Chris Barden, the Republican Party’s endorsed candidate for Attorney General, says he will forego the state spending limits and won’t accept the public subsidy. The move means Attorney General Lori Swanson, a Democrat, is also relieved from the spending cap and will get more of the public subsidy.
Here’s Barden’s reason for his decision (via news release):
Rejecting the limits relies upon the citizens of the state of Minnesota and their unlimited First Amendment right to support the candidate who stands for them, rather than a government-controlled election funding system.
Under our First Amendment Right to Free Speech, voters should decide the limits of political campaigns. Yet under Minnesota’s current laws, our campaign faces donation limits on the free speech of individual citizens. In sharp contrast, citizen Mark Dayton is free to spend millions to finance his own personal free speech.
Rejecting the Limits is Our Path to Victory in November
I believe that accepting the insufficient subsidy funding for the Attorney General race in MN would provide a huge advantage for the incumbent, Lori Swanson, and her entrenched 40 year political machine. Given that the integrity of the Minnesota legal and election system is at stake in this campaign, I will go forward making the significant, serious and unlimited effort required to win this essential race and restore the trust of voters in the Office of Attorney General.
With regard to financing our campaign, we will rely upon the judgment of the people of Minnesota and will not be limited by the government subsidy system.