Strand Responds to Water Tower Projection Complaint - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Strand Responds to Water Tower Projection Complaint

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Fargo Police say they're investigating City Commission candidate John Strand's campaign. Police received a formal complaint last week over Strand's creative campaign message, in which his staff projected the 'I Stand with Strand' slogan on a city water tower. Cass County State's Attorney Birch Burdick may soon be evaluating whether the issue violates a state law that prohibits candidates from using public property for campaigning. According to the law, a violation can result in removal from the race.

In response to the investigation, Strand posted this message on his Facebook page:

JOHN STRAND STATEMENT regarding citizen complaint filed with Fargo Police Department regarding projection image on water tower:

I am confident that the investigative result will reflect the truth and will be resolved, bringing a conclusion to this matter once and for all.
1. Our projection on the water tower for two nights cost the taxpayer no funds and was what we believe the courts would call of a de minimis use* (Vande Walle Supreme court case), thereby inconsequential and harmless.
2 Our projection image was taken down the same day concerns were voiced about it. We cooperated fully and showed a reasonableness in every regard. It would be well to note that our projection was up one night and then was delayed for approximately a week due to technical difficulties before the second and final full night of display; it was discontinued the next evening.
3. Further, we have numerous photographs** of political advertisements placed on public property boulevards, still and for many days, also technical infractions under the same statute regarding the use of state or political subdivision services or property for political purposes. (NDCC 16.1-10-02).
4. Emptying the ballot of quality candidates over such frivolous and inconsequential trivialities is not in the public's best interest.
For further information, please contact my legal counsel, John T. Goff, 701.281.8001. I have no further comment on this matter.
*Vande Wall Supreme court case, http://law.justia.com/cases/north-dakota/supreme-court/1979/9619-2.html
** Note, a few depict advertisements without proper disclaimer 
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