This morning Bluestem reported in Special interest group Minnesota's Future attacks Worthington mayor Alan Oberloh in mailing that the special interest political committee had sent a mail piece attacking Worthington mayor and small businessman Alan Oberloh, the endorsed DFL candidate in SD22.
We have received jpg of a copy-cat mail piece attacking small businesswoman, local Chamber of Commerce activist and Owatonna School Board member Vicki Jensen. It's posted here.
Like Oberloh, Jensen is a respected Main Street business person and community member who has been endorsed by AFSCME. Apparently, this support i s enough for the handful of big businesses and the Republican house and senate caucus campaign committees to attack both individuals as job-killing tax-raiser who want to hand out free health care like candy in a parade.
Who is Minnesota's Future and who funds this malarky? This morning's post explored those questions:
The origin of the attack mail is quite certain (see second image above). According to the group's registration information at the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, the committee is chaired by Chris Tiedeman, while Gregory Johnson serves as treasurer. Both individuals are prinicpals at Weber Johnson PA and the committee shares an address with the "public affairs" firm.
The group's 2012 42nd Day Pre-General Report of Receipts and Expenditures, available here, notes cash contributions from a handful of Minnesota corporations and in-kind donations of polling from the HRCC and the Senate Victory Fund, the campaign committees for the state House Republican Caucus and the Republican Senate Majority caucus.
Minnesota's Future 2012 42nd Day Pre-General Report of Receipts and Expenditures notes that through September 18, 2012, the committee took in $474,000 in cash and $20,000 in in-kind contributions, for $495,000, mostly from metro Twin Cities businesses
Davisco Foods, Eden Prairie,
Frauenshuh Companies, Minneapolis, $100,000
Great Plains Sand LLC, Chaska, $25,000
Hubbard Broadcasting (KSTP etc) St. Paul, $150,000
Micro Control, Fridley, $50,000
Rosen's Diversified, Fairmont, $50,000.
Both Republican legislative caucuses made in-kind contributions of $10,000 in polling, according to the filing.
Politics in Minnesota staff writers Charley Shaw and Briana Bierschbach reported in Pro-GOP business groups proliferate — but keep mum about big-picture coordination:
The biggest mystery among GOP third-party groups this cycle is Minnesota’s Future. The political fund was formed during the 2010 election by now-Republic National Committee chief of staff Jeff Larson. During that cycle, Minnesota’s Future was almost entirely funded by the Republican Governors Association as a vehicle to attack then-DFL candidate Mark Dayton. But this year the group’s strategy has appeared to shift as it looks to be a player in dozens of legislative races. . . .
. . .Calls to various operatives at public relations firm Weber Johnson, which is running the political fund, went unreturned. But one of the firm’s operatives, Chris Tiedeman, previously told Capitol Report that Weber Johnson is looking to partner with the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) — the legislative equivalent to the RGA — to spend money on behalf of Republican candidates.
Tiedeman said at the time that political observers shouldn’t expect to see spending from the group until the late summer or early fall.
In addition to the Minnesota's Future mailing, voters in Senate District 24 have received yet another piece of mailing from the Republican Party of Minnesota attacking the Owatonna School District member Jensen.
Because she has been endorsed by Education Minnesota, the insurance agency owner is a serf to Teacher's Union Politics! Oh noes!
It's much the same as an earlier mailing; hard to give the Shortage crew much credit. Does this sort of repetition work on voters, or is this straight-to-the-trashcan material? We'll know in November if the RPM gets a return on investment for the postage and keeps the district, which has been held by various Republican senators since Trix' grandma was a pup.
Faribault Chamber Candid Conversations with Candidates: Jensen and Swedin
The Faribault Chamber tapes candid conversations with local candidates--here's the YouTube of Jensen and her Republican opponent, businessman Vern Swedin:
Mankato Free Press profiles the race
Last Saturday, Mankato Free Press political reporter Mark Fischenich profiled the race in District 24: Jensen, Swedin seek Parry’s Senate seat. The extended lede:
Waseca area residents are getting a taste of the intense political battle for control of the Minnesota Senate.
With state Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, making an unsuccessful run for Congress instead of seeking re-election to the Legislature, his Senate District 24 seat is seen as winnable by both Democrats and Republicans, who are trying to retain control of the majority after four decades of DFL dominance.
Vicki Jensen, DFL-Owatonna, is co-owner of an independent insurance agency, serves on the Owatonna School Board and is an active member of the local chamber of commerce. She’s also destined to be a big-spending stooge of labor unions if elected to the Senate, according to mailers being sent by the Republican Party to district voters.
Vern Swedin, R-Owatonna, is an entrepreneur who has started several small businesses, including his first at age 20, and has taken multiple mission trips with his church to help feed poverty-stricken residents of Haiti. He’s also a failed business owner who left creditors in the lurch when his construction company went bankrupt, according to advertising run by a liberal organization promoting the election of Democrats to the Legislature.
The district dominated by the cities of Waseca and Owatonna hasn’t been particularly competitive over the years, but it has shown a strong independent streak and has been trending more Democratic.
There's lots more at the Free Press. Check it out. There's debate coverage in the Owatonna People's Press in Local House, Senate candidates give sales pitches on Tuesday night in Owatonna and Local House, Senate candidate debate education funding at Owatonna forum.
In SD24, MNGOP has money for stamps but not competent oppo research in attacks on Jensen