Additional details have started to emerge about the new advertising campaign from the Republican Party of Minnesota focused on encouraging Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature to return all of the projected $1.9 billion budget surplus to taxpayers.
The Republican Party of Minnesota has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow at 11:15 AM to announce the “Give It Back” campaign. According to public filings with the FCC, the Republican Party of Minnesota has reserved $20,000 with WCCO-TV to broadcast a television advertisement.
The Republican Party of Minnesota’s State Executive Committee approved spending “at least six-figures” on a new “give it all back” campaign last week. Members of the committee I spoke with tonight had not yet seen the new television advertisement.
The “Give It Back” campaign may face bi-partisan resistance at the State Capitol as both Democrats and Republicans have announced plans to spend portions of the budget surplus on new state spending.
Last month, the Star Tribune reported Dayton called for investing the projected surplus in areas such as education and transportation, while Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) said a portion of the surplus should be returned to taxpayers.
Senate Minority Leader David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) also said Republicans would be “proposing spending.” House Minority Leader Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis) has been needling Daudt for introducing the Minnesota “Give It Back” Act last year, but for not adopting the same budget philosophy this year.
Alex Kharam, the Executive Director of the Freedom Club, appears on the filings with the FCC as the person who worked with WCCO-TV on behalf of the Republican Party of Minnesota to place the time for the advertisements. But instead of the Freedom Club, “The Greenbrier Group” is listed as the company connected to Kharam.
Records with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State show The Greenbrier Group became an active company on January 19, 2015 and the address for the company is actually a UPS Store in Minnetonka. Kharam did not respond to a request for comment about the TV ad or The Greenbrier Group.
As always, please check back to politics.mn for additional information.