A Nov. 25 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein attacks Minnesota Secreatary of State Mark Ritchie as having taken donations from "a shocking list of radicals that reads like a 'Who's Who' of the far-left world."
But Klein -- like conspiratorial anti-Obama blogger Trevor Loudon, from whom he lifts this attack -- offers no information as to how much these people gave to Ritchie, and neither link to the original data to back up their claim.
We found what is purported to be a database of Ritchie donations for his 2006 campaign on Loudon's KeyWiki website, and it seems that these donors were only a tiny part of the total donations.
For instance, the first person listed by Klein is "Barbara Baran, a member of Democratic Socialists of America." according to the database, she gave $150. "Max Palevsky, a former trustee of the Marxist-oriented, Soros-funded Institute for Policy Studies," gave $250.
This, by the way, is out of $106,000 reportedly donated to Ritchie's 2006 campaign.
In describing the affiliation of other donors, Klein falsely describes the organization J Street as "pro-Palestinian." In fact, it is a Jewish-led group that describes itself as "pro-Israel, pro-peace" and favors a "two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." (Klein has previously falsely smeared J Street as "pro-Hamas.")
Klein also wrote that Ritchie "oversaw the recount of the 2008 U.S. Senate race that put onetime comedian Al Franken into office," later stating that "fallout from the 'recount' that handed Franken the 2008 victory still is developing." It's unclear why Klein put "recount" in scare quotes, because it's indisputable that a recount took place.
Klein then repeated claims by right-wing group Minnesota Majority -- first reported at WND in an October article by Bob Unruh -- "it was found that at least 341 convicted felons voted in Hennepin County, where Minneapolis is located, and another 52 voted illegally in Ramsey County, home to St. Paul. The number of felons voting in those two counties alone exceeded Franken's margin of victory, the investigation revealed."
Neither Klein nor Unruh reported that Minnesota Majority's claims are largely overblown. MinnPost repoted that out of 451 names submitted by Minnesota Majority to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office for alleged illegal voting by felons, only 47 will result in charges. Election law expert Michael McDonald has stated that there are "solid reasons to suspect that Minnesota Majority has overstated the number of illegal votes."
Klein's intention, of course, is to undermine Ritchie and falsely portray him as conspiring to make Franken the winner of the Senate race. In fact, there's no evidence whatsoever that Ritchie acted contrary to law. Indeed, as writer Jay Weiner states, various panels of judges and even the lawyer for Franken's Republican opponent, Norm Coleman, said there was no widespread fraud in the election.