Ritchie's dealing with amendment questionedST. PAUL — Republicans say Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie may be breaking state campaign laws by speaking out against a proposed constitutional amendment to be on Minnesotans’ ballots Nov. 6.
By: Don Davis, Worthington Daily Globe
ST. PAUL — Republicans say Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie may be breaking state campaign laws by speaking out against a proposed constitutional amendment to be on Minnesotans’ ballots Nov. 6.
Sen. Mike Parry said he is considering taking Ritchie to court or issuing a legislative subpoena requiring the secretary to testify. The senator even said Ritchie could be recalled.
Parry, a Waseca Republican and candidate for U.S. House in southern Minnesota, called a Friday meeting of his Senate state government committee on the issue, but Ritchie and Attorney General Lori Swanson rejected his invitation to testify.
The senator and other Republicans said Ritchie is telling Minnesotans things about a proposed amendment to require voters to produce photo identification that are not true. Parry also said he thinks Ritchie’s actions amount to campaigning on state time.
Ritchie has refused to comment on the issue since three constitutional amendment questions landed in front of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Parry said he will decide “within days” his next steps against Ritchie.
Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, said he was disappointed Ritchie did not appear at Friday’s committing meeting because he wants to know more about what Ritchie and his staff are saying about the photo ID amendment.
In speaking out against the amendment, Newman wondered, “is it a violation of his oath of office?” He also wants answers to find out if the state should fund Ritchie’s travel when he is discussing the legislative-approve amendment proposal.
Ritchie is trying to influence voters, said Newman, Senate sponsor of the photo ID proposal. “That is not his job.”