting held in Forest Lake. In October 2006, an opening came about with an empty position on the HRC committe by which Dawn Nelson, among others applied for the position. One November 26th, the St Paul Pioneer Dispatch piece showed up in print and the following day, Forest Lake Mayor Terry Smith named Ms. Nelson as the new HRC committe member. Stev Stegner, already declared the winner in the Mayoral Race objected to the appointment to the position until Ms. Nelson’s involvement with the Swiftboating could be clarified, one way or the other. Mayor Smith ignored Stegner’s objection and named Nelson to the point – after all, what does he care? …He’s leaving anyway! The most interesting part of the article is this:

One of the subjects named in the story is Forest Lake resident Andy Meyer. Her role in the episode is being reviewed.

She is a friend of Dawn Nelson.

During the council meeting Nelson stated that “If my association with Andy Meyer is a problem, everyone here is guilty. I really enjoy being a part of the commission and I’ve missed no meetings except the closed ones.”

Jeannette Wallen, a member of the Human Rights Council, spoke up against the nomination and sided with Stegner’s objections in naming Nelson to the position. The City of Forest Lake makes the note that when the vote was taken, Ms. Judy Bull was the only one who sided with Wallen and Stegner and voted against the nomination. I that was odd and had to look it up in the City’s Meetings in the archive and the council had taken a break, Ms. Wallen and Mr. Stegner had left during that break (really pissed off?!) and when the roll-call for the vote was called, Ms. Bull was the only one who voted against it.

Primate OneThe first time Stev Stegner appears in the Forest Lake Times is when he applied and was interviewed for a position on the Forest Lake City Council on April 5th. He wasn’t picked, Mayor Terry Smith appointed Greg Ochs to the position instead. Sufficit to say; Mayor Terry Smith does NOT like Stev Stegner and has hated disliked him since 4/5/06.

Who’s the only wild-card in this party: Anne R. Gabriel. Originally, I thought she was simply part of the little “buzee-bee” group of clucking hens who hated Stev Stegner for some obsolete or irrelevant reason. Ooops…My bad! Ms. Gabriel, and her husband Pat, are both very active in the Forest Lake Community, and seeing her face pop in and out of city counsel meetings or political rallies is nothing new. She appears to be compassionate about her community and I find little wrong with that.

For example, last April (2006), State Senator Michele Bachmann was getting her ass handed to her in the Senate ondoggie goggles a bill that would include a Minnesota Constitution marriage bill. The bill, requiring all marriages be nothing more than one chick and one dick, got slapped down by a birage of gay and gay friendly testimonies in front of the Senate floor. Most noteably, was Michele Bachmann’s step-sister who’s been in a committed relationship with her life partner for some 15 years. The Forest Lake Times looked at this story and went to their own local “political activist” Anne R. Gabriel and both she and her husband came out swinging against it.

Heterosexual couples, such as Pat and Anne Gabriel of Forest Lake, came to the Capitol to show their opposition, too.

The Gabriels believe it’s important people realize that not everyone in the suburbs agree with Sen. Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater, and other lawmakers.

“I think there are lots of people (who disagree),” Anne Gabriel said.

“Not everyone supports Michele Bachmann on this amendment,” Pat Gabriel said.

The Gabriels cite civil rights issues in the past as comparable to the struggles they see confronting gays and lesbians

“It’s a matter of acceptance, Pat Gabriel said. Acceptance can take time, he said.

condi civil ear

This was the more glaring piece of evidence that I came across that tells me Ms. Gabriel wasn’ part of the Stegner Swiftboat Party. She is guilty, however, of not being able to choose her battles very well. Swiftboating Stegner was poorly slopped together and as active as Ms. Gabriel has been in Forest Lake City Counsel meetings, she should have known who the winners are and who the loosers will be in that battle.I think I can put a fairly good picture of this Swiftboat Stegner attempt.


Andy Meyer and Dawn Nelson, for whatever reason, wrote a letter of complaint about school bullying and religious intolerance the Forest Lake School District. Two weeks later (April 20th), Stev Stegner appeared to apply for the position on the Forest Lake City Council. Along with 10 other Forest Lake citizens, Stegner has somehow raised the hackles of these two women who look to have put pression on Mayor Smith to pick Greg Ochs for the position.

Chuckie GeorgieMr. Stegner makes a few appearances at City Council meetings, along with a few Human Rights Council meetings since April 20th, along with Andy Meyer and Dawn Nelson. Andy and Dawn, not liking the idea that Stegner might run for Mayor, took matters in their own hands. Ms. Meyer runs into the Winnick’s Supply Store muttering jibberish about Stegner’s ethnicity being of Middle Eastern heritage. Ben Winnick, who is Jewish and who’s store is across the street from Stev Stegner’s printing business, thinks Andy Meyer is a wee bit of a wack job and ignores her.

Meyer decides that isn’t enough and ramps up the Swiftboating by calling Stev Stegner himself on Dawn Nelson’s phone to ask Mr. Stegner to meet with her at the Holy Land Restaurant in Minneapolis. Stegner, thinking somethings not quite right, takes his buddy Jim Heck (who is listed to attend city council meetings on a regular basis, by the way). Taking her camera and her friend Dawn with her, she heads to the Holy Land restaurant to begin the photography portion of the Swiftboating.

Finding that Stegner isn’t alone, she panics and either herself or her friend jumps into a burkah and approach the two men to explain why Andy couldn’t make it to the meeting. The attempt to frame him falls apart, at least not nearly as well as they had hoped. So, they returned back to Forest Lake to begin talking the rumor up that:

a.) Stev Stegner is a Middle Eastern decent.

b.) Stev Stegner is a Muslim.

c.) Stev Stegner has had sexual relations with a minor.

d.) Stev Stegner was directly connected to Zacharias Moussaoui.

Enter the professional publicist and entrepreneur; Anne Gabriel. Not realizing what kind of botched job this Swiftboating was going to be happening, Gabriel asks Meyer and Nelson to produce the teenaged girls so she can “get to the bottom” of the story. While Gabriel is interviewing the girls, she notes a few things:

a.) The girls have broken English, but the accent is suspect.

b.) The girls’ background story is more than suspect – it’s down right stupid.

c.) The girls, in spite of their difficulties with English, Gabriel notes that they have a thourough handle of conversant English, i.e., “Escalate”.

Andy Meyer, seeing that Gabriel is getting suspicious, wheels herself on into the living room where the interview is taking place and whips out her photographs. One of the stupidest move in the entire charade, I might add.

Once the St Paul Pioneer Press gets wind of this story, more and more of it becomes unraveled. Andy Meyer bails on everybody by claiming the girls disappeared into Milwaukee and that her only involvement is to translate in Aramaic. Another completely idiotic mistake in the Swiftboating.

The following day, the City Council meets to name Dawn Nelson on the Human Rights Council. Stegner notes that Meyer’s collaborator, Sarah Goldberg a.k.a. Rebecca Zolinger (names that are non-existant people), called him a few times and the phone number on his caller I.D. was the same phone number he received at the very begining of the charade when originally invited to the Holy Land Restaurant. With that, he notes that Dawn Nelson is suspect and objects to the nomination along with Ms. Wallen. The meeting got heated with Dawn Nelson exploding and claiming that if “she’s guilty…then everybody on this council is guilty” and that’s when the meeting adjorns for a break. Stegner and Wallen leave, Mayor Terry Smith is a sore looser anyway, and when they reconvene, they vote 4 to 1 (with Judy Bull FruitFly 6objecting).

I give my best of luck to Mr. Stegner, who will have to deal with Dawn Nelson on that committe for the next few years.

I would strongly suggest that there be some form of law enforcement agency to investigate the issue. We have an allegation of sexual activity with a minor and we very clearly have a case of slander and defamation of character while using teenaged minors as witnesses to the slander.

There you have it… Good luck to all of them!

The Fruit Fly

Swiftboating in Forest Lake

Forest LakeWikie says: “Swiftboating is American political jargon for an ad hominem attack against a public figure, coordinated by an independent or pseudo-independent group, usually resulting in a benefit to an established political force.”

It’s origins from the John Kerry race with the “Swift Vets and POWs for Truth”, a made-up organization with Tom DeLay’s fingerprints all over it. The ads were successful, but it took American politics to a whole new low. Other low points for the Republican party was “push polls” and robo-calls, but that’s an entirely different blog item.

Then, the Republican party sunk to other forms of low-level politics with the Jerry Kilgore (R-incumbant) and Tim Kain (D-challenger) in Virginia. Jerry puts up an ad on television of a grieving father complaining that his son and daughter-in-law were murdered and Tim Kain “volunteered” to defend the murderer.

Swiftboating has become a Republican necessity in order to keep them selves in power. Jim Web for Senate from Virginia, Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania, Congressman Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania, there are tons of them, aren’t there?! All of them are sleazy, under-handed and all of them have become refined in the depths of their sleaziness to the point where we enter a small little suburban town north of Minneapolis/St Paul about thirty miles called Forest Lake. Beautiful town actually, as well as it’s namesake which is big and surrounded by beautiful homes and boat marinas. And home to the worst kind of swiftboating imagineable.

“Campaign tale is shocking, sordid — and entirely false.”

Now, before we go on, there are three things you can do: 1.) go ahead and read the article (if you can understand all of the characters and players), 2.) you can skip the three page read and have faith that I know what I’m talking about or 3.) you can click the “back button” on you web browser and gawk at something else.

A note to warn you about reading the St Paul Pioneer Press. They are one of those newspapers who like to get your email address so they can spam you. You’re only allowed one “Look-See” If you go back a page and then come back to this story, you’ll have to go through their rediculously rigid snoopy questionaires before you can look at it again. So, feel free toShhhh help yourself to mine that I did just so I could look at the story.

Email address: sureenough@biteme.com

The password: sureenough!

The best I can do to describe this debacle of a story is to give you the down and dirty. But, trust me…the best part of the story is of course, at the ending.

Stev Stegner (Yes, his name is “Stev”, not “steve”) is a business man, a father, a Christian, had a vasectomy in 1971 and ran for the office of Mayor to the fine city of Forest Lake. For those of you who need a geography lesson on Forest Lake, Minnesota, it’s a suburb town north of the Twin Cities about thrity miles out.

Huh?! Did you say “vasectomy”?

Of course I did silly! Because he just recently impregnated a teen aged girl!! If you believe anything of this story, that’s the part you shouldn’t.

So here we go. Let me try to sort this story out.

Stegner gets a call from a woman (who’s name apparently doesn’t exist anywhere on any record in the State of Minnesota or its Capitol), for a complaint about her son, (Jewish) and religious pursecution in the public school. Stegner, who’s only a candidate for the position of Mayor, agrees to meet the woman at a restauarant in Minneapolis called “The Holy Land”. Stegner, made his smartest move by taking along a buddy with him. I beleive that if he had shown up alone, this story would have all kinds of horrifying clap-trap on it and the Republican Party would be there with stenopads in hand taking good notes.

burkaA woman in a burka (as in”it’s a costume”, not as in “a form of ethnic clothing”) approached Stegner and his buddy and said the Jewish woman who made the complaint couldn’t make it. Her little boy was sick.

The results of that conversation resulted in the beginning of the swiftboating of our friend. Soon, there were rumors spreading all over town stating that Mr. Stegner had an affair with a “Middle Eastern teenaged girl” and she was now pregnant. Furthermore, Mr. Stegner was in cahoots with Zacharias Moussaoui. Finally, the evidence that was produced to support these lies rumors was a few fuzzy and amateuristic photos claimed to have been taken by FBI agents. Oh, and the photos were pictures of Mr. Stegner and his buddy at The Holy Land restaurant, of course. (My guess is that Jewish lady who called to complain about the harassment bestowed upon her kid was having a hard time seeing through that camera lense with that burka over her head.)Spies Are Everywhere!!

The snapshots were hazy and amateurish. But the woman told Winnick they were secret government surveillance photos and claimed the deli was once the hangout of Zacarias Moussaoui, the reputed “20th hijacker” in the Sept. 11 attacks who had attended an Eagan flight school before being arrested by the FBI.

You think it’s messy enough for you?

Get real… It get’s so much better.

Enter the professionals! Ironically, a “public relations” professionals showed up to conduct an interview with these Middle Eastern teenagers to get to the bottom of these rumors.

On Oct. 26, Forest Lake public relations professional Anne R. Gabriel phoned the newspaper. She had heard the rumors and agreed to try to help reporters find people who could confirm them.

Now pray tell; who asked Ms. Gabriel to get involved with this story? Nobody knows, she apparently felt that getting the story straight and accurate was far more important than reporting the incident to the police for “raping of a minor”, or “sex with a minor” or anything else for that matter.

But, she’s a “professional”, and who is the St Paul Pioneer Press to question a professional?! They’re a newspaper, not some goof-ball that should ask questions for Heaven’s sake!

Okay..I’m sorry. I’ve digressed. My bad. I’m just so excited to get to the end of this story because you’re never going to stop laughing your tiny little butts off.

Ms. Gabriel, if that’s her true name, interviews a couple of girls, both of whom were wearing burkas, and she comes back with a bit of a head-scratcher.

They sometimes acted as if they couldn’t understand a simply expressed English sentence — yet at times used relatively sophisticated English grammar and high-level vocabulary such as “escalating.”

FargoNow is that a riot and a half?! I would love to find Ms. Gabriel and ask her;

  • 1.) What kind of accent did these two girls have? Was it like; “Oh yah…you betcha! And the one of dem was kinda funny lookin’, you know?!” Or was it more of a high-pitched yell that was like ‘LALALALALALALA’!
  • 2.) Is your name “Gabriel”, a common Jewish name, have any connection to being the same person who made the initial phone cal; Ms. Sara Goldberg a.k.a. Ms. Rebecca Zollinger or Ms. Andy Meyer?

Do you think it could get any worse?

Of course it can, Silly!

Winnick Supply StoreThere’s the part with the woman who’s in a wheelchair, Andy Meyer, who appears to be at the very heart and soul of this story. But, of course we’ll never know…Because the St Paul Pioneer Press is a piece of crap of a newspaper who doesn’t bother with asking questions of anybody. Ms. Meyer first appears in the story wheeling herself into Ben Winnick’s Supply Store ready to begin spinning the gossip about Mr. Stegner.

In late September or early October, a blond woman in a wheelchair came into Winnick Supply Inc. in Forest Lake, said owner Ben Winnick. He recognized her from around the city but did not know her name. She identified herself as a Messianic Jew and told Winnick, who is Jewish, that Stegner was a Muslim who read the Quran in a Twin Cities mosque.

What a Sweetheart! She’s a “Messianic Jew” who’s going to go out on a rabid racists rant and she’s going to start with all of the Jewish people in her community! Let’s give her an applause as well as all of her other “Jews for Jesus” friends!

When Ms. Gabriel shows up to interview the two Middle Eastern girls, who appears out of now where carrying “fuzzy photography”? Ms. Meyer of course, in her wheelchair and her trusty Polaroids. Ms. Meyer, so horrorfied by the fact that Mr. Stegner might be a Middle Easterner, shows Ms. Gabriel the pictures of him sitting in the restaurant with his buddy. (Excellent evidence, wouldn’t you say?!)

Now here’s the funniest sentance in the entire piece. I swear to God, Allah, Budda and Vishnu, you’ll spill your guts laughing:

Earlier, however, Meyer said she was hired only to interpret for the girls — in Aramaic — and agreed to hold the interview in her apartment. “I have no idea who they are,” she said. “Anne Gabriel and (Zollinger) asked me to get involved.”

The emphasis is mine of course. So, exactly what do you see in this picture that doesn’t seem to quit fit?

Could it be that Ms. Meyer speaks a dead-language? Let’s remember something about the Aramaic language: Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ” was spoken in Aramaic with an English subtext. He hired William Fulco to reconstruct the dialect, the accents and the translation.

Or, perhaps even more interesting; the two Middle Eastern girls speak a language that’s 2,000 years old which coincidentally is the language spoken by Jesus Christ? They don’t speak Farsi, they don’t speak Persian, and they don’t speak Arabic. No, they speak Aramaic!

Or perhaps the picture that doesn’t seem to quit fit is the fact that Ms. Meyer, if that is her real name outside of her favorite burka, is the one willing to exploit a couple of teenaged girls for the sake of keeping a man she thinks is of Arabic descent because of the color of his skin?

Or perhaps she’s outright lying her ass off with that last sentance “I have no idea who they are,” she said. “Anne Gabriel and (Zollinger) asked me to get involved.”. Give me a break! Andy Meyer; you should be ashamed of yourself. You were the first to show up at Winnick’s Supply to begin the gossip, you then “magically appeared” at the interview with the two girls clad in burkas and the “professional”. At that meeting, you whipped our your Polaroids you took of Mr. Stegner at the Holy Land store! You also had all of the detailed information on the whereabouts of the teenaged girls. And then you… Bah! You liar!!

Well we ever know? Of course not! Because the Pioneer Press is such a crap of a newspaper who’s hacked this story from out of their own butts, are too pathetic to publish anything worth the paper it’s printed on. There isn’t a newspaper within five hundred miles who’ll touch this story because it has “GOP” written all over it.

GOPWe’ve got an honest to goodness GOP sex-scandal, another GOP exploiting under-aged teens, Trent Lott style “GOP racism”, a George W Bush version of “GOP lies”, a couple of Jews for Jesus, and we’ve just gotta get a better newspaper in our State’s Capitol City. I know, I know…The word “Republican” and the acronym “GOP” doesn’t appear anywhere in the piece. Neither the incumbant nor Mr. Stegner had any party affiliation. But, c’mon…does this simply reak of Republican bull-crap!?

By the way, while we’re discussing this electoral race in particular. Mr. Stegner did win the race for the Mayor of Forest Lake, Minnesota. And he won it handidly at 54.9%! .

If you read this story about eighty times, you will come to the same conclusions, at least I think you will. Andy Meyer is the primary culprit. She’s had at least one accomplice in her homophobic and racist ruse to swiftboat Mr. Stegner, and I have a very high suspicion that Ms. Gabriel was in on it too. (Face it – she’s a “public relations professional”, and what that has to do with any kind of interviewing teenaged girls who’ve been raped by a 42 year old Middle Eastern man, nobody knows.) And finally, the article was researched and written by a complete dolt who may have been lobotomized as a child.

BoringFor the record, Andy Meyer did appear at a city counsel meeting on April 20, 2006. The Human Rights Commission of the City of Forest Lake met to discuss the problem of Racism in the Forest Lake Public School system. She also appeared at the same Comission’s meeting on June 15th where it appears one of the City Counsel Members shared Ms. Meyer’s complaint with the rest of the city counsel members. Her second appearance, she produced the argument where she’s blackmailing the schools in North Branch with the option of instructing all of their faculty members on religious freedom, or she was going to the Human Rights Offices in downtown St Paul. (North Branch is a small town a few miles away from Forest Lake.) Her third appearance is in October where she’s filed a complaint about flooding in her street…big deal.FruitFly 6
I printed the newspaper article out to an Acrobat Reader. If you want to leave a comment with a request for a copy of the PDF, I would refuse the request immediately and tell you to contact the St Paul Pioneer Press.  (j/k)

I think you for your time.

The Fruit Fly