Last week, the Eastern Carver County League of Women Voters held a forum on the Voter ID constitutional amendment at a senior housing facility in Waconia. The Chanhassen Villager details what happened when State Rep. Ernie Leidiger decided to drop in on the event.
“He was loud, boisterous, argumentative and bullying,” said Glenda Noble, an LWV member who helped arrange the presentation. “His manner and tone was not appropriate. We were guests in a facility that houses older people. The public is welcome, but we expect them to behave.”
For his part, Leidiger doesn’t even really dispute the description of his behavior.
Leidiger, however, said he was just being “loud” and the LWV should be held accountable for the information presented.
And for good measure, he added, the LWV are “pathetic partisan hacks”. The full LWV response (in the form of a letter to the editor) is here.
The best response for this sort of behavior by an elected official was provided by the conservative blogger over at the Carver County Current: WTF, Ernie?!
Reasonable people can have different opinions about this constitutional amendment. When you’re an elected official, though, you need to demonstrate some decorum and understand that you’re going to have sometimes deal with folks who don’t agree with you.
(It’s no wonder, with this sort of attitude and behavior, that Leidiger was one of the least productive members of the GOP majority in the House last legislative session. Of the 31 GOP freshmen, Leidiger was 29th in bills chief authored and tied for 22nd in bills signed into law — with 1. Building relationships is critical to your success in the chamber, and going around acting like a bully in a senior citizens home isn’t going to make you any friends.)
The LWV will be having another Voter ID presentation at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11 at the Chanhassen Library. If Rep. Leidiger chooses to attend that meeting, he should turn the volume down and act like an adult.
[UPDATE]: Check out our complete archive of Ernie Leidiger coverage.
[UPDATE #2, 8/31]: Leidiger has released a statement regarding the incident. It reads:
The League of Woman Voters must think that Minnesota Nice means you have to swallow anything they spew out including lies, misinformation, and fear-mongering, without anyone questioning their facts or motives. They want you to wear gray, fall in line, and only believe their point of view after they scare you. This is also behavior true of those in the progressive movement in the Democrat Party. So when someone questions them and they don’t like it, then their response is … well, he’s a bully! If standing up for truth means being labeled a bully by this organization, then it’s time they are exposed for who they really are, a left wing, progressive lap-dog group that has lost all credibility. How pathetic, they stoop to such disgusting behavior, blatantly spreading fear in our elderly population in these meetings, using propaganda created by the biased Brennen Law Center.
I’m responding to the League’s letter about me challenging them on their stance on the voter ID amendment at a recent public meeting at an assisted living facility in Waconia. I attended and what I heard was astounding. The League wasn’t there providing information, they were conducting a take-no-prisoners, frontal assault on their audience using propaganda and fear tactics on the elderly to shut down the amendment.
The main speaker was from Minneapolis not a local League member. Her slick speech and video was fear-mongering, distortions, and made up scenarios designed to frighten people to vote against the amendment. The League is out trying to defeat it at all costs. One really has to wonder why they are so adamantly against verification, why anyone could be against it. I often think that maybe fraud is worse than any of us ever imagined. Why else do progressives fight such a common sense initiative which is passing everywhere across the nation with excellent results. Why is the League silent about views from those in favor of the amendment. Why do they refuse to acknowledge the origins of the initiative, the bi-partisan Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, and the subsequent Jimmy Carter/Howard Baker Commission results of 2005 which fully recommended voter ID verification. Instead, the League supported Mark Ritchie and the Democrats to throw out the amendment or change the title on the ballot to confuse voters. Thankfully, the Minnesota Supreme Court struck down the overt and highly illegal attempt of the Democrat Administration to confuse the voters by changing language of the amendment.
The League is against the amendment. They are wrong. Minnesotans will vote yes on the amendment this November and integrity will be restored in our voting system.