The state House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC) has taken legal action against a liberal-leaning Minnesota advocacy group over an online advertisement.
The details are spelled out in a memorandum written by Administrative Law Judge Kathleen Sheehy. According to the memorandum addressed to Rep. Paul Kohls, R-Victoria, the HRCC filed a complaint that alleges the St. Paul-based nonprofit group Alliance for a Better Minnesota (ABM) “intentionally prepared and disseminated false campaign material” about House Republicans.
An evidentiary hearing on the complaint by a three-judge panel has been scheduled for April 19.
The online advertisement in question refers to the state renters’ credit that was unalloted by Gov. Tim Pawlenty after the 2009 legislative session.
The advertisements, according to memorandum, said “Tim Pawlenty and His GOP Friends Took Money from Minnesota Renters” and included a photograph GOP Reps. Tom Emmer, Marty Seifert and Kurt Zellers with Pawlenty.
HRCC contends the advertisement was “false” because Pawlenty alone cut the renters’ credit.
Denise Cardinal, ABM’s executive director, told PIM that ABM stands behind the advertisement.
A separate legal challenge to the constitutionality of Pawlenty’s unallotments is pending in the Minnesota Supreme Court.
After the April 19 hearing, the judges could dismiss the complaint, issue a reprimand or impose a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.