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

Small_Cropped_image_only_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

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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.


Star Tribune Publishes Timeline of Twin City Riots

The Star Tribune graphic article, “The siege, evacuation and destruction of a Minneapolis police station”, is a well-researched timeline of how to lose control of public order to mob violence, and the destruction that results.  The authors rightly describe it as “an event unprecedented in modern American history.”

The following is a brief summary.  The whole article is well-worth reading.

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Protesters outside the Third Precinct as it burns. Photo by Carlos Gonzalez.

Mon, May 25, 8:25 pm – George Floyd loses consciousness

Tues, May 26, 5 pm – Protesters march from Cup Foods to the Third Precinct

Tues, May 26, after 5 pm – Protesters break windows on the building and vandalize squad cars.  Police fire tear gas and less-lethal projectiles.

Wed, May 27, 2 pm – Gov Tim Walz thanks the protesters, “It’s how people express their pain, process tragedy and work to create change.”

Wed, May 27, 6:23 pm – The looting of the nearby Target store prompts Chief Medaria Arradondo to call Mayor Jacob Frey to request assistance from the National Guard.

Wed, May 27, 6:29 pm – Frey calls Walz and requests assistance from the Minnesota National Guard.  Frey said Walz “did not say yes.  He said he would consider it.”

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Film & Candidates Event Sold Out

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Over 80 people turned out Sunday night, August 2, to meet and hear from several Republican candidates at a large in-person event that has become rare this political season.

Senate District 49 Republicans hired the Mann Cinema 6 theater in Hopkins for the evening. Following their physical distancing and face mask guidelines, participants were able to personally encounter the candidates and experience a special viewing of the Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla film, No Safe Spaces.

For_Newsletter_Jeff_Jiang_and_Brad_Aho_at_Aug_2_event.jpgUS Senate candidate Jason Lewis (on the right above), Congressional candidate Kendall Qualls (pictured above with his wife, Sheila), Hennepin County District 6 candidate Brad Aho, State Senate candidate Jeff Jiang (Eden Prairie) (both in photo at right), and State House candidates Eric Wessels (pictured below) (Eden Prairie) and Joe Thalman (pictured 2nd from right, above)(Bloomington/Edina) were personally on hand. All were able to greet attendees as they entered the theater and then spoke before the beginning of the film. Ramone Nichol represented the Trump and Lacy Johnson campaigns.

The candidate speeches and the film’s message combined for a powerful impact. SD49 Republicans would welcome feedback from attendees on this event. Should it be repeated? Any ideas for improvement? Given the attendance at this special event, we’ll consider another Candidates & Film event in September. Check out future editions of the newsletter for more details.

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More photos are below.

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Protecting Your Vote - Additional Action

MVA and MN GOP File Petition Demanding Rochester Comply with Election Judge Law

Vote_ballot_box_cube.jpgOn Wednesday, July 22, 2020, the Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA), Republican Party of Minnesota (RPM), State Representative Duane Quam, and several election judges have filed a petition for a Writ of Mandamus against Olmsted County in Olmsted County District Court to order them to follow the laws regarding appointments to the absentee ballot boards for this November's elections.

The petition filed in Olmsted County follows one filed on July 15 with the St. Louis County District Court regarding the City of Duluth and one filed on July 2 regarding the City of Minneapolis. Like Duluth and Minneapolis, the City of Rochester has used city clerk employees for years to do the critical function of examining absentee ballot envelopes and deciding which ones are to be rejected and which are accepted.

Minnesota law, however, requires the ballot board to be comprised of election judges from lists submitted by the major political parties. The petition contends that both cities ignore the law, use insiders to accept and reject ballots, and avoid any outside scrutiny over its handling of mailed-in ballots.

In a parallel development, the City of Minneapolis has filed a motion to the Minnesota Supreme Court to consolidate all four of our cases. The high court is expected to soon assign a judge, presumably from Ramsey County, or even a retired judge, to hear the case in an expedited manner.

For more details about the MVA and MN GOP petitions, read our article “MVA and MN GOP Demand Compliance with Election Judge Law” posted July 20 on our website.


Post Card Campaign Successful - Seeking More Help

writing_a_letter_sketch.jpgThe 2020 campaigns are picking up steam! After a request for help in a previous newsletter, SD49 volunteers stepped up and wrote almost 400 post cards supporting Kendall Qualls, the Republican-endorsed candidate for Congressional District 3. Over 4,500 postcards were sent out across the Congressional District.

The post cards are a good way of gaining name recognition in our current limited face-to-face environment. The campaign is renewing the postcard initiative. The first effort was so successful in increasing name recognition, as well as obtaining volunteers and donations, they want to continue the postcard writing effort.

We can help Kendall with six volunteers willing to spend the time to write 60 post cards each. This will likely need 6 - 10 hours of your time.  Stamped post cards, suggested wording, and pre-printed address labels will be provided to volunteers

Contact SD49's Jim Bowen [email protected] C: (360) 927-8301 to volunteer.



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