Re-posted/excerpted from Steve Jecha’s blog: http://stevejechaforparks.blogspot.com/
(Steve is a candidate for District 6 Park Commissioner. That district had four candidates and Brad Bourn received 48% of first-choice votes. Here is a summary of total (1st, 2nd, and 3rd-choice) votes each candidate received.
Brad Bourn 5,398
Meg Forney 5,387
Steve Jecha 2,624
Geneva Hanvik 1,342
We show this simply to illustrate that it is a close race.)
Brad Bourn sent out a post card in the final few days of the election which declares prominently that he is endorsed by both Senator Dibble and House Rep Hornstein. HE WASN'T.
Chapter 578 of the campaign laws regarding fair practices states:Sec. 2. [211B.02] [FALSE CLAIM OF SUPPORT.] A person or candidate may not knowingly make, directly or indirectly, a false claim stating or implying that a candidate or ballot question has the support or endorsement of a major political party or party unit or of an organization. A person or candidate may not state in written campaign material that the candidate or ballot question has the support or endorsement of an individual without first getting written permission from the individual to do so.So, note the second sentence. This does not bode well for candidate Bourn as he admittedly (on his website) has stated his wrongdoing. So, what are the consequences (I am not a law expert...so you have been warned!) of making a "False Claim of Support"? If I read the campaign laws correctly, this is a misdemeanor - with the potential of 90 days in jail or a fine of $1,000. No one wishes this on anyone.
Sec. 17. [211B.17] [FORFEITURE OF NOMINATION OR OFFICE; CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE NOT FORFEITED.] Subdivision 1. [FORFEITURE OF NOMINATION OR OFFICE.] Except as provided in subdivision 2, if a candidate is found guilty of violating this chapter or an offense was committed by another individual with the knowledge, consent, or connivance of the candidate, the court, after entering the adjudication of guilty, shall enter a supplemental judgment declaring that the candidate has forfeited the nomination or office. If the court enters the supplemental judgment, it shall transmit to the filing officer a transcript of the supplemental judgment, the nomination or office becomes vacant, and the vacancy must be filled as provided by law. Bourn's only out is to claim under subdivision 2 that this was a "trivial" error (kind of hard in a high DFL voting area and postcards may have went to all "likely" voters in the 11th hour of the election), or, it was an "accident" (ummm...yeah, the typesetter at the printhouse changed the postcard after we gave final approval to run).
From Brad Bourn’s Facebook page
“Brad Bourn for Minneapolis Park Commissioner District 6: A recent mailer sent out from my campaign included a mistake. Please visit bradbournforparks.org for the correction. Thanks and good luck to us all on Tuesday! Only a few more days!”
November 1 at 4:43 pm
From Brad Bourn’s website (in tiny print at the bottom)
“Important Update: 11-1-09
Many of you may have received or will be receiving a mailer from my campaign. There was a mistake on this mailer that was not noticed before it went to the printer. The mailer listed State Senator Scott Dibble and State Representative Frank Hornstein as endorsing my candidacy. Sen. Dibble and Rep. Hornstein have not officially made an endorsement in this election. I have tremendous respect for Sen. Dibble and Rep. Hornstein and share many of the same values they advocate for at the state level. I accept responsibility for the error in the mailer and apologize for any confusion this may have caused. Our campaign noticed this error and brought it to the immediate attention of Sen. Dibble, Rep. Hornstein, and my opponent. My opponent made a similar mistake a few weeks ago in a screening with the Star Tribune and was quick to clear up her mistake as well.
We are running a very positive, issue focused, campaign. We will continue to advocate for the values so many of us share. I am proud to be your DFL, Labor, and Sierra Club endorsed candidate for our independent Park Board, District 6.
Thank you for your continued support and good luck to us all!”
From Brad Bourn’s website (in normal-size print at the top):
“I'm for transparency and increased citizen input.”
Our advice to Brad Bourn: This is the first test of your ethics. There are only two potential options. Forfeit your office to the next-highest vote getter, or ask for a repeat election with voters knowing the truth.