Keillor, host of A Prairie Home Companion, will be the featured speaker at the 2013 Olmsted County Democratic Dinner on Monday, Sept. 30 in Rochester at the Kahler Grand Hotel. In an invitation posted on YouTube, a man's voice states, "As members of the DFL in Olmsted County, we've got a lot to be proud of. Now it's time to protect our hard work." As he speaks, a series of legislative initiatives appear on the screen, including the Marriage Equality Act, the Minnesota Dream Act, new health care exchange and property tax relief.
Tickets for the dinner costs $85 per person and $150 per person for individuals wanting to attend a special one-hour reception with Keillor.
Last fall, Keillor headlined a fundraiser for the Fillmore County Democrats. During that event, he went after Republicans in the Minnesota House for backing two constitutional amendments — one to ban gay marriage and one to require voters show photo ID before casting a ballot.
"We have a bunch of beady-eyed ideologues wasting the time of our Legislature to put useless things on the ballot," he said.
The event drew 270 Democrats who paid $20 a piece to get in. Even with the fundraising boost, Keillor's visit was not enough to help Democrats regain control of local legislative seats. Senate candidate Jack Krage, of Winona, failed in his attempt to unseat freshman Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona. Former state Rep. Ken Tschumper, of La Crescent, lost to Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston. Tschumper pulled off an upset in 2006, narrowly defeating the veteran lawmaker. Davids won back the seat in 2008.