The DFL starts to work on its damage control from its viciously anti-Catholic attack piece.
Blois Olson – who is not “the DFL”, per se, but has a history of working for DFL candidates – in his “Morning Take”
MN GOP will push to find controversy with a direct mail piece in SD40. GOP operatives are working hard to advance outrage over a mail piece sent by the MN DFL in the race for SD40 where incumbent DFL Sen. John Doll is running against GOPer Dan Hall.
I think the controversy pretty much jumps out and beats you over the head. Check it out for yourself:
Not a lot of room for interpretation there.
There is no doubt that if they get traction with this it could have some statewide impact on the election, especially if they advance the narrative that the piece is anti-Catholic. While one side of the piece shows a clergy collar with a faux button “Ignore the Poor”. The other takes legitimate pointed criticism at GOPer Dan Hall’s positions related to the MN budget and ties it to his profession as a chaplain.
Which is part of the DFL’s outreach to the region’s – mostly the Metro’s – “social justice-gospel” addled – Catholics; the idea that the state’s budget itself is a sort of Good Work.
That’s no different than finding issue with any other candidates profession and the political positions they take. The piece is hard hitting, but clergy of other faith’s wear a collar, and the word “Catholic” doesn’t appear anywhere on the piece.
Olson goes on to point out that priests of other denominations wear clerical collars. But the ad’s only context is the current race – where Archbishop Nienstedt has attacked gay marriage, and where Tom Emmer is a very orthodox Catholic.
And neither the Episcopal nor Orthodox hierarchies have taken any key political stances in this election (or have they? Who would know?) as has the Archdiocese. If this piece is a swipe at the Anglicans, Greeks or Russians, it’d be a response to an Orthodox or Episcopal stance that nobody’s really aware of; being a highly-qualified pundit, I’m pretty sure Olson knows that’d be a curious misallocation of resources at this point in the campaign.
The ad is a swipe at District 40 Senate candidate Dan Hall, who is a volunteer chaplain with the Burnsville Fire Department. The DFL’ s line is that Hall is a “Hypocrite” for preaching on the one hand, and supporting Governor Pawlenty on rejecting the big federal Medicaid payment.
The DFL is taking it upon itself to tell us who is or is not a good Christian and Catholic, based on adherence to the DFL’s budget wish list.
Senators Koch and Fishbach gave a statement about an hour ago asking if candidate Dayton stood by his party’s attack. Dayton is Catholic – or at least he’s given the homily at ultraliberal Saint Joan of Arc in Minneapolis.
I’m gonna suspect he lets this ride without mention…
UPDATE: MDE has scanned the full postcard.
CORRECTION: The postcard was sent by the DFL State, not Central, Committee. It was an inadvertent slip. Hard to tell all those committees apart.