The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board will investigate four claims brought by the Republican Party of Minnesota contending the Minnesota DFL party coordinated campaign literature with several candidates.
“The board will conduct investigations of the complaints to determine whether any violations of Minnesota Statutes 10A have occurred,” the board wrote the GOP in a letter. “The Board’s undertaking of these investigations signifies only that the complaints have met the minimum threshold to require an investigation.”
The GOP’s complaint surrounds campaign literature sent by the DFL in favor of four Senate Democratic candidates including Jim Carlson, who is running against incumbent Ted Daley in SD 51 near Eagan, Melisa Franzen, who is running against Rep. Keith Downey for SD 49 near Edina, Vicki Jensen who is running against Vern Swedin in SD 24 encompassing part of Steele County, and Alice Johnson who is running against incumbent Pam Wolf in SD 37, which covers Blaine.
The Republicans allege that the DFL Party and the Senate DFL Caucus used photos of the candidates in mailings that are not publicly available on the internet. They argue that the party illegally coordinated with the candidates to take the pictures.
All four candidates are are considered strong candidates to win seats that are currently controlled by the GOP.
Additionally, the Minnesota GOP has added a fifth complaint to their roster concerning Alan Oberloh, also running for office in SD 22, which includes part of Pipestone, Noble, and Murray Counties among others.
Meanwhile, Julie Bunn, who is running for Senate District 39 near Lake Elmo and who was part of the Republican’s initial complaint, has been cleared of charges.
“Board staff has verified that all of the photographs identified in the complaint are readily available to the public on the candidate’s website… Consequently, the alleged facts are not supported by the website and cannot be the basis for an investigation,” the Board determined according to a press release from Bunn’s campaign.