8/1/2014 1:19:00 PM Publisher's Column
ponders a mystery
Moose Track Publishing of Menasha, Wisconsin announced on Facebook last week that a secret benefactor has graciously come forward to provide funds to purchase copies of the summer issue of Outer Boundary Magazine for every postal patron of Dodge County. While Publisher Steve Krueger declined to identify the benefactor, he did say the mysterious benefactor was planning to deliver copies of the magazine to every post office in Dodge County Monday morning, July 28.
Whoever the mysterious benefactor is, he is motivated to his generosity by the presence of an article about Dodge County entitled, "The Keystone Cops of Dodge County Minnesota-Meets Who Framed Rodger Rabbit," written by Krueger. The article addresses a number of charges against the news media, the courts, the county attorney's office and the sheriff's office. Strangely, the sheriff is presented as being one of the good guys in this rather bizarre tale.
I say it is strange because, when I initially spoke with Krueger about this article a year and a half or more ago, I got the impression then that the sheriff was the star of the bad guys. I either misunderstood or something happened to change Krueger's opinion of the sheriff.
In the article, Krueger talks about a "target" who he believes was abused by all the "Keystone Cops." The target is not identified in the article, but when we spoke back then, he identified the target as Gary Snyder and said the problems with the legal system of Dodge County related to the estate of Elsa Snyder.
It is always unfortunate when someone gets involved in a family's estate quarrels, when they don't have to get involved. It is too easy to misunderstand what the real issues are and to get mixed up with the garbled emotional issues which cause people to react to each other with hostility and accuse all who don't agree with them of evil intent. It looks to me as if that is what happened in this case.
Outer Boundary Magazine does a lot of outdoor articles and advertising, including fishing lure advertising. Gary Snyder designs and sells fishing lures. His lures are promoted in the magazine. It may be that Krueger is trying to help out a friend.
Facebook notices were sent to news media in the area, including Rochester, Owatonna and Austin, with links to the online release of the article, "The Keystone Cops of Dodge County Minnesota." The Facebook messages were attributed to David Roberts, who is listed as an administrator on the Jim Jensen for Sheriff Campaign Facebook page, which would seem to indicate that the sheriff's campaign is interested in seeing that the article gets read.
Several of us in Dodge Center have been trying to figure out the identity and motivation of the generous benefactor. The majority of opinion is on two possibilities, either Snyder or Jensen, but it is hard to see what either would gain from promoting readership of the article.
Personally, I lean toward Jensen, but if he is the secret benefactor, it presents a number of interesting issues, since he is campaigning for another term as sheriff. I spoke with the attorney for the Minnesota Newspaper Association to see how a promotion like this by the sheriff would mesh with Minnesota campaign law, and he was not sure.
There doesn't seem to be any way it would make sense for the sheriff to promote this, anyway, as if there are problems with law enforcement in Dodge County, it would be the responsibility of the sheriff to see that they are corrected.
As for Snyder, I understand there is a court hearing on the Snyder estate coming up in the near future. I don't see what courtroom advantage he would gain from promoting the magazine, however.
It all seems like a lose-lose undertaking for anyone. No one will end up making friends in the county by participating in the portrayal of local law enforcement as a bunch of buffoons. It reflects badly on everyone in the county.
I'm baffled by this mystery. Will the real secret benefactor please come forward and de-mystify this?