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Threats against candidates

Published (3/18/2010)
By Patty Ostberg
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Several White Bear Lake City Council candidates received an anonymous threatening e-mail message last year. The source claimed they would publish damaging information about the candidates if they continued to run for the council positions.

Sponsored by Rep. Paul Gardner (DFL-Shoreview), HF2510 would prohibit coercing a candidate running for office. The bill would make the offense subject to an administrative hearings process under the Fair Campaign Practices Act. After the administrative process is complete, a person could also face criminal charges.

Current law prohibits someone from rewarding, or promising to reward an individual, for either becoming or not becoming a candidate.It is also illegal to threaten someone to get them to vote a certain way.

Approved March 16 by the House State and Local Government Operations Reform, Technology and Elections Committee, it now goes to the House floor. A companion bill, SF2226, sponsored by Sen. Sandy Rummel (DFL-White Bear Lake), awaits action by the full Senate.

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