ST. PAUL — Rep. Mark Olson is heading back to the Minnesota Legislature next month, despite being suspended from the House Republican caucus.
The Big Lake Republican said he hasn't heard from House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, and doesn't understand a decision he announced Friday that fellow House Republicans had decided to cut ties to Olson, who faces domestic abuse charges.
But the suspension of his caucus membership won't affect his plans to continue representing House District 16B, which includes Becker, Big Lake, Clear Lake and Zimmerman, he said.
"I have a lot of support and I don't see any reason why this would keep me from being able to represent people," he said. "It just won't look good for a while."
Olson is due in court Tuesday in connection to his November arrest. According to a criminal complaint, Olson is accused of shoving his wife and leaving her with bruises.
The decision means Republicans won't supply Olson with staff, support or allow him to caucus with them. The office of House Speaker-elect Margaret Anderson Kelliher, a Democrat, will decide Olson's committee assignments, office and staffing.
Olson said he was waiting for instruction from Kelliher's office but would press on.
"Maybe it means I'm an independent now," he said. "I don't know. I've always been sort of independent."
Looks like Mark Olson will follow the example set by his old PRT-promoting partner Gary Dean Zimmermann... he will go down kicking and screaming, dragging his party down with him like Zimmermann did. Zimmermann e-mailed his supporters to announce he is scheduled to be sentenced on the 19th of December.
What a sad and sordid end for these two PRT-promoting politicians... remember those heady, optimistic days when the future of PRT in MInnesota never looked brighter? Remember the breathless reporting of Taxi 2000's open house when Rep. Mark Olson and PRT guru J. Edward Anderson unveiled the shiny red pod to the media?
From the moribund Taxi 2000 website:
Over 50 people attended and everyone got at least one ride in the Skyweb Express car. Mark Olson gave a great speech, some of which was quoted in a Minneapolis - St. Paul Star Tribune article by Laurie Blake.
Minneapolis/St. Paul channels 5 (KSTP) and 11 (KARE) featured the story on morning, noon, evening and nighttime news shows. At least a dozen newspaper reporters from as many publications attended and asked good questions. ProMedia video-taped the event, and after editing, plan to broadcast it to about 850 television stations nationwide.
I wonder if reporters will interview Fridley's J. Edward Anderson about what happened to Mark Olson and Gary Dean Zimmermann?
Check out the new J. Edward Anderson Wikipedia page (before the PRTistas take a meat-axe to it).