Amy Klobuchar: ‘Senator Next Door’ — or a Cold-Hearted Politician?

Senator Amy Klobuchar does a good job of portraying herself as “Minnesota Nice.” She even titled her book, The Senator Next Door. In it she builds upon the image that she is the grand-child of immigrants and middle-class parents. The book is a chronicle of her “remarkable heartland journey and her rise in American politics.”

Senator Klobuchar has risen among the ranks of Democrats since making her way to D.C. Meanwhile, fellow Minnesota Senator Al Franken groped his way into obscurity, as Amy Klobuchar has used her midwestern persona to quietly position herself for nothing short of a presidential run.

As a member of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, Amy Klobuchar recently got a chance to take her game to the next level with the Brett Kavanaugh hearings/circus. Senator Klobuchar used her time like several of her counterparts…as an announcement to the world that they would like to be president.

Of course, Senator Spartacus (Cory Booker) used drama and theater to turn heads, while Senator Kamala Harris used her defiant anger to capitalize on her five minutes of fame. Amy Klobuchar came across reasoned and thoughtful, like any good daughter of the Heartland, right?

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Under that Girl Scout façade is a politician like any other. A woman willing to crush anyone who gets in her way. The kind of politician who would destroy several successful men’s careers without a bat of the eye, if it meant getting to the next level on her quest for power.

As Senator Klobuchar stands at the edge of that future, and a run for the presidency is being talked about openly, those men she washed her hands of so many years ago have not gone away…and they have not forgotten. Quite the opposite in fact. Every time they see Miss Klobuchar, they are reminded of what was taken from them in her climb to top.

This story starts in Minnesota when Amy Klobuchar was a partner at the law firm Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis, and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, with her sights set on Minnesota Attorney General. Klobuchar thought she had found a great case to further her career, the Kirby Puckett case.

Kirby Puckett was charged with assault on a woman in a public restroom. If you don’t remember, Kirby Puckett was a famous Hall of Fame baseball player loved in Minnesota and around the world. The case was notably in the headlines since Mr. Puckett was a hero to a clear majority of Minnesotans for his years with the Minnesota Twins. A high-profile case is exactly what someone looking to build their political career needs. However, it didn’t work out for Klobuchar as Puckett was eventually acquitted of all charges and many thought there was never enough evidence to warrant the charge in the first place. A pattern that has seemed to follow Senator Klobuchar onto the Judiciary Committee…charging men with assault without evidence.

Fresh off the defeat of the Kirby Puckett case, young Amy Klobuchar needed a win badly, and she found it with some unsuspecting Northwest Airlines Pilots. This series of cases had everything Senator Klobuchar needed. The defendants were not beloved heroes to Minnesota. They were easily cast as the villains gaming the system, and even better, they were middle-aged white men.

Much like Al Capone, a seemingly small offense can be used to bring down even the most brazen criminals and just as easily destroy the lives of innocent citizens. The Northwest Airlines pilots were not charged with anything as horrible as assault or rape, they were accused of tax evasion. The whole thing revolved around how many days did these pilots spend in any one state, thus constituting residency in that state and determining in which state they had to pay state income tax.

Boring…I know! But it was exactly what Amy Klobuchar needed to look tough on white collar crime and further her career to become the new Minnesota Attorney General.

I personally interviewed Captain Randy Enyeart who was one of the pilots to have the unfortunate experience of running into Amy Klobuchar as she made her climb to the top. He has become a skeleton in her crowded closet.

In 2001 Captain Enyeart was a divorced father with two sons, and an airline pilot for Northwest Airlines (NWA). He began his flying career in high school and it continued even after graduation from college. Enyeart had a good relationship with his former wife, and he helped in raising their sons. Randy split his time between Alaska, Missouri, and Minnesota. He often traveled with his children out of Minnesota.

Captain Enyeart claimed residency status in Alaska and shared a home there. He also had non-homesteaded property in Shorewood, and his sons lived in Minneapolis as well. Determining residency for tax purposes comes down to number of days in a state, which for a pilot comes down to hours sometimes. If a pilot lands in Minneapolis and sits in the terminal for an hour, and then leaves, does that count as a “day” in the state?

All of this is governed by some very old legislation originally designed for train workers and interstate commerce. Infractions are investigated by the Minnesota Department of Revenue (MDOR).

Before Captain Enyeart was targeted for attack, some months of the year he was an Instructor Pilot and Check Airman for Northwest Airlines Training Center, based in Minneapolis. Not all of the training and checking occurred in Minnesota. The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) had negotiated what is called a “side-letter” with the Minnesota Department of Revenue (MDOR), Northwest Airlines, and ALPA, allowing the instructor pilots to operate in the state as they did. Miss Klobuchar chose to hide this side letter from an unsuspecting jury.

Mr. Enyeart never exceeded 183 days in any of the three states in question. As far as Captain Enyeart knew he was following the letter of the law.

His townhome in Minnesota was empty most of the time, except for an ill brother who lived there part time during treatment, so he placed it in a non-homestead status, therefore paying a higher property tax. Neighbors noticed “Agents” peeking in the windows of Enyeart’s Minnesota townhome, which was obviously empty, and at first thought the place might be for sale.

February of 2001, Captain Enyeart was sleeping on a blow-up mattress in his otherwise empty Shorewood townhome when the Minnesota Department of Revenue showed up. He was grilled as if he had committed a serious offense. They questioned his residency status, even though it was visually obvious no one lived permanently at the house.

Nothing would stop the wheels from turning once Amy Klobuchar had determined this was a great case to build her career upon.

Klobuchar charged Enyeart and other NWA pilots with tax evasion. She expected all the pilots to plea bargain. She expected to have an easy victory and a triumphant sound byte. However, Captain Enyeart and a few others fought back. The result of the plea bargain would mean an entire loss of the defendant’s career, and that was unacceptable to Captain Enyeart. He’d spent his entire life training for an airline career. It was what he knew best, and he was very good at it.

He wasn’t about to just let a politically hungry prosecutor take that away without a fight. However, Captain Enyeart didn’t realize the power of the machine he was up against. Strange things began to happen in the progress of the case, and always in the favor of the prosecutor.

First, the Senior Investigator was pulled from the case because he testified in a pre-trial hearing that Enyeart had met all the guidelines to be an Alaskan resident. That testimony didn’t fit the narrative. Enyeart never saw that investigator again, effectively hidden by Klobuchar and the MDOR.

As the trial moved along, Enyeart and his attorney proved that the state had counted his days in Minnesota with great error. It should have been an open and shut case for the defendants. The state was miserably wrong in its calculations and didn’t understand Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) used by pilots and airline scheduling. Klobuchar’s team then tried to force Enyeart into a mistrial, which he declined.

Captain Enyeart believes that Klobuchar’s team and Judge Regina Chu obstructed justice by intentionally cancelling court on the days that his sons and ex-wife were available to testify. Klobuchar’s team faked that they had doctor and dental appointments, and that Judge Chu had judge school. Klobuchar and Judge Chu cancelled court for the rest of the week, knowing Enyeart’s ex-wife was leaving for Puerto Rico on Saturday.

The Klobuchar team met every morning in the judge’s chambers before court started! Enyeart’s defense team was not included in those behind closed-door meetings. They were planning their courtroom strategy for that day.

Thinking the pilots would bargain their way out, Klobuchar had not done her due diligence before bringing charges. She was not aware of the MDOR side-letter that specifically protected Captain Enyeart and the other instructor pilots that operated in the state.

Captain Enyeart started to realize the fact that he may be facing a stacked court when what he calls the “Klobuchar Kangaroo Court Judge Chu” inexplicably ruled that the side-letter was non-admissible as evidence. His jury never knew of the side-letter.

As Captain Enyeart spoke with attorneys familiar with Minnesota’s legal system they told him Klobuchar had just suffered a miserable loss in the Kirby Puckett case. She needed a win at all costs. Her aspirations for higher office depended upon it. She needed the positive name recognition that would come from winning his case. They told him his case was very political.

Having a trial become political rather than civil leaves a defendant with little hope that justice remains blind in America.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue residency expert, James Clancy, could not explain during the Enyeart hearing how Captain Enyeart had violated ANY of the 27 guidelines for residency. Mr. Clancy was the expert, and he had no answers concerning it being criminal, or how the guidelines applied to Enyeart. That didn’t stop the proceedings for Klobuchar.

The unexplained oddities just continued to pile up. Civil guidelines were being used in a criminal case. No one knows why. Never had residency been prosecuted criminally in the history of the State of Minnesota. Klobuchar prosecuted the pilots criminally in all counties, even outside of her county of jurisdiction.

Unbeknownst to Captain Enyeart, the MDOR agents had worn a wire the day of the Shorewood home visit. Upon learning about the audio, Enyeart’s team subpoenaed those tapes. Once again, anything that might help the pilot’s case seemed to disappear…the tapes had been “accidentally” erased. Captain Enyeart had spoken of his MDOR side-letter the day of the house visit, and proclaimed his innocence from the first moment.

The MDOR also stated that they read Enyeart his Miranda Rights prior to questioning him. Captain Enyeart maintains that never happened, and that would have been proven if the agent’s tape had come forward as evidence.

The MDOR called none of the neighbors to testify about Enyeart’s presence in MN. The neighbors would have been witnesses exonerating a man simply going about his career. They all knew that it wasn’t Captain Enyeart’s permanent residence, and therefore, they did not fit the narrative.

Captain Enyeart watched as jury selection led by the Klobuchar team, and overseen by Judge Chu, gave him a sinking feeling in his stomach. Every person in the room seemed to have already decided the outcome of the trial. Captain Enyeart felt helpless as the Klobuchar team axed the one juror in the jury pool that could have exonerated him. At the time, Klobuchar was in full control of the Hennepin County court system, and her will was going to be carried out.

Captain Enyeart lost in court and was forced into an early retirement in 2003, because of the laws regulating pilots in place since 911. Enyeart continues to live in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, no longer allowed to fly for an airline in the United States. His life and career were shattered because of the ego and dishonesty of Amy Klobuchar and her court minions.

As fate would have it, shortly after Klobuchar’s victory over the pilots and Captain Enyeart, former Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton surprisingly chose not to run for a second term.

Amy Klobuchar quickly dropped her goal of Minnesota Attorney General, and refocused her sights on the US Senate Chambers, and the rest is history. Senator Amy Klobuchar portrays herself as a sweet and innocent girl next door. To this day she touts her victory bringing down those evil pilots as she gives her stump speeches. She likes people to think she is strong and fair with a midwestern authenticity that would look good in the White House. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Captain Enyeart and the destruction of his life was simply a means to an end for Senator Klobuchar. To her, he was simply a springboard to higher office. In his eyes, she is a fraud and a phony.

Watching the Judge Kavanaugh hearings brought it all back for Captain Enyeart, and forced him to relive one of the most painful experiences of his life. He watched as Senator Klobuchar did her part, once again, to bring down a successful man by twisting the truth to fit her political needs, and fulfill her desires to go to the next level politically.

Minnesota voters need to wake up to the reality of who is representing their State. The rest of America would do well to keep Senator Klobuchar from going anywhere near Pennsylvania Avenue.

Image:Excerpted from: United States Senate – http://klobuchar.senate.gov/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31558002

S.C. Sherman
S.C. Sherman grew up a farm kid in rural Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Communications Studies. Steve is a business owner, and recently ran for Iowa State House of Representatives.. S.C. enjoys political commentary and great stories. He has written three fiction novels found at scsherman.com. He currently lives with his wife and four children in North Liberty, Iowa.

 

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