Rep. Kathy Lohmer uses taxpayer money to wrap her Korean car with American flag

kathy lohmer car rect.jpg
Car photo courtesy of LeftMN
Made in Korea, wrapped by Minnesota taxpayers.
SEE ALSO:
-- Chip Cravaack: Taxpayers are paying more than $1,000 a month for his 2011 Chevy Equinox
-- Rep. Mary Franson infuriated by Earth Day, calls it "Pagan holiday" [UPDATE]


In a move that's sad and troubling on multiple levels, first-term Rep. Kathy Lohmer, R-Lake Elmo, recently spent $2,678 -- some of it from taxpayers -- to wrap her Korean vehicle in the American flag.

News of the expenditure prompted Stillwater resident Lee Salisbury to write a highly critical letter to the editor that was published in the Stillwater Gazette. "Yes, it takes someone with unmitigated gall to brandish the American flag and U.S. Constitution on a foreign vehicle. It takes Kathy Lohmer," Salisbury writes.

Foreign vehicle or not, Salisbury points out another reason why Lohmer's car wrap is blast-worthy. "[W]hile claiming on her 2012 report that she 'promises to support fiscal responsibility,' Lohmer's campaign committee -- with help from a $5,429 public subsidy payment in 2010 -- spent $2,678 to turn her foreign-made SUV into a garish mobile billboard, thereby literally flaunting her reckless disregard for our tax dollars," he writes.

Prior to Car Wrap-gate, Lohmer had been taking heat from liberals for spending her first term in the legislature authoring 12 constitutional amendments. She founded a homeschool cooperative yet voted last year to cut $48 million in funding for the state's public school students (The $48 million figure is according to Salisbury -- Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, later reached out to City Pages to take issue with that number). Lohmer is being challenged this November by Democrat Tom DeGree, a Lake Elmo teacher.

Consider Car Wrap-gate further evidence that the folks serving as our legislators aren't necessarily Minnesota's best and brightest.

My Voice Nation Help
35 comments
swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

These awful people don't just wrap themselves in the flag, they have to wrap their cars in the flag, too.  As if we, or they, might forget what country we live in.    And of course the Constitution they worship like an idol, and demand be revered unchangeable, like a bug in amber, exactly as the original framers intended; well, we need to change it constantly to reflect this moment's obsessions, be they who get to be recognized as a family, who gets to vote and exactly how, who gets to have public money from school tax levies: etc.  These people live out and embody Harrison Salisbury's classic line, "Sinclair Lewis aptly predicted in It Can't Happen Here that if fascism came to America it would come wrapped in the flag and whistling 'The Star Spangled Banner.'"

cbuzzetta
cbuzzetta

Note items (d), (e), (i), and (j) of Title 4 of the US Code, Section 8 - seems to me the flag is going to get quite soiled, especially in the winter; probably have to burn her car as a result:

 

4 U.S.C. § 8. 

 

Respect for Flag.

 

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing.  Regimental colors, state flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

 

(a) The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

 

(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

 

(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

 

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.  It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.  Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping in front of the platform, and for a decoration in general.

 

(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

 

(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

 

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

 

(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

 

(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.  It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.  Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

 

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of  patriotic organizations.  The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.  Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

 

(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

Joe Strom
Joe Strom

It's about as ironic as the handheld American flags being manufactured in China.

Dan Mccurdy
Dan Mccurdy

You don't see the irony of purchasing a Hyundai then painting it with the American flag with taxpayer money? I think its hilarious! She obviously has a great sense of humor.

Joe Strom
Joe Strom

So Dan, you scoff to every person that drives a car that wasn't manufactured in the USA? What about everything else? Has everything in your house been created in the USA? I doubt it. Like I said, it's the reporting that sucks on this, because with how everything is worded just right to make her look worse, I wouldn't be surprised if by "taxpayers money" they meant the money she gets paid for doing her job, which if that's the case, she can do whatever she wants with her money.

Jon Marchand
Jon Marchand

What was the song from the foreign/domestic car wars of the 80s? "Your foreign car put 11 more Americans out of work...are you hungry? Eat your import!"

Sallyjos
Sallyjos

The photo is credited to LeftMn, which first posted about the Salisbury piece, using the ambiguous "Opinion Piece" label for the letter.  A little curiosity about the way the Stillwater Gazette formats its opinion section--easily found by clicking on the links for the section--would have quickly avoided this confusion, whatever the means were that Rupar and Tony Petrangelo found themselves reading this letter.

steve.sundberg
steve.sundberg

"Assembling" something in the US is different than "manufacturing" the parts need for assembly. Bravo to Hyundai for assembling its Sonatas in Montgomery, AL. But its transmission, among other moving parts, is manufactured in Korea. According to Car and Driver (2011), only 40% of the Sonata is manufactured in the US or Canada (and the Elantra is only ~1% of US/Canada origin):

 

<p>http://www.caranddriver.com/features/a-graphic-representation-of-whats-really-made-in-america-feature</p>

Jeff Chase
Jeff Chase

I don't care what kind of car it is, it's the fact she spent taxpayer money on wrapping it. Also, that Hyundai Sante Fe she is driving was built in Alabama by U.S. workers. There are plenty of GM vehicles and other "American" cars made in Mexico and Canada so the kind of vehicle to me is irrelevant. I'd be more upset about her spending taxpayer money then on what kind of car she drives. After all, this is America and anyone can drive what they want, right?

Dan Mccurdy
Dan Mccurdy

She didn't do it on purpose? Slipped on a pen and purchased a foreign car? Then since she seen that she made a mistake, she corrected it by using taxpayer money to paint a flag on it? Personally, I want to know about this kind of stuff. It gives a little insight as to how her thought process works. Now that the article is out, we can learn the thought process of those voting for her. Win/Win.

Joe Strom
Joe Strom

No, it's the fact that the reporting on this is horrible. "recently spent $2,678 -- some of it from taxpayers -- to wrap her Korean-made vehicle in the American flag." That could mean she spent $2677 of taxpayers money on it, or she spent $1 of the taxpayers money on it. What i don't care about is the fact that the car is Korean, and the way the CP is spinning this to look like she did it on purpose, like it was all part of her evil, anti-patriotic plan.

mmartin4444
mmartin4444

Tom DeGree is better known as the owner of the Wilde Roast Café in Minneapolis - creating more than 70 jobs. 

Spoony
Spoony

Montgomery Alabama is definitely not in Korea. Hence, this vehicle is not "Korean-made" as the article blindly tells us.

sallyjos
sallyjos

@dbrauer @citypages @atrupar Exactly

MyLittleBloggie
MyLittleBloggie

@dbrauer @citypages @atrupar Lee Salisbury is a regular letter-writer to the Stillwater paper.

BJ_NEWS
BJ_NEWS

@atrupar The letter to editor is referred to as editorial several times.  If #whatnottodoifyoucallyourselfajournalist

ChrisHaar
ChrisHaar

@citypages Love you guys, but the Hyundai Santa Fe is built and assembled in America. Built by Kia in West Point, Georgia.

Dan Mccurdy
Dan Mccurdy

Its not newsworthy that our politicians don't even understand what patriotic is? Dumb shit like what she has done is the new norm. People like Joe and Alex seem to be Ok with it. To them it probably IS patriotic. Sad.

texaszeller
texaszeller

Also if that is a Santa Fe, which it appears to be, according to a friend of mine who sells cars, it is made in Alabama. So 'technically' American made, but by a Korean owned company. The main point still stands about her fiscal irresponsibility

MinneapolisMang
MinneapolisMang

From Twitter: 

 

"panndderfrom Twitter

@dbrauer @citypages @atrupar Looks like a letter to the editor, but the 'By The Stillwater Gazette' is definitely confusing."If that's truly the case, then this is definitely misleading. 

 

panndder
panndder

@dbrauer @citypages @atrupar Looks like a letter to the editor, but the "By The Stillwater Gazette" is definitely confusing.

Stephanie Cordie Goodman
Stephanie Cordie Goodman

The kind of car doesn't matter as much as the fact that it was taxpayer money spent by a woman claiming to be fiscally responsible...

Erica Anderson
Erica Anderson

Alex - then unlike City Pages if you don't like the articles. BTW...Aaron is the only CP employee doing the news after the most recent layoffs.

Joe Strom
Joe Strom

I ate Chinese food the other day, with an American fork. With my bosses money.

Alex Anderson
Alex Anderson

I bet this is an Aaron article too. Don't even have to read 'em to figure it out. He always posts the dumbest shit with the lamest headlines.

panndder
panndder

@atrupar Isn't that technically desecration of the flag, too? The flag can be on items but should not be (seemingly) used as a material.

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

From Dr. Lawrence Britt's "The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism":

 

"Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays."

 

When I was a young man, hippies sewed flag patches on their clothing and got beaten up by rednecks for "desecrating the flag." Now it's the rednecks who wear the flag, paint it on their possessions and display it around the clock in violation of flag etiquette. Like the pharisees of old, theirs is a faith that only counts when it is shouted and shamelessly exhibited. And they are the first to object to the media taking pictures of flag-draped coffins returning from overseas.

atrupar
atrupar moderator

 @Spoony You're right. Hence, I've changed "Korean-made" to "Korean." Thanks.

atrupar
atrupar

@NewsCut @dbrauer @citypages Thanks. We've fixed. The SG should really change the way they write bylines for letters, though.

atrupar
atrupar

@panndder @dbrauer @citypages Yeah, I think it's actually a letter. I'll fix. Byline confused me but Salisbury doesn't appear to be editor.

MyLittleBloggie
MyLittleBloggie

@panndder @atrupar The violation there is actually the use of a flag in marketing. Under the Flag Code, that's a no-no.

atrupar
atrupar

@panndder I'm deferring all flag desecration questions to @NewsCut

webcelt
webcelt

 @mark.gisleson It's always been my understanding too that the flag isn't supposed to be used as clothing. Then a couple weeks ago during the Olympics, Fox News commentators weer complaining that US athletes' uniforms weren't made out of flags.

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...