Previously, a post was made encouraging voters to review the candidates before going to the ballot box and casting their vote for someone based on a name that sounds familiar.
Case in point, John Hancock’s name is on the ballot for Minnesota Supreme Court. As mentioned in the post, in 2000, “John Hancock” received 639,915 votes … roughly 35%.
Or, in 2010, when Roxann Klugman filed for election against sitting Appellate Court Judge Randolph Peterson. Astonishingly, Peterson’s opponent, whose law license was inactive at the time and who ran no visible campaign—won 43 % of the vote, even though there was no obvious reason to vote against the incumbent.
Historically, judicial elections were presumed to be non-partisan … but the US Supreme Court decision in Republican Party of Minnesota -vs.- White changed that. Thus, the post also mentioned the GOP-endorsed candidate Michelle MacDonald, who is a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court.
For just about a decade the MN-GOP has been endorsing various candidates and bringing them with them on campaigning bus trips. Also in other states, there have been efforts by various business or social groups to financially support selected judicial candidates. Some groups, like the Minnesota Family Institute, circulate a questionnaire and distributed a voters guide.
Lastly, the post listed other candidates in competitive District Court contests.
The motivation for the post was to encourage voters to try to research the candidates rather than going blindly into the election booth. Some newspapers may help out by endorsing candidates and some groups may do also … for example, the Minneapolis Police Federation has endorsed Bev Benson for Seat 53 and stated their reasons in their press release. If you value the opinion of the newspapers or endorsing groups, that may help … otherwise, you may rely on candidates Facebook, Twitter or Campaign accounts.
Being a voter in the Fifth District and seeing an advertisement in a local paper for Busch For Judge, I looked for information on Nathan Busch and included a blog and twitter account that I stumbled upon in that post.
Obviously, many people may have the same name, so my post stated “Whether these tweets and the blog posts are written by the man that is a candidate this November is unknown”.
Nathan Busch has responded to that post and I encourage readers to read all three of his comments — including,
Twitter Problem Resolved:
After two days of investigation, I have been able to locate the individual who was making unauthorized posts on a twitter account that had my name attached. He agreed to remove all posts from that account and to delete the account. As of 2100h, 12th October 2014, I can confirm that he has, in fact, deleted all posts on that account and has deleted the account.
Although the posts do not represent my views and were made without my knowledge, I do take full responsibility for the posts as I had trusted the individual and I was mentoring him at the time.
Nathan A. Busch
For the record, there was no intent on my part to “sling mud” at Nathan Busch nor to advance the campaign of his competitor (neither of whom do I know.)
Candidate Busch has updated his FACEBOOK page with a posting, “I Will Keep my Judicial Campaign Clean” including a statement of his goals :
My goals in this campaign are as follows:
(1) to educate the public about how the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Legislature have taken away the right of the public to choose who are the judges in this State;
(2) to educate the public about how the judicial elections have been manipulated to strongly discourage competition and a free and fair election for the bench;
(3) to inform the public about my qualifications to be a judge in the Fifth Judicial District; and,
(4) to put out to the public my judicial philosophy so that the public knows how I will view cases that come before me.
It would seem that there are two separate tangents … one concerning judicial elections and one concerning his qualifications as a judge … leading to the question, if the problem is how judges are chosen, should Nathan Busch be running for the state legislature or governor as those positions might be the better way to advance his cause of changing the process ?