GOP, DFL use shutdown to solicit support

Both Minnesota political parties are capitalizing on the government shutdown.

In an email to constituents, the Republican Party of Minnesota asks for contributions of $25, $50 or $100 to “to build the resources all of our candidates will need for the next election so we can maintain our majorities. Our Republican majorities are all that stand between [Gov. Mark Dayton] and his desire to raise taxes on the hard working citizens of Minnesota.”

“In spite of promising not to shut down state government over taxes – he did just that! Instead of calling legislators back to St. Paul to pass a temporary spending bill to keep government running while they negotiate, Dayton unnecessarily shut down state government – throwing thousands of government workers out on the street!”

When asked about the letter, House Speaker Kurt Zellers distanced himself from the solicitation, saying he doesn’t communicate with GOP Party Chairman Tony Sutton.

“We’re here to get our job done,” he said. “I don’t know or care what the party is doing to raise money.”

With the subject line “Too far,” the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party asked supporters in an email to sign a petition to tell “Republican leaders to stop playing politics with the future of our state.”

“We can’t allow these government officials to put the interests of a few millionaires ahead of the needs of all Minnesotans. It’s up to us to stand up and demand that a reasonable compromise be found. Speak out today and tell the GOP lawmakers that they need to stop their grandstanding and start compromising.”

Dayton said that the asking supporters to sign a petition was “certainly appropriate. They’re trying to get evidence for support for my position.”

He said it’s inappropriate for the GOP to be using the situation to raise cash, noting that the DFL letter makes no such requests.

But while the DFL doesn’t ask for contributions outright, it’s hard to miss the big “Contribute” button in the margins of the July 5th email. Click on it, and it takes you to the DFL’s “Make a Contribution” page.

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