By Josh Moniz
NEW ULM - The U.S. Secret Service has allegedly investigated Ron Larsen, a candidate for the New Ulm City Council, over a letter he sent to President Barack Obama.
Larsen, candidate this year for the Councilor-At-Large seat on the Council, was visited by an agent from the Secret Service in mid-May. Larsen confirmed the visit occurred. Representatives from the Secret Service have opted to neither confirm nor deny the investigation.
The source of the visit is believed to stem from a letter Larsen to a judge during his legal dispute over being taken off the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance program. In the letter, he claims that he is only required to be available for work and the claimed requirement of having to be "actively looking for employment" was a fraudulent requirement. Outside of the letter, Larsen explained that he believes the "actively looking" requirement has no legal basis. He also said that he believes it was implemented to reduce the number of people on the MNUI program, freeing up funds to be moved to maintain unemployment benefits for unionized workers.
Larsen also sent copies of his letters to Obama and several Minnesota lawmakers. A key passage towards the end of the Larsen letter involves claims that the issues he raised were intentionally perpetuated all the way up the chain of the federal government to the Oval Office.
"...I've established with the U.S Attorney's office not entering the matter (after all they would know it was a fraud, wouldn't they?) that this whole fraud goes right up into Obama's administration," said Larsen in the letter, "Ever since I was 50-55 years old, I've had this nagging feeling that I was put on this Earth for a specific reason. Now I know it was to take down a sitting U.S. president; life doesn't get any better than that!"
Larsen said he sent the letter in May and was subsequently surprised in the early morning of May 13 with a visit by a Secret Service agent. He said that the agent identified himself and said they did not consider him a serious threat, given the wording of the letter. Larsen said the agent explained to him that he had used certain flagged words and phrases in his letter that they were required to check out. Larsen said they conducted an interview and the agent left with no issue.
Larsen said he did not hold anything against the agent for investigating him since he was simply doing his job. However, Larsen later claimed that he believes the visit was "saber rattling" by the Obama administration to make him stop pursuing his claims. He said he believes that if he brings a lawsuit over his claims, it would damage Obama reelection chances.
Larsen is currently running this November for the position of Councilor-At-Large against incumbent Council President Charles Schmitz.
Larsen is a former reporter for The Journal.
Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org