The Republican Party of Minnesota filed campaign finance complaints today against the DFL Party, the DFL Senate Caucus and five state Senate candidates for coordinating photography and spending on campaign mailings.
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.
“The photos used on these supposed independent expenditure pieces by the Minnesota DFL are not publicly available on the candidates’ official campaign websites, Facebook pages, Flickr accounts, Google images or any place else on the Internet, and are clearly taken from a staged photo shoot,” Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Pat Shortridge said in a statement. “The Minnesota DFL Party’s use of these images that are unavailable to the general public strongly suggests coordination with the candidate on these independent expenditures.”
The DFL candidates included in the complaint are Melisa Franzen, Jim Carlson, Julie Bunn, Alice Johnson and Vicki Jensen. Those five candidates are considered strong candidates to win seats that are currently controlled by the GOP.
A spokeswoman for the DFL Party said their attorneys are examining the complaint, and that she wasn’t prepared to comment. I’ll post the party’s response if/when they send it.
State law forbids candidates and independent groups from coordinating campaign activity. Tim Pawlenty was fined for coordinating TV ads with the Republican Party of Minnesota in 2002.
The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board keeps complaints private until they rule on them. It isn’t known whether the board will act on the complaint before the election.