Independent candidate for governor Tom Horner is getting hit by the right and left over his business background. It’s a sign he’s being taken seriously, but it could also raises some serious questions. TodayTakeAction Minnesota will hold a press conference on Horner’s “array of economic policies that would benefit corporate interests and big business while raising taxes on middle-class Minnesotans and widening the disparities between the richest and poorest in the state.” The group will have a single mom, nurse, and farmer appear at the press conference. They’ll also remind people “Horner refuses to disclose his client list, protecting himself, his PR firm, and corporate clients from public scrutiny.”
The former public relations executive who divested his interest in his company to avoid conflicts of interest sent out a statement:
Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner has a diverse wealth of professional and civic experience around many of the key issues facing Minnesota — from transportation and health care to job creation and equality. As Rep. Emmer suggests, at his former firm Horner worked with groups including Northstar and others such as Project 515, and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. In addition to running a business, Horner has been active in organizations ranging from Catholic Charities to the Citizens’ League to Serve Minnesota, working on issues ranging from education to homelessness. These experiences in addition to Horner’s work as a community journalist, salesperson, St. Thomas professor, and the chief of staff of a U.S. Senate office, helped build his knowledge on a wide range of issues. It will also aid his ability to engage the public and create coalitions to address the key challenges Minnesota will face during the next four years.
Of course Horner left the Republican Party for this Independent run and the GOP candidate Tom Emmer took aim saying:
“No wonder Tom Horner wants to raise billions in new taxes and grow government at a double-digit percentage increase. Horner has milked government for millions of dollars in lucrative contracts,” Emmer said at a campaign appearance in Faribault. “Tom Horner wants to maintain business-as-usual even though voters know that the status quo is not working.”
The Star Tribune reported today that Tom Horner’s firm Himle Horner has received millions from state and local governments to write speeches, rehab the Department of Transportation’s image after the 35W bridge collapse, and for work on the Northstar commuter rail project.