As we tune in to the latest episode of Emo Senator, Southern Minnesota's most watched telenovela, we find the ink-stained wretches of the First District's daily newspapers reporting the hair-pulling and name-calling battle of the title of King of Conservatives with what looks like downright professional glee.
In his round-up today of area political news, veteran Mankato Free Press staff writer Mark Fischenisch reports:
The sauna-like weather that characterized Independence Day parades is forecast to return Monday, when high temperatures are expected to reach 97 degrees in south-central Minnesota. . . .
The hottest stretch of the race between Quist and Parry, though, probably came with the tax spat this week. Both the retired farmer from St. Peter and the pizza restaurant owner from Waseca gave and received shots related to their willingness to occasionally support additional revenue for the government.
The last blast came Thursday morning when the Parry campaign went back to a 1982 Free Press voters guide to find Quist support for making a temporary sales tax increase permanent.
Unless records are uncovered on student council votes by Quist or Parry, the tax tiff may have run its course — considering that the campaigns have now apparently scoured every record going back 30 years. [emphasis added]
Oh snap! Fischenich's digest also confirms a rumor that Bluestem mentioned on July 6 in Tea Party ATM machine Michele Bachmann to fundraise for Allen Quist in Rochester:
Bluestem looks forward to reading Q2 FEC reports from all three candidates. One intriguing rumor? Quist reportedly told Republicans at a meeting that all contributions would be matched by an anonymous donor. Federal campaign finance laws being what they are--with limits on the amount individuals other than the candidate himself can contribute/loan to campaign committees, Bluestem suspects that Quist himself is the mystery contributor if the rumor is indeed true.
At the endorsing convention, Quist had said he would put up to a million of his own dollars into the race; Southern Minnesotans may just find out how sincere the earnest Norseland farmer and retired college professor is with that promise later this month.
Confirmed in the Free Press:
Quist characterized the second-quarter report as “extremely important” in a June 27 request for donations.
“In addition, we have a donor who will match any new contribution made prior to July 1, 2012, up to $10,000 total! So your contribution of $75, for instance, will actually bring in $150. Please use this very unusual opportunity to help us be successful!”
The unnamed donor, by the way, has to be Quist himself under FEC rules. Individuals can’t contribute more than $2,500 to a congressional campaign, so a $10,000 contribution matching the donations of others would be illegal.
There are no limits, however, on how much a candidate can contribute to himself. And Quist told Republican activists at the 1st District Republican Convention in Mankato on April 21 that he would devote as much as $1 million of his savings to his campaign. . . .
For people guessing Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a supporter of Quist’s run, might be the mystery donor — that’s not possible either. Federal candidates can’t send more than $2,000 from their campaign treasury to another candidate’s campaign.
Over at the Post Bulletin, Heather Carlson writes in Republican primary between Parry and Quist heats up:
What started off as a mild summer of campaigning for 1st District Republican candidates Mike Parry and Allen Quist is turning into a scorcher, with each candidate assailing the other's conservative credentials. . . .
The attacks offer a glimpse of each campaign's strategy. The Parry campaign repeatedly calls Quist a “perennial candidate” and a “career politician” who hasn't won an election in more than 20 years. Meanwhile, the Quist campaign has labeled Parry “a desperate candidate running behind.” Each candidate accuses the other of starting the political mud slinging.
Carlson asks for a second opinion from Carleton College political scientist Steven Schier. Go read his discussion at the Post Bulletin. Spoiler alert! Here's Schier's opinion about who the winner will be:
So who is the big winner in this latest Republican feud? Walz, according to Schier.
"They are spending money destroying each other and all Tim Walz has to do is stay out of the way." he said.
The Owatonna People's Press Derek Sullivan reviews the drama in Owatonna voters will hit the primary polls in one month:
Until recently, Parry remained focused on the three-term Democrat. Then, on Thursday, Parry’s campaign went on Twitter and claimed Quist supported a gas and sales tax increase, referencing a 1982 article by the Mankato Free Press.
“As I campaign, people are asking me, ‘What are the differences between you and Allen,’ and I say look at our voting records. In my short time (in the state Senate), I have stood up for veterans. I have voted against tax increases,” Parry said Friday. “Allen is a lifelong politician, and I tell people to look at his voting record. He was called, ‘the green candidate,’ when he unsuccessfully ran for governor.”
Quist, who ran for Minnesota governor in 1994 and 1998, said Parry's tweet did not go unnoticed. He added that he feels his campaign must be doing well if Parry feels the need to attack his record.
“Parry is attacking me, and that’s what candidates do when they know they are behind,” Quist said. “They know they are losing, and they are trying to do something about it. That’s the real message of the attacks.
“He wants to sound more conservative than me. It’s a joke.”
Go share the laughs at the People's Press.
So far, only Allen Quist's Q2 2012 fundraising report is on file and online with the FEC. Bluestem finds little of interest beyond what has been reported. One expense did catch our eye: $1500 paid to Karl Elshoff on June 28, 2012 for being a campaign consultant.
As Bluestem noted back in March in Emo Senator: Quist letter writing tag team brings lucha libre moves to CD1 endorsement battle, Elshoff wrote to the editors of the Winona Daily News about how Quist is the true conservative:
Stan Gudmundson, in his letter that appeared in Thursday’s Daily News, made a good point in evaluating a Republican 1st District candidate for Congress. Gudmundson is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and frequent contributor to the Winona-area newspapers.
His point is that a true conservative holds to the four key values of fiscal, social, national defense and constitutional conservatism. When Republicans stray too far from the party platform, we call these people RINOs (Republican in Name Only).
Coming from Rochester, Minn., I am all too familiar with RINOs. We had an incumbent state senator change her party affiliation from Republican to Independent and finally changed it to Democrat. What do you get when you cross an elephant and a RINO? The result was not pretty; it involved more than just hurt feelings. . .
Elshoff has already signed up for the private reception for Bachmann that's part of the coming fundraiser. Quist must have been mighty impressed by the March letter to hire him as a consultant.
What will Q2 2012 fundraising and spending look like for our hero Mike Parry, the Belle of Waseca County? Tune in tomorrow, when the FEC reports are due.
Photoshopped image: Will Mike Parry have to wear the drapes in parades to pay his bills? We'll know tomorrow or thereabouts. Image by Tild (above); Allen Quist crowdsurfs in this cartoon but mostly self-funds his campaign in the tradition of earlier Walz opponents Brian Davis and Randy Demmer. Drawing by Ken Avidor (below).
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