Skip to comments.Minnesota GOP picks Mike McFadden as Al Franken's opponent in midterms
Posted on 06/02/2014 1:06:13 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Here in Minnesota, where we managed to elect Jesse Ventura as Governor and Al Franken to the US Senate within a decade of each other, the state Republican Party held its convention this past weekend. Minnesota has a caucus-plus-primary system, in which the two parties attempt to settle its nominations with convention endorsements for state-wide offices. Often, the fight continues through to a late-season primary, drawing resources away from the general-election campaign. Democrats hold all of the state-wide offices, including Franken as the incumbent Senator and Mark Dayton as Governor, so their nominations have long been settled.
Republicans batted .500 on those offices this weekend. The good news is that the state GOP united behind Mike McFadden as the challenger to Franken’s seat:
After flirting with an outsider candidate in St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg, Republicans embraced McFaddens promise of superior fundraising and organization. The battle between the two went into the pre-dawn hours Saturday and, after a break for sleep, continued until McFadden clinched delegates endorsement Saturday afternoon.
“I’m so honored to be your endorsed candidate for the United States Senate. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I humbly accept,” McFadden said, his voice flagging and his energy renewed. “I look forward to taking the fight to Al Franken.”
McFadden, who has raised nearly $3 million for the coming battle and promised more to come, was thought to be a long-shot to win party backing. Unlike Republicans who had won endorsement in years past, he has had little involvement in party politics and refused to drop out if delegates chose someone else.
McFadden convinced activists, sick of losing Minnesota races, that he could win in November.
“I am the candidate, undoubtedly, without an exception, to beat Al Franken,” McFadden said.
McFadden ended up with endorsements from both moderate Norm Coleman, who lost his Senate seat to Franken in a disputed recall in 2008, and conservative firebrand Michele Bachmann. McFadden has the money to self-fund if necessary, having considerable wealth to use in the race if he so chooses, but McFadden has also been successful at raising money, as the Strib’s Rachel Stassen-Berger notes. McFadden’s wealth will also be a prime target for Team Franken, although McFadden points out that Franken isn’t exactly poverty-stricken either:
McFadden has been taking pains to differentiate the work he’s done as co-CEO of Lazard Middle Market, from which he is now on leave, from the kind of private-equity deals that were used as ammunition against presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He has brought in a researcher who advised Romney’s campaign to help him address the issue of his business background.
McFadden’s firm is an investment bank that played an advisory role and did not get a stake in the small- to medium-sized companies it worked with nor did it make operational decisions, according to his campaign.
As for his personal wealth, McFadden has said that Franken also is wealthy and that high net worth shouldn’t disqualify someone from public office.
In August, McFadden reported he was worth at least $15 million and as much as $57 million. He earned $2.4 million in salary and bonuses from Lazard Middle Market between January 2012 and July 2013, according to a public financial disclosure report. He has given $5,200 to his campaign.
According to a financial disclosure report filed in May 2013, Franken has between $4 million and $12 million in assets. He gets a Senate salary of $174,000 and continues to earn money from books and from his work as a writer and performer in movies and TV.
As I said, the ability of McFadden to take aim exclusively this summer at Franken rather than get bogged down in a primary fight is good news for Minnesota Republicans. There hasn’t been much polling yet on this race, and none for almost two months. Franken led in an April poll from Suffolk over McFadden by 15 points, 44/29, but Obama’s ratings may still be a drag down the line in Minnesota for Franken, especially with all of the problems experienced in the state ObamaCare exchange MNSure. Franken has kept a low profile but hasn’t really led on anything either, and he only managed a 43/43 tie in the Obama MN landslide of 2008. It’s not going to be easy for McFadden, but it’s not Mission:Impossible either.
The bad news for the GOP? The food fight continues in the gubernatorial race, but that was already pre-ordained:
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson beat out three other Republicans to capture his partys endorsement for governor on Saturday. Now he must prepare to beat three more in the states first major contested GOP primary in two decades.
A mild-mannered attorney and veteran politician who promised he has the general election appeal to beat Gov. Mark Dayton in November, Johnson emerged victorious in a volatile contest that saw many delegates leave before it was over. …
One of the candidates Johnson beat out, former House Rep. Marty Seifert, is already planning for the Aug. 12 primary. Businessman Scott Honour and former House Speaker Kurt Zellers bypassed the endorsement altogether and also are working on their primary campaigns.
While some candidates were in Rochester wooing Republican delegates, Honour headed for Duluth on Saturday, to hold a news conference with new running mate, state Sen. Karen Housley, of St. Marys Point, not far from the convention center where Minnesota DFLers were giving their official backing to Dayton for a second term.
The Strib mentions that Dayton won after a recount too in 2010, but the circumstances were much different; the distance was 9,000 votes instead of 300, and the recount put no dent in the margin. Dayton will have the advantage over the next two months of taking shots against Johnson, or more likely, select his favored candidate by dropping bombs all summer on the other three.
Speaking of three, the one wild card in Minnesota has been significant bids by Independence Party candidates. They took enough votes in both the Franken and Dayton victories to change the outcome, although political analysts will spend the next century debating whether they actually did. (My take: Probably with Franken, who vastly underperformed Obama in 2008, and maybe so with Dayton, who beat the GOP wave that secured control of the legislature in 2010.) If the Independence Party fields candidates in these races, that could change the fortunes of both — and right now, that would appear to be more of a risk for Franken and Dayton.
Team McFadden has this introductory video on their campaign website. Stay tuned for more from Minnesota.
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Mike McFadden on the issues:
* Anti-abortion and pro-guns. (Aug 2013)
* We’ve been spending like a drunken sailor. (Jul 2013)
* Effective but limited government, stressing “limited”. (Oct 2013)
* Allow keeping current healthcare policies if people choose to do so. (Nov 2013)
* We need an alternative to ObamaCare, not just repeal. (Jul 2013)
* Secure the borders, then conditional path to citizenship. (Oct 2013)
Nothing about marriage. I guess when that question seems “settled” in a state, you just roll over.
I hope he is conservative enough to be offered as an alternative
RE: Nothing about marriage. I guess when that question seems settled in a state, you just roll over.
On the issue of same-sex marriage, McFadden said he believed the issue should be dealt with on the state level.
“disputed recall in 2008”
This is the third time I have recently seen an article calling a recount, recall. Do these websites have editors?
RE: I hope he is conservative enough to be offered as an alternative
One thing... he said he is anti-abortion. Well, he better be prepared to answer the question they asked of Todd Akin.
For that matter, every pro-life candidate ought to be prepared to answer the same question because IT WILL BE ASKED.
Yes, we have reached a point at which nobody talks about being in favor of marriage as a man and a woman anymore.
Some conservative politicos say that we should leave it up to the states. Nobody is talking anymore about a federal constitutional amendment on the subject.
But for the most part, whether due to fear of the homosexual mafia, fear of the media, fear of comedians making fun of them, it’s rare to hear politicians explicitly state that they oppose homosexual marriage.
On the other hand, numerous politicians in the past few years, especially since Obama came out on marriage, have been displaying what they say is courage, in stating that they are in favor of homosexual marriage.
I would like to hear even just a few speak of overturning Lawrence v. Texas. I realize that overturning it isn’t likely to happen, but hearing a politician mention the possibility should drive some liberals nuts...and perhaps change where the battle over the homosexual agenda is being fought just a bit.
Ironically, it is just at this point of courts dictating marriage redefinition that our liberaltarian superiors said that we should then begin enacting a federal marriage amendment, but no sooner.
Were they lying to us?
It’s frustrating how so many seem to have given up on marriage.
Since last year’s Supreme Court decisions, there have been a number of federal court ruling compelling states to allow homosexual marriage. In some states, the governors and attorneys general decided not to defend their marriage law in court, which paves the way for the judges to rule that they must allow homosexual marriage by court decree.
It’s almost as if those in favor of traditional marriage have adopted the criteria of the liberals, i.e. that if you oppose homosexual marriage, you hate the homosexual, and are a bigot. Are people really that afraid of being called a bigot by liberals?
No, apparently these sites do not have editors. And the quality of people coming out of journalism school, who write articles such as this, has dropped off. They don’t care about small details such as this. Of course there is a big difference between a recount and a recall in election parlance, but, these kids don’t know that, so never catch the error.
Yes I think they were lying to us about marriage.
I remember those discussions, in which the politicians said that there was no need for a marriage amendment, because no states or few states had homosexual marriage years ago, and that there was no legal threat to the Defense of Marriage Act. Based on that reasoning, there was no need to proceed with a marriage amendment, so they said.
I have heard zero about trying for an amendment since last year’s Supreme Court decisions proved that it’s a strong likelihood that another Supreme Court case will impose 50 state homosexual marriage.
His and the GOP’s “alternative” will look a lot like romney...err, I mean obamacare, except with much, much higher penalties for not buying an insurance policy from their campaign contributors. They will probably add jail time to it, too.
The fact is that Mike McFadden is the only guy with the means to challenge Al Franken. Its that simple.
The other challengers lacked the resources to take on Franken and that makes McFadden the only realistic option.
(NOT an endorsement of Mr. McFadden.) I dont know where the guy stands on key issues and he certainly has made no real effort to clarify his world view. Moreover, he has shown no real interest in cultivating support from delegates. Aloof would be a charitable description.
Like it or not, financial viability is a necessary, critical component in mounting a credible, realistic challenge to Weird Al.Theres only one person in Minnesota who has demonstrated that viability so far is Mike McFadden. (Al party of the little guy Franken has raised over $15 million in 2014.) McFadden has raised nearly $3 million in 2014, the only Republican to bring in over $1 million and the only one to even come close.
If you want to join the worlds most exclusive club, you need the money to get out your message.If you doubt it, check recent history. 2012 and the race was Bills vs. Amy Hotdish Klobuchar.An Internet search will show all sorts of articles and quotes about Kurt Bills and the optimism despite the lack of money.He got beaten BADLY.
IMHO, this guy is Norm Coleman with more personal wealth.(and he earned it in the business world)
Don’t blame me...I voted for Kodos!
He needs to be proud to have created wealth. It’s that wealth creation that makes America great. These rich guys need to stop being embarrassed to make money.
This is the wrong state for that argument. Let’s win one for a change? Even Norm Coleman is better than Franken, who stole the election.
Mike McFadden wasn’t my first choice and I expect that if elected, he’d be somewhat like Rudy Boschwitz in his voting record. I could live with that, as he’s certainly preferable to the loathsome Al Franken.
They are all liars, but the biggest liars are the American people themselves.
I don’t see how anyone thinks that Franken will be defeated. Not in the MN cards. We were told that states like MN, IA, CO, OR, WI, and MI were the kinds of states that Mittens could win. Didn’t happen, and Franken will be around smiling in 2015 too.
What question was that?
He's already showed his cards that he is indeed a RINO.
But any Republican alternative is going to just be a better form of 'eventual single payer'.
RE: Well, he better be prepared to answer the question they asked of Todd Akin.
What question was that?
Will you vote for a law that allows abortion in case a woman was raped and got pregnant?
Todd Akin’s response to the question of a rape exceptions for abortion was:
“Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
The comments from Akin almost immediately led to uproar, with the term “legitimate rape” being taken to imply belief in a view that some kinds of rape are “legitimate”, or alternatively that the victims who do become pregnant from rape may be lying about their claim.
Akin was leading Democrat, Claire McCaskill up to that point. Many people say that he blew his lead and turned many voters off with that answer.
I agree with much of your post, except regarding his relationship with delegates. I was an alternate (seated) and McFadden was the only candidate who called me himself prior to the convention. He also worked the floor continuously, talking with delegates.
That said, I have my concerns. I do not like asking for the endorsement on one hand, and saying you will not abide by it on the other. My RINO antenna is also on alert.
I went to Rochester mostly undecided on the Senate race, but leaning towards Dahlberg, (conservative from the heavily DFL Iron Range) and after meeting and speaking with him for about 10 minutes voted for Dahlberg on all ballots.
McFadden may indeed be our best chance, and Id vote for a dead dog over Franken.
Rinos don’t care about what’s popular. They care about what the people writing them the big, fat checks for bribes, err, I mean campaign contributions tell them to do. Don’t think that is reality...then I give you TARP. Passed just days before an election over calls coming into their offices that were 90% NO and 10% HELL NO. All of them were reelected later that week.
Nor mine. My hope is that there’s a salvageable conservative in there somewhere.
The problem with governor is that all four of the candidates seem to have some redeeming qualities and of course all four of them are immeasurably better than Governor Jim Beam.
Uh, Hot Air is one of the better sites online, and Ed Morrissey is no kid fresh out of journalism school. Anyone can slip up on a word when writing. If you don’t know what or who you are talking about, it’s best to keep your mouth shut.
I’d love to see Franken defeated in November. I don’t know what the numbers are, but I have to think the rising tide against Obama has to make this the best shot to defeat an incumbent Franken (though I maintain a more honest counting of the ballots last time would have meant a Franken defeat, too).
Because he's a douche who only won in the first place by stealing the election, which was only close because of a third party candidate, plus it was a very anti-GOP year. He's a joke, not a master politician, against a top tier candidate he'd be dead meat this year. Congressman Paulsen would have been the best choice.
Against the second-tier candidates that actually ran, he's favored, but he can lose.
I was was for Ortman (who ended up placing third and bowing out of the convention, too bad, she was certainly superior to this Dahlberg guy that became McFadden's main competition), but looking on the bright side, McFadden looks like a competent enough candidate who will have enough resources to compete. I'd put this race behind New Hampshire and ahead of Oregon and Virginia on the 2nd tier targets list.
That is—Madden is pro-amnesty, which makes him a go with the GOPe.
McFadden is our candidate? Ugh. Yeah, you can count that one as lost. McFadden is a dyed in the wool liberal.
He’ll lose by ten points even against the clown. Voter fraud is epidemic in the state.
Bachmann endorsed him for some reason, right before the final ballot I think.
He *technically* hasn’t won yet, candidates don’t have to amide the party convention endorsement, they can still run in the primary, but doing so is taboo and such candidates rarely if ever win (I couldn’t tell you the last one for a major race). The only noteworthy candidate considering doing that though is Paulbot State Rep Jim Abeler, he would have zero chance in the primary or general election so that’s that. Whatever, I oppose the reelection of Frankenberry.
In other news, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson won the endorsement for Governor. Former State House Speaker Marty Seifert caused a stink by trying to prevent an endorsement by getting his delegates to leave. He is continuing to the primary. I have no idea about either man’s conservatism or elecibilty. Everybody is mad at Seifert for what he did.
What’s going on with Tom Emmer for Bachmann’s seat?
Emmer won the party endorsement back at the district convention in April.
He faces a primary with fellow former State Phil Krinkie and Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah. He crushed Sivarajah (her married name) at the convention, Krinkle didn’t bother to try for the endorsement.
Emmer is the heavy favorite, I believe.
Jeff Johnson -— the name you know!
If the GOP unites instead of shooting their wounded, and poll watch, they could get Indies, even the Indepen. members to unite with Libertarians and even TEAS to oust this worthless socialist jokester. For Americans to reward a guy like this who salivates over every Obama issue is simply insane.
Not a huge fan of McFadden, Dahlberg, or Ortman, but the latter two had major potential skeletons for Franken to exploit (divorce/credit card issue for Dahlberg, potential mention on Brodkorb "cheater's list" for Ortman). Don't know if any exist for McFadden; I know people were digging hard.
Seifert, being from rural Minnesota, is supposedly the only Republican who could reach outstate voters. Don't know if I buy that. If Johnson runs more ads like his hilarious ad comparing Dayton's policies to a student driver, he'll have a real shot. Seifert will be tough in the primary; Honour's wasting his money.
Thanks for the info.
Cheater’s list? I’m not not familiar. As in adultery? That could have been bad.
Interesting article on MN conventions.
Seems like delegates bailing to go home if they drag on too long is a thing.
Got to get rid of Franken