Republican Party

Republican ‘Fiscal Conservative’ State Senator Sued over Not Paying Federal Loan

Minnesota State Senator Sean R. Nienow (R-Cambridge) and his wife are being sued for allegedly not making payments on a $613,000 Small Business Association (SBA) loan they took out in 2009 for their business and secured with personal guarantees, according to the Star Tribune’s reporting on a lawsuit filed by the U.S. attorney’s office in ­Minneapolis.

Nienow was a former district chairman of the Republican Party. He made a name for himself by saying that financing the Vikings stadium “is not the role of government.”

This is the guy whose claim to fame is his “fiscal responsibility with the tax payers money”. He likes to preach about using “The same common sense money management used by families and businesses is also necessary with the state budget.” Sounds familiar. But perhaps it takes more than smugness to balance a budget, whether it’s a business, family, or state budget.

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The Republican State Senator and his wife stand accused of defaulting on their loan, via the Star Tribune:

Although demand for ­payment was made, the Nienows did not comply, the suit said, and they owe an unpaid principal balance of $558,076.53 and administrative costs of $189,861.09 for a total of $747,937.62.

They allegedly stopped making payments on the $613,000 loan for their business, the National Camp Association, Inc., in July 2010.

On his website, Nienow touts his degree in business and claims to hold a fierce admiration for former President Ronald Reagan. Nienow and his wife dissolved the National Camp Association in 2012. Their “business” claimed to be an organization that would help parents select a camp. Nienow claims to be a “consultant” as his career, and he is named as “adviser” to “National Summer Camp Association” in an article on picking camps:

National Camp Association staff members such as Mr. Nienow offer free advice to any parent looking to choose a camp. A visit to puts the reader in touch with a variety of articles and tips on the camp-selection process.

It’s unclear why the SBA would loan half a million dollars to a business that claimed it was going to help parents pick a camp. I can’t see how this ever appeared remotely lucrative. It smacks of Michele Bachmannitis. In fact, he used to work with Representative Bachmann, directing a district office of constituent services.

Bachmann also joined Nienow in calling for a state and federal audit of Medicaid payments, because you know, some people cheat the government.

Nienow introduces himself to his constituents thusly:

Fiscal responsibility with the tax payers money is a high priority for Senator Nienow. The same common sense money management used by families and businesses is also necessary with the state budget. Senator Nienow is committed to being thoughtful, prudent and disciplined with your tax dollars to ensure the state meets its obligations, provides appropriate help to those in need, and fosters a vibrant economic climate for Minnesota business.

The problem with running your party on the idea that it’s “fiscally conservative”, with all of the ensuing moral high ground staked out by the smugly self-righteous, is that your members must be better than everyone else. They should ideally not borrow money from the government at all, being small government types who “pull themselves up by the bootstraps” and deny any help, including food stamps, to the vulnerable.

But they really have to pay that money back if they do borrow it. This is the very least an alleged “fiscal conservative” should do.

Apparently the role of Government is to fund Republicans’ failed business ventures, but not food for children or stadiums for the people. Try to keep up.

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