Keith Downey - photo from legislative bio
by Steve Timmer
Sep 5, 2012, 2:30 PM

Keith the snookered

Melisa Franzen accepted the public subsidy for her campaign for the Senate District 49 seat. Keith Downey did not.

Franzen picked up $13,929 for her campaign from the subsidy fund.

But now you say: Franzen will now be limited to the $64,500 set forth in Minn. Stat. § 10A.25 for a state senate race. Downey can spend whatever he can raise! This is terrible!

Actually, Franzen can spend whatever she raises, too, and keep the public subsidy to boot. Why?

Minn. Stat. § 10A.25 subd. 10 tells us. A senate candidate who takes the subsidy but has an opponent who: 1) raised 20% or more of the $64,500 total pre-primary and 2) does not take the subsidy, is released from the limitation and keeps the subsidy.

Twenty percent of $64,500 is $12,900. Keith Downey raised more than that. But so did Melisa Franzen. In fact, Franzen raised substantially more than Downey did in individual contributions, generally a good sign of actual voter, as opposed to special interest, support.

It’s a nice addition to the Franzen war chest, where it will come in handy to combat the “independent expenditure” thuggery of the Republican Party of Minnesota and undoubtedly the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce yet to come.

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