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Third District dust-up is a sign of the electoral times

  • September 28, 2008 - 12:43 AM

A representative of Erik Paulsen's Third District congressional campaign was calling for a personal apology Saturday after a volunteer for his opponent was caught, on video, removing signs from a roadside in Maple Grove.

"Bottom line is, it's outrageous," said Stacey Johnson, Paulsen's communications director, who noted that Ashwin Madia's campaign issued an apology by press release. "This isn't Minnesota Nice; this is Minnesota mean."

In reply to a media query, Madia campaign manager Stuart Rosenberg issued a statement that apologizes for the incident and says that staffers have been reminded not to touch Paulsen signs.

Madia and Paulsen are vying for the Third District seat long held by Republican Jim Ramstad, who is retiring.

Michael Brodkorb, a part-time consultant for the Paulsen campaign, wrote on his blog that he was meeting a Paulsen staffer at a Maple Grove Perkins restaurant Thursday evening. By chance, they saw a woman removing the signs. As she walked toward them carrying the signs, Brodkorb retrieved a video camera from his car. The resulting video of the woman, who turns out to be the wife of Madia communications director Dan Pollock, was posted Friday on Brodkorb's blog, Minnesota Democrats Exposed.

The woman in the video, which was subsequently picked up by local television stations, responds to Brodkorb's confrontation by noting that the signs were illegally placed on the public right of way. No charges were filed because the signs were returned to the Paulsen campaign.

Johnson said she didn't know who placed the signs.

MARIA ELENA BACA

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