Eye-Witness Account of Unique Republican National Convention

By Barb Sutter, National Committewoman for Minnesota

Barb_Sutter_and_Max_Rymer.jpgI’ve been reflecting on the days of my first Republican National Committee (RNC) meeting, and our Convention in Charlotte. They were more than memorable, culminating with the nominations of Vice President Pence and President Trump for their second terms. Each of them brought the house down when they arrived at the Convention Center to the repeated chants of “FOUR MORE YEARS!”

Six people from every state and territory traveled to Charlotte — far fewer than when the Convention was originally planned. Minnesota was represented by Mike Lindell, the Chair of our Delegation; Jennifer Carnahan; outgoing Committee members Janet Beihoffer and Rick Rice; and CD 2 Chair Jeff Schuette and me, who were each Delegates and served on the Credentials Committee. It was Mike Lindell’s voice you heard announcing that Minnesota’s 10 votes were going to our next President, Donald J. Trump!

Like Minnesota, “COVID” had its grip on Charlotte. Many businesses in this beautiful city were closed, and many permanently. What a sad state of affairs when one observes what’s being done to this city — and our country — economically. On the other hand, we experienced the wonderful work of the Charlotte police, as they worked to keep us and the city safe. Yes, there were marches and protests, but none got terribly out of hand.

For us, it was a time of meeting and making new friends and connections; becoming more familiar with the workings of the RNC; and working to represent our state. Max Rymer and I (in photograph above) assumed our new positions as National Committeeman and National Committeewoman at the last meeting on the day before everyone departed Charlotte.

I do not take my new role as National Committeewoman for granted, and I intend to honor the commitments I made to you when you elected me.

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Alpha News Photographer Assaulted While Covering Minneapolis Protest

At least some people who believe that they have a right to protest racial inequality do not believe that others have a right to report on their actions.

On the evening of August 24, Rebecca Brannon, an independent photojournalist who contributes video and photo stories for Alpha News, was harassed and assaulted while covering a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Minneapolis.

Protester_who_assaulted_journalist.jpgWorking alone, she was recognized by several protesters. In a disturbing video posted by Alpha News, the protesters proceeded to shout profanities at her and followed her as she walked to her car. When Brannon pointed out that she also had a right to stand on the public sidewalk, one middle-age white woman (pictured at left) hit her, including at least twice with a construction cone that the woman picked up off the street.

Brannon continued to video record the actions of the protesters who were harassing her, until they stole her phone and tossed it into a fountain. The phone was destroyed, but the video recording was recovered from the phone’s memory card.

As Brannon said the next day, “No journalist should be subjected to harassment or violence by police, protesters or anyone.”

One would think that the Star Tribune would concur strongly that such treatment of Brannon in their backyard was intolerable; they’ve not reported or commented on the incident.

Help Wanted - Election Judges, Bloomington

The city of Bloomington still needs Republicans to serve as election judges.  Half-day shifts will be available.  Paid training, plus pay for hours worked. Please read about the role at the city website - CLICK HERE  - where you then may choose to complete an application.  You may also contact the City Clerk's office by phone 952-563-8729 or email voting@BloomingtonMN.gov for more information.

Republicans in other areas should reach out to their City Clerks to learn how to sign up for this essential election job.

Many Ways to Volunteer - Support Candidates

Now is the time to let our neighbors know who we support for Senator, Congressman, and state legislator.  There are many ways to volunteer and support candidates.

Jim Bowen is coordinating lawn sign locations and candidate outreach efforts. You can reach him at jbowen111@btw.emailnb.com. We can provide signs for Trump, Jason Lewis, Lacy Johnson, Kendall Qualls, and Joe Thalman. In Bloomington, we can put you in touch with a good source if you want “No to Ranked Choice Voting” signs.

Car_with_Qualls_sign.jpgJim will happily provide you with other volunteering opportunities. From home, you may write postcards in support of Kendall Qualls, or make phone calls. We have started door knocking, and we will be happy to have you join us on future weekends. We are also putting together a local phone bank if you'd like to join with other like-minded activists while making calls.

If you live in an area where you cannot put a lawn sign in your lawn, we may have an answer for you. Recently, a resident in a neighborhood where the HOA doesn’t allow political signs found a way to express his political leanings. He fixed Velcro to both sides of his back window to display his support of Kendall for Congress (right).

SD49 Recognizes Outstanding Volunteers

Since the SD49 Convention this spring was virtual, SD 49 took advantage of the Ice Cream Social to hand out volunteer recognition awards in person. 

Co-Chair Russ Burnison made the presentations, starting with Carol Brumwell as Volunteer of the Year.  He followed with Michael Barg, the first recipient of the Precinct Leader of the Year award.  The most significant volunteer recognition award, the SD49 Crystal Eagle, was given to Carol Kerr.


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Ice Cream & Politics Mixed Well on Aug 30

ice_cream_socia4_(2).jpgEnjoying a beautiful end-of-summer afternoon, close to 80 people turned out this past Sunday to meet candidates and Republican leaders, listen to political speeches, and enjoy ice cream.  While our audience was mainly from Bloomington and Edina, people from as far away as Blaine and Prior Lake came by.  it was a relaxing and fun gathering!

It was a great chance to hear from candidates running for legislative seats in Senate Districts 49 and 50, including Dean Mumbleau (SD50), Gary Heyer (HD50B), and Joe Thalman (HD49B).  Kendall Qualls, candidate for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District, was well-represented by his campaign manager, Thomas Knecht. Hennepin County District 6 Commissioner candidate Dario Anselmo also came.

Russ Burnison and Joel Quinnell, co-chairs of SD49, joined Kathy Kranz and Jim Lund, co-chairs of SD50, in greeting all of the attendees.  In addition, Republican National Committeewoman Barb Sutter and CD3 Chair Patty Meier enjoyed talking to the many people that they know.  Spencer Krier spoke on behalf of MN GOP in volunteering to help elect candidates this fall.

To add to the fair-like atmosphere, both the MN GOP and the 3rd Congressional District had clothing, buttons, and jewelry available for purchase.  Both appeared to do a brisk business.

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Thanks to RCV, MPLS Candidate Wins City Council Race with 36% of Votes

Logo_No_Ranked_Choice_Voting.jpgThe Bloomington and Minnetonka City Councils have voted to put Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) on the November ballot in their respective cities. They argued that their citizens needed the chance to reform the current voting process to simplify the voting process, encourage greater participation, and respond to low voter turnout in primaries.

Once again, Minneapolis has illustrated the reasons that the citizens of Bloomington and Minnetonka should vote against Ranked Choice Voting.

Thirteen (13) candidates filed to run for the open City Council seat in Minneapolis Ward 6. Using RCV, Jamal Osman was declared the unofficial winner with only 36.3% of the votes. AJ Awed came in second with 29.5% of the votes. Fully 34.4% of the ballots were “exhausted”, meaning that these ballots did not rank either of these candidates.

Only 500 votes separated the first and second place finishers, while the exhausted ballots number 2,665. If the two finalists gone on to a final vote in November, there clearly could have been a different outcome.

Did RCV simplify the process and make it easy for more people to participate? The Star Tribune noted, in its article on the election published on August 15, that AJ Awed was confused by the results and would need to consult with his campaign team.

For more concerns with Ranked Choice Voting, please check out previous articles that we have posted by scrolling down our News blog and down our Opinion blog.

Walz Again Unilaterally Extends Emergency Powers

Tim_Walz-bio_image.jpgGov Walz extended his assertion of emergency powers for a sixth month on August 12, extending it through September 11. He had earlier called the state legislature back into session, knowing that the DFL-controlled House would block any attempt to override his unilateral rule by fiat.

Instead, Walz challenged the Republicans in the senate, saying that the legislature should step up and do more. Fox News  quoted him as saying, “Every time I ask, ‘What would you do differently?’, there’s really not a response.” Rather than fully consult with the legislature, he wants his edicts to be ratified

The Democrat Speaker of the Minnesota House Melissa Hortmann told a video press conference on August 3 that Minnesota won’t be able to have an economic recovery until Governor Walz is able to "stop COVID in its tracks." So despite the significant loss of jobs, the crushing impact on businesses, and the major drop in revenue hitting our towns and cities, the Walz administration will continue its single focus on the virus infection rate.

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Minnesota COVID-19 Dotgram


Dotgram image credit Frank Long, July 2020.  Updated by SD49 with data as of August 17.

Update: Two MN Election Law Cases to be Heard Aug 26 and Sept 3

MN_Voters_Alliance.jpgCourt cases involving election judges and ballot witnessing will be heard within the next three weeks.

The Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA), Republican Party of Minnesota (RPM), and several others have challenged  several major cities and counties in Minnesota for preventing Republican election judges from serving on the absentee ballot boards and from reviewing absentee ballot envelopes.

Ramsey County District Court Judge Gilligan has scheduled an expedited hearing for Wednesday, August 26th at 1:30 p.m. The Judge has ordered the hearing to be held remotely via Zoom, and MVA has asked the court to make the Zoom hearing public.

In a separate action last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed to fast-track a challenge to absentee ballot rules issued by the Secretary of State. Citing the COVID-19 pandemic as justification, the Secretary of State Steve Simon suspended the legal requirement that people voting remotely get a witness. (Usually the voter needs to complete their ballot in front of a witness, who then must sign the signature envelope and list their address. The witness can be either a registered Minnesota voter or a notary.) Liberal groups had challenged the witnessing requirement, and Simon simply waived the requirement under a consent decree that was approved by a lower court.

The Trump’s campaign, Minnesota Republican Party and other GOP groups are appealing the lower court ruling. Chief Justice Lorie Gildea informed the parties Wednesday that the high court will hear the case Sept. 3.

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