Carver County's best blogger tells Bluestem in a message, "If Mike Parry is like a telenovela, Ernie is like a crappy TLC reality show." A recent incident at a League of Women Voters presentation at a senior facility in Waconia illustrates just how crappy Ernie is.
Ernie isn't the beloved Sesame Street muppet, but freshman Minnesota representative Ernie Leidiger (R-Carver County) best known for inviting Bradlee Dean to serve as House chaplain the day they were to begin debating the marriage restriction amendment.
All hell broke out. Bluestem's take: There's no place like home: reflections on Bradlee Dean's prayer in the Minnesota Hous.
Ernie's also been fined by the Campaign Finance Board for charging his speeding ticket to his campaign committee, and Sean Olsen checks out his business acumen at Hypocrisy, eviction, lawsuits and porn: what does the business career of Rep. Ernie Leidiger mean?
Olsen's latest post, It Might Get Loud: Ernie Leidiger attends a voter ID forum at a senior housing facility cites an ongoing story unfolding in sister papers, the Chanhassen Villager and the Chaska Herald. The Villager reports in Rift opens over photo ID amendment:
State Rep. Ernie Leidiger is in a tussle with the local League of Women Voters over a constitutional amendment on this fall’s ballot.
At a meeting open to the public last week at a Waconia senior facility, Leidiger admits to “standing up and challenging” members of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Eastern Carver County over their presentation on the voter/photo ID constitutional amendment.
LWV members’ assessment of Leidiger’s behavior wasn’t so kind.
LWV members said Leidiger was “uncivil,” loud and interrupted the presentation to about 25 people at Westview Acres.
“He was loud, boisterous, argumentative and bullying,” said Glenda Noble, an LWV member who helped arrange the presentation. “His manner and tone was not appropriate. We were guests in a facility that houses older people. The public is welcome, but we expect them to behave.”
Leidiger defended himself by claiming that he "was just being 'loud'" and the League of Women Voters were
"nothing but a bunch of lap-dogs for (Sec. of State) Mark Ritchie and the Democrats. They are pathetic partisan hacks.”
Way to win friends and influence people.
League member Sharon Moeller of Chaska and Bev Geffert of Carver submitted commentary, Leidiger upsets LWV presentation, published in the Chaska Herald . They write:
Last Tuesday a program, sponsored by the Eastern Carver County League of Women Voters, was disrupted by uncivil behavior exhibited by State Rep. Ernie Leidiger.
The program speaker, a LWVMN volunteer, came to provide information about the proposed Photo ID Ballot Amendment. The event was held at a senior housing campus in Waconia. The speaker shared factual information from the Brennan Law Center (and other sources) on how this amendment might affect voting eligibility, who could be affected and why the League is opposing this constitutional amendment.
Rep. Leidiger interrupted repeatedly saying he had questions but, instead, spoke against the information presented. He also made unsupported claims that could not be checked during the presentation. When a LWV member, a constituent, told him she was disappointed with his incivility and yelling, he replied that he was just 'loud.'
Rep. Leidiger repeatedly asked why the LWV was not presenting both sides of the issue. A member of the ECCLWV clarified the League's procedure: Members carefully research issues, reach consensus of opinion on those issues, then publicly support the position reached.
The League is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties but always working on vital issues of concern to members and the public. The League has a long history of careful, thoughtful research that is widely respected.
This 'loudness' and interruption at an informational meeting is a bullying tactic that intimidates participants and does not foster informed citizenship. It also does not model the respect or standard of behavior that we should expect from a public official in a democracy.
Look to the right to defend Ernie by loudly bashing the League. How unfortunate there's no video.
Photo: Ernie Leidiger gets checked out by a couple of guests at the Bratfest he threw at his house for failed Tea Party candidate Bruce Schwichtenberg for Senate. Schwichtenberg was defeated by incumbent Julianne Ortman in this month's primary Leidiger--who uses the same tailor as Dave Senjem--endorsed Schwichtenberg.