The Saga of Morrison County GOP Controversy Continues

(Photo: Convention chair Rep Albright and Parliamentarian Sen Mathews confer with Chief Teller and MNGOP State Executive Committeemember Keri Heintzman)

The saga of the Morrison County controversy continues, leaving many first time delegates questioning the integrity of their local party.  Hundreds of delegates, many of them first timers, gave up their Friday night last weekend to attend an endorsing convention for the newly created Senate District 10. But they later found out, a four and a half hour convention would abruptly shut down without even a single vote count being tallied and announced to the delegate body.

A little backstory...Senate District 10 covers a geographical area with seven different counties. By Republican rule, that requires the counties to come together and make a convention call. Morrison County GOP, along with the 6 other county GOP units, announced two weeks ago that the endorsements for senate and two house seats would take place on the opposite side of the Senate District from the population center of Little Falls. And despite having three contested races, the seven counties decided to hold the convention on a Friday night.

Morrison County GOP is run by Mandy Heffron, a paid staffer for the Gazelka for Governor campaign. In February we exposed cheating by the Morrison County GOP that ended up removing duly elected delegates from the delegate voter rolls, replacing one with the wife of a legislator. Things were so bad in Morrison County that Congressional District 8 ended up running the Morrison County GOP Convention in March. Despite all of that, Heffron had an active role in the planning and running of the SD10 Endorsing Convention on Friday night.

The convention from the start lacked transparency. Convention rules were not made available to campaigns prior to Friday evening. Even at the convention, printed rules and agendas were scarce, leaving most delegates without the ability to see what was going to happen that night (this is rare). One campaign requested to see the credentialed delegate voter rolls for Morrison County and was denied access - meaning they could not validate that only duly elected delegates were credentialed. On top of that, paid guests and campaign volunteers were not allowed in the gymnasium, where the convention was being held (we've never seen that before). 

Chairing the Convention was Rep Tony Albright (from Scott County), who was joined by Senator Andrew Mathews as parliamentarian. The evening began with some rules fights, mostly over allowing a candidate, Chuck Parins (30 year Army veteran), to compete against RINO Rep Ron Kresha that evening for the endorsement. Party leaders and Ron Kresha himself spoke against allowing it, citing a technicality in the rules - the same rules that were not made available until the night of the convention. So much for competition.

After the rules fight, the convention began the endorsement process for state senator. Three candidates (Nathan Wesenberg, Jim Newberger, Brent Lindgren) gave their speeches to the seated delegates. Balloting quickly followed and the votes were sent to a corner of the gym.

(Photo: Wesenberg campaign's speech before balloting)

Meanwhile, Chair Albright moved on to endorsement of House District 10A, asking delegates if they wanted to endorse Ron Kresha by voice acclimation. The measure failed and things got interesting. A delegate rose to a point of order, in an attempt to confirm with the chair that ballots with the name "Chuck Parins" would be counted according to the MNGOP ConstitutionArticle V, Section 3, A3. But Rep Albright and Sen Mathews ruled that ballots with Parins name would not be counted - a ruling that was clearly in violation of the state party constitution

Regardless, votes were cast and ballots were collected. A pile of ballots had Chuck Parins name on them according to an observer of the vote counting. The Political Class looked to be in trouble that evening. 

And then slowly, disarray started clouding the convention. Questions were raised about the correct number of ballots being cast in certain counties. Morrison County appeared to have filled out 11 ballots by unseated alternates, which would not be counted as legitimate votes. The organizers allowed delegates, seated alternates and unseated alternates to commingle during the convention. Confusion spread amongst the organizers and people were told Morrison County needed to revote.

Over two hours in, roughly 250 ballots for the senate endorsement remained uncounted. I don't know how that's possible unless someone didn't like how it was going to turn out. As 11 pm approached, it became evident that the "mission" of the endorsing convention was going to fail. Chair Albright announced that the convention was in recess and everyone went home. 

(Photo: Delegates discussing the MNGOP Constitution's authority over convention rules with Chair Albright)

What happened on Friday night was a huge mess. Perhaps it was sheer incompetence on the part of the organizers. I'm not sure why Morrison County GOP is still in charge of organizing things. They cheated delegates on election night and their corruption led to Congressional District 8 hosting the Morrison County convention last month. 

But there's speculation that things were more nefarious, than incompetence. Why were rules not published ahead of time, printed out in mass and distributed? Why were campaign staff not allowed in the gymnasium? Why did the Chair and parliamentarian violate the state party constitution to not allow Chuck Parins' votes to be counted? And why were non-GOP officials, like Joyce Heffron, mother of Morrison County GOP Chairwoman Mandy Heffron, in possession of ballots at one point in the night? Where did the 11 unseated alternate votes come from?

We may never know the answer to this question. But what is certain, the saga of Morrison County GOP controversy continues and the people who are most harmed are the new conservative activists who got involved in the Party to take back power from the Political Class. The Republican Party should be doing everything in its power to welcome these new activists into the ranks, instead of trying to protect the Swamp.

Summary of the Failed Senate District 10 Convention

1) Rules and agenda were not available in advance

2) Printed rules and agenda were not available at convention to most delegates

3) Guests and campaigns were blocked from entering convention

4) Campaigns were blocked from inspecting the delegate voter rolls in Morrison County (largest pool of delegates)

5) Chair Albright ruled that the MNGOP Constitution would not be respected

6) Ineligible votes were collected

7) Delegates, seated alternates, and unseated alternates commingled on floor

8) Vote totals were not completed and announced at the convention - No endorsements were made

9) Disgraced Morrison County GOP chair Mandy Heffron was able to run important parts of the convention


Hot Take

If you've followed this saga from the beginning, one may conclude that when you out organize the Political Class, they'll cheat. When you catch them at cheating, they'll use their power to put you at a disadvantage. When you overcome the disadvantage, they'll create rules against you. When you challenge their rules with the Constitution, they'll just shut down the convention. 


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  • Lisa Pilot
    commented 2022-04-13 14:46:59 -0500
    This smells.
  • Mary Whelan
    commented 2022-04-12 06:35:55 -0500
    There are other news sources reporting on this as well. For instance, Deena Winter, from The Minnesota Reformer writes:

    “Bret Bussman of Browerville was endorsed over Paul Utke, R-Park Rapids, for Senate in District 5 in central Minnesota. Bussman previously told the Reformer he works for Lockheed Martin training soldiers and cadets on how to operate military vehicles.”

    “In Senate District 10, Bussman said the convention was shut down before ballot totals were counted. But Rep. Ron Kresha was “poised to lose” to political newcomer and 30-year Army veteran Chuck Parins…”
  • Mary Whelan
    commented 2022-04-12 05:54:01 -0500
    Nancy Losier, can you be specific about the “many lies on the table” to which you refer? If you have followed this entire thing from the beginning, through the many in-person events, and the many witnesses to all of these events; witnesses who all account for the same things Dusenberg has so succinctly and descriptively accounted for here, it would become very clear to you who the bad actors are.

    As a 72-year old woman living in Bloomington, 105 miles from Little Falls, I’ll make the assumption that YOU have not personally attended any of the in-person events which Dusenberg and many others have been describing, with factual documents, over the past several months.

    What I find appalling is the poor treatment and attacks on the people who are fighting to uphold the Constitution, which was put in place to protect us all. Don’t you agree that we should all be concerned about fair elections? Don’t you agree that the good people of Little Falls, for example, should get to elect the representatives they feel most closely represent their collective values and beliefs?

    And finally, doesn’t it deeply concern you that election fraud in any form is wrong and violates the basic rights to which we ALL deserve?

    I agree with you, however, that an independent inquiry and thorough investigation needs to occur at the state or federal level, not from SD8, because there’s a huge conflict of interest from that group as well.

    Please take a step back and try to view this from a new perspective, not from the bandwagon of those who have dragged an organization that I now clearly see is just trying to preserve and protect the American Rights we all should want to protect.

    If you are going to accuse someone of “lies” then it is up to YOU to explain what those lies are and show facts in opposition to what you are claiming to be lies.

    Do you have such facts or evidence? It would be very helpful if you could create a line by line list of what you believe to be lies, and then also incorporate evidence to back up your claims, which is EXACTLY what Dusenberg has done in this article and several before this one.

    The CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES was written for a reason. The Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 AMENDMENTS to the Constitution, were written for a reason. LAWS were written for a reason. And it is every man and woman’s duty to abide by those rules and articles. And it is every man and woman’s right to demand these rules and articles be enforced.

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    United We Stand.
  • Mary Whelan
    commented 2022-04-10 12:55:32 -0500
    I am surprised this is allowed to happen, and there doesn’t seem to be any recourse.

    But at the same time, I’m not that surprised because Ron Kresha is involved, and he completely defrauded me at his second startup, stole a product I developed, obliterated my life, manipulated the court process when I tried to sue him, bribed people, and etc etc.

    Other than having to pay his attorneys hundreds of thousands of dollars to get him out of being held responsible, there was very little done to hold him accountable. He put me through all that when he could have just paid me the $40k he owed me and either royalties or a flat fee for my product.

    This when he was already a millionaire five times over partially due to the work of me and people like me that helped his first startup take off. He tried to defraud another woman at the same time as me but she had her boyfriend threaten him with physical violence and then little crybaby Kresha finally paid her.

    Kresha could owe you $10 and instead of just paying you, he’ll dig his heels in until they bleed just to get out of being a man. Unless someone stronger and bigger than him is threatening to beat him up, he won’t act like a human being at all.
  • Candace Oathout
    followed this page 2022-04-06 17:02:44 -0500
  • Kristin Ploetz
    commented 2022-04-06 15:45:53 -0500
    Jamie Ostmoe – 100% agree and those are the perfect questions to ask. THIS is how we fail to make any changes or progress because of ridiculous swamp people and corruption. I want action and consequences on this. Jake —what do we do?
  • Jamie Ostmoe
    commented 2022-04-06 15:28:54 -0500
    This is complete bullshit!!! I am new to all this crap. Stuff like this is what makes me want changes. How can anything that these districts send to the state GOP be considered ligament? What can we do? Why isn’t the state GOP doing anything??? Can we bring motions forward at our district meetings to have this addressed by the state or someone? If someone has comments or ideas, please share. Thank you Jake for keeping us up to date on all this!
  • Jamie Ostmoe
    followed this page 2022-04-06 13:12:35 -0500
  • Bonnie Klein
    followed this page 2022-04-06 11:57:45 -0500
  • David Malchow
    commented 2022-04-06 11:14:34 -0500
    It goes to show that there is a little bit of “left” in everyone, even those on the right. It’s a moral problem, called evil. Each one of us on the right must remember that we are not fighting for the “right” – the political right; instead, we must always fight for what is right, for what is good, for what is true. Stand up and stay standing for the truth! The rest of us in the state are watching and counting on you!
  • Denise Guck
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    followed this page 2022-04-06 09:32:47 -0500
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  • Jake Duesenberg
    published this page in News 2022-04-04 18:34:29 -0500