DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is dismissing the decision by Minnesota Citizen's Concerned for Life to not endorse him this year.
Peterson and his campaign declined to comment last week when MCCL decided not to endorse him. The group said Peterson lost its endorsement because he voted against efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (even though he voted against the original bill).
Republican Lee Byberg's campaign is now pointing to an online video that was captured by two people at Concordia College that features Peterson talking about MCCL's decision. In the video, Peterson dismissed MCCL's decision to not endorse anyone in the race to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District.
"The only place it got reported is MPR, and those people don't listen to MPR," Peterson said to the woman who asked about the MCCL's decision in the video. (Note: The Star Tribune also wrote about MCCL's decision).
Peterson, who has been endorsed by the MCCL in the past, also suggested that the group contained extremists on the abortion issue. Peterson is opposed to legalized abortion. He later added MCCL's decision to not endorse him "is an end to them as an organization."
"They're now a completely partisan organization," Peterson said. "When you get into that position, you're done. The NRA is smarter because they keep 60 or 70 Democrats. They went out and purposely make a partisan issue out of this. It's stupid."
Byberg's campaign swiftly rebuked Peterson's comments.
"Peterson's decades in Congress have made him arrogant," said Byberg campaign manager Liz Gorham. "Attacking MCCL for sticking to their pro-life principles is appalling. Did it ever occur to him that pro-life voters might want a pro-life Congressman? That isn't extreme, it's democracy."
Peterson's campaign spokeswoman didn't respond to questions about today's comments.
Peterson sent along this statement regarding MCCL's decision:
"I respect the right of MCCL to not endorse me or my opponent in this race. I am pro-life, and have had a 100 percent record with them. I opposed the Affordable Care Act, and have since supported removing the parts of that bill that MCCL objects to. However, their position on repealing the ACA has become partisan and political, and I don't think this should be a partisan issue.
As I've said before, we need to put aside partisanship and work together in Congress to fix what isn't working in this bill, while keeping some of the patient protection issues, like eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions, eliminating the Medicare prescription drug donut hole and allowing individuals to stay on a parent's health care plan up to age 26."
Posted at 3:08 PM on October 14, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2012, Campaign 2012: U.S. House, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD3, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD4, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD7, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD8
This is a big week for Minnesota's congressional candidates. There will be debates in several congressional districts, including Minnesota's 8th District contest between GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack and Democrat Rick Nolan.
The League of Women Voters will host a 4th Congressional District debate featuring DFL Rep. Betty McCollum, Republican Tony Hernandez and Independence Party candidate Steve Carlson. The event will be held at 7 o'clock on Monday night at North High School in North St. Paul. The event is free and open to the public.
Cravaack and Nolan will meet in a Debate Minnesota forum on Tuesday at noon. The event will be held at Anoka Ramsey Community College and is open to the public. Both candidates also debated the issues on KSTP's At Issue on Friday.
Prairie Public TV in North Dakota will host a debate between DFL Rep. Collin Peterson and Republican Lee Byberg on Tuesday. The debate will air on Tuesday night at 8pm.
On Thursday, GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen and Democrat Brian Barnes will meet in a debate hosted by the Edina and Eden Prairie Chambers of Commerce. The chambers are requiring chamber members to pay $25 to attend. Those who aren't members of the Chamber have to pay $35 to attend.
MPR's The Daily Circuit will also be hosting several debates over the next month. You can see the list of those debates here.
WASHINGTON - With less than a month to go before Election Day, congressional campaigns are beginning to release one of the last snapshots of their fundraising before voters head to the polls.
In the 2nd District, Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline raised $286,000* between late July and the end of September and sits on a $1.4 million war chest, according to Kline spokesman Troy Young.
Since Kline's bank account contained nearly the same amount in late July, it's likely Kline's campaign is spending heavily and possibly transferring funds to other candidates or to the state and national Republican parties. A full accounting won't be available until Kline's campaign submits its documentation to the Federal Election Committee before a Monday deadline.
Mike Obermueller, Kline's DFL opponent, has not yet released his campaign's fundraising.
In the 1st District, DFL U.S. Rep. Tim Walz's campaign brought in more than $320,000 from the beginning of July through the end of September. That's in the range of Walz's past fundraising totals and he has just shy of $790,000 in the bank for the general election. Republican Allen Quist, who's challenging Walz, has not yet released his fundraising.
In the 7th District, Republican challenger Lee Byberg's campaign has raised more than $86,000 according to a filing on the Federal Election Commission website. Byberg has $74,000 for his attempt to unseat long-serving DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson. Peterson has not yet reported his fundraising.
* CORRECTION - An earlier version of this post said Kline raised $2.1 million in the third quarter. Kline raised $286,000 and has raised $2.1 million since the beginning of this election cycle in January 2011.
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, a group that lobbies against legalized abortion, has decided not to endorse DFL Rep. Collin Peterson for re-election.
MCCL spokesman Bil Poehler says his group has endorsed Peterson several times over the past few election cycles but said Peterson's stance on the federal health care law has prompted the MCCL to decide against endorsing him this year.
"We typically endorse candidates when they are 100 percent with us, but because he isn't with us on the Affordable Care Act, that's the case this time around," Poehler said.
Peterson is running for re-election in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District, which includes much of the western part of the state. Poehler said his organization will not endorse anyone in the 7th. That hasn't stopped Republican Lee Byberg from using the MCCL's decision to his political advantage. Byberg, who lost to Peterson by nearly 18 percentage points in 2010, issued a statement criticizing Peterson.
"Obamacare is an abomination, and an affront to the conscience of millions of pro-life Americans. Collin Peterson gives lip service to our cause, but when the chips are down he votes with his party, not his conscience," Byberg said.
Peterson initially opposed the Affordable Care Act in 2009 but has voted against measures that would have defunded the program. He said earlier this year that the federal law known as Obamacare is "not all bad."
An official with Peterson's campaign said he just learned about MCCL's decision and said he would get back to me with a statement. I'll post it when it arrives.
MCCL's endorsement could play a factor in the 7th District. The group holds political power in many rural areas. For example, it endorsed Republican Chip Cravaack over DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2010 because of Oberstar's support of the Affordable Care Act. Cravaack defeated Oberstar with the help of the MCCL's endorsement.
Lee Byberg, the Republican candidate in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District, is embracing Republican Mitt Romney's comments at a private fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans 'believe they are victims' and are entitled to help from the government that permeates their lives.
Romney's remarks were recorded without his knowledge and were first reported by Mother Jones Magazine. At a hastily called news conference on Monday night, Romney didn't back off the comments but said they were made "off the cuff" and weren't "elegantly stated." The comments were widely criticized by the Obama campaign, Democrats and several Republicans, among others.
But Byberg, who is challenging DFL Rep. Collin Peterson, announced his support for Romney's comments.
"Romney was merely stating the obvious," Byberg said in a statement. He added that he believed any criticism of Romney "missed the point."
"The welfare state is not only unsustainable financially, but morally as well. A dependency culture undermines human dignity. Government aid should be limited to temporary support, and for those truly unable to care for themselves. By no stretch of the imagination is that 47 percent of the population," Byberg said.
In a follow-up interview, Byberg said he was referring to people who are not paying federal income taxes and wasn't referring to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid when defining the "welfare state."
Byberg acknowledged that nearly two-thirds of households that don't pay federal income taxes do pay payroll taxes, but he said that's not the same.
"We have almost half of the population that is not paying federal income taxes. So we are depriving from them the opportunity to feel that they are part of what it takes to fund a nation," Byberg said. "That is not a good thing."
Byberg is hoping that his comments resonate with the western Minnesota congressional district. This is the second time he's run against Peterson. He lost in 2010 by nearly 18 percentage points.
Posted at 11:06 AM on August 3, 2012
by Brett Neely
Filed under: Campaign 2012, Campaign 2012: U.S. House, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD1, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD2, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD3, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD4, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD5, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD6, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD7, Campaign 2012: U.S. MN CD8, Campaign 2012: U.S. Senate
WASHINGTON - Although candidates for federal office were required to file campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission just a few weeks ago to cover their 2nd quarter fundraising, they're filing more paperwork now ahead of next month's primary elections. This reporting period covers just the 25 days between the close of the old period on June 30 and July 25.
Here's where things stand:
- Incumbent U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar brought in $131,996 in July, bringing her total fundraising to date to just a shade under $8 million. The Democrat's campaign spent about $215,000 in the same period, eating slightly into her cash but leaving Klobuchar with a still-large war chest of nearly $5.4 million. About $90,000 of Klobuchar's donations came from donors who have more than $200 and from political action committees.
While the FEC deadline for posting campaign finance reports was midnight on Aug. 2, as of noon on Aug. 3, Klobuchar's likely Republican rival state Rep. Kurt Bills had not posted his fundraising figures. In an email, a campaign spokesman said he was looking into the matter.
CD 1 - Rep. Tim Walz, the DFL incumbent in this district, continues to outraise his two GOP opponents. Walz brought in $27,845 compared to $18,800 by Allan Quist and $8,890 by state Sen. Mike Parry. Walz kept his campaign spending to a modest $28,611 in July and his war chest has more $807,000 compared to nearly $118,000 for Quist and nearly $28,000 for Parry. Almost all of Walz's contributions came from donors who gave more than $200 and political action committees.
CD 2 - Incumbent Republican Rep. John Kline brought in $109,780, bringing his total raised this cycle to just over $1.8 million. Of those contributions, more than $96,000 came from donors giving more than $200 and political action committees. Kline's campaign spent more than $91,000 in the 25 days recorded in July and has more than $1.3 million in the bank for the contest this fall.
His DFL challenger, Mike Obermueller, raised $54,505 in July and has thus far brought in $275,000 since entering the race. Obermueller has $227,283 cash on hand and his campaign's operating expenses hit $41,391 during the reporting period. The Obermueller campaign has also taken on $32,500 worth of debt so far. More than $45,000 of Obermueller's contributions campaign from donors giving more than $200 and PACs.
CD 3 - Erik Paulsen, the Republican who represents western suburbs of Minneapolis, is the delegation's biggest fundraiser not named Bachmann. But Paulsen's campaign raised $54,309 in July, a relatively small total for him, bringing his total fundraising this term to more than $2.2 million. Paulsen's campaign spent a little more than $51,000 and his cash on hand is nearly $1.6 million. Almost $43,000 of Paulsen's fundraising came from large donors and PACs.
Paulsen's DFL challenger, Brian Barnes, raised $26,735, bringing his total to date to $217,000. Barnes' campaign spent more than $33,000 in July and has about $50,000 in the bank.
CD 4 - Incumbent DFLer Betty McCollum raised the least of any sitting member from Minnesota, bringing in $12,270 in July for a total to date of $658,123. Still, that's more than double what Republican-endorsed challenger Anthony Hernandez brought in, $5,700. McCollum has $170,199 cash in the bank, compared to $5,370 for Hernandez. McCollum's campaign spent more than $48,000 in July while Hernandez spent $2,506.
CD 5 - Rep. Keith Ellison, the DFL incumbent representing Minneapolis and the inner suburbs, brought in $103,890 in July and has raised more than $1.4 million since January 2011. However, Ellison's campaign spent even more, $111,370, during July, and Ellison ended the reporting period with $126,481 in the bank and no debt. Nearly $69,000 of Ellison's current fundraising came from large donors and PACs.
Republican challenger Chris Fields raised $31,126 bringing his fundraising to date to $113,886. Fields' campaign spent $13,299 and sits on $51,609 in the bank. Large donors contributed $10,600 to his campaign and no PACs gave him money.
CD 6 - Expect to see huge sums spent on this race. Incumbent Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann has a huge fundraising and cash advantage over DFL challenger Jim Graves. Two thirds of her contributions came from small donors who gave less than $200. She raised nearly $1.1 million in 25 days compared to Graves' $64,482. Bachmann also spent big, dropping nearly $700,000 in the same period compared to the $116,000 spent by Graves. Bachmann has more than $2 million in the bank while Graves has about $350,000 on hand but also has $250,000 in debt due to loans he's made his campaign.
CD 7 - Veteran DFL Rep. Collin Peterson pulled in $67,438 in July and has now raised more than $821,000 since his term started in January 2011. His campaign spent almost as much as he raised in July -- $68,057 -- and ends the period with almost exactly $800,000 in the bank. More than $57,000 of Peterson's donations came from large donors and PACs.
Lee Byberg, the Republican who hopes to replace Peterson, raised $25,677. But his campaign's $50,320 worth of spending far outstripped his fundraising and Byberg ends the period with $91,920 in the bank.
CD 8 - This is likely to be Minnesota's most contested race in the fall with Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack defending his seat for the first time after a long DFL lock on the district. Cravaack brought in $59,005 in July, bringing his total fundraising to a hair under $1.5 million. His campaign spent $39,000 and has $916,000 on hand. About $37,000 of Cravaack's fundraising came from large donors and PACs.
Former state Sen. Tarryl Clark, one of three DFLers running in a primary for the chance to compete against Cravaack, was the strongest fundraiser in the district in July. Her campaign raised $65,509 and has raised more than $1.1 million overall. But ahead of the primary, Clark's campaign is spending heavily -- $225,821 -- and she has a little less than $99,000 on hand. Thanks to Democratic grassroots funding networks, Clark raised about two thirds of her fundraising in July from small donors.
Former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, who received the DFL endorsement in the 8th District, brought in $27,618 and has raised $357,655 since entering the race. Nolan's campaign spent about $33,000 in July and has a little less than $88,000 on hand. Most of Nolan's funds came from large donors.
Former Duluth City Council President Jeff Anderson lags the other two DFL challengers, bringing in $8,031 in July for a total so far of $172,359. His campaign spent more than twice as much -- $19,285 -- in the same period, and Anderson has just $7,238 in the bank.
Allen Quist, a Republican hoping to challenge 1st Congressional District Rep. Tim Walz this fall, has raised $178,230 in the second quarter of the year.
All told, Quist has raised $243,160 this election cycle, according to a recent report filed with the Federal Election Commission. Quist has $165,214 in the bank.
Most of Quist's cash has come from his own pockets. This quarter, he gave $170,000 to his campaign for a total of $195,000 this election cycle. He's also loaned his campaign $25,000.
Campaign finance reports are due July 15, and so far Walz, a Democrat, and Minnesota Republican Sen. Mike Parry, who is also hoping to be Walz's challenger, have not filed their finances for the quarter.
Making his second bid to represent Minnesota's 7th Congressional District, Republican Lee Byberg has raised roughly $113,449 during the second quarter of this year.
Byberg is looking to oust long-serving Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson.
That figure doesn't include a $40,000 loan, which brings Byberg's total receipts between April and June of this year to roughly $153,449. Byberg has raised more than $320,000 for the entire election cycle.
Byberg has about $119,430 in the bank and is $116,794 in debt, according to his quarterly report.
Peterson's fundraising haul dwarfs Byberg's. He brought in $191,174 this quarter, has $819,648 in the bank, and has no debt.
WASHINGTON - Lots of money is flowing into what's expected to be Minnesota's tightest congressional race this fall in the 8th District. Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack's campaign reported Friday that he raised $393,753 in the second quarter of this year, his largest fundraising haul yet. Since entering Congress last year, Cravaack has raised more than $1.4 million.
Cravaack begins the campaign season with $898,681 cash on hand. So far, former state Sen. Tarryl Clark is the only one of Cravaack's three DFL opponents to report fundraising figures. While Clark's campaign out-fundraised Cravaack's last quarter, this quarter saw Clark bring in $232,138. She reports having $259,022 in the bank.
The funds raised by candidates will likely be only a small portion of the money that goes into the 8th District race this fall. A variety of outside groups and unions from the left and right have already been active in the district, which is rated by the Cook Political Report as a "toss-up" race that could go to either party.
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat who represents the 7th District, also filed his quarterly fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission. The long-serving Peterson brought in $191,174 and has $819,647 cash on hand. Lee Byberg, Peterson's Republican opponent, has not yet revealed his fundraising totals.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Reps. John Kline and Collin Peterson reported strong fundraising numbers in the first three months of 2012 as both incumbents prepare for elections this November.
Kline, a Republican who represents the 2nd District and chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee, raised just shy of $1.3 million. His campaign's bank account now has just over $1 million. The two DFLers seeking their party's endorsement to run against Kline this fall have not yet filed reports with the Federal Election Commission, which are due by April 15.
Peterson, the 7th District DFLer who's the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, collected more than $561,000 and has just over $752,000 in the bank. Peterson's Republican opponent, Lee Byberg, has not yet filed his quarterly fundraising reports with the FEC.
As veteran lawmakers with powerful committee positions, both reported significant contributions from political action committees tied to companies and industries under their committees' jurisdiction. Kline's campaign raised more than $545,000 from PACs and Peterson's brought in more than $460,000.