Sunday, October 22, 2006

Feckless Frenn again

I got a letter yesterday from State Sen. Tom Reynolds' attorney, Tom Frenn, that very laughably says:

I am glad you are admitting in your quote to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that you were wrong.

What?!! No, I did not. Let me make sure you heard me, Tom and Tom (Team T-T -- I like it):

No, I did not.

Here is what Annysa Johnson reported and she got it exactly right:

Milwaukee Rising blogger Gretchen Schuldt said Thursday that she "never accused" Reynolds of using campaign funds to heat his house but "raised questions and said he needed to explain it."

Schuldt said she received a letter Thursday from Reynolds' attorney threatening to sue her for libel, slander and defamation if she does not post a retraction.

"This is an attempt to intimidate a constituent," said Schuldt of Milwaukee, who lives in the 5th District.

"I've not libeled anyone. If it's wrong to question what a politician does with his campaign funds, our country is in a sorry state."

We can review the facts, which are confusing because the Reynold's team keeps trying to change its version of them. Reynolds has repeatedly filed campaign registration statements listing his headquarters at home home address. Then, whoops, Reynolds said the HQ was really at another address, that he just said on his campaign finance report that it was at his home address.

Again, Thursday's JS:

Reynolds said the utility bills are for an outbuilding behind rental property he owns at 9500 W. Schlinger Ave. in West Allis that has a separate meter from those of his home and the main rental building.

The campaign address is listed as his home, he said, so his renters don't receive that mail.

Look like Frenn may have erred on Tuesday when he wrote: "Tom Reynolds has his campaign office on the same property as his home, which is equipped with those items to run his campaign including printing presses."

(Yes, I know that Frenn's last phrase actually confirms that Reynolds' home is equipped with campaign equipment. Wouldn't that make it the campaign HQ? Or is it just that Frenn has difficulty with the English language and is equipped with insufficient composition skills? More on this at the end of the post.)

Since Reynolds outed himself about his campaign HQ location, Frenn has been more circumspect. Annysa Johnson's story ran in the paper Thurday morning. Spivak and Bice have posted a letter Frenn wrote that same day to State Democratic Campaign Committee attorney Jeremy Levinson:

The website for West Allis shows that Mr. Reynolds owns the property at 9500 West Schlinger Avenue and also owns the property at 9430 West Schlinger Avenue. Both properties have residences on them and warehouse type buildings, one of which is used as a campaign headquarters. Therefore, public records DO NOT support the State Senate Democratic Committee's false statements.

But, Tom! Which address is home to the Reynolds' command post? You forgot to specify.

On Friday, he wrote again to Levinson:

In my letter of October 19, 2006, I explained to you where the utility bills were coming from. They are the utility bills for the campaign headquarters which are located on a property owned by Sen. Reynolds and his wife. What more information Do you want?

Oh, Tom, you forgot again to mention the address of that HQ property. Could it be 9500 W. Schlinger Ave.? Did Tom Reynolds misstate the address on his campaign filing statements?


To prove Sen. Reynolds' assertions, I would introduce the State campaign reports, the utility bills for the campaign headquarters, photos of the campaign headquarters and the City of West Allis website's printout for the two Reynolds' properties at 9500 West Schlinger Avenue and 9430 West Schlinger Avenue, and a tour of the facilities by a judge and jury.

Golly darn, Tommie, you forgot again. Funny how those things can slip your mind, isn't it? So what specifically is the address of Reynolds' campaign headquarters?

And in the latest missive Frenn sent to me, dated Friday, he wrote:

When I reviewed Milwaukee Rising, both the article originally posted on the Story Hill website as well as the story still available as of 9:00 a.m. today, state the utility costs are for Sen. Reynolds' home. The campaign report of course states the costs are for Sen. Reynolds' campaign headquarters. If you had done, even attempted to investigate as a trained journalist such as yourself should have, you would have found the campaign headquarters is a separate building.

Again, Frenn forgot to mention the headquarters' address! What a coincidence.

Oh, Petrie & Stocking, just as an aside -- you might want to assign a proof reader to Mr. Frenn. Typos happen all the time, but nothing like the last excerpt above should be coming out of a reputable law firm. (Of course, reputable laws firms should not grossly misrepresent an individual's statements, either. See top of this post.)

Truth to tell, when I got the letter yesterday, it was so bad I thought at first that someone might have forged it on P&S stationery, but after reading the letters posted by the Spice boys, realized that wasn't the case -- it really was Frenn's finest. Wow.

Update: Oh, it isthe rental property, at least according to Tom Reynolds. Reynolds says the headquarters address listed on his campaign finance reports and to which he wants supporters to send contributions isn't the headquarters for which his campaign fund is paying utility bills. The utility bill headquarters is another place he owns, an outbuilding at 9500 W. Schlinger Ave., he says.

Reynolds says in a press release: If you would review my campaign account, you will find payments to WE Energies marked in the campaign report for utilities for the campaign headquarters. I own two properties with my wife at 9500 West Schlinger Avenue and 9430 West Schlinger Avenue, West Allis, Wisconsin. I live at the house at 9430 West Schlinger Avenue. In the back of 9500 West Schlinger Avenue there is a warehouse building which is used as a campaign headquarters. These are the WE Energy bills which are paid from my campaign treasury.

It is still weird. Rent for the site is not listed as an expenditure or in-kind contribution on his campaign finance reports. And it's totally different that what Frenn said last week. Remember?

"Tom Reynolds has his campaign office on the same property as his home, which is equipped with those items to run his campaign including printing presses."

Stay tuned.

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