Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Just Perfect (Mock Journalist, Part IV)

The Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist's body of work finally bears some fruit. But as a debunking tool; probably not what he had in mind. Read on.

He's still doing his best (one assumes) to make video reports on the Uptake online channel. In the new one, he interviews Elwyn Tinklenberg (1/11/08), who is running as a Democrat for the Minnesota 6th congressional seat currently held by Smoochy Bachmann. I say "as a Democrat," because the last time he ran for Congress he was against gay marriage and pro-life.

And against gun control. Because what Democrats want is to go for a stroll in their quiet urban villages, armed. Wait-- not Democrats/urban village. Resmuglicans/Old West village.

It would be wrong to call this video an interview. It's more of a campaign ad -- Tinklenberg gives his stump speech, and when he pauses to take a breath Kenmore slips in a few words.

Kenwood loves ol' E.T. A little over two years ago, in the Seattle P-I Transit Forum, he sneered that I probably didn't like Tinklenberg because he supported the Twin Cities' Hiawatha light rail (see table). That was the time he wrote that a candidate gets his vote just by having a picture taken with a train.

Watching the interview, it appears Tinklenberg knows his questioner, criticizing Smoochy's support for PRT like he had spent the night before studying Labridor's webpage and blogs. I wouldn't be surprised if Tinklenberg exited the interview with his backside covered with Humidor's lipmarks.

It's interesting, though, because of this description in Tinklenberg's Wikipedia bio:

Elwyn Tinklenberg was the Minnesota state transportation commissioner under former Governor Jesse Ventura. In that role, Tinklenberg worked with Ventura to support aggressive construction of highways, particularly serving the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities, and a new light-rail system. Source

What??? The author of Roadkill Bill pitched softball questions to a member of the (aggressive) highway construction lobby? Worse still, suburban, sprawl-promoting highways! In Kenthorpe's universe, the highway lobby is supposed to be for PRT, surely that inconsistency alone must have counted for something.

What's more, in that same universe there's an interesting trail from Tinklenberg right to Bachmann. Turns out, Tinklenberg's transportation consulting firm is associated with SEH -- Short Elliott Hendrickson -- in an old controversy about no-bid contracts he obtained:
S.E.H. and the Tinklenberg Group will collaborate and put together a Public Involvement Plan whereby a newsletter or brochure will be sent to Albertville residents and specific business owners that would be assessed and affected by the proposed I-94 Project. In addition to the newsletter or brochure, the Albertville website can be used to convey project information. Several public information meetings will be held to inform the public. S.E.H and the Tinklenberg Group will put together a budget to accomplish this business. Source

Kenweed might love E.T., but he hates SEH. They were the engineering firm on the "35W Excess" project he opposed. They also used to be part of the group working with Taxi 2000 Corp. So, a connection from Tinklenberg, to SEH, to highways and PRT. You'd think that would set off alarm bells.

But there's more. Kenthorpe himself has done the work showing that Taxi 2000 uses a lobbyist named Edwin Cain, whose picture is on the wall of Bachmann's virtual office! Tinklenberg -> SEH -> Taxi 2000 -> Ed Cain -> Bachmann!

"Maybe he didn't know about Tinklenberg and SEH."

Yeah, I considered that. Except that he covered it himself in 2006.

And yet not one peep about it in the Uptake video. What could possibly cause him to ignore his own blogging on these issues?

What's so funny 'bout peace, love and Ken Avidor?

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