In most campaign years, promising to raise taxes is a campaign killer. This year for DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton, it's a mantra.

The former U.S. senator, who will vie in an August primary against House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza, released two new television ads on Monday, putting his push for higher taxes front and center.

"We're going to make the rich pay their fair share of taxes," Dayton says in one ad.

In another, the announcer says, "Mark Dayton will close the tax loopholes for the rich."

Dayton's tax proposals have included income tax increases on individuals making more than $130,000 and couples making more than $150,000, as well as large increases for millionaires. The largest "loophole" he has targeted is that for so-called "snowbirds," who, Dayton said, "live outside Minnesota for six months and one day of the year, and pay no personal income taxes in this state."

In the ads, Dayton promises to invest the new revenue in schools and higher education and lower taxes for those who aren't rich. He may need nearly all of the tax revenue -- which he has said would be about $4 billion -- to close an estimated $6 billion budget gap the state might have to fill come next year.

The ads are Dayton's second and third. His first ad, also released this month, is a one-minute bio.

Entenza, who, like Dayton, has personal wealth to spend, has aired four television ads.

Kelliher has yet to release any television ads.


Hatch endorses Dayton

The 2006 DFL candidate for governor Mike Hatch is supporting Dayton in this year's race.

"I did send out a letter for Mark," Hatch said recently, noting that he's also holding a fundraiser for his old friend and colleague. Hatch was commerce commissioner under former Gov. Rudy Perpich when Dayton was Perpich's economic development commissioner. "I've known him for 30 years," Hatch said of Dayton. "I think he can do a great job."

Hatch said his decision had nothing to do with DFL-endorsed candidate Kelliher. He said he decided to support Dayton awhile ago, but he wanted to "stand back and defer" for a while.


Emmer gets on the bus

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer and other GOP candidates for state office will embark Wednesday on a three-day Freedom and Prosperity statewide bus tour.

"There are 3.1 million adults in this state, and I figured I've touched .1," Emmer said in a recent interview. "That gives me 3 million to (meet) in the next five months."

Emmer and others on the GOP ticket plan to visit 20 cities, from Rochester to St. Cloud to Fertile.

Emmer, who has declined to offer details on his plans as governor, wrote in a letter announcing the tour to supporters that "We must redesign government to provide the services citizens expect in an efficient, affordable and sustainable manner. At the same time, we must create a business environment that will allow our existing employers to not only survive, but to once again thrive."


Hahn would reform family law

Rob Hahn, Independence Party candidate for governor, wants to rewrite Minnesota's family law in ways that would benefit divorced dads -- just like him -- should he become governor.

His proposal would presume shared custody of kids in divorce cases, require couples to attend divorce classes, and form an independent commission to review family court judges and attorneys. Hahn said no change in law would affect his custody arrangement.

It was his own divorce last year, Hahn said, that inspired his run for office.

He said other issues, such as the pending budget deficit, may be more pressing but changing family law would be a high priority should he become governor.

Hahn is running in the IP primary against IP-endorsed candidate Tom Horner, John Uldrich and Rahn Workcuff.