Do you stand with Ernie Leidiger?

State Representative Ernie Leidiger has had an active first term in the legislature.  Not in terms of getting legislation passed, because he’s been one of least productive members of the Republican majority in the House, but rather with all the sideshows and distractions that he’s created.  Let’s recap the list:

But the kicker has got to be the revelation from Aaron Klemz at LeftMN that Leidiger owes over $144,000 in unpaid taxes to the state and federal governments.

This is unacceptable.

We cannot allow our state representative to flaunt the law in such a brazen manner.  As the documents show, Leidiger’s unpaid taxes go back to 2009.  I don’t mind paying the taxes that I owe.  I do mind it when other people don’t pay their fair share, because that raises my tax burden and the burden of everyone else who plays by the rules.  And I really mind it when the people who are cheating on their taxes are elected officials.

As these revelations have come out, one by one by one, the Carver County GOP and State Republican Party have remained silent.  With the latest revelation, that time must end.  It is time for our local and state Republican officials to say whether they approve of this and if they still stand behind Rep. Leidiger.

While there’s no way to take Rep. Leidiger’s name off the ballot at this point, there are plenty of things local and state Republicans could do to show that they don’t accept Rep. Leidiger’s behavior, either.   These include, but are not limited to:

  • Voting to remove Leidiger’s endorsement
  • Refusing to provide him with any financial or logistical support in his campaign
  • Supporting a write-in campaign to supplant him (much like Democrats are doing in Kerry Gauthier’s district)

At the very least, it would be nice to see some prominent local Republicans step forward and publicly say that this is not behavior they condone and values they endorse.  Do you stand with Ernie Leidiger? Or do our local Republicans believe that the R behind the name overrides everything?

It’s also time for our local Carver County papers to get off the sidelines.  This is an elected official with over $144,000 in unpaid taxes.  You have a responsibility to your readers to make this information known, and you are letting them down if you don’t cover this.  You also have a responsibility to put local Republicans on the record — do they defend this behavior?

Who is willing to stand with Ernie Leidiger?  It’s time to find out.

[edit: small changes for clarification]


28 Responses to “Do you stand with Ernie Leidiger?”

  1. I do. Proudly. He’s been a solid fiscally conservative legislator, and a voice for his district with a high level of support and a great approval rating among his consituents. I understand he is not perfect, as no politician ever is, that I’ve known, and if I lived in his district i would proudly pull the lever for this man. Instead I’ll be voting for another good friend, Rep. Joe Hoppe.

    I mean, really it comes donw to this. Are you really going to vote for a Democrat under any circumstances? I mean this party has has drifted so far to the left that I don’t even recognize them anymore. If you think government is the answer to all of our problems, than A: God help you, and B: where’s your evidence they can do anything effectively and C: please, for the love of God, take an economics class.

    We’ve seen what disaster government has become. We finally curbed government growth with a GOP majority in both houses, and it is the only path forward for Minnesota, fiscally speaking. If you want unchecked, unsustainable growth in government, by all means, vote for a Democrat. Thankfully, few will in Carver County.

    • OK, we’ll put John down as putting partisanship above principles.

      • Call it partisan if you want, but I want a guy who’s looking out fo rthe bottom line of taxpayers, not some willy-nilly spending freak. I almost never look at a politicans personal issues. I look at thier voting records. His line up with mine better than most. My number one principle is economics. Not his. Ours. Minnesotans are for guys who will keep this government in check. The rest is gravy.

        I’m trying to figure out what principles you think I’m putting party ahead of?

        • Like following the law, for instance?

          • Are you still sore that you didn’t get good on the campaign finance bit of nothing? Get over it already. Let he who has never run afoul of campaign finance rules cast the first stone.

            • Let’s review: I didn’t file the campaign finance violation. I had nothing to do with those who did. I assure you that if I was interested in “busting” Ernie on that one, I would have filed before posting it on the blog.

              What I’m referring to in the above comment is Ernie’s failure to pay taxes. Being behind by $140K is a much bigger deal than the speeding ticket thing.

              • That’s all just business problems. He’ll get that turned around. These kinds of things aren’t all that unusual in small businesses. If I had a nickel for all of the real estate guys who were behing on taxes at various points, I could pay Ernies’s off.

                • Being behind on your taxes by $140,000 isn’t unusual? Seriously?

                  • I don’t know. I don’t know what his accounts look like. Maybe he has a ton in uncollected receiveables? Maybe he got into trouble on an investment that didn’t pan out. the thing is, you have no idea either. It’s real easy to look at struggling business and say WTF, when you only look at things from one angle. I mean, it’s not his personal taxes is it? It’s all business, and businesses sometimes struggle. Unless you’ve been through the books on these ventures you don’t know a damn thing.

                    Do you think Ernie is trying to scam somebody? (Well, you probably do, but that’s because you can make hay out of it). When times were good for his busioness he paid everything, right? You don’t even look at that, because it’s counter to your BS argument. Do you really think he wants to be in this situation? He’s done all he can to save his business in a lousy economy. Lot’s of companies have failed. Do you not think they have similar tax problems? You guys are really out of touch. God help you if you ever get in a jam. Seriously. You have no shame. Disgusting.

    • P.S. Given the very few GOP folks who come here, I have to wonder what you are hoping to accomplish. Did you imagine an office holder coming on here to participate on the I Hate Ernie Leidiger pages? Seriously. How many GOPers do you imagine even look at this when I’m not telling them to check out how ridiculous you are?

  2. Nope. And he doesn’t represent the majority of Carver County citizens either. He represents his own warped views instead. He lucked out with the GOP endorsement last time around. I pray he will see the light sooner than later.

  3. Well said, comrade – you will ‘proudly pull the the lever’ for a tax cheat who takes other people’s money in payroll and sales taxes and keeps them for himself. We’re all going to learn a new word today: Peculation.

    • Do you know his books? Do you know if he has accounts due him? You see, you can’t just look at a tiny piece of information, and run off half goofy with delight. Making fun of other’s business problems for political gain, isn’t exactly above bar either. In fact, some might find it rather slimy. Kind of like the BS porn thing. That was just a stupid comment on Sean’s part. Folks were much more angry with the accusation than the sale. And it showed how far Sean is willing to go to slander this guy. Kinda crapped all over his own integrity on that one.

      • I wouldn’t go that far… but I will say the porn item seemed out of context, to be honest. If we went after everyone who had any part in porn by those standards, anyone involved in an ISP would be hung out to dry, because more porn will travel online in an hour than Mr. Leidiger’s businesses are likely to deal with in a lifetime. Maybe there’s more to it, or a comment that Mr. Leidiger made that shows this to be out of character, but I didn’t see it in the initial post.

        However, that is far different than owing over $140,000 in taxes. If there is a legitimate reason for this, I’m sure it’s forthcoming, along with his plan to settle his debt to the state?

        • You know what’s funny about the porn thing, is he used to own a company back in CA that did video to DVD copying. And he was approached to do this for some porn outfit, to get their libraries converted and printed up and all that. He turned it down, and he would have made a lot of money doing so.

          It should also be noted that few people thought of Schinders as a porn business. We always went there for comic books for the kids, and trading cards when they were popular.

          And Ernie got into liquidation in en effort make up for the problems he was having in the down economy. Had his normal business not run into trouble, he probably never would have even thought to take on Schindler’s as a client.

          Seriously, you guys have no idea what his business has been through. He’s been involved in many successful ventures, and he’s in a slump. Your kicking him when he’s down is very telling. Especially when you don’t know any of the facts.

  4. This is not a business problem, Comrade, it is peculation. He was entrusted to collect tax money on behalf of the State and the IRS. He kept the money for himself.

    There are no amount of mental contortions that can explain away this dirty laundry list of tax liens. According to the records, he has not paid his payroll/sales taxes since 2009 – before he was elected. Which means he knew he was behind when he was running, he knew he was serving in 2011-2012, and he knew he was way behind when he asked for the endorsement of the party.

    Kinda crapped all over his integrity with that one, Comrade.

  5. Every business I’ve ever been involved with paid it’s taxes, Comrade.

    At some point, Ernie had a choice between paying the money to the State and putting it in his pocket. He chose his pocket.

    Peculation, Comrade.

    Your “tough times” argument falls pretty flat, too considering everyone else out there in non-Ernie-land that saw the same tough times and decided to live within their means and within the law. WE ALL HATE PAYING TAXES.

    We all pay more because people like Ernie choose not to. Thanks Comrade Ernie for jacking up our taxes to pay for yours. Hypocrite. Peculator.

    This is not an oops. This is a conscious decision not to pay your taxes for THREE YEARS and at the same time get all shakefisty at the rest of the people about being “conservative principles.” Rubbish.

    Kinda crapped all over his own integrity on that one, Comrade.

  6. How many here know if Ernie has losses from receivables that were written off? How many here know how much of his businesses are tied up in non-liqud assets? Haw many here have seen even so much as a balance sheet? Is the tax lein against a business that’s been basically inactive since 2009, with the doors closed but the books open? Remember, there are several entities that he has, but not all of them are actively doing business, and can’t necessarily rob one to pay off the debts of another. I’d be a little more careful with the assumptions that are being made here.

    And I don’t know the answers to these questions, either. I see Ernie about once a month at a BPOU function or a fundraiser. I give him a hard time about pissing in Sean’s coffee or something because Sean sure seems to hate this man. But I know little about his business, because that’s not why we work together.

    Here’s what I do know. When i asked around for someone who might know where I could get some help with something, Ernie stepped right up. While insisting nothing in return, he’s been a great supporter for many. When I introduced him to some consituents of his that needed his representation, Ernie was there.

    Ernie has gone out of his way to help several GOP candidates get off the ground, hosting events. Organizing events for the likes of Kurt Bills and Doc Severson. That’s what he should be doing as a member of our party, and a representative of his district.

    So when you think you’ve found some dirt on the man, please, first use your head. Don’t go off half cocked with some dirty little crumb you found somewhere. Get all of the facts before you head down in the mud. Your over generalizations are really serving no one.

    • Here’s what I know, Comrade. You don’t owe payroll withholding taxes to the government unless you first withhold money from your employee’s paychecks. You don’t owe sales tax to the government unless you sell something. This money is supposed to be held aside and remitted to the State or the Feds quarterly or monthly.

      At best, not paying these taxes is gross mismanagement. At worst it is flat out fraud, or peculation. For the perpetrator to claim to be “principled” is even more fraudulent. What bothers me the most is that he KNEW about all of this and had the balls to stand in front of our convention and ask for our endorsement. He’s a fraud.

      He has no credibility, no integrity, and no one is defending him but you. Welcome to Political Siberia, Comrade.

    • Maybe Ernie should spend a little less time worry about representing constituents and making sure you had the help you needed and hosting events and focus on making good with the $200k he owes the government.

      I am not a political person by any means. I don’t understand a lot when it comes to non-liquid assets or tax liens or anything of that nature. With that being said, even to me it’s obvious there are a ton of outside distractions for Ernie Leidiger and maybe those distractions should take priority to him being a representative.

      I don’t know the specific answers to the questions you pose in your first paragraph here John, but I can tell you as someone with intimate knowledge of how Ernie Leidiger runs a business, I find it downright terrifying that is an elected official. All of the information that is coming to light recently is starting to show Ernie’s true colors and shouldn’t be thought of as “bad luck” because of a bad economy.


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