Dean Phillips Violates Own Campaign Pledge By Loaning Himself $1.3 Million

Democrat Dean Phillips has been railing against the corrupt influence of money in politics ever since announcing his bid for Congress, but on Thursday revealed that he was loaning his campaign $1.3 million.

One of the pillars of Phillips’ campaign is his “Minnesota Way” pledge, which asks candidates to “reject and return all special interest contributions,” and “refrain from self-financing our campaigns.”

Since his opponent, Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03) declined to sign the pledge, Phillips has now resorted to cutting himself a million dollar check.

I offered Congressman Paulsen the opportunity to run this campaign the Minnesota Way—without special interest money and without self-funding,” Phillips said in a press release announcing the $1.3 million loan. “Congressman Paulsen is benefiting from millions more being spent on his behalf on despicable ads filled with lies and objectively misleading claims.”

Phillips and his campaign went on to attack Paulsen for being “the 4th-biggest taker of special interest PAC dollars in the entire Congress,” saying Phillips “would rather resource his own campaign than be bought off by special interest groups.”

On behalf of a district that demands principled representation, I will not let Erik Paulsen and out-of-state special interests buy this election,” Phillips continued.

In his Thursday press release, Phillips claims that he has been asking Paulsen to sign the “Minnesota Way” pledge since April, but he has “repeatedly refused.” Phillips said in a Thursday tweet that he has “fulfilled” his “pledge to ensure we have the resources to compete by loaning my campaign $1.3 million to run our closing ad.”

They made me spend my millions!,” Paulsen Campaign Manager John-Paul Yates sarcastically responded.

In a statement provided to KSTP, the Paulsen campaign criticized Phillips for “self-funding” his campaign while previously claiming it was “not democratic” to do so.

According to a recent KSTP/Survey USA poll, Phillips currently leads Paulsen 49 percent to 44 percent.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].









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