U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden has partnered with the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Republican Party of Minnesota to create McFadden Minnesota Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee for his campaign against Democratic incumbent Al Franken.
Joint fundraising committees have become more popular since the Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission found that donors were no longer bound by overall limits on how much they could donate to candidates, political parties and political action committees.
Federal law still limits how much donors can give to each individual candidate and party, but donors can give to as many candidates and parties as they like. So teaming up to raise money with like-minded groups and candidates has become more lucrative.
Franken has several joint fundraising committees, including Franken MVPs -- a collaboration between his campaign and his Midwest Values PAC -- and Franken Senate Victory 2014 -- a partnership with the Minnesota DFL Party.
This item originally appeared in the Star Tribune's daily political newsletter. To sign up, go to StarTribune.com/membercenter, check the Politics newsletter box and save the change.
WASHINGTON -- The same day GOP House Speaker John Boehner is in Minnesota throwing a fundraiser for himself at the Minneapolis Club, he will traverse up to the Eighth Congressional District for a fundraiser for GOP challenger Stewart Mills.
Boehner will host a fundraiser for Mills, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan, at the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa Aug. 14.
Gold sponsors of the fundraiser include Stanley and Karen Hubbard, executives of Hubbard Broadcasting.
The company, which owns two television stations, was under fire from Democrats earlier this month for pulling negative ads against Mills from their television stations in northern Minnesota. Mills says the independent ads were inaccurate, though they kept running in other parts of the state.
General admission tickets for the Boehner-Mills shindig run $250, but for $10,400 you can get four seats at the "VIP roundtable" and eight spots at the "VIP photo opportunity" and "eight spots to the general reception."
On Tuesday, Minnesotans will go to the polls to cast their primary ballots.
On Wednesday, will the recount plan begin?
In Minnesota, which has seen three statewide recounts since 2008, including a little remembered Supreme Court justice race, might be headed down the path of another one. With four Republican candidates for governor vying for victory on Tuesday in a race that is expected to be low turnout, some are getting ready for the possibility.
"We have considered it, yeah," said Andy Post, campaign manager for Republican gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert. Post said he has had talks with legal counsel to be on hand the night of the election and is prepared to make sure their county-level supporters are ready in case the race moves to recount.
The Republican Party, which would be prepared to defend endorsed candidate Jeff Johnson in a recount, has also has plans in place.
"It is not impossible and with any election. We have prepared ourselves and have a team at the ready," said Republican Party chair Keith Downey. He has held meetings about the issue and has plotted out possible recount steps.
Other campaigns have given it less structured thought.
"You have to plan for every eventuality but of all the things I’m planning for right now that’s pretty far down the list," said Pat Shortridge, consultant to Scott Honour's Republican campaign for governor.
"We have made no preparation for that. We are focused on Aug. 12," said Chas Anderson, with Republican Kurt Zellers campaign for governor.
But the possibility of recount is there.
"I think there is a very high likelihood that they are all going to be clustered," said Kent Kaiser, who directed communications in the Secretary of State's office for eight years. Kaiser is now a professor of communications at University of Northwestern.
Minnesota law allows state-paid for a recount for major offices if the top candidates are less than one-quarter of one percent apart in vote tallies. If the difference is great, candidates can ask for a recount with the possibility that they would have to pay the costs.
On Friday, the secretary of state's office announced the canvassing board that would deal with a recount and certify votes for all primary contests.
The members are:
The board plans to meet at 10 a.m. on Aug. 19.
Photo: How 2008 canvassing board member and then-Supreme Court Justice Eric Magnuson sorted out valid votes in the U.S. Senate recount.
On Wednesday, Republican Stewart Mills bragged to supporters that his campaign got a television ad against him "yanked." But the ad is still running across the state.
The ad, from the AFSCME union and the Democratic House Majority PAC, uses tape to quote Mills as saying he is offended by the idea that high earners are not paying enough in taxes. Mills is hoping to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan in the Eighth District.
"The idea that the wealthy aren't paying their fair share… 2 percent, the 1 percent whatever percent you want... is personally offensive," the ad quotes Mills as saying.
After the ad was released and aired, the Mills campaign said it was misleading and spliced together sentences.
"To be singled out as a deadbeat is personally offensive," the campaign quotes Mills, a scion of the Mills Fleet Farm fortune, as actually saying.
It asked stations not to run the ad. At least two stations, owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, complied. Hubbard Broadcasting is owned by Stanley Hubbard, a Mills donor and mega-contributor to Republican and conservative causes in Minnesota and nationally.
But other stations are continuing to air the ad.
In fact, House Majority PAC communications director Matt Thornton said, and public documents make clear, the groups have bought more air time to air the ad on other stations after the Hubbard stations declined to run the ad. Thornton said since July 22, the groups have spent a combined $675,000 to run the anti-Mills ad.
The Eighth District race is on the radar for many national groups and is considered one of the most competitive in the county. Nolan has served one term after snatching the district from one-term Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack. Cravaack ousted longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar from his seat.
Here's the ad in question:
Here is the fundraising email Mills sent out:
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."