“Just another cost of serving”: Leidiger tries to rationalize it all away

In response to the story we broke on Monday, Rep. Ernie Leidiger has filed an amended 2011 campaign finance report.  In the filing, Leidiger’s treasurer (and SD 34 GOP Chairman) Steve Nielsen explains the rationale for paying a speeding ticket out of the campaign fund:

So to summarize:  Rep. Leidiger and Nielsen believe that violating the law by racking up speeding tickets is a “direct result of serving in the Legislature”.  Fines from such activity are “just another cost of serving” and that there’s “merit” to having those fines paid by his campaign contributors.

How does that sort of attitude strike you, folks?  I would say: when you’re in a hole, stop digging.

Here’s the full amended filing, which also includes disclosure of a $100 contribution by a lobbyist not previously reported.


16 Responses to ““Just another cost of serving”: Leidiger tries to rationalize it all away”

  1. Republicans believe they are exempt from following the law.. I know that Ernie is a ring-knocker (Annapolis graduate). In my service as a Major iin Vietnam, I was disappointed in the Lts who graduated from Annapolis to serve in the Marines. They think they know it all and they don’t. I preferred officers from NROTC or Platonn Leader backgrounds who are more down to earth.

  2. Wow, sour grapes for failure to get charges brought, I guess. Do you see why they have an amendment box on the front page of the financials? Maybe because it’s routine to make a correction without assuming the worst posszible intentions.

    Some people need to grow up.

    • If I were interested in charges, I would have filed a complaint before publicizing the issue.

      I’m interested in accountability, and I find it disappointing that Leidiger and Nielsen are still trying to make excuses for their behavior. Fines for traffic violations are not a cost of serving in the legislature.

      • You can say that they are not a cost of serving, but that doesn’t make it so. Did his serving force him to speed? Of course not. But he certainly wouldn’t have been where he was that late at night, driving it it weren’t for the work he was doing. If he was coming home during rush hour, he’d have just been a part of the normal crowd of speeders racing home from a hard day’s work.

        He paid the fine. It’s over and done with. the documents were amended, but you’re still looking for blood. As noted, Steve made 3 mistakes on the original form. All three have been corrected. This was all being negotiated after the filing, well ahead of the DFL complaint, which was hasty and partisan, and that’s the end of it.

  3. I agree he was wrong, but is there more to this breaking story? One speeding ticket that was mishandled? This seems like a non-issue

    • Yes, there is more to the story. Sean has been working overtime to find anyway possible to nail Ernie for just about anything. He claims his blog is about carver County politics, but it’s clear that it is aimed at nailing the GOP. This blog should be called Brick City DFL.

      • What I’m interested in is Rep. Leidiger’s conduct as an elected official.

        Rep. Leidiger gets treated the way he does here because of how he conducts himself in that role — which is very different than how Rep. Hoppe or Sen. Ortman approach their job.

        I have stayed out of issues in Rep. Leidiger’s personal life and business career (with the exception of the satirical post about him renting out a room at the farm — a post that was based on information that was given to me by a local GOP member, incidentally) and I fully intend to continue in that direction.

        And I always get a chuckle when the head of the Carver County GOP Communications Committee goes around complaining about the alleged partisanship of other people. Thanks for the laugh to start the week off on a good note!

      • I’m a proud volunteer for the Carver County Republicans. The difference between you and I, is I’m willing to admit my affiliation. You tried to nail every Republican candidate’s tax reform plans, (blindly ingoring the rest of their proposals I might add). You claim Ellen Anderson wasn’t confirmed as pay back, despite her lousy performance in her hearing. You support the Governor’s bonding numbers, which were clearly far from reality in job production. And you are the constant attack of Ernie. If your not a DFL mouthpiece, I can’t imagine who is. And you wish to laugh at my partisanship. Grab a mirror.

        • I don’t deny that my ideology is slightly left of center. As for being a DFL mouthpiece, well, that’s certainly not true. Criticism of Republicans on a particular issue doesn’t imply that I necessarily endorse the Democratic position. Too frequently, the Democratic position is only the more acceptable of the two politically viable options. And you obviously didn’t pay attention to what I did say about the bonding bill, because I wrote both here and in the Chaska Herald about how I felt the composition of the Governor’s proposal needed to be changed. As for Ernie, if he would stop doing stuff like inviting Bradlee Dean to give the invocation on the House floor or filing bad campaign finance reports or backing lousy and divisive legislation, I’d be more than happy to leave him alone.

          I’m more than willing to support good ideas — regardless of who they come from. Witness my post in January on parts of the Reform 2.0 agenda that I could embrace, for instance. Kevin Watterson of the GOP House Caucus called it “the most constructive response” to the Reform 2.0 rollout.

          So the fact that your partisan filter is set ultra-high doesn’t mean that everyone else’s is.

        • I believe campaign funds have certain stipulations regarding their usage, which would not include payment of fines, of any kind. Is there a reason for such an adversarial tone in a discussion of a representative’s behavior? I think criticism of any candidate’s behavior is important, especially when the rest of us have to rely on our own personal income to pay fines. Not that there is anything wrong with dipping into campaign funds for this reason. All that paper work must be a pain, when you have to report these type of things to the state, right?

      • Funny stuff. Some things never change. A conservative will proudly state he’s a conservative. But find me a liberal who’s willing to call himself one. Why the embarrassment, I wonder?

        • Not embarrassed at all, John. The problem — for you — is that my positions on issues don’t neatly line up in one column. The world is more than us vs. them, black vs. white, conservative vs. liberal and Democrats vs. Republicans. It’s not about picking a team and then trying to “win”. It’s about trying to do the right thing, and no one person, party, or political orientation has all the right answers. I’m sorry if that’s a concept that doesn’t fit in your world view.

      • You forgot proud conservative vs. embarrassed liberal. It’s OK. I’d be ashamed as well.

  4. I have never been able to get my employer to pay my tickets. Even as a Professional School Bus driver, if I receive a ticket, I am responsible for paying the fine. Would the State of Minnesota lend me the money to pay a traffic ticket? Highly unlikely.

    This sounds as if someone thinks it is in the course of a normal business transaction. The unauthorized use of state funds is not a “non-issue”. Unless the standards by which the law applies to government officials is different, then I can see where a little dip here and there does not matter. How many times and how much do you allow miss-management of an employee to continue, when in the face of it all, it was wrong and they should be fired?

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