As of the July 19 pre-primary filing deadline, Minnesota’s Future had just over $800 in its bank account. Its only expenditures this year were $10 for postage and $4.81 for Caribou Coffee.
But clearly there’s been a major injection of cash into the organization between the August 10 primary and last night when the group began airing television ads attacking former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton.
“I think Mark Dayton’s tax proposals and spending proposals have gotten people excited about this race,” Chris Tiedeman, the chair of Minnesota’s Future, tells PIM. “Yes, there’s been additional fundraising.”
The TV spot cites Time magazine’s designation of Dayton as one of the worst senators in Washington and names a litany of taxes that he purportedly plans to raise. “Now Mark Dayton wants to become America’s worst governor,” the ad’s narrator concludes. The initial TV buy is in the range of $350,000.
“We’re going to see how this one goes,” says Tiedeman, when asked about plans for any additional ads. “This one will run for a little bit.”
Minnesota’s Future’s emergence as a significant financial player in the gubernatorial contest was forecast last week when it was revealed that Jeff Larson — a major GOP consultant and confidant of former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman — is involved in the effort. Former U.S. Rep. Vin Weber, an influential player in Washington political circles, is also rumored to be working on the effort, but Tiedeman denies that he’s in the loop.
“That’s not accurate at all,” he says. “I don’t know if he even knows what we’re doing.”
There are also rumors — unconfirmed at this point — that one or more out-of-state funders of the 2004 Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry are supporting the group as well. The next campaign finance filing deadline for political groups is September 21.
Here’s the Dayton ad: