The Minnesota House campaign of Rep. Tom Emmer donated to the ministry of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Intl., Inc., according to the press secretary for Emmer’s gubernatorial campaign. Emmer is one of several Republican leaders involved with the ministry of Bradlee Dean, who leads a hard rock band that brings its message of Jesus Christ into public schools and recently affirmed the practice of Muslim countries executing gays and lesbians.
“Tom’s house campaign committee did donate to the organization, but not Tom personally,” Chris Van Guilder, Emmer’s press secretary told the Minnesota Independent Tuesday. He said the campaign wasn’t aware of the donation when asked on Monday.
According to campaign finance reports, Emmer’s campaign gave You Can Run $250 in late 2008 (pdf).
The Republican-endorsed candidate for governor, Tom Emmer, told the Star Tribune’s Rachel Stassen-Berger that You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Intl., Inc., “are nice people.” You Can Run is a ministry that brings it’s hard rock evangelism into public schools across the Midwest and its front man, Bradlee Dean, told radio listeners recently that Muslim countries that call for the execution of gays and lesbians are “more moral than even the American Christians.”
Emmer’s campaign has given money to the ministry, and Emmer has appeared on Dean’s radio show, been to Dean’s house and posed for a picture with leaders of the ministry following his endorsement by the Republican Party.
“My understanding is that it’s a Christian-based ministry that’s about family, that is about respect for yourself….I know that they’re a pro-marriage, pro-traditional marriage group,” Emmer told the Strib.
“These are nice people. Are we going to agree on everything? No….I really appreciate their passion and you know what I respect their point of view,” he said. “I respect their right to have whatever view. That’s what makes it a great country. You don’t have to agree with it.”
In the last few months, Emmer has appeared on Bradlee Dean’s radio show – the same show on which Dean said, “Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America. This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”
Emmer also posed for a picture with leaders of You Can Run, visited the home of Bradlee Dean and attended a meet-and-greet fundraiser for the group in late 2009.
Emmer’s campaign distanced itself from Dean’s statements on Monday: “Tom’s position on social issues has been very clear and consistent. He is a supporter of traditional marriage, and he strongly opposes any kind of violence or unfair discrimination against any group.”
Update: Minnesota Public Radio reports that Emmer’s campaign has notified the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board about the donation, which exceeded the legal limit by $150.