New ads and a new nod in Minnesota governor's race

MN Forward, a new independent expenditure committee, is running an ad in support of Tom Emmer. Margaret Anderson Kelliher's new ad criticizes Gov. Pawlenty.

Two new television ads and an unusual endorsement popped into the Minnesota governor's race Sunday.

The business group MN Forward announced that it would start running an anti-tax and pro-Tom Emmer ad on Monday. Emmer is the Republican Party-endorsed candidate for governor.

"State government continues to spend too much. Businesses forced to lay people off. That's why Minnesota needs Tom Emmer," the new ad says.

MN Forward is one of several new independent expenditure committees empowered in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to more directly fund political ads. Brian McClung, MN Forward director and former staffer to Gov. Tim Pawlenty, said the group will spend at least $100,000 to run the ad. According to a report released last week, the chief contributors to the group were Target Corp., Polaris Industries, Hubbard Broadcasting and Davisco Foods International.

House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL-endorsed candidate for governor, also shared a new television ad Sunday. Hers takes a whack at Pawlenty.

Kelliher's new spot, her second, shows people trying to order "good schools" and "jobs" at a drive-through window at a fast food restaurant called "Pawlenty's" and getting nothing but static in return.

"For the past eight years, the governor has been serving corporate special interests and his own political ambitions," Kelliher says in the ad. "As the next governor, I'll serve you."

DFL primary rivals Matt Entenza and Mark Dayton, who have personal wealth to spend on their campaigns, have already aired multiple television spots.

Both the Kelliher ad and the MN Forward ad will hit the airwaves Monday.

Entenza gets NOW nod

Meanwhile, Entenza announced Sunday he'd picked up the endorsement from the Minnesota chapter of the National Organization for Women. The nod is one of his first from an institutional endorser.

"I've known Matt Entenza to be a great champion of women's rights," said Minnesota NOW President Shannon Drury in a news release. "Recently, however, I had a chance to sit for a meeting with his running mate, Robyne Robinson. I was impressed immediately by her intelligence, her candor, and her compassion for all the citizens of this state."

The endorsement might not be the most powerful out there -- the PAC had less than $1,000 cash on hand, according to recent campaign finance records -- but could be a slight to Kelliher. She is the only woman running for governor.

Rachel E. Stassen-Berger • 651-292-0164

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