Renew Minnesota aims to help Republicans win House majority
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota is the undisputed champion of independent political expenditures in Minnesota after pouring $18.2 million into election races in 2022 on behalf of Democrats. They will likely spend millions more in 2024, but they will have at least some competition from a new Republican-leaning business group, Renew Minnesota.
“Renew Minnesota supports candidates who back the policies needed to grow jobs, wages, and opportunity in Minnesota,” the group’s chair and treasurer Mitchell Williamson told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in a written statement Thursday. “In 2024, Renew Minnesota will be focused on restoring balance to state government by delivering a pro-growth majority to the Minnesota House.”
The group began sending direct mail fliers to homes in eight Minnesota House districts represented by Democrats who won close elections in 2022. The latest flyer criticizes Democrats for approving a $730 million plan to expand and renovate the State Office Building. The flyer hits all the buzzwords, like “Behold the Taxpayers’ Taj Mahal,” calling it a “Fortress of Waste” and describing the project as “Minnesota’s Monument to Extravagance.”
Previous flyers criticized them for raising taxes, a big increase in state spending and for passing a law that caused several police departments to withdraw school resource officers.
“Republicans have traditionally in recent cycles had a big financial disadvantage,” said Carleton College Political Analyst Steven Schier.
They’ll likely be at a disadvantage in 2024, too. Renew Minnesota is registered with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, but doesn’t have to file a report about the money raised and list of donors until January. The group is an arm of the new Minnesota Private Business Council which disclosed last summer it had raised about $700,000 in dues from member companies.
Schier says if the group is to effectively get out its message it will need millions of dollars, even if they don’t match the Alliance for a Better Minnesota.
“What (they) need also is radio and particularly television advertising,” he said. “Much more expensive, harder to fund, and something Republicans very much need.”