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Campaign board drops complaint against Ritchie

Posted by: Jim Ragsdale under Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans Updated: October 29, 2012 - 3:59 PM

A complaint by two Republican senators against DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will not be investigated by the state's Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

The substance of the complaint, which concerns Ritchie's public opposition to a proposed photo ID constitutional amendment, is still pending before an Administrative Law Judge.

Sens. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, and Mike Parry, R-Waseca, accused Ritchie of using his office to defeat the photo ID amendment, which Ritchie believes would hurt the state's election system. Newman sponsored the photo ID amendment, and Parry is a supporter.

The proposed amendment is to go before voters on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

A letter from Gary Goldsmith, executive director of the board, to the senators' attorney said, "I have determined that your complaint is insufficient to require an investigation."

Ritchie said he is"very pleased to have the dismissal ... we are focused here on the upcoming elections. We've got 3 million customers coming though the door in about a week, and that's our total focus."

Fritz Knaak, who represents the senators, said he expects to file an amended complaint to have the board reconsider its decision. In addition, he said, the issue is being investigated by the Legislative Auditor.








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