Governor Candidates Sue Media, Request New Primary
Ole Savior and Peter Idusogie, two candidates that ran during Minnesota's gubernatorial primary election, have filed a discrimination lawsuit against media outlets from across the state-alleging that they were illegally excluded from press coverage and they have a right to a primary do-over.
Democrat Idusogie and Republican Savior were “credible candidates” for the August 10 primary election, according to the complaint, filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota. “It is fair to say a significant number of the voters never heard of Peter Idusogie and Ole Savior until they saw their names on the ballot. . . . This was to a large extent because of the illegal actions of censorship and exclusion on the part of the press to somehow marginalize their campaign, offering preferential treatment to the other candidates.”
The following are named as defendants in the complaint: the Star Tribune, WCCO Channel 4 News, KARE 11 News, KSTP, KMSP, the Pioneer Press, the Duluth News Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio, the Minnesota League of Women Voters, Almanac Television, the Office of the Secretary of State, and the Hubert Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.
Public court documents indicate that none of the defendants have yet filed a response to the complaint.
The suit alleges that the plaintiffs' names were not listed in some newspapers as candidates running for office prior to the election. “This made it literally impossible for the majority of the people of Minnesota to know” that the candidates were running “or the issues they represented,” the suit alleges.
The complaint describes the actions on behalf of the press as fraud, and it alleges that the media outlets gave attention to candidates based on the money they had. “In a nutshell, the defendants to a large extent allowed the money each candidate had raised to cloud their judgment as to the ability of the candidate to be an effective future governor and leader of the state of Minnesota,” according to the complaint.
It also claims that the League of Women Voters, which sponsored televised debates, was responsible for the exclusion of the plaintiffs because they “made up an arbitrary rule of 5 percent poll notoriety.”
Idusogie and Savior, who are representing themselves in the case, are asking the court to “throw out” the results of the August 10 primary. They seek another election-the cost of which they want to be “bore by the press and the Secretary of State office, whose actions also left much to be desired.”
The plaintiffs seek $1 million each from the 12 defendants, as well as punitive damages relating to the alleged violation of their constitutional rights.
Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer are currently waiting for the results of a mandatory recount after finishing neck and neck in last week's election. Dayton led by a margin of 8,755 votes after the initial count of the ballots.