Colin Paulsen brings lawsuit against City of Watertown, claiming smaller signs caused his loss in Senate race.

Watertown City Councilman Colin Paulsen got his tail good and kicked in the District 5 State Senate election by Senate President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck in a 59-41% blowout.

So what is a losing candidate to do?

You bring a lawsuit against the city of Watertown, of course, because it’s all their fault.

14civ22-000182_affidavit of Plaintiff by Pat Powers on Scribd

I’ve honestly got to say, that’s a first. Haven’t seen that one before.

Paulsen is relying on the supposition that he lost his election because Lee Schoenbeck might have had bigger signs than he did. And he thinks because he lost on this basis, the taxpayers of the city should have to pay up the money he’s out from what he would’ve earned as his legislative salary.

There are no words to describe how loony this lawsuit appears. Especially as he gives a description of the cause of action.

If you’re on the City Council, and you can’t spell it correctly in your lawsuit, people might question if your head is screwed on right.

Collin Paulsen lost one election because voters judged Lee Schoenbeck to be the better man. I suspect when Colin is up for his next election, voters will remember this, and think the same about his next opponent as well.

15 thoughts on “Colin Paulsen brings lawsuit against City of Watertown, claiming smaller signs caused his loss in Senate race.”

  1. Why doesn’t Schoenbeck just get fined if his signs were illegal?

    Not saying they are or not, but if someone else was punished that way it seems logical.

  2. Nice spin but it sounds like he’s got a case actually. The Swamp playing by their own rules isn’t anything new.

    1. “it sounds like he’s got a case”

      Says absolutely no one.

      From what I’m hearing, this was filed as pro se litigation, so he has a fool for a client.

  3. He couldn’t get his employees to do what he wanted so now he’s suing himself, got it.

  4. He does not have a case. The first commentator is accurate. Councilman Weyh was prosecuted under the city ordinance and felt it necessary to challenge the enforcement by defending the case. Fair tactic. He lost. Paulson is now trying to sue the City for not enforcing an ordinance and recover monetary damages. Put the politics aside in the analysis. The law does not allow one to sue a local government simply because an ordinance was not enforced. We do not get to sue the City every time someone else speeds, lets their cat roam free, etc. The recourse is the Court of public opinion and politics. Were we to adopt the theory advanced by Paulson, local government as we know it would cease to function or we are all going to pay sky-high taxes to pay for defending this type of action.

  5. This lawsuit is not the way to go.

    If something was wrong I agree with earlier posts that Schoenbeck should be fined, if appropriate.

    One has to be a gracious loser not just a gracious winner sometimes in life.

  6. Well, the lawsuit may simply be to present a case to the the people that Lee Schoenbeck does not play fair. However, I do not see a judge granting him any monetary compensation based on tge premise the signs coat him a win or not. There is no guarantee anyone can win an election. You cannot reward someone if you cannot prove you would have won if they signs were the same size.

    However, what may result from this lawsuit would forcing the Watertown city counxil to look at city ordinances on how to regulate signs within the city. Forcing them to establish a more clearly, written, ordinance, thus adopting a more fair, responsive, package of rules governing signs. The size, placement, and style could be the result of this lawsuit.

    Look for the court to deny him any monetized reward, but look for the court to make recommendations to the local govt on how to fix their ordinance, and how to govern and enforce such ordinance forward.

    Either way, could be a win by the claimant either way you look at it.

    1. Let’s review some facts in this frivolous lawsuit.

      1. Paulson is on the city council. The governing body regulating signage.

      2. Statutes allow signs to be up 60 days before election.

      3. Paulson could have complained from day one.

      Now, I am guessing he is looking to blame someone/something for his butt-kicking in the election.

      On a side note: In Watertown, signs are supposed to be taken down no more than 5 days after the election. Paulson signs were still up over a week later. Lets sue the city.

      1. One of the facts that you didn’t mention is the city ordinance says signs cannot be larger than 6 square feet, or something like 3 ft x 2 ft. Sen Schoenbeck’s signs are 4 ft x 4 ft or 16 square feet. The city ordinance should be enforced equally, or change it to 16 sq ft. It should not be treating candidates differently. Maybe the lawsuit will end up accomplishing this. I hope he wins as I do not like the 6 ft rule. That is what this suit is about.

  7. I doubt the court is going to give “advice” to the city. It doesn’t work that way. It will make a decision on the merits of the case and there is little doubt as to what that will be.
    This belongs in the basket of “you can’t make this stuff up” for sure.

  8. For a guy who claims to have future political aspirations, suing the city to take taxpayer dollars (if he were to win) is probably not a smart move.

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