Minnesota’s ‘unAmerican’ connection


Everything has a Minnesota connection one way or another.

While Minnesota’s political landscape has been consumed by the Michele Bachmann’s Hardball comments, in California the scandal has been Obama Bucks. The president of the San Bernadino Republican women’s club has apologized and resigned after she put an image of Obama Bucks in a newsletter. Diane Fedele says she was ignorant of the fact fried chicken and watermelon have racial overtones. She said she got the image in a number of chain e-mails.

Where did the image come from? Minnesota, according to the Press Enterprise of San Bernadino

(Tim) Kastelein, who received a low-level organizing position within the Democratic Party in Minnesota earlier this year, said he meant the cartoon as a satirical look at “right-wingers.”

He said he created the image to lampoon Republicans who are afraid of government welfare programs and fearful of a Democratic president. He said that “there’s some people that are never going to get it.”

Kastelein, according to Press-Enterprise politics editor John Bender, has messed up a few reputations, including one man profiled by Minnesota Public Radio’s Julie Siple last year in a piece she wrote about recovering your reputation once it’s been damaged online.

Terry Steindel (shown above) lives my nightmare: One day he was just doing his job, selling homes, and a blogger made fun of a flyer he’d stuffed in mailboxes around town.

“They just slammed it,” he remembers. “And they said: Would you buy a piece of real estate from this agent?”

So there it sat — a nasty blog entry. When Terry searched his name, it was right at the top of Google returns. Terry didn’t grow up Myspacing; he wasn’t Internet savvy. He didn’t know what to do.

Steindel didn’t know until Wednesday, according to the Press Enterprise, that his online attacker was Kastelein.

“What’s his agenda? I don’t really understand,” Steindel said. “That kind of crap we really don’t need. … You know what — It’s un-American.”

Kastelein once reviewed a Symantec anti-virus product, calling it “worse than the Holocaust.” His Web page content has been taken down. It now redirects the user to a donation page on Barack Obama’s Web site.

  • brian

    What would she have thought was funny about the picture without realizing there were racial overtones? The picture is one big racial overtone.

  • Bonnie

    Thanks Bob, I read the article in the MNPOST but of course the picture wasn’t included. Seeing the picture makes it clear the republican chairwoman is lying about not knowing it was racist. Great work digging up the other connections on Kastelein. Interesting.