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MN House members issue complaint about GOPers who tried to reject election result

Eight DFLers call their colleagues' actions "reprehensible."
The Minnesota House of Representatives' chamber in the Minnesota State Capitol.

The Minnesota House of Representatives' chamber in the Minnesota State Capitol.

Several Minnesota Democrats are calling out their Republican colleagues who sought to add Minnesota to a lawsuit aimed at rejecting the 2020 election results in four states, saying their actions were "reprehensible."

Bluestem Prairie first reported the action eight DFLers took Tuesday to register their protest and dissent in Tuesday's Journal of the House

In December, eight Minnesota representatives and seven Minnesota senators sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton urging him to include Minnesota Secretary of State Steven Simon in the lawsuit that challenged election results – and President-elect Joe Biden's victory – in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The 15 lawmakers (they were also on the 2020 ballot) who signed the letter are: 

  • Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa.
  • Rep. Jeremy Munson, R-Lake Crystal.
  • Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg.
  • Rep. Cal Bahr, R-East Bethel.
  • Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton.
  • Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria.
  • Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe.
  • Rep. Shane Mekeland, R-Clear Lake.
  • Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake.
  • Sen. Mike Goggin, R-Red Wing.
  • Sen. Andrew Mathews, R-Princeton.
  • Sen. Mark Koran, R-North Branch.
  • Sen. Bill Weber, R-Luverne.
  • Sen. John Jasinski, R-Faribault.
  • Sen. Rich Draheim, R-Madison Lake.

This is the same lawsuit Minnesota's GOP Congressional delegation signed an amicus brief supporting the claims.

The Texas lawsuit claimed the changes to mail-in and absentee voting in the four battleground states were unconstitutional as they weren't made by the state legislatures. 

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The Dec. 10 letter signed by some Minnesota Republican lawmakers argues this also happened in Minnesota, stating: "We believe that Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon knowingly and deliberately conducted an illegal election by virtue of his manipulation of the law. As legislators, we were dismissed and our authority was overruled by an individual that was not interested in following the law."

On Dec. 11, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the lawsuit, saying Texas did not have the standing to bring the case, the Texas Tribune reported. Minnesota was never included in the lawsuit. 

And now, members of the Minnesota House of Representatives are calling out the eight representatives who wanted Minnesota included in the lawsuit. 

According to the Journal of the House, the eight House members who registered their dissent are:

  • Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul.
  • Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville.
  • Rep. Fue Lee, DFL-Minneapolis.
  • Rep. Sydney Jordan, DFL-Minneapolis.
  • Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester.
  • Rep. Peter Fischer, DLF-Maplewood.
  • Rep. Jennifer Schultz, DFL-Duluth
  • Rep. Ruth Richardson, DFL-Mendota Heights.  

They did this due to the letter signers' "endorsement of a seditious, unfounded and divisive lawsuit ... in a vain attempt to nullify the fair, lawful and appropriate election of President-elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris."

The DFLers say the letter "impugned both the State of Minnesota and its duly elected Secretary of State." 

The statement in the letter (quoted above in paragraph eight) was made "without evidence, was incorrect either as a statement of fact or of law, and brought dishonor upon the members who made this statement," the protest and dissent states. 

"The 2020 election in Minnesota was conducted with the highest probity, skill, and accuracy. This is a statement of fact. To deny this statement is itself a moment of dishonor in the career of these elected officials," it adds.

The DFLers' protest and dissent called the Republican's behavior "reprehensible" and said their endorsement of the lawsuit was a "sad and divisive moment that was harmful to the sound workings of the American polity."

They add:

"We urge these members and their supporters to repent of their foolish statements, acquaint themselves with the basic facts of fair elections, and to apologize in the total fullness of the knowledge of their graceless lack of honest, comity, and wisdom."

Protest and dissent is a constitutional provision that allows two or more members to take exception to an action of either body and have their exception printed in the Journal of the House or Senate, which is the official records of each chamber's actions on the floor, the state Legislative Manual explains.

Here's the language in the state Constitution in the section related to the Legislature: "Two or more members of either house may dissent and protest against any act or resolution which they think injurious to the public or to any individual and have the reason of their dissent entered in the journal."

There was no protest and dissent in the Journal of the Senate on Tuesday, which was the first day of the 92nd Minnesota Legislature

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