More rural Minnesotans are speaking out against cookie-cutter attack mailings sent into their districts by St. Paul-based Minnesota's Future. The political committe is funded by a handful of mostly metro-based big businessmen.
Distressed by mailings in Minnesota Senate District 9m Jeffrey Everson of Little Falls writes to the editors of the Morrison County Record in Attacks on Doty misleading, dishonest:
Look who’s funding ads attacking Al Doty. “Minnesota’s Future” has produced at least three mailed ads in support of Paul Gazelka.
The first one was on education. They couldn’t find anything wrong with Doty’s voting record on education, so instead, they attacked special interest groups and party leaders, make them sound evil and associate Doty with them. It’s misleading and dishonest.
Taxes for “free health care” was their next ad. They know Al Doty has voted to raise income taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans instead of raising our property taxes like Gazelka voted for. They say Doty would raise taxes, but they don’t mention that he only voted to increase income taxes for the wealthiest. It’s misleading and dishonest.
The third mailer again attacks party leaders on a vote because they couldn’t find anything against Doty’s support of veterans. It’s misleading and dishonest.
Minnesota’s Future does that because “they” are the wealthiest Minnesotans. Their latest campaign finance report shows $475,000 in cash donations in the first seven months of 2012 from only six donors. . . .
Bluestem reported about that funding in Special interest group Minnesota's Future attacks Worthington mayor Alan Oberloh in mailing:
. . . 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 business
[Rosen Diversified, Fairmont, $50,000]
Davisco Foods, Eden Prairie, $100,000
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
Both Republican legislative caucuses made in-kind contributions of $10,000 in polling, according to the filing.
The mailings Everson describe sound like the copy-cat Minnesota's Future mail piece that attacked Vicki Jensen in SD24, as well as Oberloh in SD22. Bluestem has heard of the piece going out to other districts as well.
Carol Paplow, another voter in Senate District 22, wrote the Worthington Globe to talk back to the fat cats. She writes in Ignore unfair attacks, vote for Oberloh:
When I opened my mailbox the other day and found another flyer attacking Alan Oberloh, I was not surprised. It seems that a big metro PAC with boatloads of money is sending out attack piece after attack piece to convince us to vote against Alan Oberloh. I guess they know that people out here would vote for Alan if they compared the two candidates on the issues. This metro PAC doesn’t want us to do that. I asked myself; why do they want us to vote for Alan’s opponent and why are they spending so much money to get our vote.?
I did some research into the special interest PAC in St. Paul that has been paying for the attack flyers. It calls itself Minnesota’s Future, and it is a group of wealthy businessmen mostly from the Twin Cities. They are spending hundreds and thousands of dollars all across Minnesota to influence legislative races. In fact, with a different picture and name, the very same nasty flyers are being used to attack lots of candidates.
Common sense tells us these people want something for all that money. So we have to ask ourselves this: Do these ultra-wealthy businesses have my best interest or the interest of greater Minnesota at heart? I don’t think so. But we know this: whatever it is they are trying to buy with their money, they believe Alan’s opponent will give them.
I urge you to say “no” to the outside interest bringing nasty politics to our community. I urge you to tell metro big businesses to respect our local elections by casting your vote for Alan Oberloh.
Images: Mail pieces sent by a powerful special interest group attacking DFL candidates for supposedly being beholden to a special interest. Both Jensen and Oberloh run small businesses in their communities.