The Republican Party of Minnesota is ramping up its criticism of their counterparts in the DFL for issuing a campaign lit piece that questions whether a Republican candidate for the Minnesota Senate is committed to the poor. The lit piece, which is below, shows a picture of a man of the cloth with a button that says “Ignore the poor.” The lit piece then questions whether Pastor Dan Hall is committed to serving the poor or the Republican Party. Hall, who is not Catholic, is challenging DFL Sen. John Doll in Senate District 40 which includes Burnsville.
Republican Party officials and several Catholic groups were swift to criticize the lit piece. A writer on the blog, The National Catholic Register, described it as “The most Anti-Catholic political ad you’ll ever see.”
Republican Party Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb also worked to link the lit piece to Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mark Dayton:
“My phone keeps ringing with calls from outraged people upset at @MinnesotaDFL anti-Catholic mailing funded by @Mark_Dayton’s kids”
I’m trying to confirm how Brodkorb can claim that Dayton’s children “funded” this particular piece of literature. Update: Brodkorb said Dayton’s two sons have given $250,000 each to the DFL. Update to the Update: When I asked how those funds were earmarked for this particular lit piece, Brodkorb referenced a profile I did on Bob Perry that said Perry bankrolled the Swift Boat ads. He has yet to answer how Dayton’s kids funded this particular lit piece. In reality, it’s a better link to say that the DFL Senate Caucus paid for the lit piece since they transfer funds to the DFL to send out their lit in MN Senate races. The caucuses do that to save money on postage.
DFL Party spokesman Donald McFarland says the lit piece isn’t mean to be anti-Catholic but show how Hall has distanced himself from the views of others in the faith community.
“The ad is part of a two-piece mailing that highlights and criticizes the policy views of Dan Hall, a preacher who is the Republican candidate for the Minnesota Senate. Some Republican bloggers have taken one image from the first piece, and claimed that the mail is somehow anti-Catholic. But the text explicitly criticizes Preacher Hall for distancing himself from policy views that have been taken by the Catholic Archdiocese, by the Lutheran Synod, and other leaders in Minnesota’s faith community. Dan Hall is willing to enlist God and religion in his campaign when it helps him — but in fact, his views hurt the poorest and sickest among us, and this mailing holds him accountable for those views.”
Here’s a link to the second lit piece that McFarland referenced.
Question of the Day: What do you think of this issue?
Update: The MNGOP has scheduled a news conference at 11am in which they’ll call on Dayton to denounce the lit piece. GOP state Sen. Michelle Fischbach and GOP state Sen. Amy Koch will speak at the newser.
UPDATE: Democrat Mark Dayton issued this statement on the lit piece:
“I believe the brochure’s picture showing a Man of the Cloth is inappropriate. I believe that it is inappropriate to bring religion into a campaign as this image and others do.
I believe the brochure’s referencing Leaders of the Faith Community criticizing the damage to GAMC is appropriate. The facts are that members of Minnesota’s Faith Community have been leaders in the fight to stop Governor Pawlenty from denying health care to the poorest and sickest Minnesotans.”