Ex-supporters want former City Council candidate investigated

Some former members of the student’s campaign knew about the lies.

A recent letter sent out by a former supporter of Charles Carlson âÄî the University of Minnesota student who dropped out of the Ward 2 race for Minneapolis City Council after making a series of false claims âÄî stated that Carlson should be prosecuted for theft by fraud. Carlson received about $1,700 in donations during his campaign and now some of his former supporters are calling for a legal investigation. Jesse Berglund, a former supporter of Carlson’s campaign and an attorney who gave him occasional legal advice, sent out a letter stating that supporters of Carlson who donated to his campaign should seek compensation for their donations because they were made under the dependence on Carlson’s false claims that included stories about growing up in England, attending Princeton University and a variety of other schools. âÄúThis is beyond campaign misstatement, this was about creating a false persona for the personal advancement of Charles Carlson,âÄù Berglund said. âÄúThe candidate we donated to is not the real Charles Carlson, in fact, he intended it not to be him at all.âÄù After CarlsonâÄôs lies were uncovered, he admitted to having schizophrenia affective disorder, which could have affected his perception of reality. Brad Baso, a former Carlson supporter, donated $100 to CarlsonâÄôs campaign. Baso said he wants to see the case investigated. âÄúI feel like I was betrayed,âÄù he said. Berglund included a standardized letter for former supporters to send to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman , in hopes that Freeman would take on the case. However, FreemanâÄôs spokeswoman Rondah Kinchlow said this case would go to a civil court, not the Hennepin County AttorneyâÄôs office. David Schultz, a political expert and professor at Hamline University, said itâÄôs unlikely that donors will get their money back. âÄúIn the same way that if anyone gives money to a candidate and they say âÄòIâÄôm going to raise taxes or lower taxes âĦâÄô you canâÄôt get your money back based on a false promise,âÄù Schultz said. âÄúUnder most campaign finance laws âĦ they are not going to get their money back.âÄù

âÄòShocked and AngryâÄô

Kyle Archer, a former political coordinator for CarlsonâÄôs campaign, said he was shocked to find out much of CarlsonâÄôs past was falsified. âÄúI think what bothers me the most about Charles is that I helped him unknowingly cheat people out of thousands of dollars, and now I have to live with that,âÄù he said. âÄúHe had us all fooled.âÄù Daniel Wilcox, former director of campaign operations for CarlsonâÄôs campaign , said he was âÄúshocked and angryâÄù when he discovered the truth. âÄúItâÄôs just hard to have put ourselves out there to the community and family and friends and have it all be false,âÄù Wilcox said. But two of CarlsonâÄôs supporters left the campaign in December and January after they did their own research and discovered Carlson was not being honest. Paul Moore and Jermaine Elliott, former campaign staff for Carlson, said several red flags encouraged their own research, which lead to the discovery that Carlson lied about attending Phillips Exeter Academy and Princeton University . Both Moore and Elliot said Carlson privately admitted to falsifying some parts of his past, but then told other campaign staff that they were the ones spreading lies. Moore and Elliot left the campaign and kept the information quiet. Moore said he kept quiet because after he found out the truth about CarlsonâÄôs past, he began receiving harassing phone calls from a blocked number. Moore said he suspected the calls were coming from Carlson. Moore also said he was worried about CarlsonâÄôs political and business connections. âÄúCharles has a lot of strong connections in the community, and I didnâÄôt want to feel their wrath,âÄù Moore said. Carlson said he did not want to comment for the story, but in a previous interview apologized for lying.