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Friday, December 03, 2004

Republican hypocrites? No way!

House Republicans are all up in arms about donations House Minority Leader Matt Entenza made to various groups before the election. They are threatening to refuse to seat the newly-elected members of the legislature next month.

Can they do this? I checked the state constitution, and Article IV, section six, and it says "Senators and representatives shall be qualified voters of the state, and shall have resided one year in the state and six months immediately preceding the election in the district from which elected. Each house shall be the judge of the election returns and eligibility of its own members. The legislature shall prescribe by law the manner for taking evidence in cases of contested seats in either house." I'm no lawyer, but to me that looks like elected representatives can only be contested on the grounds of whether they are qualified or not. They can't be denied simply because Republicans are in a snit.

So what if Rep. Entenza made those donations? I'm not thrilled with campaign finance rules in this country, but these donations appear to be legal. Both Democrats and Republicans take every advantage of the laws afforded them. This is no different. The real crime in this case appears to be the face that Republicans didn't think of this first.


At 12:43 AM, December 05, 2004, Blogger R-Five said...

First, hello! Always nice to find a new blog about MN and local issues.

I agree that the GOP is overreacting, but Mr. Entenza isn't helping his own cause by not fully disclosing sooner.

This is one of several examples among both parties that "campaign finance reform" will not work, and besides, it's unconstitutional in my book. Even Newt Gingrich had this right 10 years ago: full, immediate disclosure of contributions.


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