Tag Archives: First Judicial District

It’s totally not about that

State Senator Julianne Ortman held a press conference today to try and finger U.S. Senator Al Franken for playing a role in the current controversy over the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) giving unwarranted scrutiny to certain conservative 501(c)(4) groups.

In 2012, Franken and a group of other Democratic Senators sent two letters to the IRS, requesting that they give added scrutiny to 501(c)(4) groups.  Both progressive and conservative organizations had been setting such groups up because they are tax-exempt and not subject to campaign finance disclosures.

You can see the letters at the links below:

February 2012 letter

March 2012 letter

In each, the Senators in question ask the IRS to scrutinize all 501(c)(4)s.  Ideology doesn’t come up in either letter.

So, let’s sum up the argument here.  Ortman is asking us to believe that the letters from 2012 which called for additional scrutiny to be applied to all 501(c)(4)s are significantly responsible for IRS misbehavior that began in 2010 and was actually uncovered and stopped after the letter was sent.  Not even the reliable conservatives at Powerline are buying that one.

Why, then, would Ortman go to the trouble of calling a press conference to highlight this non-news with no real relation to her role as a State Senator?  Oh, yeah:

When asked about such a thing, Ortman played the “who me?” card.

Uh-huh.  It’s totally not about that.

And let’s not forget that Ortman has never exactly been shy about sending letters of her own demanding action by other parts of government.  Earlier this session, she asked Attorney General Lori Swanson to break from usual practice and preemptively give a ruling on whether legislation was constitutional or not.  Last session, Ortman demanded that the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court investigate the handling of family cases in the First District.

So it seems that Ortman’s outrage over legislative letter-writing is rather subjective.  Just remember, though, about those 2014 rumors:  it’s totally not about that.


Ortman requests review of family court cases

The Chaska Herald reports that State Senator Julianne Ortman has requested an independent review of family court cases, processes and procedures in the First Judicial District, which Carver County is a part of.

Over recent months, the Lea Banken case has received significant media attention.  Banken is involved in a custody dispute with her ex-husband Jeremy.  Disputing the decisions made by Judge Richard Perkins, Banken has taken to the internet and started the site carvercountycorruption.com to document the proceedings in the case.  The blog in itself has become an issue in the case, as the version of the site hosted here at wordpress.com has been effectively shut down.

The Banken case is just one of several cases that have gone through the Carver County family courts that have raised eyebrows among observers across the ideological spectrum.  Ortman’s request, which is also supported by Carver County State Representatives Joe Hoppe and Ernie Leidiger is a useful step in ensuring public trust in the county’s courts.

The text of Ortman’s letter is available on Banken’s blog.

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