Corruption: Tim Walz’s State Patrol covers for fellow DFLers, buries open bottle report
The Minnesota State Patrol instructed a local police department not to press charges against two high-ranking DFL office holders, even though there was clear evidence of an open bottle of alcohol in their car when it crashed last August.
According to Alpha News, there is much more to the story of State Auditor Julie Blaha and State Senator Melisa Franzen rolling their vehicle after hitting a semi-truck leaving Farmfest on August 4, 2021.
Four outrageous things happened that day that we only know about because of Alpha News’ reporting.
DFL Party Boss on the scene
According to the story, Sen. Franzen immediately called DFL Party Chair Ken Martin after the accident and Martin showed up at the scene and interacted with first responders. As someone on Twitter said: “In what parallel universe does a political party boss show up at the scene of an accident to make sure the first responders know who they’re dealing with?” Yes, Ken Martin actually told the EMTs that Blaha and Franzen were elected officials. To quote another famous Democrat, “What difference does it make?”
Was Martin asking for special treatment for his party members? Did he know alcohol was involved and attempted to avoid charges from being filed? Outrageous.
State Patrol instructed that no charges be filed
Having a party boss on scene turned out to be the right idea for Blaha and Franzen, since the Minnesota State Patrol (accountable to Gov. Tim Walz) told local law enforcement not to charge them with the open container violation. From an August 4 email discovered by Alpha News:
In your report, do not recommend charges at this time, only put in the facts, statements and evidence you have. We will compile all the reports and submit a packet to the county attorney for them to review and go off of their recommendation on charges.
Thanks again, Matt Lt. Matthew Sorenson Minnesota State Patrol – District 2300
Evidence at the scene shows the open can of White Claw was cold to the touch and “pretty full.” From Alpha News:
The responder who found the alcohol was Morgan Fire Department Assistant Chief Justin Blomeke. A Minnesota State Patrol field report details how he reached into the car and retrieved an open can of White Claw that he accidentally “spilled all over the backpack and himself.”
“Blomeke guessed that the contents of the can [were] pretty full due to how much spilled out,” the report says. He also stated that “the can was very cold, indicating it was opened very recently.” Finally, he noted that “the backpack was zipped up, indicating the White Claw container was not inside the backpack.”
He later reaffirmed these observations in a recorded phone call with a state trooper, saying the can was open, still cold and mostly full.
How is this not an automatic charge of open container? What more evidence do we need that the can was freshly opened and likely being consumed in the front seat of the vehicle when it crashed?
It’s even worse when you consider what the State Patrol told the press about the accident. From the Pioneer Press last August:
According to a preliminary State Patrol report, Blaha, 51, was driving her Jeep Cherokee with Franzen, 41, as a passenger when it collided with a semi truck around 5 p.m. at a rural intersection in Redwood County in southwestern Minnesota.
The airbags of the Jeep deployed, and both women, who were wearing seat belts, were taken to the Redwood Falls hospital. The 70-year-old driver of the semi was uninjured. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor, according to the report.
Alcohol is not believed to be a factor, except for that cold, quarter-drunk can of alcohol we found at the scene. Outrageous.
Gov. Tim Walz, Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington and the leadership at the State Patrol have a lot to answer for about the lack of charges being filed. First question: who did Ken Martin call from the scene of the accident?
Auditor Blaha and Sen. Franzen lied about the open container
Franzen reportedly told police she had been drinking White Claws at Farmfest and that she “just takes all her trash with her.” She also claimed that the White Claw was “attached to her backpack” and she “had [forgotten] about it.”
Again, from Alpha News:
Blaha’s office told Alpha News that police also located a can of non-alcoholic fruit juice at the scene and had a brief discussion about whether or not it was alcoholic, which can be seen in the dash-cam video.
“That’s what the officers were referring to when they said there was an open can and it’s cold,” said Donald McFarland, director of communications for Blaha’s office. “When authorities were retrieving a bag, they did find an empty can of White Claw in the backseat that Sen. Franzen had drunk at Farmfest and had put it in the bag because she was going to recycle it. So there was a can of White Claw in the car. That’s how it got there. Nobody was drinking it since earlier,” he added.
These DFL elected officials flat out lied to the police and later to the public about the nature of the open can of alcohol in their vehicle. Outrageous.
The Minnesota media missed the story again
As usual, the lack of curiosity from the Minnesota media about a story involving Democrats has come back to bite them. How could all of this happen without anyone in Minnesota knowing about it? A quick review of stories from last August focus mostly on the well-being of the elected officials. No mention of open container. No mention of DFL Party Chair Ken Martin at the scene. Nothing to see here. Move on.
Compare this lack of coverage with the multiple stories and investigations about a recent snowmobile accident involving two Republican State Senators. Outrageous.
We’ll be watching to see how much catch-up reporting gets done now that Alpha News did the hard work of breaking the story.