The Minnesota Chamber’s political action committee will support Republican Tom Emmer in the governor’s race, after some debate over whether he or Independence Party candidate Tom Horner would be the best bet for the business community.
The Minnesota Chamber Leadership Fund Political Action Committee liked Emmer’s approach to the state’s projected $6 billion shortfall in its general fund, focusing on priority-based budgeting.
“Minnesota businesses must set priorities when times are bad — they expect the same from their state government,” said Steve McCulloch of St. Louis Park, a member of the PAC. “Minnesota has about $33 billion to spend over the next two years. Rep. Emmer’s approach to budgeting ensures that those dollars will go where they will support the greatest economic growth in both the short and long run. This is not the time to increase state tax burdens.”
The Chamber takes a shot at DFLer Mark Dayton, who didn’t screen with the group:
“Minnesota cannot afford a Mark Dayton administration,” said McCulloch. “The business community is unified in stopping his agenda of tax increases that would put all businesses at a disadvantage in today’s global marketplace and, as a result, cripple Minnesota’s economy just when a shot in the arm is needed.”
In a statement, Emmer said: “The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce PAC is committed to expanding business opportunities and growing jobs in Minnesota which is Job One for the next administration. …. I look forward to working with the Chamber PAC to continue to promote the common sense solutions of government living within its means, putting Minnesotans back to work and real education reform.”
Said Horner: “It’s disappointing, but not surprising that the Minnesota Chamber would endorse the Republican-endorsed candidate. They have been doing that for decades.
“The Chamber and its political action committee have invested significant resources in Emmer’s candidacy, and it would be astonishing if they walked away from their chosen candidate a month before the election.”
Jay Weiner contributed to this report.