Photo by Stuart Miles

Below are email  exchanges between therapist and advocate Angie Young, Kathleen Russell from the “Family Court Crisis Crowd” and Brandon Stahl, reporter with the Star Tribune.

The Family Court Crisis Crowd is more interested in the powerful connections’ interests, and “reaching out” to distressed noncustodial parents, not for the parents’ sakes (or the kids) but for the press.

Kathleen Russell runs a strategic public affairs consulting firm and is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Judicial Excellence in Marin County, California. Kathleen advocates on behalf of the Center for legislative and administrative changes that will promote judicial accountability and better protect children’s and vulnerable populations rights in the judicial system. She also works extensively with the news media to expose the national family court crisis that is generating thousands of frantic calls and emails to the Center for Judicial Excellence from distressed parents and children from across the country and beyond. Kathleen co-directed and produced the 2008 award-winning documentary Family Court Crisis: Our Children At Risk and served as creative director and writer for the companion photo exhibit entitled Family Court Crisis: Surviving A Broken System.

On the policy front, in May 2010, Kathleen organized the first-ever White House Briefing on the Family Court Crisis. She also led the Center’s 17-month legislative effort with Senator Mark Leno to secure the unanimous passage of an audit request through California’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC). The audit results were released in January 2011 and showed significant problems in nearly every area measured. Kathleen also played a leadership role with Steve Burdo and Connie Valentine in passing AB 1050, and in introducing AB 612 and AB 2475, which were beaten back by the cottage industry that works in the family courts. Kathleen has been invited to address the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women about the family court crisis on March 22, 2011 with a handful of protective mothers and national colleagues who are working to expose and fix the family court crisis.

Center for Judicial Excellence

On Jul 16, 2014, at 8:16 AM, Angela Young <> wrote:

Do you have a Minnesota chapter? we have started some grass roots efforts here and have extensive horror stories regarding corruption in the judicial system.

Would love to get connected here in Minnesota!


On Monday, January 12, 2015 7:56 PM, Kathleen Russell <> wrote:

Hi Angela- can you please call me if you have any cases there in MN where a protective parent is willing to talk with a reporter about the judicial corruption in their case?

We have a MN reporter working on this now, which is very exciting!!

Thx- Kathleen Russell 415-717-xxxx Sent from my iPhone

On Tuesday, January 13, 2015 10:23 AM, Angela Young <> wrote:

Hi Kathleen:

Thank you so much for your response. I am grateful for the opportunity to talk with you. I know you must be an extremely busy individual.

I will call you. I have the names of several individuals who has lost their children to an abuser. I have my own case, which is not as egregious as some out there, but it is a 16-year long paper trail which I hope would be helpful evidence to show the damages of this painful problem.

I am a Marriage and Family Therapist. I have done much research regarding all of this, and have some connections with some protective parents.

This mother (name withheld for privacy) lost her daughter, with whom she had sole custody of her whole life until age 11 when PAS was alleged she was removed from mother’s home, community, school and half-sister. She was relocated to her father’s home, and a different school and is not doing well two years later. Initially when the order came back, Mother was allowed supervised parenting time, and then every other weekend. Dad continues to interfere with what little parenting time she has. Dad hired a “psychologist” hired gun to complete an additional custody eval after the court appointed GAL recommended sole custody to mother. Of course, this hired gun sided with dad. An interesting note to this, is she and I have the same Judge, had the same attorney at the time, and the same hired gun more than a decade apart. Perhaps coincidence.

Sam Grazzini-Rucki’s divorce was finalized, and she obtained custody of her 5 children. I don’t recall specifics, but she was ordered out of her home, she had I believe a short period of time to take belongings she could carry and to have no contact with her children. Two of her children ran away, and are missing to date. The other three are not residing with dad, rather, with his sister, who had been investigated by child protection, I believe for other children. I think they may be in foster care now. Local Fox 9 did a piece on this, however, they were somewhat sensational, and we were disappointed that the focus was on PAS and in our opinion somewhat misrepresenting the situation. Sam’s girls are on the “missing” prints on our local grocery bags. I am horrified every time I get one. Attorney Michelle MacDonald, founder of Family Innocence Project (a local non-profit) has represented Sam pro bono for quite some time. She has been arrested in Court and jailed over night during a proceeding on Sam’s behalf (Lion news did a piece on that as Michelle was able to obtain video recording of the incident.) She has been sanctioned monetarily, we believe for fighting status quo. Sam is poor and homeless.

Lea Dannewitz lost her three children, did not see them for I believe a year or two, was given supervised visitation and now has sporadic time with them. Dad recently motioned the Court to deny the GAL’s recommendation that she have time with her children for Christmas. The youngest daughter was taken at such a young age; she was observed in the community holding her big sisters had calling her “mom”. Lea started a blog, many of these Minnesota cases are documented on this site. She was ordered to take down the site and continues to be sanctioned monetarily for refusing to do so. We put up a billboard advertising the site, which was takes down I believe a day and a half later, for some unknown reason. The site received 600 plus hits when the bill board was up for that short period of time.

My case, like I said, while not as egregious, has been ongoing for over 16 years, and there is a paper trail of the judge stating on record that she would not follow statute in my case, refuse to give me due process, that she knew my ex was emotionally endangering my son and he was not respecting the Courts many orders or my parental rights, and that she would not do anything about it. I can talk with you about that briefly if it would be helpful to this cause.

Those of us working tirelessly on this issue, are not making much headway. As we have grown and educated ourselves, we do understand the importance of the goal being “Judicial excellence” vs. “fighting corruption”. So we are on the same page with that.

I cannot thank you enough for your time! I will give you a call so we can touch base!

Again, thank you much!

Angie Young

On Tuesday, January 13, 2015 3:14 PM, Kathleen Russell <> wrote:

Thanks Angie- may I forward this email from you to the reporter, or shall we talk first? Thx- K Sent from my iPhone

From: Kathleen Russell 

Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 10:42 AM 

To: Stahl, Brandon

Subject: Fwd: Re:

Hi Brandon- I will try calling you now, but see below. Thx- K Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Angela Young <> Date: January 13, 2015 at 8:23:07 AM PST To: Kathleen Russell <> Subject: Re: Reply-To: Angela Young <  

Hi Kathleen:

Thank you so much for your response. I am grateful for the opportunity to talk with you. I know you must be an extremely busy individual.

I will call you. I have the names of several individuals who has lost their children to an abuser. I have my own case, which is not as egregious as some out there, but it is a 16-year long paper trail which I hope would be helpful evidence to show the damages of this painful problem. (Full email was forwarded from above).

Sent Kathleen pic of the billboard~ on January 2014

On Wednesday, January 14, 2015 1:28 AM, angieyoung <> wrote:

Sorry, this is the last one 🙂 this is the billboard pulled Angie

Sent from my iPhone

😃 pulled in a day and a half by the powers that be- must have struck a chord:) like I said, over 600 hits on carvercountycorruption in that day and a half! Like I said though, you have made some real traction, we have been treading water. Look forward to collaborating with you! Angie

Sent from my iPhone

Corruption X

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 14, 2015, at 1:17 AM, Kathleen Russell <> wrote:

Awesome!!!  I love this!! K

Sent from my iPhone

On Wednesday, January 21, 2015 11:05 AM, “Stahl, Brandon” <> wrote:

Hi Angie,

I’m the reporter Kathleen referenced. Might we be able to speak soon? If possible, please give me a call at 612-673-4626.

Thanks, Brandon

On Wednesday, January 21, 2015 2:54 PM, Angela Young <> wrote:

Hi Mr. Stahl:

Thank you so much for your possible interest! I am sure you are a busy person, so let me know some days and times that work for you. I could talk tomorrow anytime after 3:00 or tonight after 5:30, Friday after 3:00. I am a mental health therapist so I run groups and sessions all day for the most part, but am also typically available between 12:30 and 1 every day. Also, any time this weekend if you are working.

Thanks in advance!

Angie Young

Star Tribune Reporter Brandon Stahl conversed with Angie Young over the phone regarding the cases and corruption identified above. He indicated he was only interested in showing children that had been harmed by the court system and didn’t want to touch Lea Dannewitz or Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s cases as they were too sensationalized.(What???) Brandon also indicated that no good could come from these stories because of Dale Nathan’s involvement as he is a disbarred attorney (Dale is actually a suspended attorney). It’s interesting that Brandon is now reporting on the Grazzini-Rucki case quite frequently.  Again, many people reached out to different media throughout this case to get this story out there. What changed his mind? Maybe that’s a question citizens should be asking him as well as other local media. Coverage regarding David Rucki and Judge Knutson is conspicuously ignored!

Judge Knutson-Usurped Court Files, Improper Assignments


Local Coverage of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s Case

Posted on November 15, 2015

Attorney, Michelle MacDonald requested a change of venue because Sandra cannot get a fair trial in Dakota County.  One of the reasons why is because MacDonald filed a civil rights lawsuit against Dakota County on March 19, 2015.  Oddly enough, that was shortly before the media suddenly took an interest in actually trying to find Samantha and Gianna Rucki, after two years of no effort by authorities.  Interesting, that there was no media interest until after MacDonald filed a lawsuit, and after MacDonald applied for an opening on the Minnesota Supreme Court on April 13, 2015.

Many in the political sphere were scared blind, when Michelle MacDonald came out of nowhere to come within 7 points of beating the incumbant, David Lillehaug, on November 4, 2014.  It seems they are still afraid.  Unfortunately, a family suffers serious consequences while political games ensue.

Does anything seem fishy about this?

If you think this case is not politically motivated, well, the police are most likely looking at timelines and Red Herring Alert can do that, too:

  • April 19, 2013-Rucki girls go missing, no media coverage or amber alert
  • May 15, 2013-FOX 9 News coverage of PAS/Grazzin-Rucki Divorce
  • April 20, 2013-December 31, 2013-Little or no investigation by authorities, little or no media coverage
  • April 19, 2014-Little or no investigation by authorities, one year anniversary, little or no media coverage
  • All of 2014-Little or no investigation by authorities, little or no media coverage
  • May 2014-MacDonald Endorsed by MN GOP
  • August 20, 2014-MacDonald banned from State Fair Booth by MNGOP
  • August 22-23, 2014-Patrick Burns offers deal and threatens MacDonald to withdraw
  • August 29, 2014-(our pal from LeftMN) Steve Timmer files complaint against MNGOP
  • September 3, 2014-MacDonald files complaint against MNGOP
  • September 9, 2014-MacDonald Complaint is dismissed
  • November 4, 2014-MacDonald closer to winning than any other state race                    (-7 point difference)
  • November 5, 2014-political power players breathe sigh of relief
  • November 5, 2014-April 19, 2015, little or no investigation, little or no media coverage
  • March 19, 2015-Michelle MacDonald files lawsuit against Dakota County
  • April 13, 2015-Michelle MacDonald applies for Minnesota Supreme Court opening
  • April 19, 2015-Police Step up efforts to find missing girls
  • April 19, 2015-media takes a sudden interest, multiple stories start and continue to this day
  • April 29, 2015-Dale Nathan provides information to the media

I don’t know about you, but I’d expect a lot more investigation around missing girls in 2013.  I also find something odd about the fact that MacDonald ran for Minnesota Supreme Court and the media covered bogus DUI charges, but mentioned nothing about the case of two missing girls.  Suddenly, simply because of the two-year anniversary (or so they say, but the one year anniversary meant nothing), the police stepped up their (previously nonexistent) effort to find the missing girls.

Let’s Get Honest! Blog

Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family –and “Conciliation” — Courts’ Operations, Practices, and History

These parades, charades, and facades have become a problem for the people who match the profile of what they claim to represent, “Protective Parents” and/or “Battered Mothers,” specifically. I am among that class and a witness of the practices, tactics, and censorships of dialogues involved. I believe collectively the groups involved comprise a cult, and exhibit all primary cult practices.

Before a few mental circuits of distressed parents disconnect, or melt from the heat of in “righteous indignation,” (“But my children were abused; I am an incest survivor” etc.), this post is not about whether or not incest or abuse took place in those cases, or children are being placed in the care of batterers or dangerous parents. I’m a survivor, and I know that plenty of times, abuse, sometimes incest did take place and children ARE being placed in the care of batterers.  Mine were….

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