By: Trevor Loudon
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie may be involved in a serious, but so far unreported, conflict of interest.
One of Ritchie’s responsibilities is to supervise the re-count of very closely contested state elections. With the power to decide which ballots may be counted as valid, Ritchie effectively has the power to decide the outcome of closely fought races.
This drew national attention in early 2009, when Ritchie handed a critical U.S. Senate seat to Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (the Minnesota affiliate of the Democratic Party) candidate and former comedian Al Franken, though Republican Norm Coleman had been ahead on election night.
Now Ritchie is set to supervise another tight re-count, a two-way race for the Minnesota governorship. The leading contender in this race is another far left Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (D.F.L.) member, far left former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton.
Yet while adjudicating the outcome of their races, Mark Ritchie serves on the advisory committee of a far left, D.F.L./Democratic Party/socialist affiliated organization with both Franken and Dayton.
Mark Ritchie, Al Franken and Mark Dayton are listed as members of the Wellstone Action Advisory Committee, as are several leftist heavy hitters including:
- Julian Bond – A former president of the NAACP, Democratic Party activist and long time member of the Marxist leaning Democratic Socialists of America.
- Heather Booth – A leading Democratic Party activist and Democratic Socialists of America supporter.
- Robert Borosage – A trustee of the far-left Institute for Policy Studies.
- Peter Edelman – A leading Democratic Party activist and Democratic Socialists of America supporter.
- Keith Ellison – A Democratic Minnesota congressman and member of the Democratic Socialists of America/Institute for Policy Studies founded Congressional Progressive Caucus.
- Russ Feingold – A recently defeated Wisconsin Democratic Senator.
- Frances Fox Piven – A Democratic Socialists of America member and Institute for Policy Studies affiliate. Piven was an endorser of Progressives for Obama and an initiator of the famous Cloward-Piven Strategy which aimed to bring about socialism through deliberately overloading and bankrupting state welfare systems.
- Tom Harkin – A far left Institute for Policy Studies affiliated Democratic Senator from Iowa.
- Jim Hightower – A “progressive” activist and Progressives for Obama endorser.
- Gerald McEntee – President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union and a Democratic Socialists of America supporter.
- Walter Mondale – A former Democratic presidential candidate from Minnesota.
- Antonio Villaraigosa – The far left Democratic mayor of Los Angeles and a former member of the Obama Transition Team.
That so many Democratic Socialists of America aligned radicals should be supporting the Wellstone agenda is no surprise.
In 1990, D.S.A.’s Democratic Left, November/December issue, page 5 stated:
Twin cities DSA in Minnesota continues its resurgence with ongoing support of Paul Wellstone’s campaign for the Senate seat currently held by Republican Rudy Boschwitz. Local activists are doing literature drops and helping to raise money for this watershed campaign… As a professor at Carlton College, Wellstone has mentored many DSA Youth Section activists… Contributions, made out to Wellstone for U.S. Senate, can be sent to the DSA national Office and will be forwarded to the campaign.
Mark Ritchie is clearly involved in an organization that is clearly pro-D.F.L./Democratic Party and is heavily influenced by D.S.A. and the Institute for Policy studies aligned socialists.
Mark Ritchie, campaigning 2008
The fact that Mark Ritchie helped put one fellow Wellstone Action Advisory Committee member Al Franken into the US Senate and may soon put another, Mark Dayton, into the Minnesota Governor’s mansion, should be ringing alarm bells all over the state.
Why is a man, with such close connections to two prominent candidates being entrusted with overseeing their electoral re-counts?
Talk about the fox guarding the chicken coop.