‘Follow the Money’

By Elizabeth Anderlik Submitted to the Pioneer Press August 28, 2014

I believe the readers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press would rather be informed about the money behind the Minnesota legislature’s waiving of the Statute of Limitations to revisit 40 year old clergy abuse cases than they would read of eight cases from the New Ulm Diocese in which seven of the priests are deceased, and one was defrocked over 30 years ago. (Diocese Defends Record After 8 Priests Named, Pioneer Press, 8/6/14.)

It has come to light that Attorney Jeff Anderson, who released these 8 names, the same lead attorney filing lawsuits against Catholic clergy and the Archdiocese, has been buying some influence with the DFL party and the MN legislature. Anderson personally contributed $25,000 to the DFL Senate Caucus and another $25,000 to the DFL House Caucus in 2012. Once the DFL gained the majority in the legislature, DFLer Rep. Steve Simon authored the bill in the House to temporarily waive the Statute of Limitations. Anderson’s “investment” paid off when the Senate followed suit, and the Act became law. Apparently, Anderson is pleased with the results, and believes in rewarding the “players” because this year he has enriched DFL coffers to the tune of another $120,000. It pays to “Follow the Money!”

Given what can happen when the law is twisted and subverted is it any wonder that California Jerry Brown vetoed similar legislation in his state last fall? In doing so, he reasoned, “There comes a time when an individual or organization should be secure in the reasonable expectation that past acts are indeed in the past and not subject to further lawsuits. With the passage of time, evidence may be lost or disposed of, memories fade, and witnesses move away or die. Statutes of Limitations are grounded in prudence. Originating in Roman law, they have survived through the centuries in English Common Law to our own time because they embody good sense and basic fairness. No person or institution can adequately defend against revived claims from several decades ago.”

It is a shame that the MN legislature didn’t follow the “prudence” of former legislators who had set a reasonable time frame for seeking redress of grievances. Money” talks”! Apparently, unscrupulous Attorney Jeff Anderson will not be satisfied until the Archdiocese is bankrupt, and he has squirreled away his share of the take (or fattened his own financial worth considerably.)

Share This Post