Last night’s meeting was disappointing. No action on the Recall legal action. And few showed up. Not what I was expecting!

On the other hand, Mayor Wilson wanted Kent Laugen, who has been actively involved in the Recall effort, to be appointed to the Port Authority. As with his attempted appointment of Janie Farrar, another Recall proponent, that Laugen appointment motion failed for a second.

Here’s the missive I sent to the City Council yesterday:

Overland Comment on Recall Petition to City Council today

And here’s the Petition that was filed on Friday:

Frivolous Recall Lawsuit Filed

In the Rochester Post Bulletin, linked, about the Recall City Hall lawsuit:

Red Wing recall takes next big step with lawsuit

Suit seeks remedy for city council not approving special recall election after group gathered the required signatures.

Written By: Brian Todd | 9:08 am, Aug. 10, 2021

RED WING — Late Friday afternoon, the Recall City Hall committee in Red Wing took the next step in its efforts to bring six members of the city council to a special election.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Red Wing residents George Hintz, Peter Lang, Judith Kjome, Stephen Lind, Betty Kalember and Sheryl Voth, asks the 1st District Court “for correction of a deliberate ballot omission or, alternatively, for a Writ of Mandamus directing the City of Red Wing to hold an election for the recall of six city councilmembers in accordance with the strictures of the municipal charter.”

The petition points to what it calls several undisputed facts. They include that in each ward or wards at least 20 percent of registered voters signed petitions to recall council members Becky Norton, Evan Brown, Erin Buss, Andy Klitzke, Dean Hove and Laurel Stinson. However, the city council voted 6-1 – with all six council members up for recall voting no, and council member Kim Beise voting yes – on multiple occasions not to hold a special election.

In the petition, Greg Joseph, a Waconia, Minn.-based attorney representing the recall group, notes how the Red Wing City Charter states, “the clerical officer shall transmit it to the Council without delay and shall also officially notify the person sought to be recalled of the sufficiency of the petition and of the pending action. The Council shall, at its next meeting, by resolution provide for filing dates and other provisions necessary for the holding of a special recall election not less than 45 nor more than 60 days after such meeting.”

Joseph said it’s that directive to order an election that the city council has rejected, and that is the reason for the lawsuit.

However, not every resident of Red Wing sees it the same way.

Carol Overland, a local attorney who has expressed her support for the city council and its actions, said the public does not have a legal right to a recall election, and a firm case of malfeasance or nonfeasance – the justification for a recall – is absent in the recall effort.

[Original – since corrected: The idea that the petitioners who ran the recall efforts could determine what meets the legal definition of malfeasance or nonfeasance, she said, is absurd.] [Correction, I said “voters” because that’s what they’re arguing, that the voters should decide in an election whether there’s been malfeasance or nonfeasance, so insert “voters” here — it’s fixed now.]

The idea that the voters could determine what meets the legal definition of malfeasance or nonfeasance, she said, is absurd.

Council President Becky Norton agrees.

“The (Red Wing City) Charter and the Minnesota Constitution are clear that elected officials can only be recalled for malfeasance or nonfeasance,” Norton wrote in response to questions from the Post Bulletin. Norton went on to cite a case from 1959, Jacobsen v. Nagel. “The Minnesota Supreme Court has held that the same malfeasance and nonfeasance standard that applies to state officials applies to council members of a charter city.”

If the conduct of the council members does not constitute malfeasance or nonfeasance, Norton concluded, there is no obligation to schedule a recall election, which is why the city council was justified in its action.

Kent Laugen, another local attorney not directly connected to the case, said while the lawsuit does not focus on whether the burden of malfeasance or nonfeasance has been reached, there is precedent from the courts saying that decision is left up to the voters.

[Precedent? Show us! It doesn’t exist][“not directly connected to the case” but DIRECTLY connected to the Recall — see quotes in other PB articles]

Whether or not there is a special election, the next election the six council members face is going to be tough, Laugen said.

The court has yet to set a hearing date for the lawsuit.

Here are the Recall Committee’s filings from last Friday:

Frivolous Recall Lawsuit Filed

August 6th, 2021

Note in their filings, Exhibit F for Dean Hove, which they represent to be one of “[t]he six Certifications submitted to the City Clerk, prior to signature collection are attached hereto as…” and look at the ONE for Dean Hove, Exhibit F:

And, as above, here are the TWO that were certified by the City, one on 4/9/2021, another on 6/7/2021, and the third pulled out of some nether orifice and the petitions attached to it were rejected by the City.

This isn’t that complicated… their Exhibit F could use some updating.

Frivolous? Yes, because there is no basis for this in law. It’s focused on a claim that there is a “right” to an election, and no, that is not correct. This is a continuation of “The Big Lie,” the Plaintiffs are not happy with the 2018 and 2020 elections, and are not happy that the City Council, in a 6-1 vote, fired the Police Chief. Oh well… that is not malfeasance, it is not nonfeasance, it is no basis for a recall.

Here it is, more to follow:

I’ll have comments in a bit.


New docket at Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, PUC Docket No. ET2/TL-21-434. To see all the filings, go HERE, and search for 21-434.

I filed a Reply Comment earlier today:

Comments due August 11, 2021 by 4:30 p.m.

You can eFile – easy to register and set up account, or your choice of these options:

Great River Energy, which had planned to shut down the Coal Creek plant instead early last month asked the member co-operatives for approval to sell it, and asked the Public Utilities Commission for permission to transfer ownership of the DC transmission line. And it’s the transmission line that’s at stake, that coal plant has been losing money forever, and they couldn’t give it away. So they tied it to transmission, a valuable asset with high return on investment and revenue for transmission service provided.

Remember that CU line transmission story? Search

So now this transmission line is at issue. Rumor has it the coal plant “sold” for $225 million (and rumored breakdown was $1 for the plant, and the rest the book value of the transmission line).

And the other “asset” is available funding and “45-Q” tax credits for “carbon capture.” Dig this… from the STrib article — CARBON CAPTURE!! What a farce. They be scammin’ a la Excelsior Energy/Tom Micheletti:

And another failure:

Power plant linked to idled U.S. carbon capture project will shut indefinitely -NRG

Anyway, back to this PUC Docket and “sale” of GRE’s Coal Creek coal plant. Here is GRE’s request:

And some of the comments, quite a few individual comments too (go HERE, and search for docket 21-434):

After which the Public Utilities Commission decided to expand the Comment period until August 11, 2021!

What’s open for Comments?

Have at it — you’ve got a week!