Pity poor Republican Party of Minnesota state chair Pat Shortage. Weak candidates on the top of the ticket, public discontent with the Republican-controlled state legislature, anda money situation that threatened to send the state office into the mean streets of St. Paul.
But the chair has gathered enough coin to send out two attack independent expediture mailings targeting SD24 DFL-endorsed candidate Vicki Jensen of Owatonna. The front and back of the second mailer are posted here.
Having paid for postage and scraped together printing costs, apparently the pachyderms have had to do a generic cut-and-paste against the businesswoman, school board member, Chamber of Commerce activist and mother.
In the Gospel according to Shortage, Jensen isn't any of those things, but "a rubber stamp for special interest with an extreme agenda."
Jensen's stands on issues--improving local schools, strengthening small businesses, creating efficiencies in government--are on her website.
The first mailing which claimed that Jensen was "hand-picked" by these unnamed groups, prompted the 2010 DFL candidate, who had been endorsed by area Democrats over Jensen, to write to the local paper and point out the foolishness.
In Senate candidate Vicki Jensen not 'hand-picked' by special interest groups, Alexander de Marco writes:
This weekend, I received an outrageous piece of filth from the Republican Party. It was a hatchet job, asserting that Senate candidate Vicki Jensen was "hand-picked" by "ultra-liberal special interest groups."
It then went on to assert her and these groups' alleged agenda, spinning vague right wing rhetoric about "raising taxes on families and small businesses" and "huge, new government spending programs." The piece fails to articulate a single interest group, or provide any citation whatsoever to the GOP's assertions about her or anyone's positions. It's not even a functional campaign piece.
It's as if they just transcribed some disorganized a.m. talk radio bloviator, printed it and mailed it. This sets the tone for the next two and half months. The GOP has no affirmative policy agenda whatsoever, so instead of working hard to develop one, they reach into a bucket, pull out a fist full of darts, and whip it frantically at a wall hoping one hits a bulls eye.
I ran for this office, and I've been on the inside track of it since Dick Day left the seat. Vicki Jensen was picked by the same "interest group" that nominated Engbrecht in 2009 for the special election, and myself in 2010: Your neighbors who stepped up to be delegates at a district convention.
If she's the one these "groups" wanted, why did I get nominated in 2010? The fact is, multiple people are not clamoring for this difficult job, and she stepped up to the plate as a known public servant in the community, a school board member, a committee member of the Owatonna Chamber of Commerce, and a small business owner. She alone sought nomination.
Nothing stopped anyone else from nominating someone at the convention. If you disagree with her positions, fine, but the idea that some shadowy Manchurian candidate style cabal has its fingers in humble district 24 is ridiculous fear-mongering nonsense, and that's all the GOP has this year, apparently.
With the retirement of Mike Parry, the open seat is considered competitive by many observers.
Photos: The second Republican mailer against Vicki Jensen in SD24 (above); Vicki Jensen (below).