To My Neighbors-
A spectre is haunting the United States―as I write this, the most flagrant and egregious election fraud of our time is unfolding before us.
Late in October of 2019, Minnesota Secretary Of State Steve Simon began advertising to me that he would not count my vote for the party-chosen Presidential candidate of my liking, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, in Minnesota’s primary election. On December 13, 2019, I sued Secretary Simon to ensure that my primary election vote would be counted for Rocky. On January 9, 2020, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Rocky was not a candidate of the Republican Party Of Minnesota; only “Donald J. Trump” was. Therefore, the court reasoned, Secretary Simon must not count any vote that would otherwise advance Rocky’s nomination.
Under Secretary Simon’s threat to not count my vote, and with the knowledge that my state’s Supreme Court supports that threat, I cast my absentee ballot on February 18, 2020. Though I contemplated not participating in this election because my vote would not be counted (and I am quite certain other Minnesotans were deterred from voting as well), I wrote down what I believed to be Rocky’s name on my ballot. And I did so despite having absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of what I needed to do in order for my vote to be counted for Rocky. After the election concluded, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its opinion on March 18, 2020, explaining why it ordered Secretary Simon in January to not county my vote as being one for Rocky.
It may sound like I’m just venting my discontent for the Republican Party Of Minnesota “not choosing” Rocky as one of its candidates. But, the party did in fact chose Rocky as one of its candidates because, as we told the court, its Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan told Secretary Simon as much. How this fraud is being committed is apparent if you understand the mechanisms of the primary election and the underlying law laid out in the opinion of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
First, the mechanism. The Minnesota Presidential Nomination Primary election does not directly determine which candidate will be the nominee of each party. Instead, the March election binds the party to send delegates supportive of the voter-chosen candidate to that party’s national convention. Joining with others around the country, the delegates elected by Minnesotans participate in choosing which candidate will be the nominee of that party. That nominee later appears on my Minnesota general election ballot in November. In other words, the purpose of Minnesota’s Presidential Nomination Primary is for Minnesota voters, like me, to elect which delegates will be sent to each of the parties’ national conventions.
According to Minnesota Statutes section 207A.13, each party sending delegates to a national convention chooses the names that are to be placed on the primary ballots. In this case, the Republican Party Of Minnesota chose Rocky, President Trump, and Bill Weld. Next, that statute empowers the party’s chair to decide which names are to be placed by printing them on voters’ ballots, and which names are to be placed by being written-in. In this case, Chairwoman Carnahan decided on October 24, 2019, that Secretary Simon is to place Trump’s name on ballots by his printing them thereon, and on February 24, 2020, that Rocky and Weld are to be placed by voters writing them in.
With this general outline in mind, consider next the law laid out by the Minnesota Supreme Court. It recognized that:
“The United States Supreme Court has said that ‘the mechanism’ of primary elections ‘is the creature of state legislative choice,’ and thus is ‘state action’ for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment. Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134, 140, 92 S.Ct. 849, 31 L.Ed.2d 92 (1972) (internal quotation marks omitted).”De La Fuente v. Simon, 940 N.W.2d 477 at 492, fn.14 (Minn.2020).
This is important because the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment imposes, as the Minnesota Supreme Court points out, that:
“… states have ‘important regulatory interests’ in fair, honest, and orderly elections. See Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U.S. 780, 788 (1983).”De La Fuente v. Simon, 940 N.W.2d 477 at 493, fn.15 (Minn.2020).
This Equal Protection interest is required to be advanced by the state for a very specific reason. As the Minnesota Supreme Court explains:
“States cannot keep candidates ‘off the election ballot,’ effectively ‘den[ying them] an equal opportunity to win votes.’ Williams, 393 U.S. at 31. And the right to vote may be burdened unreasonably if candidate choice is restricted. See Lubin v. Panish, 415 U.S. 709, 716 (1974) (noting that the right to vote may be burdened if a vote ‘may be cast only for one of two candidates in a primary election at a time when other candidates are clamoring for a place on the ballot’).”De La Fuente v. Simon, 940 N.W.2d 477 at 494, fn.15 (Minn.2020).
In its opinion, the Minnesota Supreme Court contemplated the fairness, honesty, and orderly process by which candidates are given the opportunity to access the Minnesota Presidential Nomination Primary election ballot pursuant to Minnesota Statute section 207A.13. After analyzing the state’s interests, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided (importantly) that:
“… ‘when the State gives [a political] party a role in the election process,’ the party’s rights are ‘circumscribed’ and the State’s interest in ‘ensuring the fairness of the party’s nominating process’ is elevated. N.Y. State Bd. of Elections v. López Torres, 552 U.S. 196, 203, 128 S.Ct. 791, 169 L.Ed.2d 665 (2008). Having allowed the parties a role in determining which candidates have access to the ballot for the presidential nomination primary, nothing in section 207A.13 suggests that the State intends to ensure the fairness of that process.”De La Fuente v. Simon, 940 N.W.2d 477 at 495 (Minn.2020).
By the Minnesota Supreme Court’s own admission, my state’s Presidential Nomination Primary does not afford Equal Protection to Republican Party Of Minnesota candidates (like Rocky). In finding that Rocky was not a candidate of the Republican Party, it did not have to consider the violation of Equal Protection. This is because, under those false pretenses, I had no right to vote for a candidate the party did not choose because Rocky did “not have a constitutional right to be on this ballot” due to the fact that a “candidate’s claimed right to associate with an unwilling political party ‘is not a first amendment right’.”
This is how the violation of Equal Protection played out. After Secretary Simon advertised he will not count votes for Rocky, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its order and ballots were cast. Only then did Chairwoman Carnahan disclose the fact that Rocky was a candidate of the Republican Party Of Minnesota and how his name is to be placed on the ballot. She was allowed to do this because Minnesota Statutes section 207A.13 empowers her to conceal the fact that the Republican Party Of Minnesota chose Rocky as one of its candidates until after Secretary Simon advertised that he will not count votes for Rocky and a plurality of ballots (like mine) had already been cast. In other words, the Minnesota Supreme Court was mislead into falsely finding that Rocky was not a candidate of the Republican Party Of Minnesota because Chairwoman Carnahan exercised her statutorily granted power to conceal that fact. Additionally, this concealment mislead Secretary Simon to advertise to every Minnesota voter that he will not count ballots casts for Rocky as votes for Rocky’s delegates. Furthermore, this concealment prevented me (and voters like me) from having any knowledge whatsoever as to what I needed to do so that my vote for Rocky would advance the election of Rocky’s delegates.
In contrast, Chairwoman Carnahan did not conceal President Trump as a candidate of the Republican Party Of Minnesota. The Minnesota Supreme Court was not mislead in terms of Trump being a party-chosen candidate, and Secretary Simon advertised to Minnesota voters that he will count ballots casts for Trump as votes for Trump’s delegates. Furthermore, every single Minnesota voter knew what they needed to do in order for their vote to be counted for Trump’s delegates. Clearly, Chairwoman Carnahan fundamentally treated Rocky and his supporters (like me) differently and wholly unequally from Trump and his supporters in my state’s Presidential Nomination Primary election. Additionally, Rocky’s registered Republican supporters (like me) were unable to politically associate within the Republican Party Of Minnesota; a right that, as the Minnesota Supreme Court points out, is protected by the First Amendment:
“The right to associate with others in advancement of political viewpoints is protected by the First Amendment. See Williams v. Rhodes, 393 U.S. 23, 30 (1968); see also Democratic Party of the U.S. v. Wis. ex rel. La Follette, 450 U.S. 107, 121 (1981) (explaining that political parties have a constitutional right ‘to gather in association for the purpose of advancing shared beliefs’). The associational rights and interests of voters, candidates, and political parties are often intertwined. See, e.g., … Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134, 143 (1972) (explaining that ‘laws that affect candidates’ will have ‘some theoretical, correlative effect on voters’).”De La Fuente v. Simon, 940 N.W.2d 477 at 493 (Minn.2020).
Though it was well aware that Equal Protection must be afforded and found that our statutes do nothing to advance the requirement, the Minnesota Supreme Court chose to not consider these drastically different treatments permitted by statute in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
According to Merriam-Webster, fraud is the act of deceiving or misrepresenting. And, that is exactly what happened: the Minnesota Supreme Court and Secretary Simon were deceived into believing that Rocky was not a party-chosen candidate because Minnesota Statute section 207A.13 permit Chairwoman Carnahan to misrepresent that simple fact. This fraud has not only played out in Minnesota, but elsewhere across our nation in states with similar statutes. As we speak, delegates supportive of President Trump who were elected in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments are being sent to the Republican National Convention. Merriam-Webster defines frivolous as having no sound basis in fact or law. As many of these delegates sent to convention were fraudulently elected, so too is the frivolous nomination they procure.
I believe in the equal protection of the laws, the freedom to politically associate within a party, and the right to cast an effective vote for the party-chosen candidate of ones own liking. Neither Rocky nor I were afforded these fundamental protections. And, I believe in protecting the electorate of Minnesota from the continuation of this fraud; especially considering the existence of mechanisms that encourage its occurrence. If these soviet-style laws are allowed to stand, we will continue down this destructive path where those in power are above the law.
The nomination of frivolous and fraudulent candidates by unconstitutionally elected delegates threatens nothing less than the sovereignty of Minnesota, the validity of our Republic, and, most importantly, your life.
7 July 2020
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• Vladimir Putin’s latest trick for making Russia look like a democracy. Vladimir Kara-Murza (Washington Post). June 11, 2020.