Bly, Dudley accused of campaign law violations; much ado about nothing?

Election 2012

What’s up with these accusations?

Nfld News: Minnesota House candidate accused of violating state law

One word on David Bly’s campaign signs could lead to the Democrat for District 20B being fined by the state. Bly was elected to serve as representative for District 25B in 2006 and served in that capacity from 2007 to 2010, when he was defeated by Rep. Kelby Woodard. Now the DFLer is campaigning for the newly created District 20B, but is allegedly using the same signs as he did in 2010.

Those signs say “Re-elect David Bly,” and have been placed in lawns across the district for months now, according to a complaint filed Monday with the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings. The problem? Bly isn’t the incumbent in the race and state law restricts candidates from using the term “re-elect” in a campaign unless they are the sitting official.

Nfld Patch: GOP’s Dudley Accused of Violating State Law

District 20 Republican Senate candidate Mike Dudley will be before a panel of judges on Wednesday defending himself in a case that accuses him of violating state law because of some of his campaign literature.

Thomas A. Rees of New Market Township filed the complaint in August. Rees believes Dudley violated state law when he didn’t include a disclaimer on campaign material stating who paid for the material, according to the complaint filed with the Minnesota Office of Administrative hearings.

Links:

David Bly campaign

Michael Dudley campaign

4 comments to  (Including One Discussion Thread)Bly, Dudley accused of campaign law violations; much ado about nothing?

  • 1

    I actually noticed the “re-elect” and thought, “wait, what? Oh, well, I guess.” I stumbled a bit on it, but it seems weird to restrict “re-elect” only to the current seat-holder. Incumbents already have a big advantage, and they’re demarcated on the ballot.

  • 2
    Griff Wigley says:

    The Nfld News article has been updated to include this:

    An administrative law judge has found probable cause in the complaint accusing David Bly, a Democrat running for District 20B, of violating state law by using the word “re-elect” when he isn’t the incumbent.

    James LaFave, a judge with the state Office of Administrative Hearings, issued the order on Tuesday, less than a week after a probable cause hearing was held by telephone. The complaint will now be referred to the chief administrative law judge for assignment to a panel of three administrative law judges for an evidentiary hearing.

    According to the order, Bly admitted at the hearing that campaign signs using the term “re-elect” were posted in the district, adding that he did not know the use of the term was improper. Bly reportedly asked LaFave to dismiss the complaint as the violation, he said, was unintentional and therefore not a violation of law.

    • 2.1
      john george says:

      What is that old term, ignorance of the law is no defense? Actually, I can understand Mr Bly’s dilemma. It seems so complicated anymore to get anything done that I admire anyone who is willing to wade through all the regulations to run for a public office, whether I agree with their politics or not.

  • 3
    Griff Wigley says:

    Nfld Patch yesterday: Senate Candidate Dudley Fined $100 for Campaign Violation

    A three-judge panel on Monday fined Senate District 20 Republican candidate Mike Dudley $100 for violating state law during his campaign. Thomas A. Rees, a former Minnesota Republican legislator, of New Market Township filed the complaint in August. Rees said Dudley violated state law when he didn’t include a disclaimer on campaign material stating who paid for the material, according to the complaint filed with the Minnesota Office of Administrative hearings.

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