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Archive for October, 2010

I’ve been watching the 6th District debate hosted by Tom Hauser. I had to stop for a moment and write about Tarryl’s last answer. Hauser asked if cutting spending was her first option in balancing the budget in 2009 considering the fact that she’d voted to raise taxes in 2008.

Tarryl said cutting spending was her first option. That isn’t what I’ve recorded on this blog. During the first week of the 2009 session, Tarryl Clark and Marty Seifert appeared on @Issue With Tom Hauser. During their interview, I transcribed this exchange between Tarryl Clark and Tom Hauser:

Hauser: You can talk about reform all you want but reform inevitably ends up meaning that some people that are getting state services now won’t be getting them after this reform, whether it be in HHS, whether it be in education, early childhood, any of those things.

Tarryl: Sure, and an estimate, a good estimate would be that maybe we could figure out how to save about $500 million.

At the time, the budget deficit was $6.4 billion. Tarryl told Tom Hauser that cutting spending was her first priority in balancing the budget. Based on this exchange alone, Tarryl wasn’t being truthful.

That’s before considering the fact that the DFL leadership was counting on a huge chunk of stimulus money to help them balance the budget without cutting spending.

In fact, the stimulus was roughly $4 billion, the first tax increase that Gov. Pawlenty vetoed was $1.6 billion and Tarryl’s spending cuts were less than $750,000,000.

Based on these figures, cutting spending was Tarryl’s lowest priority.

During the debate, they played an ad that Michele ran against Tarryl, outlining the various regressive tax increase Tarryl voted for since 2007. It included a sales tax increase caused by Tarryl Clark and the DFL voting to put a state sales tax increase on the ballot for the Legacy Act as well as the gas tax increase and other regressive tax increases.

Tarryl said that Michele was “spreading lies” about her tax votes. She then said that she didn’t vote for the Legacy Tax tax increase. She voted for putting it on the ballot so voters could decide. Without Tarryl’s vote, that tax increase wouldn’t have happened.

Let’s remember that this bill was changed so part of the funding would go to the arts, which essentially guaranteed its passage on the November ballot. Ergo, a vote to put it on the ballot was a vote knowing it would pass. Let’s also remember that this wasn’t accidental.

This was something put together by the DFL leadership in conjunction with their special interest allies.

This is a perfect examply of a politician claiming plausible deniability after they’d worked hard to structure the bill so the DFL’s special interest allies would get the bill passed.

Tarryl, that ad was deadly accurate, which is why you’re now fighting so desperately to distance yourself from your votes.

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Saturday afternoon, Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin campaigned with John Raese in Charleston, WVA. According to this article, The Nuge didn’t pull any punches:

Nugent started his speech with a rendition of the national anthem on his electric guitar.

Then, he took to the issues.

Nugent blasted congressional Democrats, especially Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

He referred to politicians in Congress as “corrupt, power-abusing monsters that have weaseled their way into our lives and that control our paychecks and decide to take money from the people who work so hard and give it to idiots.”

But Nugent told the audience they can change that.

He said he saw hope this year.

“We got some hope now. John, there’s hope,” Nugent said. “Not that funny hope, not hope that we can become like Indonesia, not that kind of hope. Not the hope that the productive people will continue to reward bloodsuckers, not that kind of hope.”

Again questioning the current Congress, Nugent said change was needed to turn around the county.

“If you think this gaggle of people is going to fix America, you’re nuts,” Nugent said.

Sending Joe Manchin to Washington, DC won’t change things. His shooting his rifle at the Cap and Trade target was interesting theater but it doesn’t have anything to do with reality. That’s the election Joe Manchin. Here’s what the governing Joe Manchin doesn’t want West Virginia voters to know about:

Manchin Proposed And Signed A Bill Requiring Electric Companies To Curb Coal Use By 25% A Similar Requirement To The Federal Cap-And-Trade Bill. “Raese points to House Bill 103, a bill proposed and signed by Manchin last year. The bill requires electric companies to curb the use of coal by 25 percent in the next 15 years. Companies must use renewable energy sources or find credits elsewhere. The bill is very familiar to one of the parts of the federal cap and trade bill, which calls for a 20 percent reduction by 2020.” (Kallie Cart, “Manchin vs. Raese On The Coal Controversy,” WSAZ, 9/14/10)

The Nuge told West Virginians to question the things that their leaders were doing. Based on Gov. Manchin’s theatrics vs. Gov. Manchin’s very real actions indicate that he’s a cheap politician who has to rely on cute optics rather than doing the right thing.

He’s a phony in a year when voters demand people of character. Gov. Manchin is the wrong man for the wrong job. If sent to DC, he’ll just be another rubberstamp for President Obama’s failed policies.

That’s why should be defeated.

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If the work product Larry Jacobs produces in the classroom mirrors the quality of his polling, he should be fired ASAP before he ruins another mind. This KARE11 article speaks volumes about his polling skills:

Minnesota is bucking the reported national election trends, according to the latest MPR News/Humphrey Institute Poll of likely Minnesota voters released Friday morning.

“The big story in Minnesota is that we are not seeing the kind of Republican wave that appears to be sweeping the country. (Democrat candidate for Governor) Mark Dayton has a double-digit lead,” said Lawrence Jacobs, Director of the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute Center for the Study of Politics and Governance and an author of the Poll.

“We also find that when you pair up a generic Republican with a generic Democratic candidate for the Minnesota Legislature, the Democrats now have a 10 point advantage (46% to 36%). This is an increase from where they were back in August when it was tied,” said Jacobs. “So, we are looking at a possibility that the Democrats will not only capture the Governorship from the Republicans and Governor Pawlenty, but may hold their majorities, or at least part of their majorities, in the Minnesota Legislature and be able to control state government in a way that has not happened in decades.”

Professor Jacobs’ polling is so far off base that people are questioning whether he’s intentionally skewing the polling. I won’t go that far but I’m willing to say that he’s operated from a faulty premise from the start instead of going where the information took him.

The reports I’m getting from across the state is that Republican candidates are finding people much more receptive to their message of fiscal sanity and prioritizing spending. That flies directly in the face of Professor Jacobs’ ‘findings’.

Several weeks ago, Jacobs tried peddling these beliefs during an Almanac roundtable with Steven Schier and David Schultz. Schultz openly mocked him on his polling.

This statement is laughable, too:

“Two thirds of Minnesotans say they would like to see the state budget brought under control by increasing income taxes on the wealthy and expanding sales taxes,” explained Jacobs. “There does appear to be pretty broad public support for looking to tax increases to get a handle on this very large budget deficit.

Jacobs insisting that two-thirds of Minnesotans support tax increases is total BS. Professor Jacobs better step outside his ivory towers and find out what real people are thinking.

The more Jacobs quotes I read, the more I’m questioning his objectivity and his independence from the DFL.

If Professor Jacobs can’t see the wave that’s coming to Minnesota, fueled by a strong TEA Party movement, then his work product is suspect at best.

Jacobs’ theories are about to be ridiculed by real results. This won’t end well for Jacobs. If it hasn’t happened already, he’s fast becoming viewed as the next Rob Daves of Minnesota Poll infamy.

We need to clean out the elitist intellectual infrastructure. Larry Jacobs is the poster child for that movement.

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With Jim Oberstar anxiously clinging to a 1-point lead against Chip Cravaack, tonight’s SUSA polling says plenty to the average political junkie. Below the horserace numbers, though, lurks major obstacles for Oberstar, not the least of which is that the polling is based on a partisan split of 41 percent DFL, 28 percent GOP and 28 percent of voters are unaffiliated.

According to Charlie Cook’s PVI index chart, Minnesota’s Eighth District is a D +3 district, meaning there’s a 3 point gap in registration between Democrats and Republicans. If that’s accurate, and there’s no reason to think it isn’t, then Oberstar is in serious trouble.

If he can’t hold a sizable lead with that big of a gap in partisan identification, he’s justified in sweating bullets. This paragraph alone is justification for Oberstar to start buying Maalox by the case:

Oberstar holds almost all Democrats, his challenger holds almost all Republicans, but Independents in 2010, as they are doing in congressional districts across the country, break 5:3 Republican. Oberstar has an advantage among women, but the Republican has an offsetting advantage among men. Voters 50 and over favor Oberstar by 10 points; voters under 50 favor Cravaack by 14 points. If younger voters turn out in greater-than-usual numbers in this election, Cravaack will win. Those who rarely vote in midterm elections but who tell SurveyUSA they are certain to vote in this year’s contest back the Republican 5:4. Those who vote more frequently are divided. Voters who say they are more enthusiastic about voting in 2010 than they have been in prior years strongly back Cravaack; those less enthusiastic or no more or less enthusiastic than in the past strongly back Oberstar.

Independents breaking to the challenger by a 5:3 margin is astonishing. Another telling number is that those who “rarely vote in midterm elections but who tell SurveyUSA they are certain to vote in this year’s contest” insist that they’ll “back the Republican 5:4.”

Those categories alone spell disaster for Oberstar. Chip is winning independents by a 25 point margin and winning the cohort I’ll aptly title the “suddenly awakened voter” cohort by a 55-45 margin tells me several things. First, the fact that there’s even enough “suddenly awakened voters” to track should startle Oberstar.

I don’t think that these are TEA Party activists because that cohort would probably break at a 95-5 percent margin against Oberstar. I suspect that these are people that haven’t attended TEA Party events but who understand that Congress can’t keep spending at the pace they’re spending.

Here’s another statement that jumped off the page at me:

If younger voters turn out in greater-than-usual numbers in this election, Cravaack will win.

I’ve talked with a number of CR’s throughout Minnesota, including Ryan Lyk at UMD. Young people are pumped up about the great candidates they’ll get to vote for this year. Chip will reap a major benefit from their enthusiasm.

There’s still time left before the polls close Tuesday evening so there’s lots of work left to do. Still, based on this snapshot, I’d rather be fitting into Chip’s shoes than Oberstar’s.

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Minutes ago, Tom Hauser tweeted that the KSTP-SurveyUSA poll of the Eighth District shows Jim Oberstar clinging to a 47-46 lead over Chip Cravaack.

Already, the lefty tweetosphere is spinning it. Here’s how Jeff Rosenberg is spinning it:

Will @5hauser and Hubbard media, conservative contributors, report the last 5 minutes as an in-kind expenditure?

I know this is stunning to the leftosphere but this has been in the making for quite some time. The Leftosphere ridiculed the internal polling POS did a month ago. Now that this poll is out, they’re backtracking bigtime.

I wrote in this post that victory was within Chip’s reach:

Steve Biondich, a 29-year-old maintenance mechanic at the ArcelorMittal Minorca Mine near Aurora, said the United Steelworkers local usually endorses Oberstar as a routine matter. It did again this year, but the August vote was closer than expected after Cravaack visited the mine.

“That was shocking in itself,” Biondich said.

Local 6115 President Ray Pierce downplayed the tally, saying some of Oberstar’s supporters weren’t paying attention.

I said at the time that I wasn’t sure when this vote happpened but I remember talking with Chip the night before the State Fair opened. During that conversation, Chip said that he’d been at a union meeting that Monday night. Though he lost the endorsement, Chip was heartened by the fact that he’d lost by a slim 28-25 margin.

After participating in a pair of blogger conference calls with Chip, I know how confident he is of his campaign’s ground game. They’ve got an ultra-organized and supermotivated ground game, which is huge in the final days of a campaign.

I predicted in that Oct. 14 post that Chip would win because momentum was building on his side. Following Rep. Oberstar’s tanking the Tuesday debate at the DECC, momentum had clearly swung in Chip’s direction. Now they have to close the deal with a winning ground game, something that they’re confident about.

If Chip wins, which I’m confident he’ll do, it’ll prove the value of a candidate with an appealing message and a motivated ground game.

Tonight, Jim Oberstar is probably drinking Maalox by the bottle. He’s got good reason to.

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Rebecca Otto knows she’s heading for defeat so she’s attempting to smear Pat Anderson with charges that Pat didn’t record an in-kind campaign contribution properly. This afternoon, I received this update from Pat Anderson’s campaign:

Rebecca Otto once again falsely attacked Pat Anderson. Otto claimed she failed to disclose an in-kind contribution in her October 25, 2010 campaign finance report. As usual, Otto is dead wrong.

According to state statute, in-kind contributions are recorded on the day they are received or made.

Campaign Finance Board, Candidate Reference Guides CFB Guide:

“The use of each in-kind contribution and approved expenditure must be categorized and recorded as a campaign expenditure or a noncampaign disbursement at the time the in-kind contribution is received or the approved expenditure is made.”

An iPod was received yesterday on October 28, 2010 and given as a prize on the same day. This requires it to be recorded as an expenditure on October 28, 2010. To record it on an earlier date would itself be a violation of state statute.

The campaign spoke with Gary Goldsmith, Executive Director, Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board about the proper handling of this weeks ago and has proceeded under the guidance given by Mr. Goldsmith.

“I think the public will see this false attack for what it is, dead wrong,” said Anderson.

Pat Anderson is a by-the-books stickler for detail. Otto’s attack won’t gain traction because it flies in the face of who Pat Anderson is.

For an attack to gain traction, there has to be some credibility to the attack. This attack doesn’t have that because Gary Goldsmith was contacted prior to the transaction happening. This thing is so squeaky clean, it’d pass a military inspection.

This is just proof that Rebecca Otto knows she’s heading for defeat without a game-changing event. She’s still missing that game-changer and the clock is her enemy.

In other words, it’s looking better by the minute for the good guys.

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The final KSTP-SurveyUSA poll isn’t good news for Mark Dayton. To be fair, it isn’t all roses for Tom Emmer either but I’d rather be in Tom’s position for a number of reasons. First, let’s look at the poll’s findings:

Released Thursday, the poll results show Dayton with a razor-thin, one-point lead of 39 to 38 percent. Independence Party candidate Tom Horner sits at 13 percent.

The horserace numbers don’t look so bad for Sen. Dayton. That’s the only solace he’ll find in the poll, though. In looking at the crosstabs, though, there’s trouble to be found for Sen. Dayton.

The fact that he isn’t getting the gender gap he needs with women indicates that the TEA Party has created a new conservative group of women. That isn’t good news for Sen. Dayton because TEA Party women are energized to an extent that other women aren’t.

That’s why the percentage of likely voters in the 35-49 age group is the biggest demographic group in the poll, totally obliterating the advantage Dayton has with seniors.

Dayton has a substantial lead with seniors but they comprise 18 percent of likely voters whereas the 35-49 cohort comprises 35 percent of likely voters.

Emmer has a 7 point lead with the 35-49 cohort. He also has a 3 point lead with the 18-35 age group. According to the KSTP-SUSA poll, the young comprise 23 percent of those likely to vote. That’s an oddity in that they make up a bigger percentage of likely voters than seniors. That tracks with what I’m seeing.

Young people are as energized this year as any year other than 2008. This time, though, they’re energized because they’re seeing President Obama pile debt on their heads. They’re activated by a new type of candidate, the type of candidate that Tom Emmer is.

At the U of M debate, Mark Dayton and Tom Horner were in full pander mode, promising the U’s administrators the sky in terms of funding. They got polite applause at most, if not worse.

Then Tom Emmer got up, scolded Horner and Dayton for making promises that they didn’t have funding to make before telling the audience that Minnesota taxpayers were paying for too many administrators. He said that the universities needed to start living within their means so that tuitions could stabilize.

The crowd erupted with the biggest applause of the debate.

The kids and the moms get it. They’re driving this election. That’s gotta scare the Dayton people. The fact that they aren’t winning young voters by a large margin is worrisome at minimum. The fact that Tom’s winning them and that they’re energized to vote tells me that they’ll be a major factor in deciding this election.

The bottom line is this: the horserace numbers are the only good news for Sen. Dayton.

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Tuesday, Minnesotans must decide, not just between Republican and DFL candidates, who will represent them in St. Paul and in Washington, DC. The choices couldn’t be clearer.

I’ve had the privelege of talking to or interviewing many of the state GOP legislative candidates, GOP constitutional office candidates and the men and women who want to represent us in Washington, DC.

I can say without hesitation that this is the deepest, most talented group of legislators I’ve ever seen. The teamwork on the grassroots level shows that conservatives are fired up. That’s because our local candidates inspired us.

It’s also because so many DFL candidates scare us, starting with high profile people like President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Sen. Reid nationally and Mark Dayton and Tarryl Clark locally.

Tarryl Clark and Mark Dayton like to talk about the jobs that would be created by borrowing money against the next generation’s income. In Washington, DC, the mantra sounds eerily similar.

Meanwhile, here in Central Minnesota, we have stellar candidates like King Banaian, Tim O’Driscoll and Tom Ellenbecker running for spots in the House of Representatives. Further north but still in Central Minnesota, Mary Franson and Mike LeMeuir will win their races.

We’re fortunate to be represented in St. Paul by Steve Gottwalt, Michelle Fischbach and Mary Kiffmeyer.

These candidates and incumbents get it that economies flourish when job creators are given the freedom to create jobs in whatever industry interests them.

There’s a dramatic difference between the conservatives’ vision for creating jobs and the DFL’s approach of passing yet another stimulus bill, aka bonding bill, coupled with their approach of giving tax breaks to people to invest in ways that DFL politicians dictate.

The biggest difference is that conservatives know that controlling spending, keeping marginal tax rates low and reducing regulations it the fastest, surest pathway to a dynamic economy.

The other question facing voters is whether they’ll vote for legislators and leaders who trust the people or whether they’ll vote for leaders and legislators who trust government more than people.

While it’s true that this election is a referendum on the Obama-Reid-Pelosi-SEIU agenda, it’s equally true that it’s a referendum on ideology. At its core, that’s the difference between the Ryan-Pence-Bachmann-Emmer vision and the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Dayton-Clark vision.

King Banaian, Tim O’Driscoll, Tom Ellenbecker, Sondra Erickson, Mike LeMeiur and Mary Franson will add some intellectual heft to help Steve Gottwalt, Mary Kiffmeyer and Sen. Michelle Fischbach.

Chip Cravaack will be a great addition to the congressional delegation when Eighth District voters fire Jim Oberstar.

This is the fight that conservatives like myself, Mitch Berg, Andy Aplikowski and so many others have wanted to pick with the progressives of the DFL for years.

In the words of the late, great Marvin Gaye, let’s get it on.

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I was contacted by Ryan Lyk or the College Republicans at UMD. Ryan forwarded the letter they sent to UMD leadership. Here’s the text of the CR’s letter:

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH ADMINISTRATION DENIES COLLEGE REPUBLICANS PRIVILIGES GRANTED TO COLLEGE DEMOCRATS

After being told that any type of poster or flyer that supported a candidate and encouraged students to vote for that candidate cannot be posted on campus, College Democrats released a wave of posters telling students to support Mark Dayton for governor.

When brought to the schools attention, they denied ever saying this to the College Republicans and suddenly changed the rules to allow them the same privileges.

The inquiry by the Republicans was originally brought to the schools attention during a Mark Dayton rally on campus where Dayton rally signs were posted all over campus. The school told the Republicans that there was limited privilege to do so because of the event, but that when the event ended, the posters would need to be removed. They also told the Republicans that signs telling students who to vote for could not be posted and that these signs were simply for directional purposes to the rally and did not violate any rule.

Now that the College Democrats have put up actual posters telling people who to vote for, these rules have changed to favor the Democrats.

The university should treat all political groups equally and not let one get away with privileges previously denied to groups of opposing views.

Republicans on campus are now responding to the event with a wave of ‘Vote Chip’ posters that will be put up immediately.

Clearly, UMD violated these students’ First Amendment rights by banning any signs from campus. Students don’t surrender their First Amendment rights when they walk onto a college campus.

That’s bad enough but this letter is clear. The university powers that be gave Democrats a big edge by letting them put their signs up while not letting the CRs post Emmer, Cravaack, Anderson, Severson and Barden posters up on campus.

This is a black mark on UMD’s record. They’ve gone from being a liberal institution to being an institution that tolerates censorship. That’s inexcusable, especially in light of the fact we should want students to have lively, respectful discussions on college campuses.

This is what happens when universities don’t put a high priority on intellectual diversity as well as racial and ethnic diversity. It’s time institutions of higher ed returned to the spirit of intellectual diversity for the students’ sake.

If that doesn’t work, then it’s time to start cleaning house at UMD.

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Six years ago today, Scott Johnson posted about Americans Coming Together attempted voter fraud. Here’s the heart of what Scott posted:

Among the well-funded and supposedly independent groups supporting John Kerry in the campaign is Americans Coming Together (ACT). ACT has taken notice of Minnesota’s special vulnerabilty to vote fraud and organized a sophisticated effort to exploit it in a manner that violates Minnesota law. In Minnesota the Bush campaign has come into the possession of the following email from ACT to its Minnesota volunteers:

Election Day is upon us. You are confirmed to volunteer with ACT (America Coming Together – http://www.actforvictory.org/) on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov 2.

We will be creating name badges that include your Ward and Precinct information for each of the thousands of volunteers that day to make it easier to find a volunteer to vouch for a voter at the polls.

I am emailing you to request your street address, city and zipcode. We’ve already got your other contact information, but your record in our database does not include this information.

You can save us time on election day by replying today to this email with this information, or give us a call at [phone number with St. Paul area code].

In order to get your badge correct, please reply by Thursday.

Thank you for your help and cooperation. See you on Election Day!
This email is a smoking gun of massive premeditated vote fraud. The ACT effort contemplates the prepositioning of registered voters as volunteers at their precincts of residence to provide the “vouching” necessary to get individuals registered to vote on election day in the precinct whether or not the volunteer “personally knows” the residence of the unregistered voter. It is a recipe for illegal voting in every precinct of the state.

That post is more pertinent today than it was then. The reason it’s more important now than then will take time to explain so bear with me.

As I wrote here, ACT was part of a huge progressive coalition involved in conducting voter registration drives on the front end and GOTV on the back end. ACT was obviously part of the back end operations. Other high profile organizations in this coalition included the NAACP, the Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters and ACORN.

Meanwhile, another lower profile organization was involved too. The November 2 Project was involved in the GOTV side of things. Here’s what Minnesotans need to know about this corrupt enterprise:

Only a year old, National Voice hired gifted organizer Mark Ritchie, a veteran of international organizing on issues of global trade and justice. “I see November 2 as an outreach tool to drive people to the Web site where we can get them involved as a volunteer. I see the effort as unifying a theme and message that can tie together disparate GOTV efforts. Thirty thousand T-shirts are out the door, and bumper stickers and iron-ons. In essence, we are working to make it cool to vote and cool to get involved beyond just voting.” There has been a bus tour with a film crew that is gathering footage for public service announcements on television. “If you saw the Nike commercial during the NBA finals–that fabulous one with Lance Armstrong riding his bike and the fantastic views and warmth,” said Ritchie, smiling, “well, the same guy who did that one is doing our commercials.”

National Voice was the umbrella under which these other organizations fitted into. Clearly, organizations that were involved in the GOTV operation coordinated with the organizations that did the voter registration drive. Without that coordination, their efforts would’ve been shoddy at best.

As I recall, Democrats increased their vote total for president from just less than 51,000,000 votes in 2000 to just a little more than 59,000,000 votes in 2004, I’d call their operation a big success. That’s a 16 percent increase, something that is a major accomplishment.

There’s no arguing that ACT wanted to commit voter fraud. Why else would voters need their ward and precinct numbers and the name of their person who would vouch for the ‘volunteers’? If a person actually lived in the neighborhood, all it would take is to approach the neighbor and ask if they’d planned on voting. It doesn’t take an elaborate plan like what’s described in this email.

We also know that Mark Ritchie is all about increasing vote totals, not with election integrity.

This year, Dan Severson is running to restore election integrity. Follow this link to contribute to Dan’s campaign so election integrity can be restored. We need to eliminate the incompetence and corruption in the Secretary of State’s office ASAP.

Given Ritchie’s proclivity towards elections that don’t emphasize the rule of law, it’s important that we have someone who thinks that laws are meant to be obeyed.

That man isn’t Mark Ritchie.

Only Dan Severson fits that description.

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