Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chris Dahlberg has a demand for Republican rival Mike McFadden: Stop dodging issues.
"As I've listened to the comments of Mike McFadden during this campaign, I've been stunned by the disregard for the intelligence of the people of this state," Dahlberg said. "He has consistently been unwilling -- or unable -- to answer even the simplest questions about where he stands on issues."
Dahlberg, McFadden and a host of other Republicans, including state Sen. Julianne Ortman and state Rep. Jim Abeler, are running to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken this year.
Dahlberg's blasting comes after McFadden held a lengthy news conference during which he avoided giving clear answers to 'yes' or 'no' questions. DFL critics followed by claiming McFadden dodged on issues and was not a straight shooter.
McFadden said at the time that voters would be very clear on his philosophy.
“What our campaign has heard from delegates is that they are sick and tired of Republican candidates beating each other up. We're focused on defeating Sen. Franken, and we'd encourage the other Republican candidates to do the same," Tom Erickson, McFadden spokesman, said in response to Dahlberg.
Dahlberg has long campaign both against Franken and his fellow Republicans. On his website, he has a chart critical of both McFadden and Ortman and a quiz highlighting perceived similarities between his two GOP rivals and Franken.
Dahlberg on Tuesday also made himself available to give his specific answers on any questions that reporters may have had. Among the positions he delineated:
He said that while he is anti-abortion, he did not support so called "personhood" legislation, because it would sidetrack from larger issues.
On the Affordable Care Act, he said the future is "painful no matter what," but he would favor repeal. After a few questions, he said he would have had Minnesota create its own health exchange, as it did, rather than have it use the federal exchange. But, he added, that the state exchange was "administered poorly."
He said that he was a supporter of gun rights and would oppose any further background checks to purchase guns. He also said that he was "cautious" on legislation that could keep guns from domestic abusers because of possible unintended consequences.
Dahlberg also said that he believed marriage should only be between a man and a woman. At the news conference he was asked about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban employers from discriminating against gay or lesbian employers. He said he was unfamiliar with it. After the event, he and his campaign followed up by saying that he familiarized himself with it and he would be against it.
A St. Louis County Commissioner, Dahlberg said that he would not begin television advertisements before the Republican Party's May endorsement for Senate. McFadden started running limited cable ads last week and has been far more successful at fundraising than any of the other candidates.
As of the end of March, Dahlberg had raised about $150,000. McFadden had brought in $2.85 million.
Franken raised more than $15 million in the cycle and $2.7 million in the first three months of this year, among the most among senators. He had nearly $6 million cash on hand as of the end of March.
Photo: Screen shot from Dahlberg's website.