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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Principles, Not Money, Wins Elections. McNamara Outspent Bigham & Lost. Munson Spent Under Half That and Won.

The numbers are in from the cash spent in the February 12th special election in South Washington County's Senate District 54 and in the 23B House race for Tony Cornish's former seat. 

To recap, Democrat Senator Dan Schoen resigned in December of 2017 after allegations of sexual misconduct. The special election was held with Democrat Karla Bigham who beat Republican establishment pick Denny McNamara. It's was an embarrassing loss for the MN GOP who saw Trump win by 6 points and two republican house members Jurgens and Franke also win in this district a year and a half prior. It should have been easy to beat one of the most extreme left wing, tax and spend, democrats to have been in the MN legislature. Bigham, in her final year in the legislature, was one of only six democrats out of 87 in the legislature at the time to get a 0% lifetime rating by the non-partisan Tax Payers League.  Republicans could have offered a clear choice for voters by endorsing the fiscal conservative who was in the primary. But they instead picked the, less liberal than Bigham, moderate Denny McNamara. Moderate is putting it lightly, see: Fourteen Years of Broken Promises. No Problem. Denny McNamara Wins Republican Endorsement  

Turns out the loss is even more embarrassing for the establishment GOP because
McNamara and the party spent $88,200 in the race! This was over $10,000 more than what Bigham and the democrats spent. The cost of the failed campaign equates to about $13 per vote. It goes to show that even with more money and going up against a polarizing far left candidate that you can't beat a liberal with a liberal. To compare, the fiscal conservative Jeremy Munson who won in the same special election only spent $32,196 dollars in 23B. Munson won by 20 points and spent less money in the race than his democrat challenger and under half what McNamara spent. Again, it shows the republican base, and voters in general, would rather have a clear, honest choice that isn't simply less of a tax and spend politician than the democrat option. For reference, District 23B is hardly a republican stronghold. In 2010 the democrat beat the republican by 13 points.

What the Minnesota GOP can learn from the February 12th special elections is to put up candidates like Jeremy Munson who support the party's core values and can communicate how that will improve the lives of voters over the opposing party's strategy of growing government and taxes. Whereas, candidates like McNamara who may say the same things; but have a record of growing government and taxes, but just not as much as a democrat, inspire no one (democrat lite). When moderate Republicans are chosen they're easy to defeat when challenged by even the worst democrat. We all saw the massive amounts of ads against Bigham and her record of voting to raise almost every tax there is to raise. But it's all a waste when the opposing republican can't claim they'd do the opposite and propose legislation to lower taxes and spending. 

It's up to MN republicans to not repeat the mistake of this last election with this upcoming Governor's race. Will the party stick with the more fiscal conservative Jeff Johnson or convince themselves that big money Tim Pawlenty, who was much like McNamara and hardly a fiscal conservative, is who they want on the November 2018 ballot? 

-Matt Behning

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Child Predator Convicted, No Jail, 2 years Probation, No Registration, Lives by Woodbury Elementary and Middle School

This is another article about the combined issue of weak charges, weak sentencing, and it all revolves around weak MN sex offender law. Over a dozen examples just like this and worse in just two years and in Washington
John Kipka
County alone. Check out 
http://wcwatchdog.com/local-sex-offender-articles/ and subscribe for free sex offender updates like this post.


Over two years ago in April of 2016. According to the criminal complaint, John Gary Kipka, age 37, responded to an online post titled "Life can be frustrating for a high school girl." After some chatting back and forth he asked her age. She said 15. His response was "Damn could be fun, but bad for both of us." 

Kipka continued by asking sexual questions and explained in detail the sexual things he'd like to do to her. Eventually he asked to meet her for sex stating it would have to be kept a secret. 

John Kipka arranged to meet the child at a Super America gas station in Woodbury. When he arrived he was arrested and informed he had been speaking to the Woodbury police, not a child. 

The Washington County Prosecutor's office run by Pete Orput charged him with Sexual Communication with a child. Kipka was convicted two years later and this child predator will only have to serve two years of probation. He will not have to register as a sex offender.  According to case records the conviction will be deemed a Gross Misdemeanor. The child predator's lawyer was Ed Simonet out of Stillwater.

The County attorney Pete Orput and the prosecutor Imran Ali did not respond to question on why they didn't charge him with soliciting a minor for sex. This felony charge, if convicted, would have at least required sex offender registration for a short time. The max length to be registered is 10 years in MN. This is concerning because, for the two years before conviction he was not prevented from living at his apartment, a block from Woodbury Elementary and Middle school and
even after his conviction he is allowed to continue to live there
because his charged crime and conviction are so weak.

The judge's hands are tied in situations like this. They can't charge for crimes and they are held to very weak sentencing guidelines once they are convicted. 

The sex offender list is NOT public. There are nearly 20,000 registered sex offenders in MN and only about 700 are level 3 offenders that you occasionally hear about moving into the "general area" of a city.

Last year and this year not one sex offender bill passed. Half the bills to make stronger sex offender laws were held back in the house. Senator Warren Limmer called them "non starters" and refused to discuss them in conference committee. The rest were killed in the Senate by the lead of Senator Limmer and Julie Rosen in conference committee. Both refused to comment so far.

If you hope to see any law change continue to contact law makers, especially Warren Limmer. 


It's clear that just because a child predator is convicted of trying to meet a child does not mean the public will be safer for it. Therefore, if the punishment for ALL criminal sexual conduct crimes is raised than weak charges and convictions will be stronger. 

Tell legislators to also make the sex offender list public like nearly every other State in the County does. All but MN and Maine have public lists. Maine only has 2,700 sex offenders in their state though. Compared to nearly 20,000 in MN. 

For the growing list of the last know location of convicted sex offenders in Washington County: 


DATE: 4/9/2018 
DEFENDANT: John Gary Kipka 
DOB: 10/17/1978 
CITY/RESIDENCE:

Lives a block from Woodbury Middle School
MN AGENCY: Woodbury Police Department 
JUDGE: John C. Hoffman 
CONVICTION: Engage in Electronic Communication Relating or Describing Sexual Conduct with Child 
CASE:  82-CR-16-2000
SENTENCE: Sentenced as gross misdemeanor; 2 years of probation; 2 days jail credited, 30 days to be served in HUBER program, 30 days to be served under Sentenced to Serve, 303 days stayed, that means if he breaks probation he could serve the 303 days. It's incentive to not break probation.
Level of Sentence:
Conviction deemed a Gross Misdemeanor pursuant to M.S. 609.13


criminal history according to BCA:
2003: DWI 

*In no way do we wish harm to the convicted sex offenders outside the judgement of the law. Posting each criminal's public data anyone can get allows the public to decide from the evidence if they appreciate knowing such data. Such as what these sex offender's last known address is. No representation is made that the individuals listed here are currently on the state's offenders registry. All names presented here were gathered at a past date. Some persons listed might no longer be registered offenders and others might have been added. Some addresses or other data might no longer be current. Owners of Washington County Watchdog assume no responsibility (and expressly disclaim responsibility) for updating this site to keep information current or to ensure the accuracy or completeness of any posted information. All data was only accurate at the time of posting per Government sources provided. Accordingly, you should confirm the accuracy and completeness of all posted information before making any decision related to any data presented on this site. The information on this web site is made available solely to protect the public. Anyone who uses this information to commit a crime or to harass an offender or his or her family is subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability. Message us if you can verify us of an address or change in data.  Washington County Watchdog is not responsible for the accuracy of the content shared, refer to our linked government sources.    

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Another Year of Bonding and Spending! It's time for Accountability

In response to this year's disappointing $1.5 billion dollar debt and spending bill that passed in the last hours of the 2018 session when our State has nearly a $50 billion dollar budget: The List: Hundreds of Millions of Pork in the $1.5 Billion 2018 Final Spending Bill only 7 Republicans Voted No

More spending, more spending, more spending! Another year of bonding and spending! Another year of expanding government programs and demanding more education spending! When will someone be willing to starting yelling, ENOUGH SPENDING and DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY OF WHAT IS BEING SPENT?

When will the citizens of Minnesota wake up to the fact we once again have taxation without representation (the Republican legislators have left the conservative movement). Didn't we as a country already have this fight? When will the citizens of Minnesota start to question why government is taking over all aspects of our lives and demanding we pay for our own destruction. This destruction has to stop before we become a country with no rights as citizens. And why is Comrade Governor Dayton telling us HIS priorities are the only ones that must be acted on? Did we elect a dictator or a narcissist who wants to be a dictator?

You would think all citizens of Minnesota were heirs to a department store fortune and are able to keep their money in another state to stop the stealing (via taxation) of their hard earned monies. Many citizens of Minnesota made a choice to leave and reside in a state with a taxing system lower than Minnesota's. If enough leave, who pays the government bills? Will the legislators just keep raising the tax rate to compensate? That worked so well in Venezuela, Cuba and the USSR. By the way, where is the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? I guess socialism/communism didn't work so well.

Anyone have any money left after Legislators day, April 15th?

Steve Ellenwood
Woodbury

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Only 30 Days in Jail and Probation for Child Molester Who Had Sex with Lake Elmo Child

In March of 2017 a Lake Elmo mother reported to police her child was possibly having a sexual relationship with an "older adult." In the criminal complaint she explained she had found her child's iPad showed sexual communication between the two. Detectives went to an inpatient treatment facility to talk to the child who was being treated there for depression and self harm.
Child Predator Jeff Fesler


The child victim stated, in the criminal complaint, Jeff Fesler, age 61, had been communicating; apparently showing the officer the evidence on the iPad. In May of 2016, Fesler picked the child up from their home in Lake Elmo and went to the Hilton Garden Inn in Oakdale where the two had sex. The child was 15 at the time.  

Detectives went to the house of Jeffrey Lampert Fesler. He invited them in and explained he had met the victim several times in Stillwater and they had sex once. He thought the child was over 18. Fesler said he works at One Twelve Treatment center in Minnetonka and knew the child was now being treated for depression and self harm because he had communicated with the child recently.

The Washington County Attorney's office charged Jeff Fesler with weak 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct with a child age 13-15 a month later in April of 2017 because the crime happened here. Typically child rapists convicted of 3rd degree CSC have very weak sentences for example:

Hennepin County Prosecutors charged Fesler with sexual communication with a minor as that crime was committed in their jurisdiction. Neither county asked for him to be detained so he remained free in the public until he was convicted a year later. This is evidenced in the criminal complaint with the "summons to appear", the court documents, and at sentencing recorded from the BCA. If he did serve jail time before conviction he'd been awarded credit for the number of days detained. He was given one day credit (below). He plead guilty to both charges.

Side note: The attorney who defended this now convicted child rapist was Lauren Campoli. Her office appears to commonly defend child rapists: https://campolidefense.com/practice-areas/sex-crimes/

Some would say he raped the child as by definition it is sex, with or without force with someone without their consent. Children do not have the capacity to consent. Either way, for this sex crime on this 15 year old child who apparently went into severe depression to the point of self harm, Jeff Fesler is only serving 30 days in jail and 15 years of probation. The max length on the sex offender registry is only 10 years. He can appeal to lower the length of time on probation. The list is NOT public. There are nearly 20,000 registered sex offenders in MN and only about 700 are level 3 offenders that you occasionally hear about moving into the "general area" of a city.

Last year and this year not one sex offender bill passed. Half the bills to make stronger sex offender laws were held back in the house. Senator Warren Limmer called them "non starters." The rest were killed in the Senate by the lead of Senator Limmer and Julie Rosen in conference committee. Both refused to comment.

If you hope to see any law change continue to contact law makers, especially Warren Limmer. 


It's clear that just because a rapist is convicted with level 3 child rape does not mean they'll serve prison time. Therefore, if the punishment for ALL criminal sexual conduct crimes is raised than plea deals will be less weak. 

Tell legislators to also make the sex offender list public like nearly every other State in the County does. All but MN and Maine have public lists. Maine only has 2,700 sex offenders in their state though. Compared to nearly 20,000 in MN. 

For the growing list of the last know location of convicted sex offenders in Washington County: 

To subscribe for email updates on new offenders and rapist suspects added and other
updates go to: 


DATE: 3/8/2018 
DEFENDANT: Jeffrey Lampert Fesler 
DOB: 8/31/1954 
CITY/RESIDENCE:
MN AGENCY: Washington County Sheriff's Office 
JUDGE: John C. Hoffman 
CONVICTION(s):
1. Criminal Sex Conduct-3rd Degree-Victim 13-15 Actor greater than 24m older (Not applicable - GOC)
05/28/2016 (FEL) 609.344.1(b) (6093441b)
2. Prostitution-Actor Hires or Agrees to Hire and Reasonably Believes Under 18 but at least 16
11/01/2016 (FEL) 609.324.1(c)(3) (6093241c3)

SENTENCE: 30 days in Jail. 15 years of probation; Stay of imposition, 180 days jail with 1 days credited (serves 180 days if refuses to go to treatment) , 150 stayed until in sex offender treatment; $750 fine.

*In no way do we wish harm to the convicted sex offenders outside the judgement of the law. Posting each criminal's public data anyone can get allows the public to decide from the evidence if they appreciate knowing such data. Such as what these sex offender's last known address is. No representation is made that the individuals listed here are currently on the state's offenders registry. All names presented here were gathered at a past date. Some persons listed might no longer be registered offenders and others might have been added. Some addresses or other data might no longer be current. Owners of Washington County Watchdog assume no responsibility (and expressly disclaim responsibility) for updating this site to keep information current or to ensure the accuracy or completeness of any posted information. All data was only accurate at the time of posting per Government sources provided. Accordingly, you should confirm the accuracy and completeness of all posted information before making any decision related to any data presented on this site. The information on this web site is made available solely to protect the public. Anyone who uses this information to commit a crime or to harass an offender or his or her family is subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability. Message us if you can verify us of an address or change in data.  Washington County Watchdog is not responsible for the accuracy of the content shared, refer to our linked government sources.    

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The List: Hundreds of Millions of Pork in the $1.5 Billion 2018 Final Spending Bill only 7 Republicans Voted No

The 2018 bonding bill was $825 million dollars. Titled, HF4404SF4013 it passed the house 84 to 39. Action 4 Liberty documented the votes and only 4 republican legislators voted against the bill in the house. Cal Bahr, Steve Drazkowski, Steve Greene, and Jeremy Munson. None from Washington County. The bill didn't pass the Senate with a 34 to 33 vote at first because there's thankfully a requirement to have a three fifths approval. Not one republican Senator voted no on the massive spending bill where over half the money goes to State colleges to build recreation areas, community halls, and other impressive eight figure buildings. No strings attached cash. Nothing about lowering tuition or other student costs; focusing on degrees or trades that have shortages (ie: professions they can get a job in). 

However, just hours before session ended Republicans opened the flood gates to allow what appeared to be any spending request to get this bill to pass wrapped up with a lot of the spending projects that failed to pass in the Capital Investment Project bill we covered earlier in May. The spending totals $1.5 billion dollars and was rushed through the house and senate without resistance. The Bill was HF4425 This was documented by Action 4 Liberty. It had so much wasteful spending most of the house democrats voted yes! It passed in the house 113 to 17, with only 7 republicans voting no. That is, Cal Bahr, Steve Drazkowski, Steve Greene, Eric Lucero, Joe McDonald, Marion O'Neil, and Jeremy Munson. It passed in the Senate 42-25 with every republican voting yes.

Governor Dayton signed this $1.5 billion dollar spending bill with $825 million of it in bonding debt. 

In 2017, the House and Senate republicans passed a billion dollar bonding bill which the Governor signed. Worst of all, it was a non-bonding year. Every other year is reserved for bonding (or debt) spending. The house members to vote no were:  Cal Bahr, Drew Christensen, Steve Drazkowski, Steve Green, Eric Lucero, Joe McDonald, Tim Miller, Marion O'neill, and Duane Quam. Again, not one person from Washington County. (Jeremy Munson was not in office yet if you're wondering why the lack of a no vote from him).

So what's in these pork bills is hard to exactly follow as the legislature does a horrible job explaining what comes and goes into the bills and when they meld to bigger and bigger bills like this 998 page beast. Especially in conference Committees. Unless you are there in person it's impossible to know. One thing is for certain, things are not being taken out... Things are being rammed in. Safe to say the First reading is a modest version of the bill that the Senate was unable to pass and certainly the $1.5 billion dollar version that eventually passed. Here's all the projects that stood out as "what the hell are you funding that with State tax dollars for?" In other words, "if that's SO important than the local areas that are getting the funding should pay" or simply that it's insane to fund such a thing... especially from Republicans who are supposed to be fiscally responsible. A great filter is asking "Is this a CORE function of government?" 

Minnesota consistently ranks as one of the worst tax friendly States... and it's all related to the out of control spending like this bill. It's one of many multi billion dollar omnibus bills that make up our State's nearly $50 billion dollar budget.

Also added after the bonding list here are projects that were not in the failed senate Capital investment bill we covered earlier in May.

2018 Omnibus (bonding) bill spending pork:

-$298 million to the UofM for infrastructure like buildings. It's no strings attached for good ideas like to lower tuition or stop building 8 figure art and music halls with the hard earned tax money. This bill, for example had $24 million to restore one Pillsbury hall building.
-$274 million to the equally unaccountable Minnesota State Colleges and Universities for the same kind of projects 
-$14 million to Red Lake School district to connect an elementary school to a middle school. They have a reading proficiency of 4% (reading proficiency for grade 4 at Ponemah Elementary in 2017 on MCA3 scores. Proficient means they can read as one could expect for that grade with the low bar of the state) , But the Legislature's solution is to throw money at them for a building... instead of teacher accountability reform or school choice options.
-$4 Million for a Perpich Center for the Arts
-$21 million dollars to renovate a laboratory building at the department of Agriculture... 
-$13.7 million to preserve and improve exhibits at the Minnesota Zoo
-$21 million to the Minnesota Zoo most of the funds to repurpose the monorail.... how about a cost neutral option of offering a contractor to remove the pure steel super structure free of charge and allowing them to take the steel for scrap. That's how much of the Brown's creek trail in Stillwater was paid for from the scrap rail road tracks.
-$4 million for an Amateur sports Commission
-$13.7 million to the Minnesota Zoological Garden 
-$9 million to purchase "two aircraft" $7.2 million of it is being taken from road funds!
-$50 million to the Un-elected Metropolitan Council to expand failed bus lines of their choosing... The money should be spent with stand alone bills for proposed projects like our road projects are. We don't just give MNDOT tens or hundreds of millions and say to go do what they want. At the least they should let the experts in Bus service at Metro Transit decide because they have proven studies and calculations to determine route use called the Service Improvement plans. The Met Council's strategy is to expand as many lines as possible at the same time to create lines that need funding indefinitely check out the latest failure of the Met C in bus planning here.
-$50 million to the Un-elected Metropolitan Council to build a "Heywood II bus garage" in Minneapolis
-$14 million to build two secure living units for sex offenders in St. Peters... this is not related to the $8.8 million for the second phase of a different building for the sex offenders in St. Peter that we covered in the 2018 Capital Investment pork bill
-ONLY $13 million for the veteran homes in Minneapolis, Hastings, Fergus Falls, Silver Bay, Luverne, and Little Falls...
-$16 million for new plumbing and ventilation at the St. Cloud prison... anyone else not care if prisoners have to shower with cold water and live with bad ventilation?
-$15 million for public housing for low income... how about welfare reform and the thousands of units of existing low income housing can be temporary solutions until they're self sustaining again? Faster recovery opens up units. 
-$40 million for the Minnesota Historical Society... core function of government?
-ONLY $500,000 for cemeteries for Veterans across the whole state and it comes with small print saying the  "veterans cemeteries, to be operated by the commissioner of veterans affairs. The commissioner also must seek donations of land for the cemeteries."
Middle of nowhere trails:
-$2.6 million trail in New London (population 1,200, middle of no where far west of cities)
-$3.3 million for trail from Detroit Lakes (pop. 8K to Frazee pop 1,300)
-$3.5 million for "mountain bike system" in Cuyuna Country rec area by Crosby MN (pop. 3,000) 
-$1.6 million trail out of Little Falls (pop 8k)
-$3.5 million for "continued development" of underground mine park facilities in Lake Vermilion 
-$3.1 million for a trail through Tofte MN on far north shore (population 226 people!)

Some of the added pork to make the $1.5 billion dollar version:
$1.9 million to build a bear exhibit at the Duluth Zoo that couldn't even take care of it's Polar bears after flooding allowed a bear to escape in 2012 they closed it down and moved the bears out. 
$1.3 million dollars for the start of a trail near the hospital in ELY (population 3,390)
$1.5 million to add to the already 200 mile long ATV trail that winds through rural Aitkin County
$1.3 million for a recreation area in Babbitt (pop 1,400)
$1.4 million for Hennepin County Center for the arts
$514,000 for a public radio station tower in Trout Lake Township (population 1,087 people)
$15 million for Minneapolis to redevelop a Harbor Terminal for the public (initially they were to get $12 million)
$3 million for a food bank in Crookston (pop 5,800)
$1.8 million to Silver Bay to put a park on the recently public "black beach" (pop 1,800)
$4.5 million to renovate one rec center in St. Paul
$400,000 to study "insect productivity" for fish.
$200,000 to sonar map muscle habitat in St Croix/Mississippi river way
$400,000 to study alternatives to road salt... (it's free to ask the dozens of no salt cities and counties across the Country for data on salt alternatives)
$300,000 to public TV to make videos on conservation
$550,000 so 17 acres in Morris MN (pop 5,200) can teach about pollinators (like bees) Could they have found a more isolated and remote city in the State?
$1 million for new international wolf center exhibits
$550,000 to increase diversity in environmental jobs
$350,000 to study and develop "solar window concentrators" (sounds like a job for the private sector)
$550,000 to write a guidebook on storing renewable energy
$310,000 to develop "bio-mulch" for gardens
$750,000 to research "new technology lawnmowers" original language said "autonomous pasture mower and solar charging station"
$400,000 to assess using invertebrates as a food source for animals in the Praire Pothole area of the State.
$2.2 million for a Swedish Immigrant trail section near Taylor Falls MN (pop 1,000)
$338,000 to research if bison can restore oak savannah wildlife area
$1 million dollar trail in Cohasset (pop 2,600) 
$2 million to improve a boat launch in Grand Marais 
$2.5 million for part 3 of 4 on a trail in La Crescent (pop 4,800)
$1.1 million for a trail "near" Tower MN (pop 400)