The state shutdown of 2011, a 20-day stoppage caused by a political budget fight, will return as a campaign issue this year.
Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a liberal group generally allied with the DFL party, said it will run ads against targeted Republican legislators, blaming them for the shutdown.
Carrie Lucking, executive director of the alliance, said in a statement that "extremism ... caused legislative Republicans to reject fair compromises on the road to the state shutdown.”
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-controlled Legislature could not agree on a solution to the state's $5 billion budget deficit, resulting in a partial shutdown of state services and programs beginning last July 1. The two sides eventually reached a compromise, but have argued since over who was to blame.
Dayton is not on the ballot this year, but all 201 Legislative seats are. The Republicans hold an 11-vote majority in the Minnesota House and a seven-vote majority in the Minnesota Senate.
Lucking said the ads will be run against Republican legislators in a number of competitive suburban and rural districts.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."