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.

Posts about Republicans

'Parks and Recreation' star to help Franken raise campaign cash

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: April 17, 2014 - 9:50 AM

Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken is turning to another celebrity friend to help raise money for his 2014 reelection campaign. 

In an e-mail sent today, campaign manager Matt Burgess is offering supporters who donate to Franken's campaign by noon Friday a chance to party with him and “Parks and Recreation” star Amy Poehler in Los Angeles next Wednesday.

Franken’s campaign will cover the cost for airfare and lodging for the winner and a friend.

Republicans criticized Franken during the 2008 Senate race, saying the former Saturday Night Live writer and satirist wasn’t a serious candidate. That led Franken to deemphasize his celebrity ties.

But he's not shying away from his Hollywood connections this time around.

Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” fame and late night host Conan O’Brien are among the celebrities who’ve helped Franken raise campaign cash. Poehler and O’Brien, like Franken, are Saturday Night Live alums.

Senate candidate McFadden targets Franken's record in first TV ad

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: April 17, 2014 - 8:43 AM

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden is targeting Democratic incumbent Al Franken’s voting record in the first television ad of Minnesota’s Senate race.

The campaign ad features a hockey player misfiring slap shots whiles an announcer criticizes Franken’s votes on taxes, government spending and the Affordable Care Act.

"For Minnesota, it was miss after miss after miss," the announcer declares

McFadden then tells viewers that Minnesota needs "someone who's going to shoot straight in Washington”.

Minnesota DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said McFadden is the candidate who hasn't been a straight shooter on the issues.

“McFadden’s going to have to try a lot harder to paper over the fact that he’s been called out for refusing to be honest more times than I can count,” Martin said.

McFadden’s ad buy is $9,800 over 10 days and starts running today on cable in the Twin Cities television market. It’s the first candidate TV ad of the election cycle in Minnesota’s 2014 U.S. Senate race.

State Sen. Julianne Ortman, St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg and state Rep. Jim Abeler are among the other GOP candidates vying to take on Franken.

Emmer raises $206,000 in race to replace Bachmann

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: April 16, 2014 - 11:55 AM

Former gubernatorial candidate and state Rep. Tom Emmer is the leading fundraiser in the race to replace retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Emmer reported $206,000 in campaign contributions through the first three months of 2014, while his opponents continue to rely largely on their own bank accounts.

Anoka County Board Chairwoman Rhonda Sivarajah and former state Rep. Phil Krinkie continued fund their own campaigns, with Sivarajah giving her campaign $170,000 while Krinkie spent $50,000 of his own money.

Donors contributed $12,000 to Krinkie and just $2,740 to Sivarajah during the fundraising period.

Including the personal contributions to his campaign, Krinkie has the most cash-on-hand with $291,000 banked. The total is nearly $40,000 more than Emmer’s $253,000. Sivarajah has $192,500 in reserves.

Emmer won the party endorsement at the Sixth District Republican convention over the weekend and Bachmann publicly backed his campaign Tuesday.

Sivarajah and Krinkie said they will remain in the race until the mid-August primary.

The GOP primary winner will be a heavy favorite come November, because the Sixth Congressional District is the state’s most conservative.

So far, political science professor Jim Read is the only Democratic candidate to file a first quarter campaign finance report. Read raised $26,771 and has $34,171 cash on hand.

U.S. House and Senate fundraising figures

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: April 16, 2014 - 10:56 AM

Here’s a look at what U.S. House and Senate candidates raised during the first fundraising quarter of 2014 and how much cash on hand their campaigns had at the end of March.

Candidate name

District

Party

 Q1 Fundraising

 Cash on Hand

Aaron Miller

First

Republican

 $47,500

 $43,164

Tim Walz, incumbent

First

Democrat

 $195,000

 $411,216

John Kline, incumbent

Second

Republican

 $270,817

 $1,660,000

Thomas Craft

Second

Democrat

 $5,506  $2,966

Mike Obermueller

Second

Democrat

 $81,148

 $238,211

Paula Overby

Second

Democrat

   

Erik Paulsen, incumbent

Third

Republican

 $431,763

 $1,979,136

Sharon Sund

Third

Democrat

 $33,578

 $28,835

Betty McCollum, incumbent

Fourth

Democrat

 $144,652

 $214,079

Keith Ellison, incumbent

Fifth

Democrat

 $288,043

 $229,460

Thomas Emmer

Sixth

Republican

 $206,094

 $252,738

Philip Krinke

Sixth

Republican

 $62,057  $315,744

Rhonda Sivarajah

Sixth

Republican

 $172,759  $214,808

Joe Perske

Sixth

Democrat

   

James Read

Sixth

Democrat

 $26,711  $34,171

Torrey Westrom

Seventh

Republican

 $136,924  $170,729

Collin Peterson, incumbent

Seventh

Democrat

 $218,000

 $522,650

Stewart Mills III

Eighth

Republican

 $203,000

 $355,738

Rick Nolan, incumbent

Eighth

Democrat

 $265,772

 $478,000

Jim Abeler

Senate

Republican

   

Chris Dahlberg

Mike McFadden

Senate

Senate

Republican

Republican

 $600,000

 $1,800,000

Julianne Ortman

Senate

Republican

   

Al Franken, incumbent

Senate

Democrat

 $2,722,189

 $5,933,851

Kline has $1.4 million cash advantage over likely Democratic opponent

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: April 15, 2014 - 4:41 PM

Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline’s leading Democratic opponent, former state Rep. Mike Obermueller, raised $81,150 during the first three months of 2014.

With $1.66 million banked for his reelection bid, Kline has an eight-to-one cash advantage over Obermueller, who has roughly $238,000 in cash reserves.

The other Democrats seeking the Second District party nomination, Thomas Craft and Paula Overby, have yet to file their campaign finance reports.

Kline defeated Obermueller, 54 percent to 46 percent, in 2012.

National Democrats had high hopes for Obermueller’s 2014 campaign, but their interest and support has flagged in recent months.

The Rothenberg Political Report, a respected political handicapper, has changed its rating on Kline’s seat, which covers the Twin Cities’ southern suburbs, to “Safe Republican.” Until the change, Kline’s seat had been listed as “Republican-favored.”

The Rothenberg report cited Obermueller’s lackluster fundraising as part of their decision to change the rating.

Unless Democratic groups “decide to spend a couple million dollars to pull Obermueller toward the finish line, it doesn’t like this seat will be playing in the fall,” the Rothernberg report concluded.

The other Democrats seeking the Second District party nomination, Thomas Craft and Paula Overby, have yet to file their campaign finance reports. Democrats in the Second District will choose Kline’s opponent during their April 26 nominating convention.

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