The DFL Party plans to launch a major ad campaign starting next week to support Gov, Mark Dayton's re-election.
Ken Martin, DFL Party chair, said the party would spend more than $1 million on the ads. Martin would not say what message the ads contain.
"It’s a very significant buy," Martin said. "We haven’t seen anything from the other side yet in a real way. "
The DFL's $1 million ad buy is one of the single biggest ad campaigns the low-key governor's race has yet seen. There is little public sign that the state Republican Party, still paying off old debts, has plans for paid television ads.
Neither Dayton nor Republican challenger Jeff Johnson has yet aired any television ads, although the DFL governor has some ad reservations lined up for later this month. The anti-Dayton Freedom Club spent six figures on ads before the primary but went silent for a few weeks. Public documents indicate Freedom Club is ramping up for second ad campaign. The pro-Dayton Alliance for a Better Minnesota has also spent on ads.
Both of the two main contenders for the governor's post are furiously raising cash. According to reports filed this summer, Dayton had raised more than three times what Johnson had and had more than six times the cash banked than had his Republican rival.
Johnson faced a competitive primary in August and has been spending significant time raising money since his win.
On Tuesday, Martin also accused Johnson of being disingenuous about his connection to the Tea Party.
"This is a question of character," said Martin.
Martin said Johnson was trying to "reinvent" himself post-primary.
"It's the hypocrisy. It's the lying. It's the misleading," Martin said.
As proof, Martin shared a video of Johnson saying on Tuesday that he had not asked for the Tea Party's endorsement and questioning whether the Tea Party even endorses.
The DFL compared that to a video of Johnson at an April Tea Party meeting in which he says, "I would be truly honored to earn your support and endorsement in this race."
But that request, the Johnson campaign said, was about requesting the individuals' support for his Republican party convention endorsement bid. Almost all of the South Metro Tea Party group to whom to he was speaking were convention attendees, said Johnson spokesman Jeff Bakken.
Johnson has frequently spoken at Tea Party gatherings across the state and been welcomed by Minnesota Tea Party leaders and meeting attendees.
Bakken also said that the DFL smack did not smart.
"Minnesotans are smarter than the Democrats think they are and will see these silly, juvenile attacks for what they are: Meaningless tripe being peddled by people and politicians terrified of losing their power," Bakken said.