Can you tell that precinct caucuses are getting close? The campaigns are ramping up their communication with potential delegates. It also appears that campaign folks are sharpening their elbows.
Democrat Paul Thissen’s campaign manager, Gia Vitali, issued a statement tonight alleging that Margaret Anderson Kelliher is lifting their campaign message. Thissen and Kelliher are two of the 13 Democrats (yes it’s up to 13) currently running for governor this year.
In a written statement, Vitali said “she did a double take” when she read a Kelliher e-mail blast to supporters. Vitali alleges that Kelliher’s campaign lifted one of Thissen’s key messages. Here’s part of Thissen’s speech when he officially kicked off his campaign in July:
And the answer that our current governor and his allies have given to Minnesota families is simply to say ‘No’. ‘No’ to education. ‘No’ to affordable health care for everybody. ‘No’ to the kind of investment we need to make in innovation and technology and science, to compete in this global economy. ‘No’ to hardworking families who are losing their homes and losing their jobs.
I am running for governor because we need a leader who is going to be willing to stand up and say ‘Yes’ to Minnesota and its extraordinary promise. ‘Yes’ to all the solutions that we know will work. ‘Yes’ to the long-term investments that will stand the test of time. ‘Yes’ to rebuilding the Minnesota that we’ve always known and loved and making it even better. More just, more fair, more prosperous for everybody.
And here’s part of Kelliher’s e-mail blast from today:
For too long, Republican leaders in our state have been the party of no. No jobs, no recovery, no solutions. I’m running for governor to lead Minnesota on the road to economic recovery. I’ve been traveling to every corner of the state as I build a people-powered campaign for governor. Together, we can say yes. Yes to opportunity, yes to ideas, and the future.
Vitali, with Thissen’s campaign, was none too pleased with the e-mail. She said with so many candidates in the race, similarities are bound to pop up. She said, however, that her boss doesn’t say “Jobs, jobs, jobs” (a Tom Bakk line) when talking about the economy.
“While we are glad that Speaker Kelliher agrees with Representative Thissen,” Vitali said in the statement. “It’s sad that she hasn’t defined her own message and vision for Minnesota’s future.”
Kelliher campaign spokeswoman Allison Myhre said she’s “bewildered” by Vitali’s criticism. “I don’t think ‘yes’ is a copyrighted statement or term,” Myrhre said. “We’re not coopting their message.”
What do you think? Is Vitali’s criticism fair or not?