The Minnesota DFL filed a complaint Monday with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board alleging Rep. Erik Mortensen, R-Shakopee, violated the law by fundraising on behalf of the North Star Liberty Alliance.
The complaint alleges Mortensen’s fundraising efforts, which include signing a letter on behalf of the organization, prove Mortensen is exercising – “at a minimum” – indirect control of NSLA. Minnesota prohibits political candidates from exercising direct or indirect control of political committees.
“Rep. Mortensen’s fundraising solicitation on behalf of NSLA repeatedly speaks of the actions ‘we’ will take. He states that ‘we will not sit back and take it’ and asks individudals to send the enclosed ‘2021 Legislative Road Map Support Statement back to me,'” the DFL’s complaint explains. “It is apparent that Rep. Mortensen considers himself to be part of NSLA.”
NSLA itself does not claim to be a political committee. Its website, which is blatantly partisan and advocates for the impeachment of Gov. Tim Walz, states it’s a “non-profit organization created for the purpose of advancing the cause of liberty in the state of Minnesota.”
The complaint argues NSLA is acting as a political committee because its “partisan attacks on Democrats and RINOs (Republican In Name Only) alike plainly are intended to ‘influence the nomination or election of one or more candidates.'”
As a political committee, NSLA would be required to register with the Campaign Finance Board and submit financial reports, which it has not.
In a video posted to his Facebook page Monday evening from a camp site, Mortensen provided no information about his ties, or lack therof, to NSLA, besides saying “everything has been above board.”
Mortensen briefly addressed the contents of the complaint to mock Democrats for being gender-inclusive when using pronouns.
“It’s clear the word they have an issue with is the pronoun ‘we.’ But you know how the Democrats are with their pronouns,” Mortensen said, before saying they would probably prefer he use some other “nonsensical” pronoun.
Mortensen went on to claim without evidence that Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, colluded with House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, to use the complaint as a way to attack him.
“They’re all big government types, and it’s a shame,” he said. “They don’t know what to do with me, that’s pretty obvious by now.”
DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin released a statement saying, “By exercising control over an unregistered political committee, Mortensen is seeking to continue his unfounded attacks on his political opponents from the shadows, hidden from the light of the campaign finance disclosures required by law.”