The Minnesota AFL-CIO endorsed Republican Jim Abeler in the special election for state Senate District 35. It wasn't surprising, since Abeler supported overriding former Governor Tim Pawlenty's veto of a gas tax in 2008 and the district is reliably Republican.
Abeler has used the vote in his own 2016 campaign lit (above, via his website), which deftly explains how the gas tax is 100 percent devoted to roads and bridges.
Thus, it's not surprising to find that a newly registered political committee, Citizens For Abeler, is chaired by Chelsie Glaubitz, the dynamic 30-year-old woman who was elected president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation on December 9. (It's important to note, again, that the lit piece at the top of this post isn't from the new PAC, but from the candidate--but it does illustrate the common interest).
The committee was registered on Thursday, January 21, according to the CFB website.
At the time of her election, Workday Minnesota reported New Minneapolis labor federation president brings fresh perspective. The creation of an independent PAC with labor roots for a Republican in Minnesota is unusual. It's also prudent to recognize that transportation requires dedicated long-term funding, not temporary shifting around of pots of money or bonding, and organized construction workers appreciate a dependable revenue stream.
Elsewhere, headlines like Dayton revives gas tax increase for transportation plan (Strib) and Dayton declares gas tax not so dead (MPR) show that Abeler isn't alone.
In the later article, Tim Pugmire reports:
Dayton said he had a private meeting Thursday with DFL lawmakers to discuss transportation funding issues. He said he apologized to them “for having to blurt out” his assessment of the gas tax six weeks ago.
House Republicans want to use surplus money and dedicate existing sales tax revenues to transportation.
Dayton said he’ll do all he can to push back against that approach.
We'll keep an eye out on this PAC's spending when the First Report of Receipts and Expenditures (Period covered: 1/1 through 3/31/2016) are due on April 14, according the calendar for PAC disclosures on the CFB's website. It's possible that Citizens for Abeler spent money on the January 12 primary, since "The treasurer of a political committee or political funds must register within 14 days of raising or spending in excess of $750" to nominate or elect candidates, according to the CFB's website.
Image: An Abeler lit piece via his website. This piece is not from the newly-registered PAC.
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