A group of state-subsidized personal care assistants filed a federal lawsuit today challenging the constitutionality of a statewide unionization election that is scheduled to get underway later this week.

They filed their lawsuit in U.S. District Court against state officials, including Gov. Mark Dayton, and the Service Employees International Union. Dayton signed the unionization bill in 2013, and SEIU is backing the organization effort.

The nine home-based PCAs, who care for family members, are Teresa Bierman, Kathy Borgerding, Linda Brickley, Carmen Gretton, Beverly Ofstie, Scott Price, Tammy Tankersley, Kim Woehl and Karen Yust.

The plaintiffs, who are getting assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, contend the state law violates their right of free political expression and association. They’re asking the court for a preliminary and permanent injunction.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that similar workers in Illinois could not be compelled t0 pay union dues.

The state Bureau of Mediation Services is set to mail out union election ballots to an estimated 26,000 PCAs on Friday. Vote counting is planned for Aug. 26.

Republican endorsed candidate for governor Jeff Johnson says he’s raised $170,000 since June.

The campaign had more than $122,000 in the bank on July 21, the last day of the most recent campaign finance reporting period.

Since then, Johnson has purchased airtime to put up an ad that’s been available online since May. The campaign hasn’t said how much it plans to spend on the spot.

Johnson’s report is just the first in a deluge of campaign finance reports that are due out this week.

The reports provide a preview of how much cash candidates running for governor as well as the political groups and parties that back them have in the days leading up to a four-way primary between Johnson, businessman Scott Honour, Rep. Kurt Zellers of Maple Grove and Marty Seifert.

The four GOP candidates are seeking to unseat Gov. Mark Dayton in the fall.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota House DFL caucus said it has raised $2.8 million for this election cycle. The caucus has to keep Republicans from winning in at least seven House districts to retain control of the chamber.

UPDATE: A House DFL caucus spokesman said they’ve raised about $779,000 since June, and has about $1.5 million in the bank as of July 21.


WASHINGTON – House Speaker John Boehner will hold a high-end fundraiser in Minneapolis next month as House Republicans seek to take two of Minnesota’s U.S. House seats from their Democratic incumbents in the fall.

According to an invitation obtained by MPR News, Boehner will hold a roundtable and luncheon at the Minneapolis Club on Aug. 14. The minimum donation for the roundtable and luncheon is $1,000, but individuals can donate a maximum of $50,000. The proceeds will be split between Boehner’s campaign, the National Republican Congressional Committee and a variety of other political fundraising committees.

Republican Congressmen John Kline and Erik Paulsen are listed as sponsors of the event. Minnesota’s third Republican member of Congress, Michele Bachmann, is leaving Congress at the end of this term and is not listed as a sponsor.

Boehner is prolific fundraiser for House Republicans. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Speaker has raised more than $18 million since the 2012 elections. Most of the money Boehner raises will ultimately be divvied out to the party’s candidates, and he’s already contributed to Torrey Westrom and Stewart Mills, who are taking on Democrats Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan in the 7th and 8th Districts.