Three Democratic candidates for governor are duking it out for the right to take on Republican nominee Tom Emmer in November. The primary takes place next Tuesday.
Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher is the Democratic candidate who was endorsed at the Democratic convention in June. The two candidates running against Kelliher in the primary have the money, but the one with both money and the name recognition is Minnesota’s gift to the psychiatric profession, former Senator Mark Dayton. Dayton appears to have a slight lead for the Democratic nomination going into the primary, but it’s tough to tell who will turn out to vote on August 10.
Dayton has been running television ads this summer depicting himself in a classroom handing out papers to eager students. You can see a photo of him in the classroom here. Kids, look out!
After he graduated from Yale, Dayton taught ninth grade general science for two years in a New York City public school. He says it was the toughest job he ever had; he even adds an exclamation point to the statement. I believe him, but the exclamation point is unnecessary. His other jobs have involved appointive or elective office where no heavy lifting is required.
Incidentally, Dayton also says of his teaching experience that “my conscience was seared by the terrible injustice that my students had so little, while I had been given so much; and I decided that I would devote my life to improving social equality and economic opportunity for all Americans.” Not by any creative philanthropy of his own, mind you, but rather by using his inherited millions to run for higher office where he could help take from some and give to others. It’s the Democratic way.
Even though the Democrats don’t have their candidate yet, the airwaves in Minnesota have been full of brutal ads attacking Emmer. The ads have been brought to us by a shadowy group named Alliance for a Better Minnesota. Journalists could have performed a useful service informing the public who is behind these ads, but Star Tribune editorial board member and political columnist Lori Sturdevant somehow overlooked this story in her column on “the money trail” in the primary campaign this past Sunday. Pat Doyle buried the story in his Star Tribune article on “corporate cash” in the gubernatorial campaign. It has been left to the likes of blogger Mitch Berg to tell the story. I sought to draw attention to Mitch’s post in “Dayton’s millions.”
Last week the Republican Party issued a press release itemizing the Dayton money behind Alliance for a Better Minnesota. Yesterday the Republican Party of Minnesota issued a press release and a Web ad telling the story — the story that Sturdevant missed in her column this past Sunday. I don’t see any word of the Web ad in the Star Tribune today either. Apparently it’s not news.
UPDATE: Ed Lasky drew attention to the Alliance for a Better Minnesota in “The Soros connection in the Minnesota Senate race vote count.”
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