While media coverage of yesterday's DFL press conference on Doug Wardlow's toxic fundraising letters understandably focuses on the content of those letters--and they've got it covered so we need say no more--we're still curious about the letters' non-compliance with Minnesota campaign finance law.
After all, Doug's all about the rule of law, right? Indeed, he brings it up twice at close of the letter in the screengrab above.
In an email, we asked Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board for comment and in his usual, uber-professional way, Sigurdson replied:
I would not comment on a particular piece of campaign literature that may come before the Board in a complaint.
The disclaimer requirement in Minn. Stat. §211B.04 https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/211B.04 is clear, and you have identified the correct section in the candidate handbook that explains the requirement.
Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board
We thank him for providing statute number for the rule of law in these case. Perhaps Wardlow will know now as well.
Here's what we posted yesterday afternoon about the explanation in the candidate campaign finance handbook:
A post-script in the other letter reads:
P.S. Keith Eliison doesn't share the American values you and I do. He's in bed with in bed with radicals and terrorists, hangs out with racists and anti-Semites, hates President Trump, and wants to use the Attorney General's office to force far-left policies on us.
Keith Ellison is a very dangerous man and he must be kept far away from power.
I promise to adhere to the rule of law as Attorney General. But first I must defeat Keith Ellison. Please rush back a donation of at least $35 or $50 today. Thank you so much!
Bluestem suggests that he might adhere to the rule of law starting with his own fund-raising letters. [The screenshot is posted above] . . .
Under Minnesota campaign finance rules, campaigns must include an address in the disclaimer required to be on most campaign materials. Here's the explanation in the handbook for candidates that's online at the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board:
While other bloggers may file complaints with the board about their findings, we don't think that's our job. Should a complaint be filled about this failure to observe the rule of law on Mr. Rule of Law's campaign, readers will eventually learn of the resolution of the complaint by the board here in the list of enforcement actions here and in the board's minutes here.
Not every action of the board is triggered by a complaint; staff review of campaign finance reports may cause a file to be opened. However, since the Board doesn't receive the items like flier or fundraising letters--a point of law for which they must be deeply grateful--it's likely that a complaint about the letters would be what causes the board to look into these matters.
In his 2013 speech, Wardlow went on to say the institutions and values of family and faith make up a "second Constitution of sorts" that is inherited from "a long tradition, a Judeo-Christian tradition."
The DFL posted his comments on its website "Real Doug Wardlow" and questioned which Constitution Wardlow would defend if elected, and whether Minnesotans can trust him to defend the rights of all people.
"Doug was referring to a concept in jurisprudence called the ethic of legal obligation. That is the basic concept that people should obey the law," Grant said. He said Democrats are trying to spread misinformation.
The Wardlow campaign should probably try to follow campaign finance law if it respects both constitutions so very much.
Screengrabs: From one of the letters and the campaign finance board's candidate handbook.
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