The email sends recipients to an Indiegogo fundraising page, Take Back Minnesota: One District at a Time, which uses a map (screenshot above) of Minnesota congressional districts drawn by the Minnesota Supreme Court Special Redistricting Panel in the matter of Zachman v. Kiffmeyer, case #C0-01-160, March 19, 2002.
Things have changed a bit since, but we'll let them find their own map.
We are also perplexed by the exact identity of the committee asking recipients for money. Language at the bottom of the page shows that the effort is for the MN07 Republican federal committee, although the candidates are all running for the state legislature:
Disclaimer:Prepared and paid for by the 7th Congressional Distric [sic] Republican Party. Craig Bishup[sic], Chair. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.Corporate and foreign national contributions are not permitted under state law. State Law requires us to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 per calendar year. Political contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions for state income tax purposes.
First and foremost, it is very important that we meet the criteria of the Fedural Elections Comission. For your donations to be legal, we will need to collect your first and last name, occupation, and employer. After you donate to us, we will send you a confirmation email for your donation at which time we will ask for you to reply to our email with this information.
In conferring with staff I have learned that the authority for use of donations made under the political contribution refund program by federal committees is a Department of Revenue determination. I am looking for the letter and should be able to send you a copy later today.The political contribution refund program is actually created under the Department of Revenue statutes and administered by the DOR. The only involvement the Board has is to give out receipt books, although we are sometimes also called on to answer questions.
PCR – WHAT IS IT?
Political Contribution Refund. Minnesota Statute 290.06 Subdivision 23 extends a refund up to $50.00/Individual or $100.00/Married Couple filing jointly on Minnesota Income Taxes when said Individual or Married Couple filing jointly contribute to a political candidate or political party.
These refunds are paid out under an open appropriation from the general fund. This means that the refund money has already been set aside in the general fund to pay for these refunds. Any monies that are not spent on the PCR will remain in the general fund and the legislature gets to spend all the remaining monies.
This money is already allocated! Don’t let the Legislature waste our hard earned tax dollars. Please join the CD7 Fundraiser and help Republicans regain control of the Minnesota House in November.
There appear to be some wires crossed as far as the committee's state and federal accounts go, as they had transfer funds from their state account into their federal account, which the FEC asked to transfer back.
Do MN07 Republicans really hate Monsanto? Does Westrom?
Created on Indiegogo by Gina Olson, a self-described "small business owner AAS Degree - Paralegal Delegate to Ottertail County 2012 Altnerate to CD7 2012," the page also includes a short video of snapshots of people from the district that is from the YouTube channel of conservativeliberty1
Last year, the channel criticized Congressman Peterson for taking contributions from Monsanto in a video slideshow "commentary by a Republican Bulldog." The Republican Bulldog is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, according the Bulldog website. According to the About section for the Conservative Liberty Think Tank's Facebook page, the founder of the Republican Bulldog is Dave Adams of Fergus Falls.
In a recent letter to the editor of the Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Adams scolded Collin Peterson for taking money from Monsanto; the video was tweeted by the CD7 Republicans' twitter account on August 31. We're not sure when Monsanto got on Westrom's own list of bugabears, but it must have been sometime after this moment in 2004.
Perhaps someone in the press might ask Torrey Westrom if he shares the opinions of the "fan" about Monsanto--or if the tweet of this video, which was tweeted by the MNGOP CD7's account on August 31st--is simply representative of a twitter account in the hands of a careless party member:
Watch this fan made video. Collin Peterson the "darling" of big ag business. http://t.co/CEIv61TeCl— MNCD7GOP (@MNCD7GOP) September 1, 2014
Have the CD7 Republicans sharing this information asked Westrom his opinion of Monsanto and "Big Ag"?
The Minnesota House Targets
Two incumbents and five challengers are included in their list.
The MN07 Republicans are hoping to hold Steve Green's seat in HD2B and Mary Franson in HD8B; in HD2A, the Republicans are hoping for an encore by Dave Hancock, while they're touting candidates in HD4A, HD12A, and both sides of SD17. All but 17A are held by DFL freshman legislators.
None these are news, though we're a bit surprised that Deb Kiel in 1B isn't listed, in a race already mentioned by political observers. The DFLer challenger, Eric Bergeson, has collected a COH balance that exceeds the contents of Kiel's campaign bank account.
This is the list that the PCR and a federal committee will help. As we've said, it's not clear how that works.
The Youtube snspshot: no woman is ever alone
The Youtube embedded in the fundraising page is also remarkable if it is to be taken as a representation of Minnesota's Seventh Congressional District.
We see snapshots of a young farmer from Pennington County, a turkey farmer and his son from Gaylord (Sibley County), two girls and two boys from Bemidji (Beltrami County), an angler from Fergus Falls holding a dandy bass, a guy from Moorhead piloting a boat, a guy from Roseau standing outside, two men and a woman from Kittson County in a restaurant or bar, a guy from Redwood Falls talking at podium, a guy from Hutchinson in a state law enforcement uniform, Representative Gruenhagen, his wife and two children, and that's it.
Noticeably missing? Women standing by themselves. Nor do any of the snapshots appear to include people of color in a district that's home to Dakota and Obijwe communities, Latinos and East Africans. Did the YouTube maker simply not see the content of the pictures in her or his show?
According the page:
This fundraising website is sponsored by the Republican leadership of the Seventh Congressional District. We were elected at our district convention in Bemidji in March of 2013. Our website is as follows: http://www.mncd7gop.com/ Our goal is to raise $5,000 to help our candidates in CD7.
The "Take Back Minnesota" theme illustrates the committee's website as well.
Is this an accurate family album for the Seventh Congressional District?
Screenshot: Minnesota's Seventh District, as it was from 2002-2012, on the CD7 GOP's Indiegogo 2014 fundraising page.
If you appreciate Bluestem Prairie, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen P.O. Box 108, Maynard MN 56260) or use the paypal button below:
Email subscribers can contribute via this link to paypal; use email sally.jo.sorensen at gmail.com as recipient.