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To all MN-02 DFL candidates: show me the money

by The Big E on April 13, 2012 · 3 comments

Three candidates are vying for the DFL endorsement to face Rep. John Kline (R-MN) in November. Patrick Ganey is a Northfield City Council Member. Kathleen Gaylord is a Dakota County Commissioner. Mike Obermueller was in the State House.

Because MN-02 is now a winnable seat for the DFL, I want to talk about the bottom line for these three candidates: fundraising.

In 2008, I thought Steve Sarvi was a great candidate except that he couldn’t raise much money. In 2010, I liked Dan Powers, but he had the same problem. I’m fairly confident I’ll like all three current candidates once I get to know them.

I know Mike. He’s an incredibly hard campaigner. He will outwork anyone. Dave Mindeman at mnpACT! interviewed him about this race. Mike set a goal of raising $1.2 million. So he gets it.

Patrick is a fundraiser by trade. You can read Mindeman’s interview here. He’ll understand how important money is in making a candidate legitimate.

Kathleen was South Saint Paul’s mayor for two terms and has been a Commissioner for a decade. She’s not a political newbie. With her nearly 20 years of political networking, fundraising shouldn’t a problem, right? Dave Mindman promised to have an interview up soon with Kathleen.

I’m only interested in the candidate who can show me the money. Show me you can raise $300,000 by the end of June and I’ll take you seriously. You got slightly two and a half months to do this.

Otherwise, its the same old problems we’ve always had in MN-02. No money, no help from the DCCC, no national PACs bashing Kline, little help from the DFL because its not worth it, no momentum, no TV ads, no nothing except for another easy victory for John Kline.

Gilb24 April 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Your article says that fundraising shouldn’t be a problem for Gaylord.  Out of curiosity, I checked the FEC’s web site for her previous run for Congress (for CD4 after Bruce Vento retired).  The site indicates that she collected 15 contributions totaling $9,536 over a four-month period from February 11 through June 9, 2000.

Full disclosure – I’m for Ganey.

The Big E April 13, 2012 at 10:24 pm

You’d think that after 20 years, it wouldn’t be a problem. If it is … that’s a problem.

JML April 14, 2012 at 12:45 am

the DCCC won’t get involved until they see the seat is winnable. Unfortunately, there are a lot of big donors in MN that won’t give to a campaign (or even take their call) until the DCCC says the seat is viable. A vicious circle, to be sure.

$300K may be too much to ask by June (I’d love to see it, but…) $200K in 10 weeks would be very impressive. I hope at least one of them shows they can do it.

This should be a top-tier race. But since the DFL has screwed up CD2 and EVERYONE ran away from this race until redistricting showed that “hey! maybe this IS viable” and even then people have been slow out the gate…it’s going to be tough.

Here’s the other bad part: it’s going to take a hell of a sales pitch to the DCCC to think of this district as winnable, even though the demographics have shifted nicely for the party. They hear MN-2 and they think John Kline and unwinnable, especially after the 2010 debacle.

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