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Super PAC, Outside Money Comes to Lakeville's Mayoral Race

American's for Prosperity, considered one of the largets Republican Super PACs in the country, is dabbling with attack mailers in Lakeville at the same time it's revealed one candidate has raised more than $6,000 in cash from outside the city.

Editor's note: It's not news that folks in Lakeville are getting attack ads in their mailboxes. That's pretty common. It is news when those mailers come from national Super PACs since it's not typical for groups who generate millions of dollars to support presidential races to get involved in local mayoral elections. Nor is it typical for a mayoral candidate of a suburban town to raise more than $6,000 in cash from places and groups in other states. The confluence of these two items has made this topic newsworthy.

Lakeville's mayoral race is getting strange.

Usually mayoral races are entirely local. Local candidates getting local support and local donations. But this year's mayoral race is generating some outside attention.

Over the weekend it got particularly interesting with last-minute mailers attacking Council-member and mayoral candidate Matt Little from a massive, nationally known Super PAC that has been strongly supporting Mitt Romney for President.

Americans for Prosperity Minnesota is the state-wing of a huge, multi-million dollar, Super PAC founded by Charles and David Koch—owners of Koch Industries. The mailers sent by the group attacked Little for his opposition to outsource electrical inspecti.

On the flip side, Little has drawn ire from local conservatives for the massive fundraising haul he amassed this year, more than $6,000 of which came from people and groups outside Lakeville. Among the donations to Little: the Boilermakers 647 Political Action Fund, IBEW Local 110, and individuals who live in Texas and Washington.

Little sent an email to Lakeville Patch acknowledging the outside donations, but also pointing to the $8,432.52 he says came from Lakeville residents. The average of those donations, he said, were $71.

It's not understood why Americans for Prosperity is sending out mailers in Lakeville. A call to their office was not returned. It's also not clear if they're meant to benefit either of the other two candidates running: incumbent Mayor Mark Bellows or Council-member Laurie Rieb.

However a tweet from Americans for Prosperity Minnesota said "Matt Little voted against a move to save taxpayers money to protect an unnecessary union job."

It's also not known how many local candidates across the state Americans for Prosperity is in support of, or attacking.

Billy November 05, 2012 at 07:51 PM
If Little raised $18000 and he is stating 8432.52 came from Lakeville residents, that means $9500 was raised from residents outside of Lakeville. A 27 year old law student garnering more money from outside the city for a mayor position when he already holds a city council position just doesn't add up. The Little Camp was very quick at pointing the finger at Bellows and saying that he is on the run. My hunch says neither Reib or Bellows had any clue this took place. If you can't take it, don't dish it. Dirty politics brought to you buy a 27 year old law student.
Kris Pierson November 05, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Let's be clear that the donations to Little's campaign by the union PACs cannot be compared to the AFP's involvement in Lakeville campaigning. It is an apples to oranges comparison if they are. Boilermakers 647 and IBEW 110 are local chapters of the unions, and they don't raise (or contribute) anything even close to the magnitude of the amount of money that AFP and other Super PACs do. It should also be noted that union members who are voting in Lakeville likely recommended Little to the local union PACs donate. The involvement of AFP is a much more different story. What we have seen transpire with the AFP mailing in Lakeville is nothing more than a favor called in to the Koch brothers by a Lakeville conservative who doesn't like the idea of Mr. Little winning the race, and who is worried that Bellows cannot and will not do it on his own. Lakeville conservatives are worried that they will not have a voice in city government need to do a reality check, as no matter how the races end up, the council will remain fiscally conservative, and the mayor will either be one of two creative, pragmatic leaders interested in cutting spending in wise ways, or an incumbent who takes fiscal conservatism to an extreme which only underpins his divisive ways and "my way or the highway" leadership style.
Billy November 05, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Kris - Matt Little on facebook blamed Mark Bellows for this mailing. Said the Bellow's camp is running. Is that who we want as a leader? Someone who is constantly attacking his city council colleague via social media. Didn't the council as a whole in year 1 of Little's time in office reprimand him for expressing opinions like this in social media. Matt Little needs to understand that he is working for the people and the city of Lakeville. Matt Little has preached the need to "work together", but he stands here doing just the opposite. Matt Little has only one agenda and it is to sacrifice the residents of Lakeville for his personal gain. Matt Little's ideas and accomplishments that he claims over the past two years on council are due to the hard work and dedication by the city's staff as a whole, but it is Matt Little getting up on the pulpit taking the credit. Although they won't go on record, we have the Lakeville police department that doesn't even support Matt Little. That in and of itself should sound the alarms.
Kris Pierson November 05, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Hi Billy! Thanks for responding in a predictable way. I think it is fair to say that the Bellow's camp is on the run, don't you? Why else would someone call in a favor to the Koch brothers? I mean, really, doesn't AFP have their hands full enough on the national scene? Mayor Bellows was reluctant to run for another term until he was pushed by old-time Lakeville establishment conservatives to run against Little. I find it interesting that the mayor lashed out at Little for "playing politics" well before the campaigns got started, chided him again once the campaign started, and then lined right up to get GOP endorsement after endorsement. Then to top it all off, we have the AFP in here. Bellows had to learn quickly that pretending to the public that politics should be cleared of council chambers doesn't work in a city like Lakeville. And, puh-leeze. Your comment about the police? Really? If your not their official spokesperson, then refrain from saying anything concerning them. It's disrespectful. It's a day before elections...don't you think everyone can see that you are just trying to smear little without any factual argument?
Billy November 05, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Kris, Your camp continues to disrespect the Reib group as well as the Bellows group. It has spend 12 months confusing the senior citizens of the community by buying their vote with the community center. What is great about being voted the 19th best city in the country by Money Magazine is that fool us once, our fault, fool us twice, shame on you. Their are only 1 or 2 people in the police department that support Matt Little. The rest see through him.
Kris Pierson November 05, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Matt Little will fill a huge leadership void in Lakeville. His even keeled, pragmatic, humble, and respectful demeanor is a manifestation of a person who is looking out for the interests of the whole. He said it best in the mayoral candidate forum: "Fundamentally, being a good leader for our community has always been about working with people to solve problems and build a better city." Matt has proven he can do that. His vote to keep the electrical inspector was not a nod to unions, it was a nod to fiscal prudence and, in the end, about allowing a middle class worker that was productive to keep his job. His work on the Heritage Center proves his ability to work pragmatically and seek accord and consensus among the city council while recognizing and caretaking the needs of Lakeville's growing community of seniors. Little is serious about the future of Lakeville, producing a straightforward plan to increase job growth and business location. He puts public safety and infrastructure up front in his vision for our city as it is poised for growth.
Matt F November 05, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Matt little spent the past year focusing on attacking Mark Bellows. Just think if he focused that much on the position he was elected for. Matt Little has zero real-life leadership experience. He caves to whichever entity will get him elected
Kris Pierson November 06, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Let's not confuse discourse and a difference of opinion with attacks. Go back through the meeting minutes. Go back and watch past council meetings online. Where are the attacks? Review the Facebook pages and Twitter feed. Still no attacks. But there are attacks out there from people don't want Little to win. They called up a national super PAC to do the dirty work. Reality check folks...the attacks are clearly not coming from Little for Lakeville.
Matt F November 06, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Reib and Bellows served proudly and successfully for our city for a decade building our city to a level where it is recognized by Money Magazine without issue and then came a left-winged liberal who brought in outside money into local politics. And now this same left-wing politician wannabe cries foul. Little created the issues and his camp continues to attack Bellows with their online comments, Facebook posts and letters to the editors. If he can't take it then he should have his camp dish it out.
Pam R Johnson November 06, 2012 at 05:58 PM
A person commenting on an issue or a candidate should be willing to disclose their last name.
Billy November 06, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Why? So that I can have some crazy liberal come an egg my house when I am at work all day. We live in a world of "crazies" and although we have the first amendment to freedom of speech and the right to bear arms I have seen first hand how busy our Lakeville PD is, I don't need to make them busier hauling some Matt Little lover off my lawn.
Pam R Johnson November 07, 2012 at 01:55 AM
It is a matter of credibility.
jessewicks November 07, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Kris... Thanks for your viewpoints regarding Matt Little. Just a word of advice, don't waste your time debating Billy or Matt F. Little is in the lead for Mayor. The good citizens of Lakeville no longer are willing to put up with a Mayor who gets the city sued for falsely accusing a staffer of lying and then refusing to apologize. So thanks Kris for your support. Minnesota and America spoke up for Obama, and as it appears now, against the GOP marriage amendment, the GOP voter id amendment, and against poorly performing Bellows for his PAC paid for view points.
Brian H November 07, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Congrats Lakeville. You just elected your first child-mayor! All kidding aside, I am the same age as Matt Little and I find it ridiculous that he is the mayor. I would assume that Lakeville is now the laughingstock of the South Metro. I'm not responding to the topics above as I do not care about the political parties at work or the attack ads etc. I just want to know if Little has ever held a full time job other than being a student? Does he know how to run a business? I don't know much about the guy but going by his age alone how could he have any real world experience? I also find it interesting that he is the only candidate that doesnt live in Lakeville. So technically he has no vested interest in this city other than playing Mayor. That's great that we have a new Mayor that is using Lakeville as a political stepping stone.
resident November 07, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Folks, - look at the facts. The reason the Koch brothers “ American for prosperity “ is in the act; - is because their member and agent Mark Bellow failed in appropriating the assets of our community like the liquor operation and give it to his crony profiteer capitalist. We would have lost the control of how we sell liquor, all the living wage jobs provided by the operation and the profit that keeps our taxes low. To those guys it means they could not get their mittens on our multimillion equity. This gang is not for prosperity of Americans but instead clandestinely takes away from all of us and transfers our hard created property into the hands of the 1%, - the capitalists, - the profiteers, - the outsoucers. So Billy and guys, are you running with this gang? - And why?
resident November 07, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Mark Bellow take off your halo, your association with the Koch brothers “ American for Prosperity“ shows who you really are. You accused city people of lying, but your claim of working for us the citizens of Lakeville is really the lie. Good thing you don’t have to be the mayor any more because this revelation destroyed all your credibility.
Brian H November 07, 2012 at 06:21 PM
The issue at hand is that Lakeville is now a joke to the rest of the Metro. Its not about Bellows or Reib losing, its about the fact that Lakeville is now run by a kid that lives with his parents in Rosemount (to be blunt).
Harvey Simpson November 07, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Lets look at the reality - Matt Little only collected 43.9% of the votes. 56% of the lakeville voters voted against him. Reib and Bellows split the working class vote and Little played the game by targeting the senior citizens, students and the few liberals in the city. Good luck to LeBeau, Anderson, Swecker and Little's council seat replacement
Matt F November 07, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Resident - get off your high horse. Outside money bought this election for Matt Little. $18000 raised - little claims $8000 was from people within the city. That leaves $10000 from special interest which is more than what Reib and Bellows raised together.
resident November 07, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Hey Harvey Simpson Lets look at the reality – Mark Bellow only collected 39% of the votes. 61% of the Lakeville voters voted against him. In your book then the 39% can sabotage the 61%! Why don’t you do that in your job at work or see how this would work in the army! Matt F Where do we see the Koch brother special interests money? When I and my friends and neighborhood and work associations and citizen groups and voters band together and pool our money and voting power to support what is good for us then you call it “UN -democratic special interests”
Harvey Simpson November 07, 2012 at 07:58 PM
I don't see any Koch brother special interest money. I don't have a problem with the 8000 that was raised by Lakeville residents for Lakeville Mayor. I do have a problem with the other 10000 that was raised outside of the lakeville. Have a good day Joe.

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