Donald Raleigh's campaign website doesn't mention one of the other websites he owns, one with a fairly distinctive URL: mygun.com.
These days, the site looks like a dusty relic from another era, as if someone made a website 20-some years ago, then immediately lost interest and abandoned it. There's a single blog post (authored by "donraleigh," and published in December 1997) about why people may choose to conceal carry a firearm, and how the mystery of who's packing is a "stong deterrent to crime." The post signs off with the (bizarrely capitalized) tagline "Remember, a Gun Never Solves a Problem™."
That little trademark symbol is legit. That phrase is actually trademarked.
Boring as it may be now, for a while, the content on Raleigh's website was much more lively. Or deadly, if it's taken literally.
Raleigh is the endorsed Republican candidate in House District 38A, an exurban territory where Rep. Linda Runbeck (R-Circle Pines) decided not to run for reelection. Raleigh is a veteran of the U.S. Army, and, along with his wife Marnie Ochs-Ralley, owns a digital marketing firm called Evolve Systems, which offers branding and website development services, among others.
In an odd way, mygun.com is, in fact, proof of Raleigh's judgment in strategic brand management. If he'd left the site the way it once was, he'd be a better candidate for an FBI watch list than public office.
As exposed by the Minnesota DFL Party on Monday, mygun.com once featured a number of crude, disturbing cartoons, many of which serve as a simple template for the same running joke: Gun violence is funny, no matter who the victim is.
The series was titled "MY GUN" and authored by "Dan & Don." Indeed, in every single four-box comic posted Monday, a gun is introduced, then used to kill someone. It's like Chekhov, only for sociopathic nine-year-olds with shitty penmanship.
As noted by the DFL, the various people shot in these comics include a soldier, a Girl Scout, a "blind guy," the President of the United States, and a Jehovah's Witness. In another story, the protagonist assists someone called "Tubby" to commit suicide, again by gun.
There are also a lot of references to "demons," or the "dark lord," and the president, mid-assassination, is called the "chief executive of Satan."
On his campaign website, Raleigh proclaims: "I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and personal savior and that because of my faith in Him I will one day join Him in heaven." And that sounds like a good deal for Donald. (Can't say the same for Jesus.) From the looks of it, these murdered cartoon characters are not in for the same fate.
The party doesn't quite have evidence that Donald Raleigh himself authored these cartoons, and Raleigh didn't respond to City Pages' request for comment. The closest the DFL can get to tying his pen to the leaked images is the one edition of "MY GUN" where no one gets shot, but features the authors themselves; the DFL notes the "Don" character, with his bald pate, sort of ... almost resembles Raleigh. (The "Dan" here is thought to be Donald's brother of the same name.)
Lastly, in a comic depicting the authors themselves, the Don character looks as similar to Don Raleigh as these crude comics can.— Minnesota DFL Party (@MinnesotaDFL) October 19, 2020
It’s also worth noting that Don Raleigh has a brother, Dan. These violent works are clearly his and should be disqualifying. pic.twitter.com/TYgtMYnhKX
Democrats are using the dump to bring attention to Raleigh's opponent, Kris Fredrick, a school district employee and former corporate lawyer for Honeywell. The district leans pretty heavily conservative: In 2018, Runbeck's closest-run election during the past decade, she still won by 11 percent.
That means it's still pretty likely Donald Raleigh is going to win this seat and represent this district starting next year. In that role, he'll get to weigh in on such heady topics as violent crime, gun control, policing, and mental health. We cannot wait.
Just don't ask him to draw his feelings.