The Grassroots Party, is dedicated to personal freedom, justice, and peace. We uphold the Bill of Rights and work to repeal drug prohibition, restore civil liberties and environmental balance, and ensure equality through the political process. The primary purpose of the Grassroots Party is the total legalization of cannabis and the pardon and release of all prisoners held on so-called “marijuana” charges.
August 10, 2022. St. Paul, MN. (Updated on September 30, 2022):
Grassroots Party repudiates the result of the Aug. 9th Governor primary.
The Grassroots Party Central Committee has authorized this statement from party chairman, Oliver Steinberg:
In the August 9th, 2022, primary election in Minnesota, two candidates for the Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis Party’s nomination for Governor were listed on the ballot.
Only one of the candidates was a genuine Grassroots supporter. The other candidate, Steve Patterson, was a self-proclaimed “hijacker” with no connection to the party or to the principles and positions it represents.
Very few people actually voted in the Grassroots party’s primary, and both candidates were essentially unknown. The outcome showed that Patterson received a majority of the scattered, almost random votes. Consequently, Patterson’s name will be certified to appear on the ballot for Governor in the general election in November.
The Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis Party, however, declares that Patterson is not a legitimate candidate but rather is an impostor, a self-identified “hijacker” who does not deserve the nomination.
The Party repudiates his nomination. Patterson’s candidacy is a deliberate insult to the loyal supporters of the Grassroots Party.
Patterson’s nomination violates the integrity of our system of representative democracy.
Patterson’s fraudulent candidacy expresses contempt for all the citizens of Minnesota.
The Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis Party’s Central Committee asks our supporters NOT to vote for the spurious Patterson-Huff candidacy in the General Election on November 8th.
BACKGROUND: Patterson took advantage of a quirk in Minnesota election law to buy his way onto the ballot.
According to his own account, he wanted to file for Governor as an Independent candidate, in order to pursue a personal grudge against the incumbent, Governor Tim Walz.
Patterson learned that independent candidates must collect 2,000 signatures on nominating petitions. Too much work!
Instead, he filed a deceptive affidavit of candidacy claiming to be a Grassroots party supporter, so he could get on the ballot simply by paying a “major party” filing fee ($300 for Governor and $300 for Lt. Governor.) Although it’s clearly dishonest and unethical, there’s nothing in Minnesota election law that could prevent anyone from doing that.
It’s ironic that these two fraudulent candidates, Steve Patterson and his “running mate” Matt Huff, were able to buy their way onto the ballot, while the Grassroots Party’s endorsed candidate, Kevin “NeSe” Shores, of Moorhead, was kept off the ballot by the Secretary of State’s office.
NeSe has an established record as a medical cannabis activist, and as an advocate promoting hemp cultivation.
On May 31, 2022, Mr. Shore’s Affidavit of Candidacy was rejected by the Secretary of State’s office, despite providing all the necessary information, because an extra box on the paper affidavit form had been checked by mistake. Mr. Shores, a disabled Navy veteran who is completely blind, had asked a neighbor’s assistance in filling out the Affidavit form for him. The helper made the error. Mr. Shores, being unable to see the paper himself, didn’t realize the mistake.
Circumstances kept NeSe from traveling to St. Paul to file, so a volunteer had conveyed his affidavit. After the Secretary’s office rejected the affidavit, Mr. Shores spoke by telephone with their staff and requested a simple accommodation–namely, to just erase or white-out the stray “x.” This accommodation was refused.
It was known by then that Patterson, the political hijacker, had already been approved to be on the ballot. The loyal party members didn’t want the hijacker to win the nomination by default, and no time was left to drive to Moorhead for a new affidavit from NeSe.
At that point, a Grassroots sympathizer who was present at the filing office was willing to file as a substitute candidate for Governor, and did so without any advance plans or preparation.
And that’s how it happened that the filing deadline at 5:00 p.m. on May 31 passed without the party’s original candidate on the ballot.
Why wasn’t the Party ready to file its endorsed candidate’s affidavit earlier during the two-week filing window?
It’s because all normal Party business had been derailed by a scheme to destroy the party organization, sprung less than a week before the filing period began.
This scheme was concocted by Marcus Harcus, along with Tanner Berris, who’d infiltrated the Party for the purpose of betraying it. In collaboration with several low-echelon DFL figures, the disrupters launched their attack on May 11, aiming to sabotage the Party by May 28. Their sneak attack relied on lies and pretended legal maneuvers.
The loyal Party personnel were forced to forgo all campaign preparations, including candidate filings, and spend the filing-window time staving off the Harcus-Berris treachery. When the plotters finally capitulated on May 28, it was too late to get affidavits notarized until Tuesday the 31st. [Monday, May 30th, was Memorial Day.]
One possible remedy remained after the filing deadline: if those candidates whose affidavits had been accepted, were to submit “Affidavits of Withdrawal” within 48 hours, a “vacancy in nomination” would be declared. The filing process would be re-opened for five days. If that were done, the technically disqualified candidate could file a fresh affidavit, while the candidates who voluntarily withdrew to allow this correction, could re-file as well, and get back onto the primary ballot.
The substitute candidate said that he’d be willing to withdraw, in order to help reverse the technical disqualification of the party’s endorsed candidate.
In telephone conversations with the substitute, and with party chairman Oliver Steinberg, Patterson agreed the temporary withdrawal idea was a reasonable accommodation to redress the unfair treatment of Mr. Shores, and Patterson further said he too was willing to temporarily withdraw.
Mr. Steinberg’s daughter drove with him to Austin, MN, on June 2 to obtain Patterson’s affidavit of withdrawal. At that point, Patterson–the guy who had chosen the Grassroots ballot line just so he could hijack it–backed out of the agreement.
Patterson’s refusal to let Kevin “NeSe” Shores onto the ballot was a deliberate decision to ratify the discriminatory action by the Secretary of State’s office. Patterson had a fine opportunity to show good faith and to reverse the injustice, but instead, he reinforced the travesty.
Patterson and Huff chose to pervert the political process, in order to pursue their personal grudges and egotistical ambitions.
They deliberately kept a blind, disabled U.S. military veteran off the ballot.
The Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis Party repudiates these two unpatriotic opportunists. Although their names will appear on the Nov. 8th ballot on the Grassroots Party line, a vote for the hijackers, Patterson and Huff, would betray the party’s principles and hurt the cause of cannabis liberation.
Oliver Steinberg. St. Paul, MN, Chairman, Grassroots – Legalize-Cannabis Party, P.O. Box 8076, St. Paul, MN 55108