In a statement being distributed by the Republican Party of Minnesota, GOP Senate candidate Kurt Bills states, "In order to defeat Obama and his lieutenant Amy Klobuchar, Republicans of all stripes must stand together. We cannot afford to squabble, and mustn't equivocate. We need to unite--standing on our shared principles--to win in November."
Bills was elected as a Ron Paul delegate to the Republican National Convention, which is slated to begin Monday in Tampa, Fla. Bills is not attending the RNC so he can campaign at the Minnesota State Fair as much as possible.
His "unequivocal support for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan," is not shared by many other Minnesota delegates, including the chair of the delegation, Marianne Stebbins, who said in an interview recently she's looking forward to voting for Paul at the convention.
Bills won the GOP endorsement for Senate this spring with the backing of Ron Paul. The state convention was dominated by backers of Paul's campaign for president.
An organization dedicated to defeating conservative U.S. House members is targeting 6th Congressional District Rep. Michele Bachmann.
CREDO super PAC, a fund created by San Francisco-based CREDO Mobile cell phone company, has added Bachmann to its "Take Down the Tea Party Ten" campaign.
The group doesn't plan to spend its money on advertisements. Rather, it will rally volunteers to man phone banks and canvass door-to-door to talk to 6th District voters about Bachmann's record, said CREDO spokeswoman Sarah Lane.
CREDO doesn't plan to help Bachmann's DFL opponent Jim Graves either.
"This is about holding Rep. Bachmann accountable for her extremist record in Congress," Land said. "We are just focused on telling voters in the district about her record - about her record on seniors, and women, and the environment, and letting them know about her tea party record in Congress."
By most accounts, Bachmann's seat is safe. But Lane said that CREDO's members have asked the group to campaign against Bachmann. Lane also pointed out that turnout in Bachmann's district for last week's primary was quite low, though turn-out was low throughout Minnesota.
Bachmann campaign spokesman Chase Kroll said, "It's no surprise a group of radical San Francisco liberals are coming to the aid of another radical liberal Jim Graves."
"I'm sure Jim Graves will continue to write himself big checks, but at the end of the day, Minnesotans support Michele Bachmann because they know she's an independent voice, fighting for them to bring about a smaller government and a more affordable way of life," Kroll wrote in an e-mail.
CREDO's 6th district effort mirrors one already in place in the 8th Congressional District. There, CREDO is mobilizing voters to defeat Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack, who is also on the group's "Take Down the Tea Party" list.(1 Comments)
Disaster relief won't be the only issue state lawmakers address Friday when they return to St. Paul for a special session.
The Minnesota Senate has nearly $18,000 in new legal bills to pay.
The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration is scheduled to meet after the session to discuss legal costs rung up in June and July related to last year's firing of former Republican caucus staffer Michael Brodkorb, who was having an affair with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. Brodkorb filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the Senate in July after failing to reach a settlement. He claims he was treated differently than women involved in similar relationships.
Rules committee members met back in June to approve the payment of two previous invoices totally nearly $85,000 from the Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren firm. That means the total bill now tops $100,000.
Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, said the costs are necessary to protect taxpayers.
"We're going to stand strong on that and defend our position," Senjem said.
Lawmakers who supported the new Vikings stadium are getting an assist from the team this election year.
Minnesota Momentum, a new political fund created earlier this month by the Vikings, will be used to spend on behalf of Minnesota legislators who helped get the stadium bill signed into law, said team spokesman Jeff Anderson.
"We have several tens of thousands of fans signed up for Minnesota Momentum," said Anderson. "What we did during the primary election and what we'll do during the general election is let those fans know who their elected official is and if they voted 'yes' on the stadium."
Minnesota Momentum has existed since 2006 as a network of Vikings fans. But the political fund is necessary for the team to legally spend money in support of various legislative candidates.
Rep. Tim Sanders, R-Blaine, is among those the team is helping.
"After taking the difficult but necessary vote, Representative Sanders faces a challenge heading into the primary, August 14, and the general election on November 6," reads an e-mail the Vikings sent out urging fans to vote for Sanders during last week's primary. "Opponents are highlighting his stadium support as a reason to vote against him. Therefore, just as Representative Sanders stood with Vikings fans and stadium supporters last spring, we need to stand with him during this campaign."
Anderson said to expect more such e-mails throughout election season.(2 Comments)
Mitt Romney raised at least $875,000 during his visit to Minnesota tonight. The presumptive Republican nominee for president attended two fundraisers. Roughly 350 people gave between $2,500 and $10,000 to attend a fundraiser at the Lafayette Country Club in Minnetonka Beach. Couples who contributed $50,000 attended a private dinner at the Shorewood home of Cambria CEO Marty Davis.
"This is a campaign about the soul of America," GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said. "I want to keep this country the shining city on a hill, the strong and vibrant nation that has inspired the nation and people all over the globe. I need your help to have that happen."
Romney's Minnesota visit was brief. He held no public events and focused all of his time attending the two fundraisers. He encouraged donors to energetically back his campaign.
"You've written checks, I need you now to go out and find somebody who voted for Barack Obama - there are a few here in Minnesota," Romney said, as the crowd laughed. "I need you to find them and convince them to join our team. Not because they're Republican or Democrat, but because this is the time to say what America is. And if you do, we're going to take back our country."
The crowd in the country club ballroom included former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and an array of past, present and aspiring GOP politicians. Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman also attended the fundraiser, as did U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-MN, and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills.
"This is Mitt Romney's time," Coleman said, to cheers and applause from the crowd. "Barack Obama's time is over."
Romney's decision to hold no public events during his Minnesota trip is a sign that he may not be too optimistic about his chances in the state.
Attorney Andy Brehm, who served as former Sen. Norm Coleman's press secretary, said polling shows President Obama is beating Romney in Minnesota but that could change quickly. He talked with reporters outside the Minnetonka Beach fundraiser.
"If you look back in 2000, George W. Bush didn't consider Minnesota competitive really until the last two weeks when he actually came and campaigned here and did relatively well but didn't win the state," Brehm said. "I'm sure the governor's campaign is keeping a good eye on the state but right now polls suggest that he's probably best spending time elsewhere."
Roughly 100 people protested outside the private Lafayette Club. Kimberly Matt of St. Louis Park says Romney isn't concerned about the entire country.
"Romney's a businessman and he would treat us all like we're customers and the customers who pay the most get the best service. That's the way it works."
Democrats also criticized Romney for his stance on education. At a news conference in St. Paul earlier in the day, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak criticized Romney for attending only private events.
"Mitt Romney has been a candidate and would be a president who would lock himself in rooms with the ultra rich, give them big tax breaks and not listen to the voices of all of America," Rybak said.
Romney's visit comes just two days after Vice President Joe Biden held campaign rallies in Minneapolis and Rochester.
Update: A national pool report says Romney said during his remarks that "Big business is doing fine" - a line that parrots President Obama's "The private sector is doing just fine" quote from earlier this year.
(Report includes Pool Report material)(1 Comments)