Emmer Campaign Sues Pine County, Agreement Already Reached
Pine County was sued by campaign of Tom Emmer and the Republican Party last week for not responding fast enough to document requests. However, Pine County and the Republicans have already reached tentative agreement. St. Louis County was also sued over the timely release of election-related documents.
Officials in Pine and St. Louis counties told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that they spoke with the GOP and plan to release most of the requested documents by Friday, Nov. 19. Some documents will likely still need to be copied, while others can’t be released until voter information is updated.
Pine County auditor Cathy Clemmer told the Pioneer Press that they had not seen the DPA request until a local newspaper forwarded them the lawsuit, which included e-mail requests and follow-up letters sent to the county. She said they also first learned of the lawsuit after receiving it from the newspaper.
“The first we heard of anything was on Friday,” Clemmer said. Emmer spokesman Carl Kuhl said the e-mail requests sent to Clemmer did not bounce back.
Following a conversation with Republican attorneys, Pine County plans to send out the documents by Friday.
“I don’t think they handled it as well as they could have,” Clemmer said. “It would have been much simpler to pick up the phone and say, ‘Gee whiz, we haven’t heard from you. Did you get our e-mail?’ Instead of going directly to a lawsuit.”
Emmer trails Democrat Mark Dayton in the race to be Minnesota’s Governor, but a state-wide recount is planned to begin after Thanksgiving.