The political wrangling between 1st Congressional District GOP candidates Mike Parry and Allen Quist continues heading into the Aug. 14 primary. The two are battling for the chance to take on 1st District DFL Rep. Tim Walz in November. Here's a quick recap of the events of this week so far.
Parry, who is trailing in the campaign money race, sent out a fundraising letter yesterday to supporters asking for donations and citing Quist's willingness to put $1 million of his own money into his campaign.
"My opponent has not won an election since 1986 — his views are out of the mainstream and voters have tried, tested and rejected him the last five times he's run for office. But he won't be stopped as long as he's willing to write himself a check for up to $1 million," the letter states.
This letter comes out as Quist gears up for a fundraiser featuring former presidential candidate and 6th District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in Rochester on Friday. The former state representative from St. Peter has also started airing TV ads across the 1st District — including in Minnesota. The ad features his granddaughter Lucia climbing red steps that turn into a graph of the nation's soaring deficit. In the ad, Quist says "Let's balance the budget and leave a better world for our kids."
Meanwhile, the Parry campaign is continuing its attacks on Quist's record. The latest attacks center on Quist's views on light rail. At his Rochester town hall last week, Quist said his view on light rail has always been that he supports building it as long as no government subsidies are used. Parry's campaign says that's not true. They sent out what they called a "fact check" saying that Quist has "backed light rail boondoggles for years." As evidence, they cite debates from 1998 when Quist said he supports light rail.
Last but not least, Parry will be getting plenty of media coverage on Friday. The state senator from Waseca wants answers from state officials about the decision to change the names of two constitutional amendment ballot items. Parry has called a meeting of the Senate Government Innovation and Veterans Committee, which he chairs. Testifying before the committee will be Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and State Attorney General Lori Swanson. Ritchie recently announced he was changing the titles of an amendment to ban gay marriage and one to require voters to show photo identification. Conservatives who support those amendment have blasted the secretary for making the change, arguing it is up to the Legislature to determine the ballot question titles.