Fran Bradley will run once more for state legislature!

Fran Bradley addresses supporters. - photo by Jeremy Griffith

Fran Bradley addresses supporters. – photo by Jeremy Griffith

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online

Veteran Minnesota State Legislator Fran Bradley-R of Olmsted County announced today in front of supporters that he will be seeking election once again as a state legislator for the House District 25B.

He said, “Service to humanity is the best work of life.”

Fran served previously in the state legislature and worked as chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. He left the House of Representatives over a decade due to family issues.

Bradley will be stepping down from his current posting as Olmsted County GOP Co-Chair. His co-chair, Aaron Miller, said the Republicans will be seeking nominations shortly to fill the slot vacated by Bradley.

Bradley is a retired engineer having worked for 30 years for IBM in Rochester. He is married to his spouse Mary for 52 years and has four children and 5 grandchildren.

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A Veteran’s Unsolicited Advice For a Young Lieutenant

Jeremy Griffith

The American Millennium Online
Captain Jeremy Griffith in Baghdad 2007

Captain Jeremy Griffith in Baghdad 2007

 

I recently ran across an uplifting article about a young lieutenant in the Army National Guard here in Minnesota. Uplifting, because it looks like a young officer just beginning his career is on top of the world and is looking for an exciting and action packed life. As a recent retiree, I feel it’s my duty to throw the cold water of reality on the situation.

 

Luke Dery has been in the Minnesota Guard a while now and has his first platoon leader position, a platoon of medics. You can read about his story in Star Tribune here. Apparently he’s got a degree in biology from the University of Minnesota and is working on an MBA. Good for him. The life is challenging, but he’s enjoying it. Good for you.

 

Now here is what you can expect in your future that the recruiters at ROTC didn’t explain. With luck you probably had “the talk” with your first platoon sergeant. Hopefully, like mine, he or she is a seasoned veteran with loads of advice for a new LT. He or she probably pulled you aside and said, “You got all the book learnin’ LT, now listen to an old salt and let me tell you how it really is.” In lieu of that scenario, here is my advice to you.

 

Enjoy your time in the Guard, but be wary. Get to the rank of Captain as fast as you can and don’t dawdle. Stay healthy and in shape, and pray you don’t get hurt. PT sucks when you’re hurt. If they pull out the command chair for a company for you, take it! And, when your two or three years is up in the command slot, GET THE HELL OUT! You’ll have all the leadership experience you need to look impressive to prospective employers from platoon leader to company commander, but beyond that, the Guard becomes your career, not your civilian job.

 

Don’t expect to always have cake walk two week annual training periods. More often than not, as a leader, they’ll ask you to do more, maybe three to four weeks, which will leave your civilian employer scratching his head. The longer you stay, the more pissed off your civilian employer will get. Don’t breed that animosity. And if you are deployed, forget about it. You’re employer will really be pissed and if they’re good, they’ll hold your slot, if not, they’ll find a way to fire you for cause. They’re required to keep your slot by law, but if they word the paper work carefully, they will find a way to let you go.

 

If you do decide to make the Army your career, get out of the Guard after your command and join the Reserves. The process is fairly easy and there is usually a mass exodus from the Guard to the Reserve at the captain level. The Reserve recruiter will understand. I’m sure it will be easy to place a medical services officer and there will no doubt be a major slot with your name on it. And then the way is paved for you to Lieutenant Colonel and beyond. But not if you stay in the Minnesota Guard. Don’t do as I did and wait too long. Opportunities are wasted if you wait.

 

Hopefully now that the “wars” are over, you’ll settle down in a routine, but I wouldn’t count on it. Thank your lucky stars you missed out on the West Africa Ebola Mission! Barack Obama won’t be president forever and the war on terror is far from over. In a new administration, the deployments might kick up again and you can expect to spend long periods away from home. Embrace the suck. Wives and girlfriends aren’t terribly understanding after the second or third deployment.

“Thank your lucky stars you missed out on the West Africa Ebola Mission!”

And prepare to watch your men die. That is what platoon leaders and company commanders do on deployment. There’s no way around it. Commanders’ duty is to make sure their units are well trained and equipped. Ready to go. Training breeds confidence, confidence removes fear, fear breeds hesitation, hesitation will get you killed. The old drill sergeants will tell you that a well trained soldier is more likely to survive and that is partially true. A well-trained crew in an uparmored vehicle driving down the main supply route can be easily picked out. They drive aggressive, they own the road, the gunner is out and alert, his head on a swivel. The crew looks badass and Haji don’t wanna fuck with them. They’ll fuck around with the crew that doesn’t look prepared for a fight. Haji is a coward, but he ain’t stupid.

“Training breeds confidence, confidence removes fear, fear breeds hesitation, hesitation will get you killed.”

An ill prepared crew will get killed far more often than a crew that is properly trained. A crew that sucks in training will not be confident in you, the leadership or their skills and they’ll eventually balk at doing their jobs under stress. Then you’ll have to discipline the whole platoon and squad. Don’t be that guy.

 

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you won’t lose anyone because you’re good. You will. You just won’t lose as many. The ones you do lose will be the good ones, the best of the best and that will make it all that much harder. Navy SEALS get killed, and there is no one better than they are. Sometimes Haji gets lucky.

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you won’t lose anyone because you’re good. . .  Sometimes Haji gets lucky.”

Take a good pen with you on deployment. You’ll need it to sign the letters back to family members explaining to them how you lost little Johnny or Janie. No form letters. Family can see through that shit. Make it personal. If there are tear stains on the paper, all the better. Its hurt to write those letters. It’s supposed too. You can type it out to make it official, but then you sign with your nice pen. Make it personal. Families will thank you for your candor. They’ll resent you if you do it half-assed.

 

As a platoon leader of medics, you have the bravest of the brave working for you. Everybody loves Doc. Get over the notion that your platoon will be all yours during deployment. Most likely you’ll have most of your medics farmed out to other units, aka detached and Opconed, where you will have little influence in the lives and fortunes of your men. The gaining unit will have responsibility, hopefully they’ll get a good unit. More than likely you’ll hear a few horror stories, so be prepared.

 

Minnesota Guard is a combat arms driven state. If you aren’t Ranger qualified and aren’t an Infantry or Armor guy, they powers that be won’t understand your value and they won’t respect you. So they won’t hold command slots open for you. And you can forget about field grade, unless you’re a surgeon. That’s why it’s important to jump ship early. Only you can manage your career.

 

I’ve had good moments in my career and bad. Hopefully you will benefit from my bad experiences. Here are a few of the shittier assignments and experiences I’ve had that you can look forward to.

 

*Soldier of mine suffering from spots on his lungs, VA won’t pay because the problem wasn’t identified in theater. Probable cause, burn pits. Sucks to be him. Minnesota VA is better than most, and still won’t do much. Embrace the suck.

 

*I once had to sit on a young lieutenant in jail. Yes, a lieutenant! A young African-American officer went AWOL at Annual Training, and then when he decided to show up to work, he threatened to assault his company commander, also African American. The decision was made to throw him in jail at Fort McCoy over night and let a few of us captains sit on him to make sure he didn’t hurt himself, because contracted police at Ft. McCoy don’t provide jailors. Units have to do that. I’m retired now, and that knucklehead is still in. How does that work?

 

*I was asked to provide security for the St. Paul Airport and the Army and Air National Guard air assets for the Republican National Convention in 2008. Local law enforcement response teams as well as the FBI where deploying from there. The Coast Guard had helicopters deploying from there to monitor the air space around the rivers. There were other assets deploying from there that I could not recognize. In preparation to make a decent base defense, I asked for barrier material, concertina wire, serpentine road obstacles, shot guns with less-lethal bean bag ammo, M9 Berettas, body armor, protective masks, CS gas, and a shelter for my 8 Janes and Jonnies. I got plastic barriers and a trailer. My guys had to be out there in the hot weather in their battle rattle with no weapons of any kind with our good looks and verbal judo checking ID cards of people coming into the airport. I didn’t get any of the training I requested, because I didn’t get the weapons. Thank God for Homeland Security and the local South Saint Paul Police Department who had their weapons, otherwise I would be out there in the wind alone. Embrace the suck.

 

*During my tenure, a Command Sergeant Major was relieved of duty for harassing female soldiers on deployment. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a female lieutenant who refused to take it anymore and reported him. The CSM should have been busted to E-1 and kicked out. Instead he was busted from E-9 to E-7 and allowed to quietly retire. The good old boys network was in full force. Embrace the Suck.

 

*On deployment to Iraq I had a less than stellar soldier attached to me for a long term work detail. He related this story. He was injured on deployment and couldn’t work and was not allowed to rotate home. He also had the bad habit of showing up late for work detail and hanging around his girlfriend’s living area after hours, for which the unit tried corrective action. To correct some of his behaviors, the unit decided to lock him in to a shipping container over night without a cot or a blanket. When the corrections didn’t hold, the soldierwas farmed out, that is Opconed, to me where he was slightly better than totally worthless. (I actually got him showing up on time four times out of seven!) I approached the unit command to try to find out more about his situation. I advised that nowhere in the UCMJ did I find that you could incarcerate a soldier for Article 15 procedures in a shipping container. You can take pay, you can demote a soldier, you cannot lock people in a box. I politely recommended that he be placed in housing with a sergeant who could keep a better eye on the lad from here on out. “Tut tut, young captain!” I was told, as the sergeant major patted me on the head like I was a puppy. “We handle things our own way in our company.” I advised JAG of the situation, but in theater, JAG doesn’t work for the soldier, he works for the commander. A soldier can get representation, but the Trial Service doesn’t have offices in theater. The soldier had to make a call to some rag bag kicking up his heals somewhere in Europe. After a 20 minute call, the soldier decided his situation working with me was better than what was going on with his unit and that he would gut it out until the end of deployment. Embrace the Suck.

 

*I saved the best for last. I once had to do a 10-6 investigation on a soldier and his unit. What was his crime you ask? Embezzlement? Assault? Disrespect to a senior officer? Nope, nope, nope! ADULTERY! The smuck cheated on his wife, with a female soldier in his unit. A Military Police Company! Sounds medieval doesn’t it, but the Army can and will prosecute you for that. That’s awesome! I was in a room, interviewing a 20-something pregnant beauty with doey blue eyes and long dark hair as she sniffled and moaned about how much her douche bag husband had hurt her and their family. It doesn’t get any better than that. I had a long talk with members of his unit, after which I thought, this is going nowhere. I got nothing. If this kid is smart he’ll lawyer up and say nothing and then I got nothing expect an unhappy bride who is 8-months along. I finally got the knuckle head in my office. “So!” I told the young sergeant. “Are you cheating on your wife and if so, why?!” I had a 30 minute discussion, on tape, as the soldier explained how and why he had tried unsuccessfully to cheat on the Missus, after I had read the soldier his rights. I made recommendations to JAG for conduct unbecoming and called it a day. I didn’t hear how it went, but I hope they busted the soldier back to specialist. Two weeks later I got a call from the wife. They had gotten back together and were trying to make a go for it. I was asked to drop any charges. I told the young lady that this episode might be a pattern of behavior and that I’d already submitted my findings to JAG. It was up to them. I hope she is doing well, but again, I never heard.

 

And that young lieutenant is a brief summary of the kinds of things you might find yourself dealing with if you stay in the guard. Take my advice with a grain of salt. Mind your own career because no one else will. I hope you have good, true leaders above you who recognize you’re worth. Be aware of those who don’t, and when you think you’ve had enough, move on with your life. It is your life and career to manage. Hopefully, it will be a good one.

“It is your life and career to manage. Hopefully, it will be a good one.”

 

Ziggurat of Ur, Camp Adder Iraq

Ziggurat of Ur, Camp Adder Iraq

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Blogger EJ Haust Talks About Absentee Balloting and Early Voting issues.

(A conversation with EJ Haust, blogger for conservativedailynews.com, regarding her experience with voter ID, poll watching, and absentee balloting. -interview by Jeremy Griffith)

By Jeremy Griffith

EJ Haust has been living in the Minnesota in the Twin Cities Metro area for over five years. Before that she lived in Florida, where she went to college, Alabama and other places. Despite not living in Florida for over a decade, she still receives voter registration letters from her old district. Again and again she contacts that old district attempting to remove her name from the voter rolls, and every time she gets the same answer, ‘yes of course we will’.

But then, as is the case every election year, despite her protests, she receives a notification form the Florida board of elections. This time she had a conversation with a poll worker and floated the question, would it be possible to get an absentee ballot. The poll station worker agreed it was possible. She thanked him and once again asked that her name be removed from the list. The poll worker agreed and hung up.

This election season, following that conversation, Haust received an absentee ballot, without even asking for it. Asking if it were possible to get one, apparently meant that the state of Florida was obligated to send one.

We contacted Haust to ask her to tell her story. The interview is included above. In the interview, Haust explains her story, what she saw as a poll worker this election season, and expressed her feelings on the failed voter ID constitutional amendment and its aftermath.

In addition to this interview, Haust’s columns on Voter ID issues, early voting, absentee ballots, and potential voter fraud can be found at consevativedailynews.com here.

Haust has worked with Project Veritas in Minnesota to expose potential voter fraud, she says.

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Minnesota Voters Struggle over Fate of Voter ID Constitutional Amendment

by Jeremy Griffith

State Rep. Mike Benson-R and State Sen. Carla Nelson meet with constituents at a town hall event in Rochester, MN. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

State Rep. Mike Benson-R and State Sen. Carla Nelson-R meet with constituents at a town hall event in Rochester, MN. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Voter ID Historical Review from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

(Video: a historical update of the Voter ID Amendment debate thus far. -video by Jeremy Griffith)

On Nov. 6, Minnesotans rejected a constitutional amendment to require photo ID at the polls at future elections. Polling for the favorability of the measure was high towards the middle of the election year, but waned gradually as the election approached due to the vigorous campaigning of Democratic political campaigns and the bipartisan OurVoteOurFuture.org.

Principal architect of the measure, Minnesota Majority President Dan McGrath, voiced his disappointment to the St. Paul Pioneer Press when the votes began to be tallied.

“It started to look like an insurmountable lead for the opposition on this, ” McGrath said.

But the outcome could not have been predicted six months prior when favorability for the bill appeared to be high. The Secretary of State’s office statistics as reported by the Pioneer Press show that only 46.3 percent of Minnesotans voting favored the measure with just shy of 99 percent of the precincts tallied.  In May we reported polling data from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, showing that the majority was in favor of the ballot initiative. A later poll in September showed that support was beginning to wane, but was still on the side of the amendment. You can see the results of that poll in a graphic visualization below.

The fight for initiating a voter photo ID law started following the election of Senator Al Franken over incumbent Norm Coleman back in 2008. Many on the right believed that Franken’s razor thin victory following a recount effort was fueled by fraud and deception and groups gained prominence in efforts to clean up the Minnesota election process.

McGrath founded the ProtectOurVote.com group and began investigating election irregularities, many of which resulted in charges of felony fraud on the part of a few. A full history of the efforts of these groups can be found at their respective websites at ProtectMyVote.com and MinnesotaMajority.org.

In 2011, the legislature passed a measure requiring voter ID at the polls by a vast majority, but the measure was vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton. Unable to overcome the governor’s veto, the legislature began looking at other ways to pass voter ID laws, and came up with the constitutional amendment idea, a measure that did not require the governor’s signature. The legislature voted April 4, 2012 to include the measure as a ballot initiative for the November general election.

Two of southern Minnesota’s prominent state legislators supported the bill, Rep. Mike Benson and Sen. Carla Nelson, both republicans.

“I think this is an issue that has been building,” Benson said. “This time around with both houses of the legislature in the (Republican) majority hands we thought it was the right time to go ahead with having hearings on this.”

According to Benson, the voter ID law if passed would not have eliminated same day voting; would provide for provisional balloting for those who do not have ID on election day; and would provide photo ID for those who can’t afford it.

Rep. Benson on Voter ID Amendment from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

(Video: Minnesota State Rep. Mike Benson explains the history of the Voter Photo ID Constitutional amendment. -Video by Jeremy Griffith)

Carla Nelson Interview from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

(Video: Minnesota State Senator Carla Nelson comments on the proposed Voter Photo ID Constitutional Amendment. -video by Jeremy Griffith)

State Senator Carla Nelson spoke about the problems with  the practice of voter vouching and how the situation would have been fixed had the new amendment passed.

“In the past we allowed an eligible voter to vouch for up to 15 others,” Nelson said. “I don’t think I know 15 people in my district who don’t have IDs. This amendment would eliminate the practice of vouching.”

Minnesota was one of only two states to have provisions for vouching and the only state to allow an eligible voter to vouch for multiple undocumented voters. Below you will find a visual graphic depicting the current status of states and their respective voter ID laws, with data provided by the National Conference for State Legislatures.

Wall Street Journal writer and Fox News contributor John Fund lent his support for the Minnesota ballot initiative, visiting the state several times to rally supporters. He spoke to a group in St. Paul and participated in a televised debate with the Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. Fund is the author of the book, “Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrat’s Put Your Vote at Risk”. 

“This is America! “Fund told supporters. “We can make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. We can do both at the same time.”

“This is America! We can make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. We can do both at the same time!” -John Fund, WSJ

As support for the Voter ID Amendment began to gather steam, opposition also stiffened. Over 80 organizations voiced their opposition for the measure, including the League of Women Voters and the Minnesota ACLU. Another group emerged from this coalition and formed the bipartisan group OurVoteOurFuture.org. The most prominent supporters of the group include former Governor Arne Carlson and Rep. Tim Penny.

The first evidence of the waning of support and the growing opposition appeared during a debate at Metro State University in St. Paul last October. Dan McGrath represented ProtectMyVote.com and Doran Shrantz of OurVoteOurFuture squared off in a 90-minute televised debate over this issue. Many of the audience members carried signs showing opposition to the amendment initiative.

McGrath made a strong argument for the amendment, but his rhetoric was not enough to overcome the opposition laid out by Schrantz.

“All of what you hear about the amendment tonight is wild speculation at best,” said McGrath. “If it’s not in the bill, it’s not going to happen.”

“This amendment will vastly change our election law in this state,” said Schrantz. “Many including the old, the poor and minorities, our servicemen overseas will be disenfranchised by this stark rewriting of our election law.”

A full video of the Metro State debate is available from Uptake.org’s You Tube Channel.

While voter ID laws are gaining ground in the nation, it is unclear whether new efforts to adopt such legislation here in the state of Minnesota, especially since both houses of the legislature and the office of the Governor are now under DFL control once again.

(Minneapolis Star Tribune Poll on Voter ID favoribility just prior to the election Nov. 6. -visualization by Jeremy Griffith.)


(States with Voter ID Laws on the books. Source Data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. -Visualization by Jeremy Griffith.

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How do you feel about the Voter ID issue in Minnesota?


Polls and surveys are very good indicators of where people are on a certain issue. They also, over time, indicate a shift in sentiment if any.

Recently the Star Tribune conducted a survey asking people how they felt about the Constitutional Amendment to require photo identification at the polls that appears on the ballot this November. The September survey shows a substantial shift in sentiment from the earlier survey conducted in May. Look at the numbers at the respective links here.

How do you feel about the issue of photo ID at the polls? Are you happy with the current election system or do you think there should be changes? Do you believe in the accuracy of polls? Do you feel informed enough about this issue to make a decision?

We’re asking some of those questions and more in the attached survey we’ve devised on our own. We’d like you do take a few moments to answer some of our questions and present feedback.

Take a look at the latest debates on photo ID at theuptake.com and You Tube. Who do you think won these debate?

You’ll find a video of the opening moments of the Voter ID Debate at Metro State University, along with a visualization of the latest Star Tribune poll here.

For more information go to the American Millennium Online.com.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

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Voter ID Debate at Metro State University

In case you missed it, here is a sample of the one and only voter ID debate at Metro State University between Minnesota Majority’s Dan McGrath and OurVoteOurFuture.org’s Doran Schrantz. The debate took place at Metro State University Thursday Oct. 4th and was sponsored by Debate Minnesota, with Bill Salisbury of the Pioneer Press moderating.  (Video by Jeremy Griffith, The American Millennium Online)

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Minnesotans Battle Over Voter ID Law

Minnesotans Battle Over Voter ID Law

A thesis regarding the current battle over requiring voter ID at the polls to decrease or eliminate voter fraud, by Jeremy Griffith

Storified by Jeremy Griffith · Sun, Sep 30 2012 08:07:57

Minnesotans will vote in November on a controversial constitutional amendment requiring voters to present Photo ID at the polls. Is it voter suppression or a well-intentioned way of eliminating voter fraud? Here is what people are saying about the Voter ID issue on the Internet. 
RT @CampBenCh: RT @CampBenCh: I wish I was voting in Minnesota… Marriage and voter ID is better than abortion disclosure for minors and stricter mari …Nicole Smith
RT @OurVoteMN: RT @OurVoteMN: Politics in Minnesota: Voter Restriction foes are raising more money than their opponents. #voterrestriction http://t.co/ …Fire Matt Dean
RT @mmwlawtaos: RT @mmwlawtaos: Yay, faith restored in the North! “@Normsmusic: Minnesota’s Support for Voter Photo ID Amendment is Falling http://t.co …Annyah L Hasler
RT @ALECwatch: RT @ALECwatch: Voter ID: Close elections drive amendment battle in Minnesota http://www.twincities.com/ci_21603666/voter-id-close-elections-drive-amendment-battle-minnesota #ALEC #ALECexposed #VoterSuppression # …Jim Elliott
Here’s what people are saying on Facebook.
One of our fans asked about tribal IDs recently. Tribal IDs are not necessarily going to qualify if this amendment passes. Another reason we must vote NO on this ill-conceived, damaging amendment.David Schleper
If the Voter ID amendment passes, will service members from Minnesota deployed overseas or on duty in other states be unable to vote in our elections? How will they verify their photo ID and address under a new Constitution?Nick Shillingford
Bloomington, MN police order, in violation of 1st amendment rights, a group who had peaceably assembled on government grounds (a parking lot) to distribute signs to those who wished them in support of the voter ID law that is being voted on in the November elections in Minnesota. This was done by the police, who could not cite a valid statute or city ordinance, at the request of the Bloomington City Attorney who is clearly using their office as a political weapon against something they don’t agree with.http://www.protectmyvote.com/?p=2457Charles D Smith
City of Bloomington Seeks to Stifle Political Speech about Voter ID on Public PropertyThe ProtectMyVote.com van has a stop scheduled in Bloomington this evening to distribute “Vote Yes on Voter ID” lawn signs. The Bloomington City Attorney has demanded that ProtectMyVote.com not use any city property, including sidewalks, right of ways and the city hall parking lot for this protected political speech. She has threatened police involvement. After consulting attorneys, ProtectMyVote.com will proceed with the stop as planned.What: Lawn Sign Distribution Stop Who: ProtectMyVote.com and Voter ID Supporters When: Thursday, September 27th at 6:00 PMWhere: Bloomington City Hall 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road (or nearby) Contact: Dan McGrath, 612-702-5649 (cell) www.ProtectMyVote.comSue Jeffers
You Tube Videos on Voter ID.
Our Sacred Rightprotectmyvote
MN Voter Photo ID Amendment Heads To Fall Ballotuptakevideo
MN Voter Restriction Amendment Threatens Dr. King’s Legacyuptakevideo
Debating MN’s Voter Restriction Constitutional Amendmentuptakevideo
Google!
ProtectMyVote.com | Vote YES on the Minnesota Voter ID AmendmentLet's work together to pass the Minnesota Voter ID amendment in November 2012.
Would voter ID amendment really prevent voter fraud? | Minnesota …Sep 18, 2012 … Supporters of Minnesota's voter ID constitutional amendment claim the requirement is needed to protect the integri…
MINNESOTA POLL RESULTS: Voter ID amendment | StarTribune.comSep 23, 2012 … e Star Tribune Minnesota Poll interviewed 800 likely Minnesota voters Sept.
Minnesota voting amendment would change much more than you …Sep 6, 2012 … Of course, eligible Minnesota voters can register any time, day or night, ….. …in support of the Voter ID amendment…
These are just a few examples of what people are saying about the Voter ID Constitutional Amendment coming up in Minnesota this November. Regardless of your position on the political spectrum, it behooves you as a voter to get informed on the pros and cons of this issue as it will affect how we vote in Minnesota in the future. Remember an abstention from voting on this or any constitutional amendment equals a “No” vote. For more information on the Voter ID issue in Minnesota, visit AmericanMillenniumOnline.com.

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WSJ’s John Fund Visits St. Paul, Gives Voter Fraud Talk

by Jeremy Griffith

John Fund, author, Fox News and WSJ contributor. – photo by Jeremy Griffith

Wall Street Journal and Fox News contributor John Fund was in St. Paul, Minnesota Monday to promote his new book and to talk to fans about the issue of requiring voter ID at the polls in order to prevent voter fraud.

Fund’s book, entitled “Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote At Risk”, prominently features issues of alleged voter fraud in Minnesota during the 2008 election campaign in its opening chapter.

“I at least wanted to come here to thank the folks who read my work, who watch my various appearances on the networks, to at least thank you for your support,” said Fund.”You pay my salary!”

“I know there are a lot of people who will hear a lot of different things about the Voter ID amendment. Our goal is this,” said Fund. “It’s what Democratic Senator Chris Dodd said when we passed the bipartisan ‘Help America Vote’ act, which by the way says contrary to the opponents of this amendment a military ID is a valid government ID, no military personnel will be denied the right to vote.”

“What (Dodd) said is, ‘this is America! We can make it easy to vote and hard to cheat!” said Fund, quoting Dodd. “We can do both at the same time!”

“This is America! We can make it easy to vote and hard to cheat! We can do both at the same time!” -John Fund, Wall Street Journal

Fund’s appearance was facilitated by Minnesota Majority and ProtectMyVote.com and took place at O’Gara’s Bar and Grill in St. Paul. Both organizations have been active in drafting legislation in Minnesota and raising awareness of voter disenfranchisement due to voter fraud. A full video of Fund’s remarks is available here.

Minnesota Majority Chairman Dan McGrath, introduced the key note speaker. McGrath helped write legislation requiring voter identification at the polls. A ballot question setting forth a constitutional amendment to require voter ID at the polls will be voted on by the electorate in November’s general election.

Dan McGrath, Minnesota Majority. – photo by Jeremy Griffith

“My grandmother is 92-years old, she has photo ID,” McGrath said, explaining his rational for support of ballot question. “She needs it to see her doctor and pick up her prescriptions. The idea (of the opposition) that senior citizens won’t be able to vote is nonsense.”

“‘It’s going to eliminate same day registration’, they say,” said McGrath said, quoting opposition to the amendment. “Absolute nonsense. Nothing in the amendment calls for that, nothing in statue implies that is going to happen. It’s a desperate lie and nothing more!”

Since the 2008 election, McGrath has almost single-handedly bird-dogged the Voter ID fraud issue, resulting in the placement of the ballot initiative on the ballot and the conviction of over 200 cases of voter fraud.

McGrath and Minnesota Majority won a major victory early this month when the Supreme Court decided that the Secretary of State Mark Ritchie does not have the authority to change the title of ballot questions as they appear on the ballot when the legislature has already decided on a name. Ritchie, along with Attorney General Lori Swanson, who both oppose the Voter ID amendment, approved the name change of two ballot initiatives, the Voter ID amendment question and the Traditional Marriage Amendment. The Supreme Court’s decision chastises state officials for changing the title of the amendments and restores the original titles as they will appear on the amendment.

According to McGrath, a lot of work is needed to raise awareness about the Voter ID Amendment ballot question to inform voters and dispel myths from the opposition.

“We need to spend some money getting this message out there, refuting those lies, using logic and reason to explain how the amendment works and what it doesn’t do,” said McGrath.

“We need to spend some money getting this message out there, refuting those lies, using logic and reason to explain how the amendment works and what it doesn’t do,” -Dan McGrath, Minnesota Majority.

Legislation to require voter ID at the polls was vetoed earlier by Governor Mark Dayton. A constitutional amendment has the power to overcome a governor’s veto. Constitutional amendments like the Voter ID and Marriage Amendments require a majority of voters to pass, and a abstention from voting equals a no vote according to Minnesota Statues.

The League of Women Voters is one of nearly 80 organizations who oppose the Voter ID ballot question, saying it will disenfranchise the poor, the elderly and military voters serving overseas.

ProtectMyVote.com staff hand out campaign signs at an event in St. Paul. John Fund of WSJ spoke in favor of a voter ID amendment in Minnesota. – photo by Jeremy Griffith

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Tea Party Patriots Get Education on Voter ID Ballot Amendment

Voter ID Amendment Information Meeting from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

Earlier we wrote about the constitutional amendment ballot initiative that will require all Minnesotans to carry valid photo ID at the polls. On Thursday, two knowledgeable advocates of the ballot initiative spoke to a group of Tea Party Patriots at Rochester’s Godfather’s Pizza to educate them on the latest news about the amendment and to dispel rumors.

John Rouleau of St. Paul is a political activist and field director of ProtectMyVote.com. His message is to not believe the hype that the law will disenfranchise voters who can’t afford an ID, the elderly, shut ins, the military serving overseas, college students and the like.

“I got my ID in college” said Rouleau. “I’m kind of insulted that they think that I’m not smart enough to do that! “

Rouleau points out that the military voting laws cover absentee balloting for servicemen and women overseas and that the law when enected by the legislature will include provisional balloting and free photo ID for those who cannot get it any other way.

State Senator Mike Parry-R was on hand at the meeting and spoke to voters on issues currently facing the ballot initiative. He intends to call key government officials into committee hearings Friday to hear why they oppose the ballot initiative properly voted on in the legislature and why they won’t let it go to the people for a vote, campaigning against it with tax-payer dollars. One of the members Parry intends to call before committee is State Secretary of State Mark Ritchie-DFL who has opposed the measure from the beginning and has recently changed the name of the ballot question, which Parry believes is outside his authority.

“Our whole purpose in my committee meeting tomorrow is to show a pattern of (Ritchie) using taxpayer dollars to actually campaign against not only the Voter ID Law but the marriage amendment,” said Parry.

It is likely the Secretary of State will not show, but send a representative, Parry said, in which case, his committee has subpoena power, he said.

Ritchie has said from the beginning that there is no voter fraud in Minnesota, while Rouleau cites statistics saying that Minnesota leads the nation in the number of voter fraud convictions. Information and a history of the ballot initiative is available at the Minnesota Majority website and at ProtectMyVote.com.

A recent poll conducted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune shows that the majority of Minnesota residents across the spectrum are in favor of some sort of photo ID requirement at the polls. Below you can see an infographic showing the numbers in that poll.

 
The Star Tribune’s Scott Newman writes Wednesday that the rewording of the ballot initiative by Ritchie is “out of bounds”.

The ballot question comes up for a vote in the November election. An abstention from voting equals a no vote according to constitutional amendment rules in Minnesota.

 

 

 

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Star Tribune Poll in Favor of Voter ID dated May 2011

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Fort Snelling Celebrates Independence Day

Fort Snelling Independence Day Celebration 2012 from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

by Jeremy Griffith

Fireworks? Parade? Child’s play! What about real cannons, revolutionary war soldiers in full gear, fifers, drummers and actors in historical period clothing? All of the above were to be found at historic Fort Snelling, near St. Paul Minnesota, July 4th for their annual Independence Day Festival.

The annual event took place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. amidst blistering Minnesota summer heat. But that didn’t deter the hundreds who turned out to see the re-enactors and volunteers from interpreting holiday celebrations old school.

The highlight of the day was a mock battle of the War of 1812, re-enacted by platoons of British and American interpreters in full uniform, complete with cannon, muskets with bayonets, and their colorful blue and red woolen uniforms with shiny brass buttons.

Six pounder cannons shot salutes to the Army of the United States, the President, and the Republic, their roar and smoke awing the crowd. Female volunteers showed how camp followers, wives and girlfriends, kept the camp going by doing the important work of laundry, cooking and other day to day activities that made camp life bearable.

Visitors got a chance to see the historic fort as it would have looked back when it was built in the early 1820s. Although all but one of the historic buildings is gone, the exception being Colonel Snelling’s own home, the buildings and tower that stand on the site today are built over the original foundations to the specifications of the original fort.

Located on the apex of a high cliff overlooking the intersection of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, the Fort occupied an important strategic landmark where the garrison could maintain control of the important water way, the only major transportation hub in a sea of deserted prairie land.

From this position, soldiers garrisoned at the fort played important roles in history: the Civil War, the U.S. – Dakota War, the all important Fur Trade and the shameful and painful history of American Slavery, World War I and II.

Interpreters at the fort help visitors learn about this vibrant past, both good and bad and give perspective to rural life in the young territory. Young and old come to learn and appreciate their history.

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Minnesotans Will Decide Voter ID Question in November Election

Minnesota Rep. Mike Benson and Sen. Carla Nelson talk to voters in Rochester following 2012 Legislative session. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Minnesotans will soon have to choose whether or not to require photo ID at the polls. The state legislature placed a constitutional ballot amendment question on November’s ballot after Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a voter ID bill last year.

The amendment question is a yes or no question asking voters whether or not they want the constitution of Minnesota to require voters to present valid state photo ID when they vote. Proponents say the bill will cut down on willful voter fraud in the future, while opponents say it will disenfranchise certain voters who are unable to get photo ID, such as shut ins, nursing home residents, and overseas residents.

Recent polls indicate most Minnesotans favor a voter ID law.

Rep. Mike Benson, a primary architect of the bill, says it will empower voters because so much of what we do on a day to day basis requires an ID and points out that those seeking government services require a photo ID in any case.

“Voter fraud is so difficult to detect and it is cost prohibitive to prosecute,” said Benson. “It’s not a priority for local county attorneys with the other crimes they have to deal with. This measure will help to detect potential voter fraud before it happens.”

Rep. Mike Benson comments on Voter ID Constitutional Amendment Question. Video by Jeremy Griffith

Sen. Carla Nelson explained that voters who show up to the polls can still vote through a provisional ballot system. The bill will do away with vouching, but will not eliminate same day registration, she said.

“This bill, let’s be clear, will do away with the practice of vouching,” said Nelson. “It will not eliminate election day registration. And those who cannot afford photo ID, the government will provide one for them.”

Sen. Carla Nelson Comments on Voter ID Constitutional Amendment Question. Video by Jeremy Griffith

Dan McGraff, executive director of Minnesota Majority, had a lot of input into how the bill was presented to the legislature. His organization found irregularities after the heavily contested election of 2008. According to statistics he found from the State Secretary of State’s office, over 23,000 postal verification cards sent to verify the new same day voter registrations came back because they were unable to find a valid address or a person at the address that met with the description of the person registered. Since the 2008 election over 400 people have been identified as having voted illegally and 113 have been convicted, he said.

The 2008 election was the year when Al Franken-DFL narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Norm Coleman for the US Senate seat. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, with statistics from the Minnesota Canvassing Board, shows how close the election was before and after legal challenges and a six week recount process.

Opponents of the ballot question say that voter fraud is actually well below one percent of the 2.9 million who voted in the 2008 election, and that the amendment would further disenfranchise voters who would otherwise not be able to get a valid photo ID.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are currently over 30 states that have some kind of voter ID law on the books today.

You can hear debate for and against the proposed amendment at the Minnesota State Legislature’s website here.

The language of the final amendment questions can be seen here.

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Voter ID Requirements by State as of May 2012


The above infographic is a national representation of the Status of Voter ID Laws by state as of May 2012. It is based statistics from the National Conference of Legislatures. Original infographic by Jeremy Griffith.

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