Hibbing native who lives in Cities accuses Hibbing native who lives in Hibbing of not living in Hibbing

No rest for the weary in House 5B. The Minnesota GOP today accused House 5B DFL nominee Carly Melin of residency violation, which is the same tack used against former Rep. and IRRRB commissioner Tony Sertich in 2000 when he first ran. Melin, who moved back to Hibbing last year to take a job with the Minnesota judiciary, currently lives with her family in Hibbing. She is a legal resident of Hibbing and eligible to run.

The operative difference between Melin circa 2011 and Sertich circa 2000, however, is that Melin moved back to take a job with no immediate intention of running for office. Hibbing’s own Tony Sutton, state Republican chair, nevertheless makes the hay:

DFLer Voted In August 10, 2010 Primary As St. Paul Resident
St. Paul- Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton and Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb today called on Democrat Carly Melin to come clean with the voters of House District 5B regarding questions about her residency. 
“Is DFL candidate Carly Melin trying to pull a fast one on the voters of House District 5B?  While Melin now claims she lives with her parents, state records show she may have a serious residency problem.  According to state law, ‘Candidates for the legislature must meet legislative residency requirements when elected. This means that at the time of the general election, a candidate for the legislature must have resided in the state for one year and must have resided in the legislative district for six months.’
“Melin voted in the August 10 primary election as a St. Paul resident, which means Melin would have had just five days to move to House District 5B in time to meet the state’s residency requirement for legislative candidates.  It’s time Melin came clean with the voters of House District 5B,” Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton stated. 
“Everyone knows Melin doesn’t have the experience to lead.  Now we find out her candidacy may not even be legal under state law.  We need to get to the bottom of this situation,” said Republican Party of Minnesota Deputy Chairman Michael Brodkorb.

The DFL response gets to the bottom rather quickly.

GOP Launches Desperate Attacks Instead of Focusing on Real Issues Like Job Creation
DFL candidate Carly Melin fully meets residency requirements

ST. PAUL (February 2, 2011) — Today, Republicans launched an unfounded residency challenge in the special election in legislative district 5B, leaving facts on the sidelines and lobbing attacks at DFL candidate Carly Melin instead of focusing on the issues.

“The residency requirement in Minnesota is clear: a candidate must live in their district for six months prior to the special election. Carly Melin meets that requirement,” said Jay Benanav, attorney for the DFL Party. “Carly graduated from law school in May, took the bar in St. Paul in July, accepted a job in Hibbing on August 9th and moved back to the district on August 11th. Those are the facts, and there is no question that she is legally able to run for office.”

Melin, who won the DFL nomination in yesterday’s primary election, attended law school and took the bar exam in St. Paul before moving home with her family in Hibbing. Bar-review courses, along with the Minnesota State Bar exam, are only offered in the Twin Cities.

“Carly has done what we want all Minnesotans to do – stay in Minnesota, receive a quality education, then return home to give back to her community. But rather than applauding her commitment to service, the Republican Party is throwing stones trying to gain the political upper hand instead of relying on the merits of their own candidate,” said State Chair Brian Melendez. “It’s just another example of misplaced priorities of the Republican Party – launch false attacks instead of focusing on issues that matter.”

Those of us hoping to turn back time to 2000 finally get our wish. Except this time we’re older and fatter. Yay, us!


  1. Any proof (such as moving company receipt or uhaul rental receipt)that she moved into the District on Aug. 11?

  2. I don’t know. It’s just as possible she used her dad’s truck. Accepting the job on Aug. 9 is the operative date. The letter and spirit of the law are both clearly met. She has lived in Hibbing almost all her life, went to law school, and didn’t move back to run for office, but rather to take a job in her field. This is a hack smear, in my opinion. It didn’t stick with Sertich in 2000 and his situation was more grey than this one. Let’s talk budget, bonding, lga, and education.

    It is not my job to defend her. But I think the most important race in this district in a decade deserves a better discussion.

  3. “I don’t know”?…

    I don’t know either but it’s not ok with me if she doesn’t meet the legal requirements to run. Sounds like it’s a simply show me the birth certificate issue..

  4. It might not be “your job to defend her.” But you sure are doing a good job of it so far.

  5. The Aug. 9 date is verified, as is her start date working at the . Unlike a birth certificate, there is no form produced when one physically moves from one location to another. Thank our libertarian stars no such process exists. But her name is Melin, she’s from Hibbing, people in Hibbing know her. You can’t challenge residency on grounds like these, especially when even if she were a space alien (naturalized, of course) she’d still be legal on the six-month time frame. What you’re really pushing is an attack on the fact that she’s young and didn’t have the good sense to be 10 years older and further along in her career. Hey, you want to talk experience, especially in comparison to the other candidates, go for it. No candidate in this race has a single day in elected office. This is a personal attack designed to undermine legitimacy. There’s a difference, particularly since she’s legal to run and has sworn as such.

    And my God, “the birth certificate issue?” A birther? You are here to poke partisan buttons and keep the spin going on this smear. It’s a smear.

  6. I agree, Aaron, you have taken on the job of defending this young girl. It actually takes away from her credibility. If she is as smart, sharp, savy, etc., why do you feel the need to “rescue her” under fire. Rename your blog to “Minnesota Melin”.

  7. You know, it’s possible that she’s got shit to do, unlike you and me, apparently. My biases and political opinions are well known. As is my name. My location. My motives. Hell, I’ve literally written a book about my motives in living and writing on the Iron Range. My comments are made as my opinions, on my blog. I don’t know what comments like yours aim to do, other than poke my buttons or give you some kind of anonymous jollies.

    Anonymous comments end tonight. If you have a good argument why I shouldn’t, I look forward to hearing from you under your real name and location.

  8. Who cares if she’s from Hibbing or Iowa, with her DFL background she’ll spout the same old stuff. Bashing the mining industry, lets all hug a tree and forget about jobs blah blah blah. Any GOP candidate worth his salt should steam roll her. Craavack got Oberstar out, she should be a push over.

  9. Always good to see so many stupid comments posted under anonymous. Stand up and sign your name to it or shut the hell up.

    Aaron, stop responding. You’re time is worth something, unlike these yahoos.

  10. Why do you care if folks put their name on an opinion? This is a site where we can all disagree on how, but all agree on the what, a better Range. I disagree with Aaron on a lot of ideas, will most likely never meet him, but thank him for his time and effort on this site where Rangers can talk. I personally don’t care if you have a name on your thoughts, just happy to read them and agree or disagree.

  11. Requiring a name of some sort shouldn’t undermine the exchange of honest opinions. Hopefully that small step cuts down on the dishonest, party line talking-point baloney.

  12. The address Carly gave when she voted on August 10 in St. Paul was 1364 Hewitt. I checked the property records and that house is owned by John G. Dwyer and Adena Brumer. It seems odd that she was renting since the Dwyer/Brumer owners claim that is their homestead. If she was a house guest, I’m sure Mr. Dwyer or Ms. Brumer could easily verify when she lived at that address.

    Has anyone looked into this?

  13. Nice groundwork… sounds like you’re the man for the job, Bill. Do they have a listed phone number?

  14. The DFL machine will get behind her and we can pound our heads against them to just get the plain facts one way or the other, with no success. The DFL’ers have circled the wagons and no amount of digging, paperwork or fact checking will matter. The best chance for a change is get behind the GOP candidate and talk about the differences in their approach to helping the Range. Good work Bill, use that digging to show the stark difference between the 2 parties. The folks up here will cast their vote for who’ll help them and our area get back on our feet.

  15. Except that this digging doesn’t prove anything, that this very conversation is a misdirection. She is a legal candidate in this election. If you want to support the Republican candidate for reasons of policy that is another matter. The “stark difference” is on issues. If you want to run on 20 layoffs at HCC, 15 at the high school, scads at the county and local level, higher property taxes, and no bonding bill work for the building trades, then go for it.

    I’ve been over this territory before, but the Range “DFL machine” as it is so often described is less a machine than a loose confederation of families, social networks and a tradition that, on a bad day, forgets its origins. DFL voting patterns on the Range tie to labor politics, demographics and socioeconomics. These trends have loosely tilted your way, Bill and K, but not for reasons that are particularly encouraging for anyone. We’re not developing a vibrant business class. We’re developing a retiree class that doesn’t care about schools or services that don’t affect them personally. And as is the case in Range history, whenever such a void of leadership takes place mining interests take over.

    If this Melin residency talking point is funny for its similarity to the botched attempt on Sertich in 2000, the whole of our state of current events is funny for it’s similarity to the early 1900s in this same exact location. But it’s not really funny, I suppose, unless you stand with the small percentage of people who profit from us becoming more of an outside controlled resource and recreation colony.

  16. Times are tough, the state is 6 billion in the hole with a 1 billion dollar bonding bill in the wings to be dealt with. The interest alone will be tough to deal with on these numbers. I assume some cuts will be made, I surely hope so, when you’re in debt, you pull back on spending. If we can get more businesses to start up or hire new people, folks may have to change jobs. Standard Dem policy to talk about who and how many state/govt people will lose jobs. Minimum 400 workers not working because PolyMet can’t get permits. I’d change the 30 jobs you’re talking about for the 400. Those are the differences, that need to be discussed and debated (many more of course).

  17. I think 400 jobs is a bit over optimistic on Polymet, but point taken. The permitting on that project going faster, however, is just evidence that government processing requires skilled people to do the processing. And I don’t know how cutting the 21st century career and critical thinking training we do at the college down to reactive levels, while students rack up debt with rising tuition, helps our economy either. I can respect the need for cuts. This is not a situation where tax increases can close the whole gap, nor have most Democrats argued as such. But what I’m saying is that this money is not being spent on candy and cigarettes. Cuts have as much impact as tax increases. It’s possible, just possible, that adherence to one over the other is too dogmatic to be a viable, best-possible solution.

    Businesses are complex organizations with simple missions. But effective economies and societies are complex organizations with complex missions, among them the missions of businesses and much more. And I guess this is the crux we keep coming back to in these discussions.

  18. Agree, if it were easy and simple some one much smarter than us would’ve solved all our problems. Bottom line is we need a blend of private/public help to move forward. If and I mean IF, we could get an independent board, state by state, to govern the use of their natural resources things would flow faster/better. The political appointee infuses party doctrine into a process that should be as simple as is it environmentally safe, is economically feasible (if helped by state/govt). For a totally private investment only the environmental safety should be evaluated. The board should be voted in by citizens of that state, Minnesota voters will decide if we mine log our state not EPA & DC. I understand oversite would be a bone of contention but I’m tired of folks from New York, California deciding if we de-list the wolf and if we mine our state

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