I’ve never liked Mark Ritchie much.
Minnesota’s Secretary of State, swept into office last November by the anti-Republican trend of the day over the vastly more-competent Mary Kiffmeyer, came to office on a platform of empowering the indifferent and the illegal. He’s a sloganeering stealth party hack who is dedicated to bringing masses of uninformed, disinterested people (and, apparently, suggestible ones) to the polls, as I wrote last year. He’s a leading figure in the trivialization – read “devaluation” – of the franchise in Minnesota.
It’s also a little bit personal. A little bird told me that Ritchie ordered the removal of the state “painting” (actually a hand-colored photograph) of “Grace”, by Eric Enstrom – a photo in whose genesis my grandmother was closely involved) from the Secretary of State’s office, presumably to be replaced by a photo of Mao leading the Long March. Suffice to say that Secretary Ritchie might wanna ensure he was alternate backup if plans to walk in front of any buses.
But today, it’s all business. Nothing personal.
Allegations have surfaced that Secretary Ritchie has used his office improperly:
I have received the letter sent to Jim Nobles, the Legislative Auditor for the State of Minnesota, earlier this morning requesting that he investigate how contact information provided at an official meeting of Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s office ended up being used by Ritchie’s campaign to solicit campaign contributions.
The letter, signed by two attendees of the April 2nd meeting organized by Ritchie’s official office at taxpayer expense, call Ritchie’s actions “an abuse of his position as the chief elections officer”:
“On October 22, 2007 we each received a campaign email from Mark Ritchie that included a solicitation for campaign contributions. It is our belief that Mr. Ritchie used his capacity as Secretary of State to collect information from prospective donors and transfered that information to his campaign. We believe that this is an unwarranted use of government resources and an abuse of his position as the chief elections officer.” Source: Giga and Tomczak letter to Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles, October 29, 2007
Click here to read entire letter sent to Mr. Nobles.
Jim Nobles – the state’s legislative auditor – is known as a person of scrupulous integrity; his office is no partisan hacketeria.
Stay tuned to MDE for the latest.