Minnesota Politics Gets Dirtier

I don’t normally post on local issues, but the Minnesota election season is being marred by some dirty politics that needs to get routed out.

First of all, my Congressman, Gil Gutknecht, is being criticized for his practice of collectiong 1,000 signatures in lieu of paying the $300 filing fee for the state of Minnesota. It’s something he’s done for quite some time, as a way of saving a few bucks, but also to get out and meet his constituency. I was one of the signatories to that petition.

Now the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota is saying that Gutknecht’s petition is invalid because the signatures were collected before the two weeks prior to the filing deadline. This statute does not apply to major party candidates, and no one had made a challenge to the practice before. Both Mary Kiffmeyer, the Republican Secretary of State and a Democratic election official found that the case had no merit. Yet the DFL is still trying to remove Gutknecht’s name from the ballot. It’s clear that the DFL doesn’t have a prayer of winning the seat, and are now willing to resort to cheap political tricks to hurt the Gutknecht campaign.

Yet that isn’t even the most egregious of the DFL’s dirty tricks this year. The Second District in Minnesota is featuring a rematch between Bill Luther, the DFL Congressman and challenger John Kline, a former Marine and conservative Republican. Before redistricting, these two fought in the liberal Sixth District, but the lines have shifted towards more conservative territory, giving Kline more of an advantage.

Now the DFL is running a candidate under the banner of the "No New Taxes" party to siphon votes from Kline. It’s an absolutely reprehensible political trick and a scam played upon Minnesota voters. This kind of cheap electioneering proves that the DFL is willing to put politics above principle. Granted, I’m a pragmatist, and I’m willing to put up with power politics and the dirt that comes with it, but this is well over the line of decency. Running a candidate who called tax cuts "irresponsible" under the banner of no new taxes is trying to maliciously and deliberately decieve Minnesota voters. The DFL should be ashamed, and Luther should personally fire those responsible for this scam.

I hope that my Minnesota readers keep this in mind this November, and spread the word about these dirty political tricks. Minnesota politics deserves better than this.

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