NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — He’s a polarizing and controversial figure within North Dakota politics, but there is no doubt that he champions issues held by a certain percentage of the electorate.
KX News’ Josh Meny sat down with Independent Candidate for Secretary of State, Charles Tuttle.
You describe yourself as a Trump Republican, and recently you were endorsed by Mike Lindell’s colleague, a well-known proponent of the so-called ‘Big lie’, Dr. Frank.
“Actually, both of them have endorsed me,” said Tuttle.
Okay, Mike Lindell endorsed you. So, most people know to some degree what happened on the national level in 2020. The Trump team’s case was thrown out by federal and state courts.
For standing. But, bringing it closer to North Dakota. What about the 2020 election here in our state, which voted for Trump, which heavily voted red, that you thought there was some issue with it? That there was an issue with election integrity?
“Well, we actually filed a lawsuit. Okay. I did. Against the Governor and the Secretary of State. The Governor made executive orders that actually interfered with the election process. It overrode what the legislature has only the authority to do. Like closing down a polling station. My county, Ward County, we did not have a place to in-person vote on election day in the primary. That was completely illegal. Even the Governor in a lawsuit, he actually on the day of our hearing, he rescinded his order. They came in and said they may have overreached their authority. But it’s rescinded, so it’s moot. So I said to the judge: Okay, so they robbed the bank. They kept the money. And because they promised they won’t do it again, it’s okay,” said Independent candidate for Secretary of State Charles Tuttle.
Switching gears. So, earlier in the year, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation took 15 timecards from your house, they executed a search warrant, which was regarding the term limits measure, which was turned down by Secretary of State al Jager. But then your group DC-based group, which is propping up your campaign, ‘US Term Limits’ spent $275,000 suing the state. You won, it’s back on the ballot, it’s very popular. But what is going on in your investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI)?
“Well, first of all, what they’re accusing me of is a misdemeanor. Why would you send four BCI agents using tax resources into somebody’s house for a misdemeanor? And then on the actual warrant, it has two of Burgum’s surrogates – Pat Finkin and Jamal Omar. And it looks as though they were tape-recording our petition gatherers at the State Fair where we kicked off the campaign. So, they preempted a method that they thought would garner them the ability to remove it from the ballot,” said Tuttle.
Were you giving petition gathers bonuses?
“No, we actually paid him on a scale. But let’s go to the bonus. Let’s suppose we were, okay? It says in the constitution you can’t pass any laws that hinder or restrict the initiative process. If you’re going to say, I don’t know if there are any businesses out there that you can’t give bonuses, except maybe the mafia or hitman. But I mean, to make a law that is restrictive, is unconstitutional. It says right in the constitution that you can only make laws that will enhance the initiative process. And we’ve got all kinds of laws that the legislature, obviously the legislation right now is violating the law. There’s a group of them, I have their email. Mr. Lefor said there’s a group of House members organizing together to get 15 groups [to oppose Measure 1 term limits], they’ve got 15 groups, and all of these groups, if they are taxpayer-funded, a House member if he uses his position as House member, that’s owned by the people. It violates 16.1 corrupt practices, okay. They’re breaking the law,” said Tuttle.