US Rep. Collin Peterson (
by Tony Petrangelo
Jan 26, 2014, 10:00 AM

The Weekly Wrap 1-26

Fundraising numbers continue to roll in, so that will be the bulk of the focus for The Wrap™ this week.

♣ Minnesota’s Representative of the seventh congressional district, one Collin Peterson, announced his fundraising haul for the last period of 2013. That number is $165,000, with $357,000 cash on hand. Peterson has been the subject of retirement rumors for a number of months now, so lets take a look at his 2013 forth quarter fundraising as it compares to past off-years for the long-time congressman.

Year Raised Cash-on-hand
2013 $164,635 $357,686
2011 $114,324 $676,126
2009 $122,418 $619,667
2007 $143,634 $500,081
2005 $67,233 $106,366
2003 $33,878 $160,410

As you can see by the cash on hand totals, prior to the last quarter, Peterson had been raising less money than he typically has in recent off-years. In the last quarter though, he raised more than he ever had before in the forth quarter of an off year.

These numbers make me fairly certain that Peterson will in fact be seeking another term.

♣ While we’re on the subject of the seventh congressional district, Collin Peterson’s most likely challenger, state Senator Torrey Westrom also announced his fundraising totals for the quarter, of which he hasn’t been a candidate for the entirety of.

State Sen. Torrey Westrom raised more than $84,000 during his first three weeks a Republican congressional candidate in the 7th District.

Given the persistent retirement rumors surrounding Peterson, it’s not that surprising that Westrom would be able to quickly raise some dough, half the amount of the sitting congressman in a forth of the time. The question though is if he will be able to keep this up if/when Peterson announces that he’s running again.

♣ Moving to the second congressional district, incumbent congressman John Kline announced his fundraising totals as well.

Kline brought in $450,000 in the last three months of 2013, up from $370,000 in the previous quarter. The campaign’s bank account has grown to $1.6 million, a $300,000 increase from Sept. 30.

That’s a pretty healthy war-chest. By contrast, his likely DFL opponent, Mike Obermueller, has not done quite as well.

Obermueller’s campaign raised $132,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013 from more than 1,800 donors and has $203,000 in the bank, according to a campaign spokeswoman.

♣ In last weeks Wrap I wrote the following:

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson ($240,000) and Senator Dave Thompson ($120,000) already announced their fundraising totals from last year. Marty Seifert and Kurt Zellers have not yet released their totals. In the case of Marty Seifert, he’s only been in the race for a few months so he probably doesn’t have much to report. In the case of Kurt Zellers, well, he’s been in the race for a long time now.

I didn’t say it, but the implication was that I didn’t think Zellers had much to report, which is why he was waiting to report it. Turns out I was wrong:

Former state House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, raised $403,000 in the last six months of 2013 for his campaign to unseat DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

♣ Earlier this week it was reported that Senate district 31 Republicans were planning to take a vote of “no confidence” in house minority leader Kurt Daudt.

“We feel that he does not have our best interest in mind,” said Dan Denno, chair of the District 31 Republicans.

Until that is Daudt showed up at the meeting.

“We wanted to get his side and we got it and we are happy with his explanation,” said Tony Crego, one of the leaders at the meeting. “After we talked with him…we felt there no reason to hold any kind of vote.”

There is nothing about this whole story, and I’m now referring to the larger Kurt Daudt story, that seems like it will cause any lasting political damage to Kurt Daudt, but nonetheless it’s all a bit strange.

♣ That was not the only Republican “no confidence” vote story this week though, there was one involving Senator Branden Petersen too:

Local Republican leaders last week rescinded the formal admonishment of Sen. Branden Petersen they had approved last year in the wake of his vote to legalize same-sex marriage.

“Sen. Petersen had a lot of other positive things going for him,” said Don Huizenga, a deputy chair of the Senate District 35 Republicans. “We wanted him to go into session with a clear conscience.”

Which is sort of hilarious in way. I mean, hilarious in that Petersen basically said he was voting the way he was for reasons of conscience. Despite knowing at the time that a thing like this was likely to happen. So I don’t really think it’s Senator Petersen’s conscience that was at issue here.

♣ This is just too much fun for me not to comment on:

Twin Cities broadcasting pioneer Stan Hubbard (and my former employer) left a weekend meet-and-greet with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie “very impressed” with what he heard.

Tell me more.

Hubbard and his wife attended a gathering Sunday in Palm Beach, Fla., hosted by Ken Langone, founder of Home Depot and a longtime Hubbard friend and business associate.

Ken Langone is the same very-wealthy person who’s delicate fee-fee’s got hurt by the new Pope. So you know, he’s a person who should be taken seriously. As should fellow very-wealthy person Stanley Hubbard, because he’s a broadcasting pioneer, or something.

The Palm Beach event and weekend appearances elsewhere in Florida were Christie’s first ventures out of state since his Jan. 9 marathon news conference in which he apologized for his administration’s involvement in orchestrating a massive traffic jam as political retaliation.

And while in Florida for that event, his first as the newly minted head of the Republican Governor’s Association, Chris Christie managed to make exactly zero public appearances. Because this whole bridge thing (and other things too!) is totally behind him. It’s so far behind him that the epicly unpopular Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, refused to be seen in public with him.

This is Stan Hubbard’s guy. That Stan sure knows how to pick ’em.

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