Ritchie jabs, Kiffmeyer ducks


DFL secretary of state candidate Mark Ritchie today appeared at another in what’s become a long series of press conferences designed to help incumbent Mary Kiffmeyer run her office more effectively. Today’s lesson: When the Legislature passes a law, please be sure to not only implement it, but maybe even let people know what the law says.

At issue is a law that allows a new voter registration option for people in residential care facilities that allows staff in those facilities to vouch for unregistered voters living there. To do so, however, a list of the facility’s staff must be submitted to appropriate election authorities at least 20 days prior to the election.

True to form, Kiffmeyer has published information about the new law allowing the staff to vouch for residents, but she has neglected to include details involving the deadline, arguing that the law does not require her do so.

“This is an unacceptable answer,” Ritchie said in a statement. “Roughly 65,000 Minnesotans live in residential facilities, approximately the same number of people that live in St. Cloud. If all of St. Cloud’s citizens weren’t given the information they needed to vote, we would be outraged.”

So, in another example of Ritchie doing Kiffmeyer’s job, his campaign has faxed a letter alerting some 1,500 residential care facilities to the October 17 deadline.

Meanwhile, Kiffmeyer yesterday did some faxing of her own, alerting news organizations that she’d been endorsed by perennial candidate Dick Franson, who lost to Ritchie in the DFL primary. Kiffmeyer called Franson a “great American” and noted that he received some 75,000 votes in the primary. “I’m humbled and thrilled to receive his support,” she added. “His endorsement really means a lot more than words—I look forward to him joining me on the campaign trail during the upcoming weeks.”

Well, campaigning is one area in which Franson has experience, given that he runs for office every year. His performance on the campaign trail, however, has not been particularly inspiring. He last won election in 1963.