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Archive for August 25th, 2013

Twin Cities Media Scooped Again: Sovereign Citizens Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 25, 2013

I was just thinking the other day that if I had depended solely on the local mainstream media (what Sally Jo Sorensen over at Bluestem Prairie calls the “rocking chair media”) for my news of my own state, I never would have known that Rod Grams’ aide Peter Hong was called “Senator Hong” on Capitol Hill because he served as the otherwise helpless Grams’ minder and babysitter.

And now I find that, once again, our local mainstream talent has been scooped on a local story, this time by the New York Times:

MINNEAPOLIS — One of the first inklings Sheriff Richard Stanek had that something was wrong came with a call from the mortgage company handling his refinancing.

“It must be a mistake,” he said, when the loan officer told him that someone had placed liens totaling more than $25 million on his house and on other properties he owned.

But as Sheriff Stanek soon learned, the liens, legal claims on property to secure the payment of a debt, were just the earliest salvos in a war of paper, waged by a couple who had lost their home to foreclosure in 2009 — a tactic that, with the spread of an anti-government ideology known as the “sovereign citizen” movement, is being employed more frequently as a way to retaliate against perceived injustices.

Over the next three years, the couple, Thomas and Lisa Eilertson, filed more than $250 billion in liens, demands for compensatory damages and other claims against more than a dozen people, including the sheriff, county attorneys, the Hennepin County registrar of titles and other court officials.

Stanek finally got the liens undone, but not before they affected his credit rating.

This story would not have surprised the late great Karl Bremer, the proprietor of Ripple in Stillwater and one of the five best journalists in the state at the time he died last year. He not only had the Sovereign Citizens angle down cold, he showed that Bradley Dean “Bradlee Dean” Smith, the infamous toxic-rock hate preacher, Minnesota conservative fixture, and occasional ally of Minnesota Republican politicians, was and might still be a part of that movement: Read the rest of this entry »

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