Gov. Tom Pawlenty's campaign said today it will forgo taxpayer subsidies and not abide by campaign spending limits. It's the first time in nearly 25 years a candidate for governor has done that. Pawlenty reported earlier this week he has $2 million in the bank compared to Mike Hatch's $1 million. His decision means Hatch and IP candidate Peter Hutchinson will split more than $400,000 Pawlenty would have received in subsidies.
Pawlenty campaign manager Michael Krueger said Pawlenty made the decision because of the outside groups poised to make independent expenditures on behalf of Hatch:
"The real story this year in Minnesota will not be how much Tim Pawlenty and Mike Hatch spend, it will be how much Mike Hatch¹s allies spend on their smear campaign" Krueger said.
"Just this week, Minnesotans for Change purchased almost $800,000 in television air time and Alliance for a Better Minnesota began airing a very negative ad. This decision allows us to remain competitive against the onslaught of spending from liberal special interest groups."
I wonder if the fact the IP candidate gets some of that money was a factor for this decision? Is the money split evenly between Hatch and whats-his-name?