Another DWI with Emmer campaign ties

The Associated Press is reporting that the former manager of Republican Tom Emmer’s gubernatorial campaign, David Fitzsimmons, was arrested for drunk driving shortly after stepping down from that job back in May.

Fitzsimmons was arrested for DWI in Hennepin County on May 16, but he was not convicted. The revelation about Fitzsimmons followed today’s earlier news that state Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan, was arrested for DWI Saturday in Wright County. Buesgens was Emmer’s campaign chairman until about a week ago.

Emmer had his own DWI issues in 1981 and 1991.

  • It was NOT “another DWI.” As you report, he was not convicted.

    Anyone can be arrested for anything. In this case, the DWI was dismissed.

    Plea deal? Insufficient evidence? Graft? Why don’t you do some of that “reporting” that reporters are supposed to do, and find out, but don’t spin a dismissal as a conviction.

  • Amazing that this non-story about another non-DWI by a non-current-Emmer manager would come out four months after the non-fact of the arrest of another non-current-Emmer staffer at exactly this moment, after the non-news of Tom Emmer’s non-current non-DWI convictions turned out to be non-starters and Mark Dayton’s non-plan turned out to be non-viable.

    Or is it just a non-non-coincidence?

  • I used to think MPR was the one major newsroom in town that didn’t yell “Off What”? when the DFL said “Jump”.

    Looking at the false conflation of non-facts, clearly, I was wrong.

  • Jerry

    That’s right, nothing to see here folks, keep moving along.

    Mark Buesgens was driving down that ditch because he was pheasant hunting. He loves nighttime hunting.

    Why does MPR hate outdoorsmen so much?

  • Ralph Crammedin

    GOP officially changing name to GOPP.

  • Ralph Crammedin

    AA officially changes name to RR (Recovering Republicans)

  • Ralph Crammedin

    GOP changes name to OGP (Old Grandad Party)

  • George Hayduke

    Fact: Mark Buesgens was listed as Tom Emmer’s Campaign Chair at the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Disclosure Board as of today, Sept. 20–two days after Mark Buesgens was arrested and charged with drunk driving and open bottle when seen by law enforcement driving in a Wright County ditch and tested at .16–twice the legal limit for DWI. And 8 days AFTER Tom Emmer’s campaign claimed Buesgens has not been Emmer’s Campaign Chair since September 12.

    Fact: Mark Buesgens is just the latest of several alleged drunks to be closely connected to the Tom Emmer campaign, including the candidate himself.

    Next up: MBerg’s LONG record of housing code violations with the City of St. Paul. Want to discuss that “non-issue,” MBerg? Or are those ver public records “non-starters” too?

  • Jay Hendricks

    Mr. Pugmire: The term you used to describe the news about Fitzsimmons was a “revelation”. Since the arrest was four months ago, and there was no real “news” since then – the DWI was dismissed weeks ago, the disposition was entirely routine, and has been closed as far as the Henco courts are concerned for three weeks – what was the “revelelation?” How was it ‘revealed’ to MPR?

    Because this smells like something a DFL oppo research has been sitting on, to plug with the media when the Dayton campaign needed it plugged.

  • Beth the Bounty Hunter

    Can you hear that?? That sucking sound? That’s the sound of September/October in Minnesota during campaign years!! Geez people…use some common sense…

    The Fitzsimmon’s story is four months old, and he had stepped down. That’s like reporting an 84 year old had kidney stone pain just two days after healing from open heart surgery…but then it turns out it was simply gas…wow!

    Then you report that Fitz was arrested but not convicted…sounds like an “oops” to me. Whatever…

  • Ralph Crammedin

    It’s great to read all the excuses you Republican guys and gals pop up with to avoid confronting the stark fact that the Emmer campaign is riddled with Drunk Drivers. They’re like mushrooms after rain. You all get an A for both effort and creativity.

  • Beth the Bounty Hunter


    Just so you don’t classify the GOP as a party with problems, ALL campaign parties serve alcohol, and most of the people attending them drink…and probably too much. I’m not disputing the fact that Emmer is taking a black eye from these reports, right or wrong. I’m upset at the reporting, and the way that it is spun. It continues to be whining on the part of the Dems.

    Just so you know, I was a Dem, and very involved. I re-thought my party affiliation after the last election when I personally witnessed a ton of fraud, immorality, unethical behavior and brutally harsh language displayed by members of the Dem party in Minnesota. I was thoroughly embarrassed when I introduced Al Franken to the CEO of a large franchise organization in Minneapolis (who is a client of mine), and Al called my client an a$$hole behind his back (thinking he was outside of earshot, which he wasn’t). I could go on and on, but I will “bounty-hunt” one at a time. Good luck this coming November…

  • Ralph Crammedin

    @Beth, my congratulations on your being so well connected, and so open and willing to tell us all about it. I guess I’m missing the part where you think that everybody at the top of the Emmer campaign being Drunk Drivers is a bad idea.

    “I’m not disputing the fact that Emmer is taking a black eye from these reports, right or wrong.” really doesn’t cut it, Beth. In my book, you’re either for drunk driving, or you’re against it. You?

  • Karl

    1) Tom Emmer: two DWIs (even though they are old), plus his attempts to weaken drunk-driving laws in MN.

    2) Tom “Tripp” Emmer, Emmer’s son and campaign employee: underage alcohol citation this summer and part of an apparently drunken episode of debauchery and possible assault on a passed-out girl depicted on his Facebook page (since scrubbed but now widely circulated on the internet).

    3) Mark Buesgens, Emmer campaign chair: DWI, open bottle charges after allegedly seen by police driving in a ditch and sideswiping a “no passing” sign.

    4) David Fitzsimmons, former Emmer campaign manager: Arrested for DWI last May (plea bargained down to a lesser charge in August).

    5) Dick Borrell: Emmer campaign pilot, who paid a $20,000 settlement to his relative’s fiancee in 1993 for molesting her while he was in an admitted drunken stupor in 1987. Borrell held Emmer’s House seat prior to Emmer, but did not run for re-election in 2004 after an incident in which he got caught trying to bring a loaded handgun onto a commercial airline flight in his carry-on bag.

    What’s the GOP’s excuse? “Boys will be boys.” Or, “Democrats do it too.” Or (you fill in the blank).

    This is the Republican team that wants to run your state.

  • beth the Bounty Hunter

    You missed the point, Ralph. I didn’t say that Emmer’s staff is pure…I said “Why did this story break now”?…and “Why is a former staffer’s news noteworthy”? And why is Emmer’s past (from 20 and 30 years ago!) noteworthy?

    Hey, did you all catch the news last night and see that my babysitter’s nephews daughters cousin was caught smoking in the hall at her Junior High? Then it turned out that she simply caught her hair on fire in Chemistry class. That Beth the Bounty Hunter is out of control, and needs intervention!! In fact, her entire extended family should seek immediate counseling! What’s more…I even heard that Beth tried smoking one time in 1976!! Unreal….

    Good luck in November Dems!!

  • Ralph Crammedin

    @Beth, you’re new to blogging, right? You know, that ‘I’m really a Democrat but I’m here defending Republican Tom Emmer and his staff full of Drunk Drivers out of high journalistic principles’ stuff kinda fell out of favor about 5 or 7 years ago, when people wised up to the fact that it was pretty much always a Republican mole posting it. Just a word to the wise, Beth.

  • Moderatemarv

    The latest news on Representative Buesgens is that he owes over $700,000 on a house that is worth around 542,00 and is facing foreclosure. This is pretty funny. He preaches financial restraint but obviously doesn’t practice what he preaches. I wonder how much longer he will be around.

  • Ralph Crammedin

    Some compassionate person needs to gently take Mr Buesgens aside and tell him it’s time to drop out of the State House race. He’s way over his head in life. Somehow, I can’t see any of the current generation of Republicans doing that. Hope I’m wrong.

  • Beth the Bounty Hunter

    Babysitter’s nephew’s daughter’s cousin Ralph…that’s the guilty one.

    Everyone discussing this article seems to have great facts surrounding Emmer and his former staff of idiots. That’s noteworthy and interesting to read. Your comments on the other hand make you look naive and upset that your side is losing.

    New to blogging? Not sure I get that point.

    Call myself a Dem? Wrong again….I said I used to be.

    Republican mole? Wrong again. I can’t stand politics…that’s why I logged into this comment section…to try and help people like you and Pugmire to not sound so ignorant.

    Again, to my point…report facts on time, not when they’re non-starters and spun to be convenient for a losing team.

    Good luck in November…

  • Sounds like the Emmer campaign really needs to take a Breathalyzer test.