Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Dayton holds big cash advantage in governor’s race

Gov. Dayton’s newest ad, “Darn Good Coach”

Gov. Mark Dayton and his Republican challenger in the governor’s race, Jeff Johnson, each raised about a million dollars between July 22 and September 16, the latest fundraising period. 

The candidates released their fundraising totals, which include public subsidies, a few hours before the official filing deadline with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Disclosure Board. 

Dayton still holds a significant advantage in cash on hand, however, reporting just under $1.7 million vs. Johnson’s $866,000, which still puts the GOP candidate in a more competitive position than earlier this summer.   

Dayton just recently began airing a series of TV commercials, “Darn Good Coach” and placed an order for about a million dollars worth of those ads. Dayton’s presence is augmented by another million-dollar campaign launched by Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a DFL political action group.

Johnson’s campaign said today his paid media campaign will tomorrow with a “substantial” media buy statewide. The ad is called “Accountable,” campaign spokesman Jeff Bakken describes it as “positive with an asterisk.”

Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 09/24/2014 - 09:38 am.

    Here’s the republican problem…

    They’re still campaigning to the coverted, and they’ve picked losing issues to run on.

    McFadden for some reason has dumped a million bucks into an ad that doesn’t resonate and will be obsolete. His attempt at a Clint Eastwood moment would be interesting if three debates weren’t scheduled, once they have the first debate his ads will be obsolete. The fact that he’s not getting as many debates as he wants isn’t going to drive voters, and once the money’s spent is gone. Not only that, but when they do have a debate Franken will make mincemeat out of McFadden and McFadden will be glad they didn’t have more debates.

    Johnson can go after MNcare, but despite it’s rocky roll out and the Preferred One withdrawl, MNcare has actually be a success in that it’s gotten affordable health care to tens of thousands of Minnesotan’s who had lost health care under Pawlenty, all Johnson would do is take it away from them like Pawlenty did. If the democrats every start pointing that out the issue will cut against republicans.

    The problem is that republican campaigns are all inside jokes, and too many voters have left the building.

  2. Submitted by David LaPorte on 09/24/2014 - 12:27 pm.

    Waste, Fraud and Abuse

    I’m so tired of hearing about waste, fraud and abuse from the Republicans with no specifics. If it’s a significant part of the budget, it would have to be endemic to the system. TPaw was governor from 2003 – 2011. If it’s there, why didn’t HE root it out? I’m sure that there’s some, but not nearly enough to make a big difference in the state budget.

    I also think that this ad positions Johnson as a micro manager, when the governor is supposed to be a leader. Is anybody really going to vote for someone who cuts their grass with scissors? Surely he has more important things to do.

  3. Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 09/24/2014 - 02:55 pm.


    is his $$$ coming from? I thought that the Republicans were the party of big money.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 09/24/2014 - 03:23 pm.


      actually, you’re under the erroneous assumption that only Republicans HAVE money.

      • Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 09/24/2014 - 09:01 pm.

        Not at all.

        Look at our current governor and the ten wealthiest members of the United States Congress. How many are democrats?

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 09/24/2014 - 09:51 pm.

      Education MN? Given the amount of additional dollars he sent their way, I would assume they are very generous donors. And then there were those Mayo Clinic leaders who are pretty happy with him. And maybe even the Vikings management is there for him.

  4. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 09/25/2014 - 08:53 am.


    You push for unlimited campaign contributions from anyone except foreign countries for decades. And then when you get what you want and Democrats STILL raise more money you complain about where their money comes from.

    Victims of your own stereotypes once again. It’s always been interesting to note that the great defenders of the wealthy and their tax breaks frequently are not the wealthy themselves, and have little more than stereotypical worship of the wealth to go on. Meanwhile you’ll find that the wealthy didn’t get where they are today by funding losing candidates. Some people around here are under the delusion that “principles” acquire votes and campaign contributions. Wealthy contributors know that candidates can’t deliver unless they win elections, and republicans are losing elections… it’s that simple. You may find a few wealthy individuals that are willing to toss money at principles instead of electable candidates but by and large, they’ll either donate to winners or sit it out and let their money grown some more.

    There’s also this delusion that all business people and executives are republicans, and that the chambers of commerce represent business rather than being a wing of the republican party. The problem is that it’s very hard to find a business person who can explain why recessions, budget crises, crumbling infrastructure, educational crises, and legislative gridlock are “good” for business? Given the fact that republicans have a solid track record of producing such “results” when they get into power, and are actually promising to do so again if they get back into power, there’s a basic schism between “business” and the republican party.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 09/25/2014 - 10:21 am.

      Complain or State

      I don’t think I am complaining, I am just stating the obvious and factual.

      Dayton helped secure a whole lot of tax payer dollars for some very wealthy and powerful constituent groups. It is only fair that they reward his campaign for those actions.

      Do you have concerns regarding politicians being rewarded by the beneficiaries of their choices and actions?

      I bring up the perceived conflict of interest concept occassionally, but usually people here say it is a non-issue.

  5. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 09/25/2014 - 09:18 am.

    The call for reform?

    Where are the purist who call for campaign finance reform? Should not all candidates be on a level playing field? Should we get rid of the “special interest” that buy elections?

    It seems like the advocates of campaign finance reform are strangely silent now that Dayton and the DFL are the power brokers.

Leave a Reply