When we left Monty Jensen, it was Friday, October 29. He’d just seen a scene that disturbed him; supervisors from a Brainerd-area group home voting for their charges who, while they had the legal right to vote, didn’t seem to have much idea where they were or what they were doing (which, if I were much less sober and reflective than I am these days, I would say “makes them a perfect DFL constituency”. But I am more sober and reflective these days).
Jensen chewed on what he’d seen overnight – and then took a shot in the dark.
“I called George Burton”, he says, referring to the Constitution Party candidate for Jim Oberstar’s seat. Burton got Jensen in touch with the Minnesota Freedom Council, one of a small network of grassroots groups that is scrutinizing Minnesota’s election system.
Acting on their advice, Jensen started to work. “About 10:30 Saturday morning (October 30), I looked up Don Ryan, the Crow Wing County attorney, in the phone book. I tried him a couple of times, with no answer. ”
“Then I tried Ron Kaus, at the Minnesota Freedom Council. I’d never heard of him in my life. I spoke with him – and he got right on it. They wanted all the information – and he asked me to meet at the courthouse and tell him how everything went down. When we got there, he asked me if he could record the conversation. We didn’t talk for five minutes before the recording started; I told my story”.
Here’s the story, for those who missed it the first time:
Here’s part I of the video…:
…along with Part II…:
…and Part III.
Jensen recalls “We went through and did the video. I was kinda on the hot seat. And from there, we started trying to do the investigation”. He got some advice from Kaus; “If you want this investigated, you need to do it as an affadavit; the complaint form will just get filed away”.
So Jensen spent the weekend writing the complaint. On Monday morning, he was ready to turn it in.
“On Monday morning, I brought four copies in. The auditor notarized them, and kept one”. Then, Jensen went to the County Attorney’s office. “Being that it was Monday before election day…I handed it to him personally. He said he didn’t know what he could do with the election the next day, so all the votes would count. But he said they’d follow up with the investigation.”
Later on, Jensen said the County Attorney’s office called to say the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s office had assigned an investigator. On Thursday, November 4 – two days after the election – Jensen met with that investigator for about 90 minutes. “He stated that they’d been speaking with certain group homes, had a list of ballots turned in during the time frame, and had everything to back up the story”.
And that, for the most part, was the last Monty Jensen has heard from Crow Wing County.
Toward the end of our conversation, Jensen reflected. “The other day, I was talking with my girlfriend. I asked “Am I crazy, or is something going on here?”
We’ll get the girlfriend’s answer straight from her, later this week.