KIFFMEYER MISLEADS MCCL MEMBERSHIP
As the chief elections official of Minnesota, the Secretary of State should promote civic virtue, including public knowledge of the roles and limitations of the public officials that are elected.
Therefore, it is disappointing to see that Mary Kiffmeyer has promised more than she can deliver and has contributed to misunderstanding of her role with her responses to the candidate questionnaire of the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).
The MCCL Voters’ Guide (page 4) summarizes candidates’ positions on various issues relating to abortion, euthanasia, and cloning.
None of the nine questions included involve propositions that are within the influence of the Secretary of State.
The questions ask candidates whether they would vote for certain proposals. The Secretary of State has no ability or right to vote on these proposals. These are for the legislature to decide. Kiffmeyer should have taken advantage of that “teachable moment” and made that plain to the MCCL and its membership.
Instead, by claiming to be able to support all the positions advocated by the MCCL, Kiffmeyer has misled its members.
At a time when faith in the fairness of elections is uncertain, we need our chief election official to steadfastly maintain real political neutrality. We need to reduce public confusion on the roles of our elected leaders.
At my booth at the State Fair, I found that many voters have no idea what the Secretary of State does. With her responses to the MCCL, Mary Kiffmeyer contributes to that ignorance for her own political gain.
Here is the form letter I developed to send to organizations who send questionnaires:
This is my first time running for office. I am running for Secretary of State of Minnesota. I have received questionnaires from many organizations asking my views on various issues important to those organizations.
It is entirely appropriate for these questionnaires to be sent to prospective members of the legislature, city councils, or other policy making offices.
The Secretary of State is not such an office. While we all would prefer like-minded people as ourselves to hold any office, it is irrelevant and inappropriate to request a candidate’s views on issues that are not within the influence of that office.
Consequently, I have consistently refused to answer questions that don’t pertain to the office I seek. I have made the same refusal to Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life that I have to Planned Parenthood.
Please do not interpret my refusal as a slight to your organization. But I feel it is important for a candidate, especially one for Secretary of State who promotes civic virtue and informed voting, to avoid making claims that cannot be fulfilled or to misrepresent the limits of the office. And I disapprove of my opponents when they don’t make the same point.
If your questions pertain to the office I seek, I will happily respond. Otherwise, I urge you to eliminate this office from your published responses.
Bruce D. Kennedy