The conservative Freedom Club, a non-profit group of Minnesota business owners, announced today that it’s launching a statewide TV ad campaign to criticize Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed budget. Michael Scholl, executive director of the Freedom Club, wouldn’t say how much money the group is spending on the campaign except that it’s “substantial.” A person with knowledge of the buy says it’s $130,000 and the ad will run in Duluth, Mankato, Minneapolis and Rochester.
Scholl said the ad is aimed at influencing lawmakers and the public as the budget debate begins.
“We have six weeks left in the session and our supporters want to make it perfectly clear that taxes aren’t an option,” Scholl said. “We have to cut spending.”
The Freedom Club raised and spent more than $1 million to help elect Republicans to the Minnesota Legislature. In fact, the House Republican Campaign Committee gave the group $107,000 to do polling on legislative races in 2010.
Bob Cummins, who owns Primera Technology, George Anderson with Crown Holdings Inc., William Austin with Starkey Hearing Foundation, Micheal Fry with EBF & Associates and Dean Suquist with Mate Precision Tooling were the major contributors to the Freedom Club PAC in 2010.
The ad could be the first of many that run this legislative session as outside groups try to influence public opinion over the competing budget plans. A spokesman for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce says that group is still considering whether to run ads.
A spokeswoman for DFL leaning The Alliance for a Better Minnesota said she isn’t sure if her group will run ads during the session.
A spokesman for Gov. Dayton had no comment on the ad buy by the Freedom Club.