Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Foster County Storm Damage - July 21, 2014

These photos were taken on July 22, 2014 - the morning after a severe storm in Foster County, ND.  My friend, Dolly Footitt, and I took a drive from Carrington to Bordulac, and these were the scenes which we saw along the way.  

Many best wishes to the farmers and others who reaped damages from this storm.  It has been reported that no one was hurt during the storm (Thank Goodness!), but there was a lot of property damage.  According to one of the weather stations, there were gusts of wind up to 80 miles per hour - straightline winds that can do as much damage as a tornado.

Hopefully, we will not have any other storms as serious as this one during the rest of the summer!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

FARGO INFORUM: "ND secretary of state, BCI investigate Foster County election"

The Fargo Forum posted an article about our local Foster County Primary Election.  It was basically a link to the original report by David Luessen from the Jamestown Sun published on July 11, 2014.  

When the ND Secretary of State comments on a questionable election issue, it becomes more than local news. A letter from Secretary of State Al Jaeger to Foster County Auditor Teresa Risovi stated: "In order to revisit the alleged situation described above, the Canvassing Board must be reconvened according to N.D.C.C. 16.1-15-17 (enclosed). Then, if necessary, adjust the vote totals and resubmit a new certification to the State Canvassing Board."  Several newspapers are following this issue now, especially since the ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation was called in last week to investigate the issue surrounding the absentee ballots.

This picture was taken after the Primary Election at the Foster County Fair when Auditor Risovi took vacation days from her job to campaign for Foster County Auditor which comes up for a vote in the November election. (The Primary vote was Casey Cables/908 over Teresa Risovi/459.)  

Was Risovi Wrong... AGAIN?


In the face of possible election violations, Interim Auditor Risovi stated that the Canvassing Board did everything legally when accepting two absentee votes that lacked a signature on the application. According to Risovi, there was no violation of election laws in counting those ballots.

She continued to espouse that position even when Secretary of State Jaeger sent her a letter telling her that she "must" reconvene the Canvassing Board.

What puzzles this writer is that after the letter from Secretary of State was received by Risovi, she still defiantly stated that she wasn't going to reconvene the Canvassing Board.

Now, why the sudden change in her position?

You see, Risovi reconvened the Foster County Canvassing Board today, July 15th at 1:00 p.m. to vote on whether they should reconvene later to take another look at the absentee ballots in question - the ballots that the Election Board said were invalid.

You will see in the video taken at the Canvassing Board Meeting today that Royce Topp, Carol Rosenau, and Lanelle Hoppe voted YES to reconvene the Canvassing Board.

Please note in the video that Chairman Straley abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest. Why didn't he do that at the first Canvassing Board meeting? Also, notice how Risovi declines to vote in face of a majority against her advocacy. If her position were founded on principle, integrity, and legality, why didn't she vote NO just to be on what she thought was the right side of the law?

Let's not forget that Auditor Teresa Dietrich Risovi is the one and only person, by the constitution of the state of North Dakota, who is in charge of our county election process. If the recent Foster County Primary Election is indicative of what little she knows about her duties as Auditor, we all need to take careful watch of her actions before her term ends.

Who knows what she will do next!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Auditor Teresa Risovi Shows True Colors

This is the recorded phone call that I talked about in a previous article "Phone Calls Recorded at the Auditor's Office without Telling Callers."  We received this recorded call by way of a public records request from Foster County.  

What is so interesting about this call is the fact that Auditor Risovi knew she was being recorded (on the first section of the tape), but State's Attorney Paul Murphy did not know she was recording their conversation.

Listen to how efficient she sounds to begin with, but as soon as Murphy voices some frustration with something she did, she attacks him verbally and threatens to go to Sheriff Tufte, if he doesn't show her some respect.  (One wonders what she expects Sheriff Tufte to do when she "tells on" the State's Attorney for being what she calls disrespectful.)  Murphy listens to the threat and simply hangs up on her.

You have to wait a minute to hear the next section of the tape.  In actuality, over seven minutes elapsed before the voice activated recording machine turned itself back on without Risovi knowing it. She was talking to someone with a deep male voice.  (One doubts if she knew this conversation was on the tape when she released it as part of the public request.)  

In this last section of the tape, Auditor Risovi reveals her true nature, using profanity to describe the State's Attorney, and mean-mouthing his secretary.  This is a side of our auditor that the public needs to be aware of.  It emphasizes that negative aspect of her nature that can't refrain from flipping someone off in the Foster County Courtroom, or from profanely bawling out the local newspaper editor for printing her $50,000 salary on his front page, or from lying to get restraining orders against people who are critical of her incompetent actions in office.

Monday, June 30, 2014

ND Secretary of State Jaeger Sets Auditor Risovi Straight

As most of you know, there has been quite a controversy regarding the mismanagement of the absentee ballot process during Foster County's Primary Election. After the election was over, many of us were concerned about two improperly signed absentee ballot applications which the Foster County Canvassing Board accepted after the Primary Election Board rejected them. 

You see, those two extra votes which were counted meant that Donnie Theis (who was close to Paul Straley in votes) could not ask for a recount. It also meant that Kathleen Murray could be on the November ballot, running against State's Attorney Paul Murphy.

The Secretary of State, Al Jaeger, was asked to investigate the decision made by the Canvassing Board. As you can see in the letter from the Secretary of State, the law was violated - as and other concerned citizens have contended all along. 

The law requires that the two signatures be compared and an absentee ballot should be accepted only if the signatures correspond. In the case of these absentee ballots there were not two signatures to compare.

Please call Auditor Risovi (701-652-2441) and ask her the same question that Sec of State Jaeger asked her: "...upon what legal basis did they [you] overturn the proper rejection of the ballots by the Election Board?"

(Personally speaking, I'm positive that Carol Rosenau, Royce Topp and Lanelle Hoppe (Canvassing Board members) were there to do the right and lawful thing... to count the votes properly. I just wonder if Auditor Risovi or Commissioner Paul Straley said something which influenced them in some way to accept those invalid votes.)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Foster County Commissioner Straley Authorized Phone Calls To Be Recorded


Foster County Commissioner Chairman Paul Straley admitted that he set up a device to record phone calls which come in to Sheriff Tufte's office (which also includes Auditor Risovi's office) at the courthouse. According to ND state law, it is legal to record phone calls without telling both parties as long as one party agrees to it. (Many states do not allow this, saying that it is illegal to record phone calls without all parties knowing they are being recorded. Personally, I support this viewpoint. Ethically speaking, I think it is only right to let someone know that he/she is being recorded.)

Nevertheless, whether it is legal, illegal or unethical to record a person's phone calls without telling them, some of the recorded calls at the auditor's office document some interesting facts about Teresa Risovi's performance as auditor of Foster County.

The recorded phone call which Commissioner Jim Carr wanted to be played for the public to hear, was vehemently objected to by Chairman Straley at two different times during the meeting. The phone call in question recorded Auditor Risovi using profanity against State's Attorney Paul Murphy, as well as a very rude, unkind description of his secretary. Also, Risovi threatened Murphy that if he didn't show her some respect, she would immediately go to the sheriff's office (and do what, you might wonder.). 

You might also wonder why Auditor Risovi would say the things she did, knowing that her call was being recorded. Apparently the recording device had a technical aspect to it that Straley and Risovi weren't aware of. You see, after the main phone call message was done, the machine kept quietly recording and minutes later recorded the conversation that was going on in the background - apparently unbeknownst to Risovi and the person who was helping her with the recording device. It should also be noted that in the phone tape Auditor Risovi is angrily complaining about the "mousy little secretary's" husband who has been upstairs recording her; yet she is recording the calls of every single citizen/person who makes a call to her office without telling them. What a hypocrite!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Phone Calls Recorded at the Auditor's Office without Telling Callers

Foster County Commission Chairman Paul Straley and Auditor Teresa Risovi have been recording phone calls that come into her office at the Foster County Courthouse - without telling callers that they are being recorded. Take a look at what happens when Commissioner Carr wants one of the phone tapes played so State's Attorney Paul Murphy can listen to it at the June 17, 2014 Foster County Commissioners Meeting..

Since Auditor Risovi knew that her conversations were being recorded, you would think that she would be careful of what she said.  However, there was an aspect of the recording device that I don't think she was aware of.  You see, after the main phone call was finished, sometimes there were long minutes of silence; then suddenly the device would activate and record conversations that were going on in the office.

In this video, the recorded phone tape that Straley doesn't want to be played has Auditor Risovi using profanity to describe State's Attorney Paul Murphy and using very unkind words to describe his secretary.  It doesn't paint a very nice image of our Foster County Auditor.

Note:  These recorded phone tapes were acquired by using a public records request.  Any citizen can ask for public records at the Foster County Courthouse, and by law they are required to give them to you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Foster County Auditor Risovi Includes Invalid Absentee Votes in the Primary Election

This video is of a typical Foster County Commissioners Meeting with Paul Straley and Auditor Teresa Risovi running the show... and ignoring/rebuffing Jim Carr's requests. Carr was concerned that Donnie Theis be acknowledged and be allowed to have a recount of the Primary Election absentee ballot votes which were so mismanaged by Risovi. The vote was so close between Straley and Theis that a recount might place Theis on the ballot for the November general election instead of PaulStraley. It is reported that the members of the canvassing board had requested Risovi's legal opinion regarding some unsigned absentee ballots whereupon she had no problem informing the board to allow these invalid votes to be counted for Straley. Interestingly, the new votes for Straley meant that Theis would not be allowed to ask for a recount.

On Tuesday, shortly after the commissioners' meeting, State's Attorney Paul Murphy said he contacted the Secretary of State regarding these unsigned absentee ballots. From what we've been told, the Secretary of State's office immediately instructed Risovi to disallow these pro-Straley ballots. UPDATE 6/20/14 Correction & Explanation: The Secretary of State's office did NOT say to disallow the ballots. They said that unsigned absentee ballots are invalid and that they SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED - according to the ND Century Code. However, the Sec of State HAS TO accept the canvassing board's report. Therefore, since the canvassing board listened to Risovi and accepted the two unsigned absentee ballots - contrary to the clear requirements of the ND Century Code - they count toward the election. So, the only way Donnie Theis can get a recount is to sue Foster County, saying that the canvassing board should have rejected the two unsigned ballots. At this date, we don't know if Theis has decided to sue the county or not.]

If Donnie Theis follows through on his request for a recount, it will be extremely interesting to see what other invalid votes might appear. Many of us are definitely suspicious of Risovi's attempt to deny Theis' request for a recount of the absentee ballots. We are wondering... is there something about the ballots that Risovi and Straley are trying to hide?

Friday, June 13, 2014


Congratulations to everyone who participated in our local election. Whether you received the most votes or not, you should all be commended for making an effort to serve our community. Best wishes to you all!

Bill Bauer: 696
Jim Carr: 686
Pat Copenhaver: 417
Paul Straley: 353
Donnie Theis: 340
Joshua Dreher: 160
Write-in: 32

Casey Cables: 908
Teresa Risovi: 459
Write-in: 27

State's Attorney:
Paul Murphy: 968
Write-in: 129

Lynelle Hoppe: 1,199
Cheryl Fettig: 189
Write-in: 1

Noreen Barton: 1,263
Write-in: 14

Michael Tufte: 1,070
Danielle Rosewaren: 302
Write-in: 12

Foster County Independent: 1,297

Mayor: Neil Fandrich 688
Write-in: 45

Council Member:
Al Trader: 757
Write-in: 3

Municipal Judge:
Leah Trosen: 685
Write-in: 4

Carrington Ward 1:
Council Member:

Richard Engel: 317
Write-in: 2

Council Member:
Trygg Olson: 325
Write-in: 2

Carrington Ward 2
Josh Hoffman: 253
John Schnase: 95
Write-in: 5

Carrington Park:
Jerome Zink: 704
Tonia Erickson: 669
Randy Hooey: 647
Randy Leadbetter: 293
Write-in: 6


Council Member
Josh Johnson: 22
Holly Utke: 20
Write-in: 2

LuVerne Hoyt: 35
Richard Aasand: 3
Write-in: 10

Write-in: 24

Grace City Council
Ron Brakke-1 vote
John Cunningham-7 votes
Craig Ellingson-2 votes
Leon Meehan-2 votes
Loren Larson-4 votes
Rayette Lyman-1 vote
Darrel Sandvol-1 vote
Katie Larson-1 vote

Grace City Park Board
Sheri Ellingson-3 votes
Rayette Lyman-5 votes
Leon Meehan-1 vote
Cindy Meehan-1 vote
Lynelle Lyman-Hoppe-1 vote
Amanda Topp-1 vote

Constitutional Measure 1 
Yes: 630 votes
No: 558 votes


Mayor Carrington

Joni Lund-1 vote
Jordan Koll-1 vote
Al Metzger-10 votes
Erick Zink-1 vote
Paul Murphy-3 votes
Don Frye-6 votes
Tom Erdmann-2 votes
Douglas E. Doak-1 vote
Gerald Paulson-2 votes
Neil Veen-1 vote
Kent Hewitt-1 vote
Al Trader-2 votes
Tonia Erickson-1 vote
Robert Scott-1 vote
Paul Straley-1 vote
Doug Schroeder-1 vote

Council Ward 2 Carrington
Randy Hooey-1 vote
Brian Carr-1 vote
Douglas Doak-1 vote

Foster County Auditor
Noreen Barton-1 vote
Sarah Aberle-13 votes
Lisa Scanson-1 Vote
Heather Martin-2 votes
Roger Schlotman-4 votes

Foster County States Attorney
Kathleen Murray-48 votes
Marina Spahr-23 votes
Leo Ryan-2 votes
Thomas Aljets-9 votes
Ashley Lies-1 vote
Mike Miller-1 vote
Kathleen Trosen-1 vote

Foster County Commissioner
Douglas Doak-1 vote
Vern Anderson-3 votes
Dennise Hoffman-3 votes
John Murphy Sr. -2 votes
Alan Scanson-3 votes
Darlene Carr-2 votes
Jerry Becker-1 vote
Al Trader-1 vote
Tim Zink-1 vote
Noreen Barton-1 vote
Mike Larson-1 vote
Rich Short-1 vote

Municipal Judge
Paul Murphy-1 vote
Jamie Dunn-1 vote

Foster County Sheriff
Randy Saint-1 vote
Randy Munkeby-2 votes
Justin Johnson-5 votes
Douglas E. Doak-1 vote

Council Ward 1 Carrington
Al Trader-1 vote
Paul Messmer-1 vote
John Pederson-1 vote
Josh Hoffman-1 vote

City Park Carrington
Susan Bickett-1 vote
Josh Kerbauch-1 vote
Dennis Freeman-1 vote
Gus Lange-1 vote
John Gallagher-1 vote

Foster County Treasurer
Sarah Aberle-8 votes
Tracy Perhus-1 vote
Lynelle Hoppe-1 vote
Dottie Doak-1 vote
Gerald Paulson-1 vote

Council at Large Carrington
John Odstracil-1 vote
Douglas E. Doak-1 vote
Roger Rindy-1 vote

McHenry City Council
Darlis Short-2 votes
Margory Moya-1 vote
Pat Kraemer-1 vote
David Jones-1 vote
Rick Short-1 vote

Glenfield Council
Eric Johnson-1 vote

Grace City Council
Ron Brakke-1 vote
John Cunningham-7 votes
Craig Ellingson-2 votes
Leon Meehan-2 votes
Loren Larson-4 votes
Rayette Lyman-1 vote
Darrel Sandvol-1 vote
Katie Larson-1 vote

Grace City Park Board
Sheri Ellingson-3 votes
Rayette Lyman-5 votes
Leon Meehan-1 vote
Cindy Meehan-1 vote
Lynelle Lyman-Hoppe-1 vote
Amanda Topp-1 vote