News

  • Fact Checks: Adam Schwarze and Tom Weiler

    update-typewriter__320.jpgAdam Schwarze, who had initially been expected to participate in the CD3 Candidates forum, was recalled to active duty over a week ago.

    LT Schwarze confirmed to SD50 Newsletter last week that he was facing Navy discipline for engaging in political action prior to his retirement date. Sources in his campaign told us this week that he will be unable to return to Minnesota until July 1, 2022. This reporter was told that LT Schwarze will not be running for office this year.

    LT Schwarze and his campaign leadership have not responded to multiple requests this week for formal confirmation.

    Allegations have been made that candidate Tom Weiler, a former Navy officer who retired last year, initiated some complaints against Schwarze with the Navy. Weiler specifically denied doing so both during the CD3 candidate forum and on an Alpha News podcast. In a telephone conversation the evening of April 20th, Weiler reaffirmed specifically that neither he nor his father (who is also a retired Naval officer) initiated any complaints against LT Schwarze. They provided information requested by naval investigators, and they used the form those investigators provided for them to use. Unfortunately, that form, which has been sent out in emails by supporters of LT Schwarze, is titled “INSPECTOR GENERAL COMPLAINT FORM”.

    Your reporter is also a retired officer. When I spoke to Adam Schwarze last week, I was actively involved and in support of his campaign. SD50 newsletter readers should know that “Retired” military personnel are not ‘retired’ in the way private citizens retire. We are subject to recall to active duty at any time, and are under ethical and some legal obligations to continue to conduct ourselves as officers. If a military command were to ask me to provide information, I could not be compelled to do so unless I were recalled to active duty, but I would feel ethically obligated to comply.

  • 3rd District Congressional Candidates Reflect Clear Choices for Congress

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    Mark Blaxill and Tom Weiler, candidates for Congress from the 3rd Congressional District, met in a forum on Monday, April 11, to talk about themselves and answer questions.

    The forum was skillfully moderated by Mitch Berg, radio talk show host and founder of the Northern Alliance Radio Network on “The Patriot 1280.  The candidates spoke thoughtfully and candidly about the challenges and opportunities in the upcoming campaign and why each represents the best candidate to go up against Democratic Congressman Dean Phillips.

    While respecting Phillips’ skill as a political opponent, Mark Blaxill intends to go after him as a creature of Washington.  “He supports the wrong brand.”  He noted that Phillips’ voting record in Congress closely matched Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

    Tom Weiler plans to go forward as a patriot, certain that Minnesota voters more closely shares Weiler’s views.  Noting that Phillips ”did not speak out against the Minneapolis rioting after the death of George Floyd", Tom said, “Phillips has failed to provide the leadership our district needs.” 

    Mark Blaxill believes that his strength lies in his entrepreneurial experience.  He has a broad appreciation with how government policy interferes with the private sector.  “Less regulation is more.”

    Tom Weiler points to his Navy experience.  Tom’s service included opportunities to draft legislation, in doing budget work on funding the border wall, and in getting international exposure as an aide to a senior Admiral.

  • Election Integrity: Conviction for 2018 MN Voter Fraud

    Election_Integrity_button_image.jpgAlmost four years after the fraud occurred, Hennepin County Prosecutors only got a two year probation sentence for Abdihakim Amin Essa, who was alleged to have committed thirteen counts of voter fraud. Essa was convicted of four counts of voter fraud and had nine counts dismissed.

    As reported by AlphaNews, Essa received a sentence of 180 days in jail, but he will not serve even that. The judge issued a stay on the short jail sentence Essa received, meaning Essa will serve no jail time.

    Essa allegedly falsified thirteen ballots in 2018 by signing as a witness for 13 people from whom Essa did not have authority to sign. Essa also attempted to vote himself. Essa is not a citizen.

    Essa apparently admitted he was working on behalf of a campaign.  That campaign was not publicly identified.

    Hennepin County Government Center (in Minneapolis) election workers who helped catch Essa said they believed he was working for "one of two campaigns…" and that they believed his fraud was “…part of a large scheme…” and of particular concern for election integrity.

    Essa admitted to “…witnessing absentee ballots by signing his father’s name because [Essa] was not a United States citizen.”

    Essa was observed making several attempts to commit his fraud. Discovery of his fraud attempts necessitated reviewing over 9,000 ballots to find those with his fraudulent signatures.

    This case illustrates 4 points relating to election integrity:  

    1) Having alert election workers / election judges is essential.

    2) Absentee ballots are a vulnerable point for fraud.

    3) Prosecuting any voter fraud case requires time - both to collect evidence and for a case to work through the court system.

    4) Consequences for voter fraud are generally "light" - not much of a deterrent.

  • DFL HD50B Fails to Endorse Elkins, Carlson

    Rep_Steve_Elkins.jpgSenate District 50 Democrats held their convention April 9.  They endorsed Rep. Heather Edelson ("old SD49A") for MN House District 50A, and Dr. Alice Mann, who recently moved to Edina, for MN Senate.   They failed to endorse a candidate for MN House District 50B, so Rep. Steve Elkins ("old SD49") and Rep. Andrew Carlson ("old SD50") will be opponents on the DFL  Primary ballot in August.

  • Cicely Davis Endorsed for Congress in 5th CD

    Cicely_Davis.jpgRepublican delegates and alternates in the 5th Congressional District met Saturday, April 2 and voted to endorse Cicely Davis as their candidate for Congress against DFL Representative Ilhan Omar.

    Three candidates vied for the Republican endorsement. In addition to Davis, former NBA basketball professional and mental health advocate Royce White and Somali Refugee, mother of three, and a 10-year U.S. Army Combat Veteran Shukri Abdirahman spoke passionately about the need to replace Ilhan Omar and to stand against rising socialist policies in America.

    Cicely Davis came close to winning the endorsement on the first ballot, which required the support of at least 60 percent of the delegates and seated alternates. As the third-place finisher, Abdirahman bowed out of the contest, expressing her respect for her two opponents, but stating her preference for Davis. Davis won the endorsement on the second ballot.

    The 5th Congressional District executive officers were affirmed during the convention.  They are:

    • Chair:  Alec Beck
    • Deputy Chair:  Barry Johnson
    • Secretary:  Lincoln Towers
    • Treasurer:  Nick Morgan

  • Legislative Update, March 31

    MN_Capitol_Building.jpgAs March came to a close, Senate Republicans have introduced some key legislation, while House Republican highlight some questionable spending plans

    Utilize the Free Market to Expand Paid Family Leave Access

    State Sen. Julia Coleman (R, Carver County) introduced legislation to create an insurance product under Minnesota law to cover paid family leave. “Unlike the one-size-fits-all government-run program proposed by Democrats, this bill has no mandate and allows businesses and insurers to develop customized products to give more flexibility to families and employers.” In addition, the legislation would provide a tax incentive for small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) to offer paid family leave.

    If this legislation is approved, Sen. Coleman reported in her latest newsletter, “businesses can provide a competitive benefit that suits their work force, and families will have more options to care for their loved ones in a time of need.”

  • Candidate Adam Schwarze Ordered to Return to Duty

    Adam_Schwarze.jpgAdam Schwarze stated Friday, April 1, that he has received orders to return to his Navy Seal unit in Hawaii, to report no later than Monday, April 4.  No further information is available as to the reason for these action on the part of the Navy.  The orders did not indicate for how long he would be required to be with his unit or when he would be returning to Minnesota.

    Schwarze had planned a formal retirement ceremony and campaign launch party on Friday, April 8.  With the uncertainty surrounding the duration of his trip to Hawaii, he has postponed the ceremony and party.  The new date is unknown at this time.  Similarly, he has stated that it is unlikely he will be able to participate in the Congressional Candidate Forum to be held by the 3rd Congressional District on April 11.
     
    Adam Schwarze remains personally committed to his plans to attend the 3rd Congressional District convention on April 23 and to seek the Republican endorsement as a candidate for Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional seat at that convention.  However, he continues to honor his commitment to serve in the US Navy as long as he is required.  He will release information about his return to Minnesota and his official retirement from the Navy as soon as he knows and is cleared by the Navy to do so.

  • Republican A.G. Candidates Meet to Challenge Incumbent Keith Ellison

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    Five Republicans have declared their candidacy for Minnesota Attorney General (AG).  Three of these candidates, Tad Jude, Jim Schultz, and Doug Wardlow met on the stage of Providence Academy in Plymouth on March 31 for a forum billed as “an evening with leading Conservative Candidates for Minnesota Attorney General”, hosted by the Minnesota Family Council and co-sponsored by AlphaNews, the Freedom Club, and AM1280 The Patriot.

    The candidates had 75 seconds each to briefly answer a series of questions.

    During a halftime break, the audience of almost 270 likely Republican voters voted in a straw poll for their preferred candidate to defeat the incumbent, Keith Ellison. Attorney and former MN Representative Dennis Smith declined the invitation to participate, and lawyer Lynne Torgerson dropped out two days before the forum.  As a result, neither of these candidates appeared on the straw poll ballot.

    Attorney and former MN Representative Doug Wardlow stressed his background in defending First Amendment freedoms with a national legal group.  He pledges to “stand with law enforcement, stand up for job creators, and crack down on sanctuary cities.”

    Attorney Jim Schultz has served on the board of several private foundations and non-profits.  He would prioritize “public safety at every level of government to address the crime plaguing our communities.”

    Judge Tad Jude, a former MN representative and Hennepin County Commissioner, pledged “to restore integrity and justice to a broken system.” Jude got a laugh from the crowd when he promised to “make crime illegal again.”

    Liz Collin and Pafoua Yang (of AlphaNews) and John Helmberger (CEO of Minnesota Family Council and Institute) put together a wide-ranging series of questions that focused on controversial actions and inactions of the current DFL Attorney General.  All three candidates responded with how the state’s highest legal office would change if they are elected to be our next AG.

  • Bloomington Accepting Applications for Charter Commission

    Bloomington_City_Hall.jpgBloomington's Home Rule Charter was adopted in November 1960.   The Bloomington Charter Commission studies issues and makes recommendations on proposed changes to the City Home Rule Charter which outlines municipal governance.

    There are currently openings on the Commission, and Bloomington is accepting applications to fill those vacancies. The fifteen-member commission is appointed by the Hennepin County's chief judge. The Charter Commission's annual meeting is held on the first Thursday in May, 7 p.m., at Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road.

    More information is available at the city's website.  Apply online at blm.mn/board-app. The deadline is Sunday, May 1 at 4:00 p.m.  

  • City Council Does Not Remove Public Comment Period

    exchange-of-ideas-seated_talkers_blue_symbols.jpgSometimes a headline story has a happy ending. Instead of a confrontation, the March 21 Bloomington City Council meeting provided a look at how the proposed new “listening session” could make citizen input direct, immediate and, more importantly, productive. 

    The evening began with a room full of upset citizens probably twenty, each with a sign that said ‘Save Public Comment”, and a council prepared for some possibly unpleasant interactions. But it ended with a directive to the city staff resulting directly from citizen/council interactions.

    The council was proposing removing public comment on items not on the council meeting agenda to its own, separate meeting, which was referred to as a ‘listening session’. City Attorney Melissa Manderschied laid out the proposed changes.

    Mandershied explained that the council expressed concern that some citizens were afraid to speak at a formal council meeting, on videotape. 

    Mandershied and staff were proposing that the “listening session” happen before the formal city council meeting. Details of the new meeting were unclear, and council members questioned Mandershied and other staff about whether the listening session would be recorded, how often and when listening sessions would be held, and council rules changes necessary to accomplish all this. It became clear that city staff had left a number of these points for the council to decide.

    The protesters were surprised that eliminating public comment was not actually what was intended. The council was surprised that so many details still had to be resolved.

    What happened next was a serious discussion between council members and the citizens who had come to protest the proposed action.  They discussed what the new listening session should look like, how it should be managed, and what the rules should be. In short, we ended up seeing a model listening session, watching the idea evolve with direct citizen input and direct council response.

    Gradually, council members reached a consensus that they should not vote on the change immediately, but instead send it back to staff to be fully developed.