Lilligren asks police to look into “illegal campaign activities”

City Council Member Robert Lilligren said Wednesday he asked Minneapolis Police to investigate “illegal campaign activities” that targeted him prior to his re-election Nov. 3.

In an email to supporters, Lilligren [Ward 6] said both the distribution of postcards attacking him and the alleged theft of some of his campaign materials were crimes. Police had begun a criminal investigation, he said.

“These tactics of fear and intimidation we saw this year must not be allowed to infect other Minnesota elections,” he said in the email.

The anti-Lilligren postcard showed up in some 6th Ward residents’ mailboxes Oct. 23, less than two weeks before Election Day. It claimed the council member was “against all immigrants, minorities and women in the 6th Ward.”

The postcard also claimed Lilligren was guilty of drinking and driving, that he attended meetings intoxicated and that he was under investigation and could be indicted of unspecified crimes. The postcard was credited to Citizens for the Sixth Ward, but that group was not a registered political action committee.

Lilligren acknowledged an April 2005 arrest for driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent, above the then-legal limit of .10 percent. He pled guilty and said last month nothing like it had happened since.

Asked in October about the other claims, Lilligren said they were so “outrageous” he would not “dignify them with a response.”

In his email message, Lilligren said “thousands of pieces” of his own campaign literature were stolen the night before the election. He reported both the postcard and the stolen campaign literature to police.

“I hope the people who did these things are identified and successfully prosecuted,” he wrote in the email.

On Election Day, Lilligren won in the first round, receiving 1,020 of 1,930 votes, or 52.3 percent of all votes cast.