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Home / News / Bills ad hits Klobuchar on Petters connection; GOP fires staffer who wrote bogus letter to editor

Bills ad hits Klobuchar on Petters connection; GOP fires staffer who wrote bogus letter to editor




10 a.m.: GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers visits Albert Lea GOP headquarters, 115 S. Broadway. The public is invited to attend.

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.:  American Leadership in the 21st Century. Speaker: Jake Sullivan, U.S. State Department Director of Policy Planning and Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will address the challenge of sustaining American worldwide leadership.  At U of M Humphrey School, Cowles Auditorium, 301 19th Ave S., Mpls. Free to the public.


6-9 p.m.: Gallery Opening: “Pick Me.” Campaign trail photos as seen through the lenses of Tom Olmscheid, Bill Alkofer, Terry Gydesen, Andy King and Craig Lassig. Opening night music by Melange. Show closes Nov. 10. King Studios, 279 S. Snelling Ave S., St. Paul. RSVP here.


6 p.m.: Get Out To Vote Fundraiser for DFL U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison. Featuring music and bands including headlines Brother Ali, Slug of Atmosphere and Dessa. Music starts at 6:30. $5 per person. At First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. Advance tickets are here. Must be 18+.


BILLS AD FOCUSES ON PETTERS: The first campaign TV ad from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills (pictured) hammers incumbent DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar for her alleged support of Ponzi schemer Tom Petters, pushing the notion that the fraudster’s campaign donations convinced Klobuchar not to prosecute Petters during her days as Hennepin County Attorney. Both Klobuchar and the current county attorney’s office have vehemently denied that claim.

DFL COMPLAINT ALLEGES GOP STAFFER MISLED READERS: The DFL has filed a complaint alleging that a Republican Party staffer misidentified himself and misled readers in the pages of the Brainerd Dispatch, and therefore violated Minnesota’s Fair Campaign Practices Act. The DFL’s complaint, filed yesterday with the Office of Administrative Hearings, alleges that Stephen Sundquist lied in his letter to the editor when he wrote that he had voted for DFLer Joe Radinovich in the DFL primary, but had turned against the candidate since then. In fact, Sundquist is working for Radinovich’s GOP opponent, Dale Lueck. Or, anyway, he was: According to an email from GOP House spokeswoman Jodi Boyne, Sundquist had been relieved of his duties, and no longer worked for the party as of late yesterday afternoon.

GOP CALLS ANTI-BANAIAN FLIER RACIST: House Majority Leader Matt Dean yesterday condemned a mailer that the state DFL Party distributed against St. Cloud freshman GOP Rep. King Banaian, claiming that Banaian’s skin was darkened in a photo altered to place a crown on his head. DFL media rep Kate Monson denied any racist intent in the photo. The episode conjured memories of a notorious 2010 flier (“King Banaian: More interested in Egypt and Macedonia than St. Cloud”) that Banaian’s then-DFL opponent, Carol Lewis, joined in denouncing. Mark Sommerhauser of the St. Cloud Times has the story, and a shot of the latest flier.

GOP’S UNENDORSED JUDGMENT: The Republican Party of Minnesota was beset by a bizarre mishap last week that forced party chair Pat Shortridge to send an email correcting the party’s position on judicial candidates. Party activist Bonn Clayton had emailed liked-minded GOPers with a “voters’ guide” on the many judicial elections coming in November. Among the candidates favored by Clayton and, it was made to seem, the party: Tim Tingelstad, Dean Barkley and Dan Griffith, each of whom has little hope of unseating their opponents, a trio of conservative appointees  who were put on the bench by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.  As it turns out, Clayton’s email was in direct violation of a party directive to not endorse judicial candidates, and Shortridge condemned the moment of rogue advocacy in his own email:  “It disrespects the decision of Republican delegates at our state convention,” he wrote, “and improperly uses the party’s brand and resources to promote candidates that have not been endorsed through our grassroots convention process.”

JUST A COUPLE OF BIPARTISAN JOES:  GOP Rep. Joe Hoppe and DFL Rep. Joe Atkins paired up to ask Commissioner of Commerce Mike Rothman to reverse a denial of insurance coverage for a 47-year-old Inver Grove Heights woman battling a fast-spreading form of breast cancer. The Inver Grove Patch reports that after exhausting her employee insurance, she applied for coverage from the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Account, but the delay in approval would prove hazardous to her health. The two Joes from across the aisle teamed up to help, asking for an appeal from Rothman, and he agreed. The woman’s treatment began Tuesday.

RETURN INCUMBENTS: The New Ulm Journal endorsed two GOP incumbents.  Rep. Paul Torkelson was given the nod over DFLer James Kanne and IP candidate Jerry “Pike” Pagel, and Sen. Gary Dahms was recommended for a second term over former DFL legislator Ted Suss, who served in the 1970s.

NEW JOB FOR HANN?:  Two Putt Tommy of the Minnesota Progressive Project reports that Sen. David Hann (pictured), chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and an outspoken opponent of “Obamacare,” appears to have a new job. Though his campaign website lists him as a “business process” consultant, anti-Obamacare activist Twila Brase wrote this about her attendance of a recent meeting of the Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters (MAHU):

“SHOULD THEY RECUSE? Health and Human Services Chair  Senator David Hann (R-MN) announced that he is now a licensed insurance agent, and has joined Boys & Tyler Financial Group (which also  lists Health and Human Services Reform Chair Rep. Steve Gottwalt (R-MN) as an associate). The president of MAHU also announced that Hann has accepted membership on a MAHU board.”

Boys and Tyler Financial, a firm that specializes in the sales of employee and  individual benefits, including medical, dental, life, disability, vision, and retirement plans, makes no mention of Hann on the company’s website. But the Minnesota Department of Commerce site shows that Hann was registered to sell life, accident and health insurance as of June 28, 2012. Rep. Steve Gottwalt, chair of the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee, also is affiliated with Boys and Tyler, through a strategic relationship with his consulting business. Gottwalt was listed as registered to sell life insurance, as well as accident and health insurance, on the Commerce Department website as of October 24, 2011.

AWARD FOR MCCLUNG:  Former Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung, who opened an eponymous PR shop in St. Paul in 2010, has been named a Duebner award winner by the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce in the emerging business category at the chamber’s November 14 Honors Gala.

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