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Home / JDs Rising / I’m Running for Judge, and I Approve this Message.
This year's judicial races are muddied by money and politics. So what else is new?

I’m Running for Judge, and I Approve this Message.

This year's judicial races are muddied by money and politics. So what else is new?

About Kelly Francis

Kelly Francis is a 2006 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. She co-chairs the Public Policy Advocacy Committee for Minnesota Women Lawyers and serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for Impartial Justice. She currently works in local government.


  1. 1st, I had a long message typed but your system erase the message if you mistype the captcha…

    Now, short of time I will be more direct as it is quicker.

    Ms. Francis and the MN BAR are being misleading and disingenuous to the average Minnesota Voter. They fail to mention the various unwritten Judicial Code Red Rules that control and corrupt all aspects of the Minnesota Legal system.

    Ms. Francis fails to point out that most incumbent judges get unsolicited campaign contributions from large law firms and corporate and private interests. I will allege that there is an unwritten quid pro quo expectation in these contributions.

    Ms. Francis and the MN Bar are even more disingenuous than that. If a candidate declines to sign the pledge because they want a political party endorsement or they want to solicit campaign funds Ms. Francis and the MN Bar infer that non-signing lack integrity by front loading the pledge with reason pledge points included only to obfuscate the true purpose of the pledge…. That true intent being to maintain the advantage that incumbent judges have.


    For 5 years an alliance of Minnesota Citizens have tried to present evidence of Judicial Corruption to the MN Senate and House Judiciary Committees but been turned away. In that same time frame, the MN Bar and MN Judges invented the Quie commission who apparently could not find this group of citizens wanting to present evidence of corruption to the Minnesota Judiciary. The Quie Commission went on to say there was little or no corruption in the MN Judiciary. What?

    If you refuse to hear the evidence of Judicial System Corruption, you do not get to say there is little or know corruption.

    OR is Minnesota Government now acting with the same Governance style of the former USSR or current Red China Government?

    Seems like more evidence of Progressiveness in action: Government Elites know better than the common man and have the right to do what they think best… And then to achieve these ends they use the methods of one of the original Progressives Edward Bernays:

    “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it.”

    Every incumbent MN judge needs to be voted out. Vote Wersal, Tingelstad for Supreme Court. Vote Griffith for Appellate Court. Vote Chris Barden for MN Attorney General. Vote Dan Severson for MN Secretary of State.

    Those were my thoughts.

    Don Mashak
    The Cynical Patriot.

  2. Wow. And this is the short version of your comment? I shudder to think what was in the long one …

  3. Where one candidate signs the bar affirmation and one doesn’t, lawyers and bar associations need to step up and make sure the public knows why the affirmation is important and why judicial candidates should not be politicizing these races. That isn’t happening enough.

  4. To be fair I think the State Bar is hamstrung from being able to do much more than it is doing. It cannot endorse candidates and by acting too much on any candidate(s) behalf it would be straddling and arguably crossing that line. I think Kelly raises some excellent questions here — questions that are, I’m afraid, better than any answers she will get. I think the affirmation is well-intentioned, but as a strategy for dealing with the 800-pound gorilla of politics in judicial elections it leaves much to be desired.

  5. I will agree with Mr. Mashak on one point, party endorsement and respectable campaign conduct could conceivably co-exist. (I would love to see the response if candidates for executive and legislative offices were asked to sign similar affirmations promising not to make false or misleading statements to the public and to be personally responsible for their campaign materials).

    The problem is that a party endorsement communicates to voters that a judge will rules a certain way on controversial issues (gun rights, free speech, etc.) before the facts of the case have even been presented. Even worse, there is the fear that a sitting judge hoping to retain that party’s endorsement next election cycle, will rule based on party platform rather than the dictates of the law.

    Endorsed judicial candidates may very well behave admirably, but there is no guarantee that his or her supporters will do the same. It was once said of religion and politics (and I think the same applies to justice and politica) mixing the two is like mixing dog [feces] and ice cream. It’s not going to do anything to the dog [feces] but it will ruin the ice cream.

  6. Nice! Though that’s put me off ice cream for a while …

  7. When the Minnesota Judiciary gets rid of the ability for Minnesota Judges to take tips aka bribes to us common peasants, then you can talk to me about mixing justice and politics being comparable to mixing feces and icecream.

    If you doubt this:

    “Enter “Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct” and click on “Read the full Code of Judicial Conduct.” Scroll to Canon 4. Then go to paragraph D(5). Paragraph (5) states what a judge cannot accept, and then says: “except for” and refers to subparagraph (h). It should be illegal for judges to take tips as it is for all other government people .”

    And worse, for my exercising my Constitutionally guaranteed 1st Amendment Right to “Petition the Government with grievances” without actual or threat of reprisal the Minnesota Judiciary will exact its tyrannical unaccountable vengeance by ordering judges and lawyers to ignore my constitutional rights and contrive through illegal machinations to make it virtually impossible for me or anyone else who criticizes the Judiciary to achieve a positive outcome in any litigation we become involved in.

    The Board of Judicial standards and the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board are blackholes for complaints with no transparency or accountability. Instead these two organization function of as cover up and public relation specialists.

    ALL COMPLAINTS ABOUT ALL JUDGES AND ATTORNEYS SHOULD BE PUBLIC RECORD. Under the present system, WE THE PEOPLE have no way of educating ourselves about judges and attorneys. As importantly, WE THE PEOPLE have no way of determining if either of these two organization engage in a pattern of covering up legitimate complaints. And without transparency, even when we can deduce there is a pattern of complaint cover up, we are unable to present credible evidence to our elected officials because the Minnesota Judicial Tyrants have created a system that is a evidenciary black hole.

    And while I am on this rant, Can someone tell me why the Minnesota Legislature has abdicated its Constitutional duty to oversee and discipline the Minnesota Judiciary?

    Please tell me how the refusal of the Minnesota House and Senate Judiciary Committee’s to hear evidence of corruption in the Minnesota Judiciary from more than 100 Minnesota Citizens for 5 years now, is not a violation of WE THE PEOPLE’s Constitutional 1st Amendment right to “petition the Government with our grievances”.

    So with regards to an appropriate analogy for the current state of the Minnesota Judiciary instead of mixing feces and ice cream, I would suggest “the Judicial cesspool is full of #!@&”

    or as I more eloquently put it about 15 years ago…

    The American Judicial system is the best appearance of Justice that money can buy.

    In closing,

    Don’t pee on my head and tell me it is raining.

    Let those Minnesota Legislators who claim they are loyal to WE THE PEOPLE demand that those of us that have been unconstitutionally deprived of our right to petition our Government with our grievances for the past 5 years, be given full and fair audience before the Minnesota House and Senate Judiciary Committees this session.

    Let them also climb on board by authoring and supporting legislation to reform and make the Minnesota Judiciary transparent and accountable. May I suggest the first piece of legislation revoke the right of Minnesota Judges to take bribes that they euphemistically refer to as tips.

    And for those who would complain about the length of my posts, if you reduce the amount of judicial corruption I will use less space to comment on it.

    Those were my thoughts.

    Don Mashak
    The Cynical Patriot

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