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GOP stands behind drunk driving campaign mailer

Patrick Thornton//October 31, 2014

GOP stands behind drunk driving campaign mailer

Patrick Thornton//October 31, 2014

GOP stands by ad attacking ignition interlock law

The Republican Party of Minnesota is defending its decision to use a new state law that allows convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlock devices to drive.

The GOP has used the campaign mailer in several competitive house districts. It accuses DFL members of voting for a law that lets “dangerous drunk drivers back on the road.”

The campaign literature drew sharp responses from state and national anti-drunk driving organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Those groups say the ignition interlock devices are good public policy and make for safer roads. Minnesotans for Safe Driving accused the GOP of sensationalizing the issue and wrongly politicizing it. The law passed unanimously in the Senate and with bipartisan support in the House.

In a news release, state GOP officials said the law “weakens penalties for people convicted of causing catastrophic damage to other people while driving drunk and lets them back on the road a whole year sooner.”

Franken’s campaign lawyer Marc Elias: ‘the guy you want leading you out of the wilderness’

Rollcall has an interview with Marc Elias, the Democrats go-to attorney. He worked on U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s recount battle over Norm Coleman and was in the Senate chamber when Franken was sworn in.

He was first hired by U.S. Sen. John Kerry when he ran for President in 2004. He is the chair of the political law practice at Perkins Coie and represents exclusively Democratic Senators.

Franken’s campaign manager hired Elias in 2008. On election night the race was briefly called for Coleman but his lead was slim. Elias showed up in Minnesota the following Monday and was here full time until the Supreme Court called the race for Franken in June.

He said that this year he will be watching senate races in Alaska, Georgia and North Carolina, but it’s not as exciting as many people think.

“The truth is, Election Day is a lot more sitting around and waiting than people think,” Elias said. “If there’s a broken voting machine in Little Rock, Ark., I may get on the phone and be told there’s a broken machine … and I’ll give my 2 cents on it. But fundamentally, that machine is going to get fixed or not fixed by someone on the ground.”

Law firm’s attempt to secure attorney fees backfires

A federal judge ruled that law firm Littler Mendelson’s request for attorney fees and sanctions against a losing plaintiff in a bias suit were intended to harass.

U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell of Philadelphia said the firm had to pay the plaintiff’s costs in defending the motions. The law firm represented Fox Chase Cancer Center and sought attorney fees as the prevailing party and sanctions against the plaintiff under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The motion was for about $126,000 in attorney fees had included 105 pages of invoices in which every line describing the legal services rendered was redacted, Dalzell wrote.

The law firm’s Rule 11 motion had seven pages with legal-services redactions. Dalzell required Littler Mendelson to pay costs “because the motions were so deficient,” he said, “we find that they were filed for the improper purpose of harassing the opponent by burdening her with a needless defense.”

The plaintiff alleged in her disability bias suit that Fox Chase failed to accommodate her asthma. She lost the case on summary judgment in an attempt to acquire Social Security disability benefits.


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