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GOP complaint against Secretary of State Ritchie dismissed

Mark Ritchie
CC/Wikimedia Commons/Pudstrandw
Mark Ritchie

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is vindicated — for now.

An administrative law judge on Thursday threw out a complaint from two GOP senators accusing Ritchie of abusing his office to misinform the public about the costs and effects of proposed voting amendment.

Republican Sens. Mike Parry and Scott Newman, the amendment’s chief Senate author, filed the complaint on Oct. 1. Judge Bruce Johnson, who initially found the complaint had probable cause on its face, determined after a mid-October tele-hearing that there wasn’t enough evidence to move forward with the complaint.

Parry, reached shortly after the decision, said he’d only had the opportunity to read through the judge’s order once.

“Obviously, its disappointing out of the chute, but we haven’t digested everything yet,” Parry said, adding that he, Newman and their attorney Fritz Knaak have until Monday to appeal to a different judge.

Johnson threw out all of the violations that Parry and Newman alleged, including that Ritchie violated state law by misleading voters through statements in a campaign against the amendment.

Ritchie has traveled the state for what he has called educational visits to talk about the amendment’s potential effects, which he says include an effective end to same-day registration and the implementation of provisional balloting.

Parry and Newman said that Ritchie, through his website, was promoting false information about those effects – they argued that little would change other than a photo ID requirement at the polls – and the ballot question’s potential costs. Johnson said in his order that the disagreements between both sides were matters of opinion and didn’t violate Minnesota law.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 11/01/2012 - 05:45 pm.

    It’s too bad the judge couldn’t dismiss Parry and Newman…

    …from the legislature.

    That we are paying the salaries of these people is disheartening.

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/02/2012 - 09:55 am.

    It’s Always Interesting to Watch our “Conservative” Friends

    when they try to get the judicial system to engage in “Judicial Activism” on their behalf.

    When Democrats bring things to court, they’re generally trying to protect, defend or expand the rights of others based on how changes in the wider society interact with what our state and federal constitutions actually say,…

    We Democrats rightly believe that reality, as we have now come to more accurately understand it, trumps the understanding of previous generations, understandings which were unavoidably limited because those previous generations lacked a great deal of accurate information to which we now have access.

    (for instance, the First Chapter of the Biblical Book of Genesis clearly describes a flat earth existing as an island in space with water above the sky and water deep beneath the earth being held back only by God’s command, and the sun, moon, stars and planets not moving through space at great distance, but simply moving across the dome that holds back the water above the sky – a perspective which even the most conservative Biblical literalists among us have long since cast aside as belonging to an earlier age’s very limited understandings)

    (in the same way, our nation’s founders believed that Native Americans, African Americans, and women lacked the qualities necessary to enable them to vote in intelligent, informed ways, a perspective that all but the most rabidly “conservative” Americans have long since cast aside, the constitution having been amended and recalcitrant states having been required by law to reflect what we now know to be true).

    When “conservatives” bring things to court (or attempt to amend the constitution) they’re generally trying to stop any and all progressive movement and get judges to tell those with whom they disagree to stop doing things they don’t like.

    In the former approach, Democrats ask the court to act in favor of others; to protect the rights of the powerless and vulnerable.

    In the latter approach, “conservatives” ask the court to act only in favor of themselves.

    In the Minnesota in which I was raised, it is only the former approach that was regarded as acceptable and respectable.

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