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Dayton Announces Re-Election Bid, Strikes Back At Attack Ads

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Governor Mark Dayton sent an urgent email to his supporters Thursday night that included his re-election vow, as well as response to a television and radio ad blitz by a coalition of business critics.

A group called United for Jobs claims that Minnesotans pay some of the highest taxes in the country. And they insinuate that Dayton wants to raise the income tax rate – giving Minnesota the second highest rate in the nation.

In an email to supporters, the governor asks for campaign contributions – which can be accepted by a 24-hour response team.

“Their untruthful attacks only strengthen my commitment to run for re-election next year. You have my promise: If I’m breathing, I’m running!” Dayton said.

DFL Chairman Ken Martin and other Democrats are responding with unusually tough rhetoric, accusing Minnesota’s highest income business leaders of selfishness and greed.

“How can we say that we are giving $7 million to the sculpture garden when we are cutting the health and human services budget by $150 million?” Martin said.

At the Capitol, Senate Democrats unveiled their own tax plan, reviving a new sales tax on clothing and other services.

Republicans like Minority Leader David Hann are keeping a daily tally of what they say is wasteful spending, and making a case that tax hikes aren’t necessary.

“So we think there is good news here. The bad news is that it doesn’t seem like the DFL is getting the message,” Hann said.

United for Jobs includes some of the state’s most high-profile businesses and organizations. The governor calls their ads “the first of tens of millions (of dollars) right-wing interest groups will spend to smear” him.

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