In In SD24, MNGOP has money for stamps but not competent oppo research in attacks on Jensen, Bluestem looked at one of two negative fliers the Republican Party of Minnesota sent out attacking the DFL candidate in the open seat created by Mike Parry's retirement. As we read newspapers around the state, it's obvious that this template has been duplicated in a number of competitive races across Greater Minnesota.
Sometimes, the mailers name the "Alliance for a Better Minnesota" as the scary "extreme" group supporting the DFL candidates, while in other cases it's just unnameless lefty bugaboos.
In Senate District 4, the Republican candidate has disowned the mailers, writing in ‘I do not condone a strategy of attacking’ Eken, a letter to the DLOnline:
Recently a political flyer was mailed out to selected Minnesota Senate District 4 voters by the Republican Party attacking my opponent. It was sent without my knowledge and I do not agree with the tactic of the piece. I do not condone a strategy of attacking my opponent in this way. My campaign has been built on a positive message of job creation, fiscal accountability, and restoring statesmanship to our Senate. In the future, I would suggest the party take the money from these types of mailings and donate to their favorite charity. It would be money better spent.
Actually, paying one's bills might be a more prudent form of accounting for Chairman Shortage. (Side note: the September monthly reports are due today at the FEC, so we'll get another glimpse of how well or how badly things are going at Camp Pat).
Winona State University hater Danny Neumann sent a letter to the Winona Daily News, Warrior for who?:
I received a political ad in the mail the other day. “Ultra-liberal special interest groups are spending millions to elect Jack Krage and others to implement their extreme agenda,” reads the ad.
I turned the ad over and read: “Ultra-liberal special interest groups known as ‘The Alliance for a Better Minnesota’ are spending millions to elect state senate candidate Jack Krage and other to implement their extreme agenda, which includes ... job killing tax increases ... more wasteful government spending and debt (huge, new government spending programs that push the state further into debt). Schools that serve teacher unions first and kids last. Forced unionization mandating that workers and small businesses, even in-home child care providers, become union members and pay costly union dues.”
After reading this political ad, I was left with the question in my mind. What special interest groups could they be referring to?
Neumann concludes that Winona State University is this special interest group spending millions, which is probably a surprise for MNSCU.
Similiar mailer--with another DFL senator candidate's name slugged in--has appeared in Central Minnesota. St. Cloud residents Nancy Mills and Vicki Williams write to the editors to note that GOP, group mislead about McCarter:
Twice recently we have opened our mailboxes to find ominous mailers from the Republican Party of Minnesota warning us about Jerry McCarter, DFL candidate for state Senate District 14. These fliers would have us believe he is supported by rabid extremists.
In fact, this “special interest group” with the “extreme agenda” mentioned in the fliers is the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a coalition of smaller groups that support progressive causes like public safety, education, health care, the environment and middle class workers.
McCarter’s opponent, however, has dedicated his first term to protecting the interests of private business, at the expense of his other constituents. The Republican rhetoric fails to acknowledge the difference between being handpicked by special interests and stepping up to protect the interests of children, workers, schools and the middle class.
McCarter does not accept PAC money. He is not beholden to special interests. He has worked as a CPA and donated his expertise to community organizations. His experiences inform his commitment to humane fiscal responsibility. If you meet Jerry, hear him speak, or work with him, you will wonder who the state’s Republicans are warning us about. . . .
In the Northfield News, there's Smear campaign reaches Northfield, a letter from Alison Kettering, who also describes some push-polling, along with the mailings:
Recently we were push-polled by someone pretending to be a neutral pollster, who first disseminated a series of lies and distortions about Kevin Dahle, and then asked if we still planned to vote for him. Soon thereafter, we received an anti-Dahle flyer, containing more lies and distortions. The flyer -- paid for by the Republican Party of Minnesota -- accused Dahle of being an “ultra-liberal Job Crusher promoting higher taxes, wasteful spending and reduction of the disposable income of senior citizens.” There was not one indication of the positions of his Republican opponent in the race. Not even his name. It was simply a smear job, like the phone “poll.” We expect this sort of thing at the national level, but not here in our local State Senatorial district. How weak must a Republican candidate be, for his party to resort to such tactics?
In reality, Kevin Dahle is someone who believes in good government, and in a functioning government, which helps us all in the district and the state. Hardly an “ultra-liberal,” he has pledged to find a middle ground between right and left. But that means finding partners on the Republican side who reject the extremism of many colleagues. Ideology brought Minnesota to a stand-still just over a year ago. The last thing we need is a Senator whose strongest message is “I’m not Dahle.”
Another voter in the Jensen race reacts to the mail hit piece, this time in the Waseca County News. Jack Williams writes in Political fliers mislead in Waseca:
I recently received two misleading and distorted fliers in the mail about State Senate candidate Vicki Jensen. With the departure of Mike Parry, I was hoping that the political climate of our local elections would be elevated to a higher level. I was wrong!
Vern Swedin should condemn and apologize for the sleazy fliers. He should take responsibility and demand that there will be no more blatantly false attacks against Vicki Jensen, an honorable candidate.
After three years of a Senator playing partisan politics at the expense of our district, I look forward to a Senator who will do the job we deserve. As citizens, we have the expectation that our politicians exhibit good judgment and respect for other candidates. Vicki Jensen is a proven community leader and deserves your vote.
Jensen is active in that hotbed of ultra-liberal socialism, the Owatonna Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the local School Board, generally known to teachers as "management." Insurance agents like Jensen, CPAs like McCarter, real estate guys like Krage: when did business people in small cities become the new extremists in the eyes of the MNGOP?
Image: Mailer against Wright.