With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, Baird Helgeson, Patricia Lopez, Jim Ragsdale, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry, Corey Mitchell and Jim Spencer.

The cash contest: Major outside political groups have already raised $11 million

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota governor, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans Updated: July 29, 2014 - 6:25 PM

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glenn Howatt

Outside groups -- unions, Democratic and Republican supporters and PACs set up just to support a single candidate -- have raised at least $15 million since the 2012 election.

Those outside groups, which had been slowly raising cash in preparation for the 2014 elections, began piling on money in earnest this summer. Since June 1, the largest independent spending groups raised more than $2.6 million, according to reports released Tuesday.

 As with previous election cycles, union organizations are gearing up with big cash. Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers union, led in fundraising among outside groups with $1.8 million already raised. All told, union affiliated PACs have raised more than $4.6 million to train on the 2014 election.

Much of that cash will benefit Democratic candidates and the Democratic Alliance for a Better Minnesota, which, with its supporters, has already brought in more than $1.8 million.

Republicans-leaning outside groups have already raised $2.6 million. The largest among them, the Freedom Club, launched a major television ad campaign against Dayton in July.

See a breakdown of the fundraising by some of the major outside groups below:

The cash contest: Candidates in key House races rolling in cash

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans Updated: July 29, 2014 - 3:19 PM

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glenn Howatt

Candidates in competitive House races are hauling in cash, with five races topping the $100,000 mark in candidate fundraising alone.

These expensive races, according to fundraising reports released Tuesday, tend to hold several factors in common. They include a contested primary or are in swing district and sometimes both.

These costly contests are likely the ones candidates, and donors, believe are most likely to flip parties.

By House district, including money raised by all candidates:

By District:

GOP House Speaker John Boehner fundraises for himself in Minneapolis

Posted by: Allison Sherry under National campaigns, Republicans Updated: July 29, 2014 - 3:22 PM

WASHINGTON -- GOP House Speaker John Boehner is throwing himself a party in Minneapolis during the August Congressional recess.

Helping him bring in cash are Republican Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen -- both considered safe in their re-elects this fall. 

No word on why Boehner isn't in Minnesota to help bring money in for Stewart Mills or Torrey Westrom. The two Republicans are hoping to unseat Democratic Reps. Rick Nolan and Collin Peterson in the 8th and 7th Congressional Districts respectively. Both races are considered close nationally.

NRCC Chairman Greg Walden told reporters Tuesday that Westrom is Peterson's "nightmare."


The cash contest: In party fundraising, DFL continues to dominate; GOP catching up

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, Democrats, Republicans Updated: July 29, 2014 - 1:06 PM

Minnesota Democratic party groups continue to dominate the cash contests, raising more, spending more and having more cash-on-hand than Republican party groups, according to pre-primary fundraising reports released Tuesday.

But the Minnesota Republican party groups are catching up. After years of whittling down debt, the state party now has $435,000 in debt remaining in its state committee, which is nearly $100,000 less than it owned at the end of May.

By comparison, however, Democrats still have a clear edge in the money race.

The DFL state party has raised more than $2 million, with help from the DFL House and Senate caucuses. The Republican state party has raised about half that. The state DFL party has also spent about $600,000 more than the Republicans and has a little less than twice the GOP's cash on hand, with no major debt.

The Democratic edge in the House party committees is even more stark.

For the Republican and Democratic battle for control of the House in this election, the DFL House committee has amassed almost three times what the Republican House campaign committee has in fundraising. The DFL campaign arm has about twice as much cash on hand as the Republicans' and has spent about twice more than the Republican rival committee.

Dig into all the numbers below:

The cash contest: Minnesota House primaries

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota legislature Updated: July 29, 2014 - 11:41 AM

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glenn Howatt

Next month, a handful of House districts will see heated primaries among candidates who hope to join the contested battle for control of the House.

In fundraising reports released Tuesday, Republican House Deputy Minority Leader Jenifer Loon has a significant cash lead on Sheila Kihne, whose candidacy denied Loon the GOP endorsement last spring.

Loon, who has support from many well known Republicans, raised nearly $83,000 for the fight. Much of her cash came this year. 

Kihne, a Republican activist, raised about $25,000 and also has support from funders who traditionally support the most conservative Republican candidates.

Loon was one of the few Republicans to back legalizing same-sex marriage, which has been an issue in the primary campaign.

Both Loon and Kihne, who are vying to represent Eden Prairie, have outside groups on their sides.

View the pre-primary fundraising numbers for both Democrats and Republicans vying for the House below:


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