Having narrowly survived an underfunded primary challenge from failed reality show wannabe David Carlson last week, Minnesota Republican U.S. Senate contender Kurt Bills endorsed Mitt Romney this morning.
At the Lafayette Club in Minnetonka Beach, Romney came through for Star Tribune funny page readers, predicting a Bills win, Strib staff writer Jennifer Brooks reports in Romney tells Minnesota supporters campaign is for 'soul of America':
Romney took a moment to single out U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills, who earlier in the day had renounced his support for Ron Paul's GOP candidacy and officially endorsed Romney.
"I appreciate the fact that you're about to elect a Republican senator from Minnesota," Romney said.
At the beginning of August, Minnesota Public Radio's Brett Neely reported in Bills campaign nearly out of cash:
As of July 25, Bills, a Republican, reported having just $5,841 in the bank. His opponent, DFL U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, has more than 900 times as much cash for her campaign -- nearly $5.4 million.
Bills actually didn't have a terrible 25 days of fundraising in July. His haul was $105,113 compared to Klobuchar's $131,996. But the Bills campaign began July with just $64,681 in the bank and then spent more than $160,000.
According to the records, the campaign spent $35,000 on polling, nearly $8,000 on software to manage the campaign's finances and another $9,950 on fundraising consultants. An Ohio-based political consulting firm called The Strategy Network was paid $12,691. Direct mailings that are usually used to solicit funds cost the campaign another $8,980.
The bus has also consumed a fair share of the campaign's resources. The records list a $3,533 charge to put Bills' campaign logo on the bus. The campaign spent an additional $284.26 at a Tires Plus auto supply store for batteries, $1,268 on drivers and $361 for bus repairs.
Romney must know something the rest of us don't--and surely a jaunt to rubs elbows in the tony zip codes on the shores of Lake Minnetonka demonstrates being deeply in touch with the soul of Minnesota.
Bills has been having fundraisers of his own. Minnesotans for Global Warming reports in Kurt Bills has fundraiser enthusiastic supporters attend, supports environmental sound doctrine:
When asked about the Global Warming issue wether [sic] he is for or against it?
He stated he doesn't know enough about the issue to support or legislate on it.
When asked about funding further windmill legislation or mandates?
He stated," I am definitely against that."
As for Ethanol subsidies should be continued?
He stated something along the lines of that needs to end ethanol subsidies as it hurts farmers.
He considered himself a conservationist and someone who enjoys / appreciates the outdoors but wants to take a rational.[sic] States the EPA has grown far beyond its mission.
Those answers should pull about as many checks from Minnesota's farmers as a fundraiser for cornborer nurseries.
Bills is as touch with energy development issues in rural Minnesota as Romney is with the suburban teacher's chances beating Klobuchar. The state ranks third in the nation in generating wind energy, with thousands of people working in the industry, a recent Department of Energy study reported, according to the ECM newpaper group. Minnesota House research reported in July, 2012, that the state's ethanol industry production capacity had grown to more than 1 billion gallons by the end of 2011.
Federal fuel tax credits for ethanol ended in 2011, and the final payment to eligible plants from the ethanol development fund was made this year. Since 2005, federal law has required gas companies to blend ethanol into the fuel sold to American drivers under the Renewable Energy Standard, according to a MN House factsheet.
Given the importance of the wind and ethanol industries in western and southern Minnesota, it's no wonder Bills lost both the First and Seventh congressional districts to Carlson.
Photo: Wind turbines on southwestern Minnesota.