Dayton complains about GOP using shutdown to raise money

Minnesota's shut down, but the state GOP isn't.

Minnesota's shut down, but the state GOP isn't.

Mark Dayton says Minnesota Republicans are trying to mine the state shutdown for campaign money.

The governor criticized the GOP for hitting up contributors while Minnesota can't pay for highway repairs and state parks. In a response to City Pages this morning, State Republican Chairman Tony Sutton laughed at Dayton's request.

"We're simply trying to raise money," Sutton says. "I find it funny coming from a guy who financed his own campaign." [jump] Dayton's remarks came during a press conference yesterday afternoon, saying it's inappropriate to make any attempt to use the political gridlock to raise money for parties.

In his own press conference, Rep. Kurt Zellers, the House Majority Leader, said he'd not been in contact with Sutton, and that he couldn't tell Sutton what to do.

Sutton's e-mail, which he sent out yesterday, asked for contributions of $25, $50 or $100, and baited donors with the promise that Republicans could prevent a tax increase.

Sutton laughed at Dayton's complaint.

Sutton laughed at Dayton's complaint.

"Our Republican majorities are all that stand between Dayton and his desire to raise taxes on the hard-working citizens of Minnesota," Sutton wrote.

Republicans pointed out that Democrats had also sent out e-mails to their constituents, but Dayton countered that these communications were asking for support, and not money.

Sutton says Dayton knows how the political game is played, and shouldn't tell Republicans when and how to raise money. It's "very hypocritical," Sutton says, considering Dayton gets money when "labor unions pick the pocket of the working man for him."

"The shutdown is an unfortunate thing," Sutton says. "We certainly are doing our best to get the message out. We just need to raise money to do it, and [Dayton] knows that."