Polling in Franson’s district
The House Republican campaign committee, according to its finance report, spent $3,000 on polling in Republican state Rep. Mary Franson’s Alexandria district. Asked why the party polled in a reliably Republican district, House Majority Leader Matt Dean said he would not comment on the campaign arm’s spending. Asked about the polling, Franson said: “I’m at bible study right now and I don’t really have time for your questions” and then hung up the phone. Franson has been at the center of a series of kerfuffles in her freshman term. Early this year, protesters decried her apparently comparing food stamp recipients to wild animals, and this spring she got a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, a local GOP leader.
The polling for Franson is the only such expense in the report, which also indicates that the caucus is paying rent for a field worker to live in Alexandria.
While Franson may not have had support from members of her caucus during the food stamps flap, as she claimed in a recent appearance at a tea party in Browerville, the caucus's campaign committee now is spending money to defend her seat from DFL challenger Bob Cunniff. Cunniff has raised more money so far for his committee than Franson has gathered, and Franson's photo has appeared in banner ads for the Alliance for a Better Minnesota's campaign for a better legislature.
Given how little money is growing on Republican trees these days in Minnesota, Dean might see something in the polling--or the general situation in the Alex area--that indicates that field staff is needed in the race.
Photo: Representative Mary Franson, from her campaign website.