Democrats urge Republicans to ‘repent of their foolish statements’

Democratic representatives filed a complaint against Republican lawmakers who think Minnesota's election was unlawful, calling for them "to apologize in the total fullness of the knowledge of their graceless lack of honesty, comity, and wisdom."

Left: Rep. Tim Miller. Right: Rep. Eric Lucero / Minnesota House of Representatives

House Democrats recently filed a complaint against their Republican colleagues who raised concerns about changes to Minnesota’s election laws, urging them to “repent of their foolish statements.”

Concerns about the complaint were brought up by Republicans during a Thursday House session.

In December, a group of Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to ask that he include Minnesota in the list of states he was filing lawsuits against for “unconstitutional changes to 2020 election laws.”

Part of the letter said, “We believe the Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon knowingly and deliberately conducted an illegal election by virtue of his manipulation of the law.”

“As legislators, we were dismissed and our authority was overruled by an individual that was not interested in following the law,” the letter continued.

Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, brought the matter to the House session Thursday, stating that the Democratic representatives “misused” the Journal of the House by putting their complaint there. Miller was one of 15 Republican lawmakers who sent the letter to Paxton.

The complaint reads, in part, that eight members registered their “protest and dissent” against the Republicans who sent the letter because of their “endorsement of a seditious, unfounded, and divisive lawsuit brought by the State of Texas in a vain attempt to nullify the fair, lawful, and appropriate election of President-elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.”

Miller said the group who sent the letter took the matter into their own hands because Minnesota’s attorney general would not request any action be taken against the state for changes to 2020 election laws.

During the House session, Miller pointed out that no one came directly to him or any other lawmaker to question why they sent the letter, but instead “decided to place into Minnesota law their disgust” by submitting their complaint to the House journal.

The complaint also states, “We urge these members and their supporters to repent of their foolish statements, acquaint themselves with the basic facts of fair elections, and to apologize in the total fullness of the knowledge of their graceless lack of honesty, comity, and wisdom.”

“I think there are people in this chamber who disgrace our office all the time. Do we really want to do this day after day, wasting this time with this body in the clerk’s office by bickering back and forth?” Miller asked. He also made note of the fact that the House journal is the history and law of the state of Minnesota.

Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, shared his equal concerns and gave background on the letter sent to Paxton, citing constitutional law and the secretary of state’s failure to uphold the law.

Lucero, after being interrupted multiple times by House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, called the entry into the House journal a “frivolous action of a complaint that does nothing but maybe give you some warm fuzzies.”

Republican Reps. Steve Drazkowski, Glenn Gruenhagen, and Mary Franson also articulated their opinions against the complaint. According to Drazkowski, the entry was “abusive” of the journal.

The Republican lawmakers who sent the letter were Reps. Drazkowski, Miller, Lucero, Gruenhagen, Franson, Jeremy Munson, Cal Bahr, and Shane Mekeland.

The representatives who registered their complaint in the House journal were Reps. Rick Hansen, Jamie Becker-Finn, Fue Lee, Sydney Jordan, Tina Liebling, Peter Fischer, Jennifer Schultz, and Ruth Richardson.

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