So Mayor Wilson says!! Just can’t make this up… today I received packet with letter from Judge Lennon, requesting information about how the Council selects members for the Charter Commission and responses from two Charter Commission applicants and my reappointment regarding Campaign Finance violations, including moi:

My part of this, #4 above, is interesting, well, it makes no sense, as I was not campaigning and had no “campaign finance violations from the November 8, 2022 election cycle.” The Campaign Finance issue for me that Wilson raised was way back, the Order dated June 25, 2003, TWENTY YEARS AGO!

Twenty years ago, intervenors before the Public Utilities Commission were not registering as lobbyists. This docket was a transmission docket applied for in 2001, Northern States Power’s first big transmission line in their transmission build-out, the “SW Minnesota 345kV line” docket, the company’s prelude to CapX 2020, to see if it could fly, what level of opposition they’d encounter, and what it would take to buy off the funded groups intervening (the answer was “not much,” here’s the Settlement Agreement.).

Mayor Wilson was the one who brought up this ancient history:

Look at the start. “As Red Wing’s mayor…” Under color of law much?

Here’s the radical thing I pushed through the Charter Commission, and which the entire Charter Commission passed, way back in September, 2021, trying to lock in NOTICE and PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, and unfortunately, it could not be approved by the Council because one member was MIA and it required unanimous approval:

Back then in 2001, in the SW MN 345kV line docket (01-1958), of the many intervenors and attorneys in that SW 345kV docket, I was singled out for not having registered as a lobbyist, and for not having disclosed money received from the McKnight Foundation prior to the time of registration. The other intervenors and associations who had not registered were Peter Grills and Carl Williams and their clients Izaak Walton League, Michael Noble and ME3 (now Fresh Energy), and John Dunlop and AWEA, and Paula Maccabee and her client Sierra Club, Kevin Walli and Dave Benson and the Rural Energy Task Force — that’s a lot of them!!! I’d drawn up a chart with attorneys and intervenors and groups who had not registered as lobbyists, passed it around at the hearing, and I pointed this out and named names. Doug Kelly, presiding at the hearing, said, “Oh, there’s my good friend Pete Grills…” Really!! Nothing was done about all the others who did not register because it was moi, and moi alone, that was the subject of the Complaint.

Sooo… yes, I was indeed found in violation, twenty years ago, with these Findings of Facts and specifics in the order. I complied with the order points of the Campaign Finance Board, registering, disclosing, and filing:

Since that time, 2003, most intervenors before the PUC do now register as lobbyists! Funny how that works. For the most part, I regard that Reinhart Complaint as a measure of success — it didn’t knock me out of the docket and Art Hughes, Ph.D.E.E., got to testify.

Also in the packet today with Wilson’s letter (and note he did NOT serve all parties, looks like only the Judge got his letter) was this odd redacted email:

Discovery needed — who sent this, and that “Second Prehearing Order” is what?

My “dictionary” has a somewhat different definition:

It’s hilarious, even if ALJ Lipman stated that “Red Wing does not need a Commissar,” which I don’t recall, and which he could have, chuckling as he’s prone to do… folks, PAY ATTENTION: Each of those Respondents in my Campaign Finance Complaint about the Recall principals and organizations, EACH OF THEM, the group Recall City Hall, Tom Drazkowski’s Citizens for Responsible Government, Janie Farrar, Ron Goggin, Don Kliewer, Ted Siefert, and Jason Snyder were found to be in violation of campaign finance law, with Tom Drazkowski’s Citizens for Responsible Government getting hit with the largest fine for the flyer Tom Drazkowski sent around with so many false statements — but there’s no law against lying in campaign lit:

Citizens for Responsible Government Flyer

Back to Wilson’s letter to the judge… Is Mike Wilson is calling me a “Communist” Commissar, perhaps? Am I a strict or prescriptive figure of authority? Are these fighting words or just defamation? Pardon me while I SNORT! SOL! SOL! SOL!

With each of the Recall City Hall principals found in violation, with Tom Drazkowski and Jason Snyder who were appointed to the Charter Commission by the Council found in violation, it appears Red Wing could use a Commissar!

The judge also wants me to explain my April 24, 2023 missive to the Red Wing City Council and Mayor about Charter Commission appointments — here it is in full:

Sure, with pleasure, although the timing rather sucks. But I have lots of thinking time between Red Wing and Rochester these days.

I just can’t decide which version to use… the more the merrier?

And as if I have time and energy to deal with this now. Garden, house, and dear dog to deal with around hour commute to Rochester Mayo. Good thing I can multi-task…

John Hoff, a/k/a Johnny Northside, just won in a big way, and it’s a case that gives me hope.

Jerry L. Moore v. John Hoff a/k/a Johnny Northside

It’s about freedom of speech, it’s about defamation, and it’s about tortious interference with a contract.  Johnny Northside is loved and hated, worshipped and vilified by many people I know.  It seems he’s one of those people who are a royal pain in the ass but are usually right, and in this case, he had the facts right, and he can’t and shouldn’t be held liable, so the Appellate Court said.  $50 this goes to the Supremes, of Minnesota, that is.

Hoff’s blog post is the kind of speech that the First Amendment is designed to protect. He was publishing information about a public figure that he believed was true (and that the jury determined was not false) and that involved an issue of public concern. See Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. v. Greenmoss Builders, Inc., 472 U.S. 749, 759, 105 S. Ct. 2939, 2945 (1985) (noting that “speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values” (quotation omitted)). Attaching liability to this speech would infringe on Hoff’s First Amendment rights.

First the Syllabus and then the bottom line:


1. A claim for tortious interference with a contract or prospective business advantage cannot be based on conveying true information to a third party.

2. When speech protected by the First Amendment is intertwined with allegedly tortious conduct, courts must carefully and explicitly delineate the tortious conduct on which liability is based so as not to infringe on a defendant’s constitutional rights. When there is no practical way to separate the tortious conduct from the protected speech, there is no liability as a matter of law.


Because a tortious-interference claim cannot be based upon true information and because the record does not contain sufficient evidence of conduct separate and distinct from Hoff’s constitutionally protected speech to sustain the verdict, we conclude that the district court erred by denying Hoff’s motion for JMOL. We therefore reverse and remand for the district court to enter judgment for Hoff.

Check out his blog here:

The Adventures of Johnny Northside