Updated 4:10 p.m.
An administrative law judge has thrown out a complaint filed by the Minnesota Republican Party against Independence Party candidate for governor Tom Horner.
The GOP had claimed that Horner received a campaign contribution when a pollster gave him information on a poll before it was made public.
But Administrative Law Judge Manuel Cervantes threw out the complaint, saying the poll data had first been given to the Pioneer Press.
Said Horner campaign manater Stephen Imholte:
“The judge’s ruling today confirms that the complaint made by the Republican Party of Minnesota was bogus. This was nothing more than the GOP trying to cover up polling data showing their candidate had peaked and is now collapsing. What a colossal waste of everyone’s time, taxpayers’ dollars and of the Republican Party’s own contributor’s money.”
MPR reports that the GOP will appeal the ruling:
“The Republican Party of Minnesota will appeal today’s decision from the Office of Administrative Hearings. By failing to hold Tom Horner accountable for his acceptance of what we believe is clearly an illegal corporate contribution, Judge Cervantes has created a loop hole the size of Lake Superior which will lead to a wild west situation in which anything goes in our state’s elections. We believe Judge Cervantes has committed a ‘clear error of law,’ and we will begin immediately begin crafting our appeal this afternoon.”
Earlier today, Rob Hahn, who is challenging Horner in the Aug. 10 IP primary, had called for Horner to withdraw from the race — and also called on the party to withdraw its endorsement — because of the poll flap, and Horner’s involvement with the polling firm.
Hahn cited the GOP complaint, which was invalidated by today’s judge’s ruling.