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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sue Ek's Residency to be Challenged

St Cloud Times here.

Absentee voting will continue for a Dec. 27 special election, even as the Minnesota Supreme Court prepares next week to decide whether one of the candidates should be removed from the ballot.

St. Paul attorney Alan Weinblatt filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of St. Cloud resident and DFL volunteer Rick Studer.

The lawsuit alleges officials wrongfully included Sue Ek's name on the ballot as the Republican candidate for a House 15B seat, because Ek had not established residency in the district at least six months before the Dec. 27 election, as required by state law.

The lawsuit cites several pieces of information that indicate Ek, who listed her home address as 1402 Kilian Boulevard SE in St. Cloud on her affidavit of candidacy, actually resided at 1258 Niles Ave., St. Paul, as of the June 27 deadline.

"It shouldn't be an easy thing to take someone off the ballot," Weinblatt said. "But she can't have it both ways. She didn't do anything to change that residency until September of this year."

At a candidate forum Friday morning, Ek restated her contention that she has been a St. Cloud resident since 1968. But she said she had voted in recent years in St. Paul.

Ek did not return a call Friday afternoon seeking comment for this story.

The Supreme Court has ordered all the parties named in the case to respond to the petition by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, said Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, a Republican.

No hearing date was set, but the justices will want to decide the case as soon as possible, she said.

The court gave no order to stop absentee voting in the meantime, Kiffmeyer said.


Sue Ek was a vice chair of 4th District Republican Committee. Clever Sponge has a screen shot of the committee roster from google's cache as of November 2005. I have not been able to find this page independently in google's cache. I assume this will be part of the lawsuit. A lawsuit could get people both from the state party and the 4th District Republicans to testify under oath. It seems that the Republican Party of Minnesota should do a residency check in it's own database - and notify Republican committees of their findings, so people are aware of residency issues such as this at their district conventions. Large donors to the Republican party should take notice on this one. They aren't getting a good ROI on their investment when donating to the State Republican Party right now.

Story comments:


Concerned from St. Cloud
"Absentee voting will continue for a Dec. 27 special election, even as the Minnesota Supreme Court prepares next week to decide whether one of the candidates should be removed from the ballot."

Guess Joan's concern with the matter of absentee ballots looms large in the coming election. How many absentee ballots have been returned with Ek's name on them, and will these persons be around to change ballots should the Court find her not qualified?

"At a candidate forum Friday morning, Ek restated her contention that she has been a St. Cloud resident since 1968. But she said she had voted in recent years in St. Paul."

Seems Ms. Ek does not see the significance of declaring residency for voting purposes. Nor does she seem to understand the matter of signing affidavits of residency. Appears that signing two known affidavits, registering to vote, and agreement with the City of St. Paul, do not really mean what they say they mean.

"If that happens, the Republican Party of Minnesota would have seven days to nominate a new candidate,"

Seems the Local GOP Officials should be talking to Ms. Ek! The evidence does seem rather convincing, and from reading her statements to Local reporters one could well conclude that Ms. Ek did in fact change residency.

If they want a viable candidate in the election the best thing would be for Ms. Ek to drop out and for the Local GOP to replace her with a resident candidate. Seven days is not much time, so if they are seriousl about contesting the seat they should move quickly as they now have 17 days.

Ms. Ek, if you want to do the right thing consider whether you want to leave your replacement 7 or 17 days to field a campaign?

"This is a classic DFL diversion and a boilerplate DFL complaint,"

Seems the GOP spokesperson considers residency, and mounting evidence to be a minor thing. He is right that the voters will decide the election, but will, and should, she be part of the decision?


Dan Becker, Independent Candidate for SD 15 is a regular on the St Cloud Times chats.


Dan Becker from St. Cloud
As a candidate in a race scheduled for a vote on the same day as this one, I hope this doesn't impact the date. The reason is because what little money I have, $2,570.33, I've spent in the best way I could for the 27th date.

I have talked to Sue Ek on the phone and she is an outstanding person. Nobody wins in this situation.

I also have a legal question for the public subsidy part of what the GOP spent on Ek, Do they need to give that back to the public if she is not a candidate?


Concerned St Cloud (most probably the author of the Tarryl Clark attack blog) raises the concerns the Democrats had about what would happen to Wellstone absentee votes.

How many absentee ballots have been returned with Ek's name on them, and will these persons be around to change ballots should the Court find her not qualified?


King Banaian says this is the last straw, and Sue Ek should withdraw her candidacy.

I listened on the radio this morning to the debate between Ek and Larry Haws (or Larry Haw-Haw as I call him, as he sounds like a Lake Woebegon character.) Ek took her opening statement to address the Times article. She failed spectacularly, in my opinion, to say anything that contradicted the evidence Schumacher presented. Unless I had something substantial to say, I would not have said anything; if there's nothing to say to combat the claim, I can't imagine why I would not withdraw my candidacy.


Developing. . .

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