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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM REP. STEVE DRAZKOWSKI - DISTRICT 21-B

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Greetings, everyone. I wanted you to know about some of the news here in St. Paul.

The Minneiska Boat Landing    

For several years, the boat landing on the Mississippi River in Minneiska has been nonfunctional. Unaddressed sedimentation problems have prevented regular, reliable boat access to the river. A small amount of dredging will be required to make the boat landing operational once again.

The landings used to access our waterways must be clear to allow recreational access to the Mississippi River. Additionally, these entry points must also be kept open for authorities who need a quick way to access the river in the event of an emergency. This landing is important, regionally.

The City of Minneiska has been trying to fix this problem for quite some time. However, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the agency responsible to deal with these types of issues, but they have been slow to respond and failed to act.

Over a year ago, the DNR agreed to dredge the boat landing and enter into a longer-term management agreement with the City of Minneiska. Unfortunately, the plan was not carried through.

To remedy this matter, another meeting with the DNR was called. Sen. Mike Goggin, Mayor Mike Tibor of Minneiska, and I met with officials from the DNR last week. At the meeting, we implored the DNR to finally work out this issue.

Despite the contentiousness of the meeting, the DNR officials said that they would look for funding and help remove obstacles necessary to properly dredge the boat landing. Furthermore, they agreed to extend a permit, allowing the landing to be properly maintained into the future.

We are scheduled to meet again in August or September to review next steps.

Election Integrity in Minnesota

State legislatures across the country are examining the rules and laws that govern their elections. Some states have passed new laws to make their elections more secure, and others are studying the practices that control how elections are administered.

Constituents in our district and individuals across Minnesota have reached out to me asking what Minnesota is doing to maintain the security of our elections. Many have been troubled by news stories that have highlighted where election integrity in Minnesota is not meeting the standards we need.

For example, we know that unconstitutional consent decrees were issued by judges that changed the rules that govern our elections. As a matter of fact, a Ramsey County District Court judge issued a consent decree in 2020 that waived the requirement that absentee ballots have a witness signature. To waive such a basic requirement of ballot security is against the law, the Minnesota Constitution, and the U.S. Constitution.

We also know that illegal and unethical “ballot harvesting” practices occurred in Minneapolis during our election season. Liban Mohamed, a Democratic operative, filmed a video showing that he had collected hundreds of ballots from voters in Minneapolis – and bragged about it. This practice is wrong and raises questions about what he was doing with those ballots.   

Here is a link to view footage of these activities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPMH_UTPoCk

Finally, we know that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated $350 million that ultimately went to election authorities and administrators across the country. In Minnesota, some of these funds went to Hennepin County, Ramsey County, and the City of Minneapolis. In my view, private money should not be used to influence how cities and counties run our elections. Such an arrangement is unethical and threatens the neutrality of our election authorities and the integrity of elections.

Please see this article for more information: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/12/07/private-money-helped-pay-to-conduct-minnesotas-election

These practices need to be investigated and we need to make changes. Unfortunately, state government in Minnesota is controlled almost entirely by Democrats. These Democrats are not interested in transparency or accountability surrounding our elections because they won.

However, in the coming weeks and months I will begin an effort to increase accountability amongst Minnesota’s election authorities regarding election practices. I will keep you updated as this effort moves forward.

Steve Drazkowski

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