The Rochester Tea Party Patriots are accusing the League of Women Voters of being a clearly partisan group in the wake of a recent local forum on the issue of voter ID.
Here is how the group sums up the forum in an e-mailed newsletter:
"Those who attended the meeting let us know that it was a put up job. The scenario was well rehearsed. The bottom line was: "Problem? What Problem?" They are circulating a petition that will give cover to the Democrat legislators so they can remain in denial. This petition is not "scientific" but just plain biased.
It is now clear that the League of Women Voters is a partisan group. Understand that if you attend any of their meetings."
This stems from a forum earlier this month sponsored by the league on the issue of whether or not voters should have to show photo ID in order to vote. Local GOP Rep. Mike Benson, R-Rochester, is sponsoring a bill that would require voter ID. Speakers featured at the event were from two organizations: the state League of Women Voters and Citizens for Election Integrity. Both of those organizations testified against Benson's voter ID bill during a House committee hearing citing concerns it could prevent legitimate voters from casting their ballots. But the measure has strong support among Republicans who argue it is needed to prevent voter fraud.
I have reached out to the Rochester league chapter to get a reaction to this. I will post the reaction when I get it.
Update: Here is the response to the Tea Party Patriots' criticism from Kathy Maegerlein, president of the League of Women Voters Rochester.
"Although the LWV is non-partisan, we do study issues and take positions on issues. Our basic position on voting at the national level is that "Voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be guaranteed", and, at the state level, 'Support improvements in election laws regulating election procedures, voting and school district elections.'
Our speakers presented the results of the report Facts About Ineligible Voting and Voter Fraud in Minnesota, which was done by the Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota, and the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance, which was based on input from over 80 County Attorneys. We also had a good discussion following the presentation with both sides of the issue being heard."